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Appeals and Mediation

If you disagree with a decision made by the local authority relating to your child's special educational needs, you can appeal to an independent body called the First Tier Tribunal for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

If your child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND) and you are unhappy about the help they are getting RIASS can:

  • listen to your concerns
  • help you sort out the issues
  • identify other people who can support you
  • help you decide what to do next
  • explain the law and your rights.

RIASS Tribunal Support Policy for information on how we can support you with your appeal

RIASS Tribunal Resource Pack 

When can I appeal?

You can bring an appeal to the SEND Tribunal if your local authority:

  • refuses to carry out an EHC Needs Assessment or a re-assessment
  • refuses to issue an EHC Plan
  • issues or amends an EHC Plan but you disagree with any or all of Section B (special educational needs), Section F (special educational provision) or Section I (placement)
  • decides not to amend an EHC Plan after an Annual Review
  • decides to cease to maintain the EHC Plan at any point.

Following on from the SEND National Trail you can also appeal against the health and social elements within the EHC Plan if you are appealing against section B and/or section F. However, the Tribunal can only make recommendations on health and social care provision, not legally binding orders as with education you cannot appeal these sections of the EHC Plan.

You can not appeal against;

  • section A – the views, wishes and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person;
  • Section E – the outcomes to be sought; and
  • Section J – dealing with direct payments.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is way of helping parents or young people resolve disagreements about EHC Needs Assessments and EHC Plans. A trained independent mediator will help each side express their views to reach an agreement. In some cases, mediation can help avoid the need to go to tribunal.

Parents and young people must consider mediation and contact the service used by the local authority before appealing to the SEND tribunal. Redbridge use Community Accord.  

You do not have to use a mediation service if the appeal is only about the name or type of school, college named on the EHC plan (Section I).

RIASS can help you prepare for an appeal and attend Mediation if required. We can also help you make sure that any ruling from SENDIST is actioned.

Mediation is free and voluntary.

IPSEA have produced many different model letters to help you with appeals and complaints that you can download and amend for your own purposes.

Related Pages

Related PDF Leaflets