What to do if you disagree with our decision
We will make sure that you are fully involved in the decisions that we make about the support that your child needs. This means that it is very rare that you will need to think about appealing an EHC plan or a decision we have made.
If we do disagree on the best support for your child, there’s lots of ways to sort this without needing a formal appeal.
Talk to your EHCP Officer or SENDIASS
We recognise that you might not always agree with our decision. If you don’t agree or understand a decision we’ve made, you should speak to your EHCP Officer as soon as you can. You can also talk to SENDIASS to help you understand the decision. They can arrange a meeting with your officer and anyone else who is needed to try to resolve any disagreements.
We are often able to sort out any differences at this stage without needing to get anyone else involved. If you need help to have this conversation with us, SENDIASS will be able to support you. We can have this conversation face-to-face, over the telephone or through a virtual meeting depending on how you are most comfortable.
If you aren’t sure how to get in touch with your EHCP Officer directly, contact the team on 01332 643616.
We always try to resolve issues, and this does not affect your right to mediation or appeal. We will always write to you when you have a right to appeal and tell you how you can do this.
Mediation is a meeting you can have with us to find a solution to your problems in an impartial and confidential environment. An independent mediator manages the discussion to help you and the people involved try to reach a resolution.
Before you can appeal our decision or the content of the EHC plan you must contact the mediation adviser within two months of receiving the decision letter you are unhappy about.
You do not have to pursue mediation - you only have to consider it if you feel it would be helpful for you. If you do not wish to mediate, your right of appeal will not be affected but you will still be required to obtain a mediation certificate before making most appeals. You won’t need a mediation certificate if you are appealing against the placement we have named in section I of the EHC plan.
For more information about mediation, visit the Global Mediation website.
If you are unhappy with the decision we have made or the content of the EHC plan (Sections B, F and I), you have the right to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
You can appeal to the SEND tribunal about:
- a decision not to carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment
- a decision that an EHC plan is not needed, following an assessment
- the description of your child’s needs in their EHC plan, the special educational provision specified, the school or other education setting named in the plan, or that no school or other institution is specified
- an amendment to these parts of the EHC plan
- a decision not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment
- a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.
The SEND Tribunal is an independent first-tier tribunal that hears and decides appeals against decisions we have made about your child’s EHC plan you or our decision not to assess your child’s needs.
The SEND Tribunal makes its decisions after considering all the evidence. This includes documents, from both us and you, sent before the hearing as well as what is said at the hearing.
Once the decision is made, the SEND Tribunal will send out a decision notice and an order which explains what must be done to carry out their decision, this is binding. A SEND decision can only be appealed on a point of law and permission must be given by the tribunal for either parents or a local authority to make an appeal.
You can appeal the health and social care needs and provision specified in the EHC plan as well as the education provision, but only if you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspect of the EHC plan. To read the full guidance, visit our SEND Tribunal: Extended powers page.
More information about the SEND Tribunal is available on the Government website.