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Changes to the special educational needs and disability tribunal

Changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal

The national trial and the SEND Tribunal

The SEND Tribunal are responsible for handling appeals against local authority decisions regarding special educational needs. 

Previously they could only make recommendations about education aspects of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC). 

They can now make recommendations about health and social care aspects EHC Plans issued from 3 April 2018.

This is a trial and will run for 2 years.

How it works for parents and young people

What this means is that you can ask for recommendations to be be made all parts of the EHC Plan and not just the Education aspect.

Appeals can't be made just on health and social care issues, you'll also need to ask for recommendations to be made about the education aspects too.

Before your appeal can be heard by the SEND Tribunal you'll need to follow our appeals procedure first.

You can find the forms you'll need and advice on the Government website 


What happens when recommendations are made

Recommendations made by the SEND Tribunal to health and social care aspects of EHC Plans aren't legally enforceable. However we and the health commissioner are expected to follow the recommendations.

If the recommendations aren't followed, we'll put the reasons in writing to you and to the Department for Education.

You can make a complaint to the:

And seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. For further information go to the courts and tribunals judiciary website.

Watch the video

HM Courts and Tribunals service have produced a series of videos explaining the SEND Tribunal process.

Find out more


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