The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND Tribunal) is an independent national tribunal that hears appeals from parents, carers and young people against decisions made by the Local Authority (LA) regarding the special educational needs of children and young people. It also hears claims of disability discrimination against schools.

The tribunal is part of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), which is administered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service. The tribunal is responsible for handling appeals against LA decisions regarding special educational needs, including
• Where the LA decides not to carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment
• Where the LA decides not to issue an EHC Plan, once they have completed an assessment.
• Where the LA decides not to amend an EHC Plan after the annual review or re-assessment (sections B, F)
• Where the LA decides to cease to maintain an EHC Plan
• The name and type of education provider named in the EHC (section I)

It also handles appeals against decisions to refuse young people in custody an EHC assessment, an EHC plan after assessment, a placement to a suitable school or other educational institution after their release and discrimination by schools or LAs due to a child’s disability.

The SEND Tribunal has the power to make recommendations about health and social care issues in all appeals where there was a valid appeal (all rights of appeal except refusal to secure an EHC needs assessment decisions) . The tribunal is intended to be parent, carer and young person friendly, without court fees and the risk of paying the other side’s costs.

Last updated: 12/5/2022