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Right to appeal and tribunals

You can appeal against decisions made by the local authority on matters relating to an education health and care plan.

An appeal can be lodged by the child's parent(s) or carers(s). A child can lodge an appeal in their own right.

You will normally have to appeal to the tribunal within two months of getting the council's decision letter.

To appeal, you will apply to the Health, Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the first-tier tribunal. The tribunal system is a more informal court of law that hears civilian disputes. The tribunal process is aimed to be user-friendly so that the parents, carer or young person should not need to have legal representation.

You will find a link below to the tribunal process, that contains an application form, or alternatively you can contact the tribunal office at:

First-tier Tribunal (special educational needs and disability)
Mowden Hall
Staindrop Road
Darlington
DL3 9BG

email: sendistqueries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 01325 392 760

Fax: 01325 391 080 or 01325 391 310

Before registering an appeal, parents, carers and young people must consider mediation and must obtain a certificate from a mediation advisor before lodging an appeal. For more information, please view our mediation and disagreement resolution page.

Parents and young people can appeal to the first-tier tribunal about:

  • A decision by the local authority not to conduct an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment.
  • A decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan after an assessment.
  • The description of the child or young person's SEN, specified required services, and the specified education institution or lack thereof, in the EHC plan, and any amendments to these elements of the plan.
  • A decision by the local authority not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment.
  • A decision by the local authority to cease to maintain an EHC plan.
  • Disagreement over the name of the school, or other educational establishment, named in the plan.
  • Disagreement over the type of school, or other educational establishment, named in the plan.
  • If no school or other educational establishment has been named in the plan.
  • Disagreement in relation to the child or young person's special educational needs set out in the plan.

The first-tier tribunal will not hear appeals about personal budgets or decisions about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.