The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal will deal with appeals against Local Authority decisions regarding special educational needs.
What happens at the Tribunal Hearing will depend on what you are appealing against – in particular which sections of your child’s Education Health and Care Plan you are appealing.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal looks at the evidence available at the hearing and then decides whether the Local Authority’s decision followed the Law and the Code of Practice. It will make its decision based on what is right for the child or young person at the date of the hearing.
Although a Tribunal is less formal than a Court attending a Tribunal hearing can be unnerving and there are certain formalities that are still required. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal will have 2 or 3 people panel members. One panel member will always be a SEN Tribunal Judge (or chairperson), will be legally qualified and an expert on special educational needs related issues. The other panel members are known as specialist members of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. They have a particular expertise and experience in special educational needs. Evidence is given to the Tribunal both oral and written and once that is done the Tribunal will provide a decision within 10 days.
In Wales the Tribunal is known as the Education Tribunal for Wales and operates in a similar way although appeals will relate to the Individual Development Plan process and in particular the Additional Learning Needs and Additional Learning Provision for the child or young person.
The Tribunals are independent of the Local Authorities and the schools and its decisions are legally binding. We can assist with all aspects of the Tribunal process from preparing and filing an appeal to representation at the final Tribunal hearing.