Advice Blog

Please use the search bar above to look for any answers to questions you may have, or take a browse through our posts. If there is anything you cannot find or would like to see, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What can I appeal at the SEND Tribunal?

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (or the SEND Tribunal) is an independent national tribunal which hears parents’ and young people’s appeals against LA decisions about the special educational needs of children and young people. It also hears claims of disability discrimination against schools and more recently, it can now make recommendations with regards to the health and social care aspects of an EHC Plan, providing the appeal has an educational element to it.

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Can I get Direct Payments?

A personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan. This is different from a direct payment, which is an actual amount of money that you would receive so that you could commission some or all of the provision identified in the personal budget yourself.

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What is a Personal Budget?

A personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan. This is different from a direct payment which is an actual amount of money that you would receive so that you could commission some or all of the provision identified in the personal budget yourself.

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When can a LA cease to maintain a EHCP?

When a local authority (LA) decides to take away, or end, an education, health and care (EHC) plan, this is called ‘ceasing to maintain’ the EHC plan. This means that the EHC plan will come to an end and the LA will no longer have the legal duty to ensure that the educational provision specified in the EHC plan is received by the child or young person.

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Annual Review

Where a child or young person has an EHC plan, it must be reviewed at least once a year by the local authority (LA). This is to ensure it stays up-to-date and continues to provide the support the child or young person needs.

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Naming a school for an EHCP

Parents or young people have a legal right to request that a particular school or college is named in an education, health and care (EHC) plan (or to express a preference for an independent school, college or other institution).

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A SEND Tribunal sounds expensive, is it?

The First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), or the SEND Tribunal, is an independent national tribunal which hears parents' and young people's appeals against Local Authority (LA) decisions about the special educational needs of children and young people.  It also hears claims of disability discrimination against schools. You can appeal to the SEND Tribunal if you are unhappy with a decision made in relation to an EHC needs assessment or EHC plan.

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Will my child have to change schools after applying for an EHCP?

If you (and your child) are happy with the school they are currently attending and they have agreed, once consulted with the draft EHCP that they are able to meet your child's needs, there is no reason why they should have to change schools. The Local Authority (LA) have to take into account the parents and child's views and preferences as well as having a right to a mainstream education. The law states that a child or young person with an EHC plan must be educated in a mainstream setting unless:

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My child has been refused an EHC Needs Assessment

Firstly... don't panic.  This is all too common, way more common than it should be!  The threshold for an assessment is actually very low.  You only need to show that your child "has or may have special educational needs and it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan."

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