Appealing to the SEND Tribunal can feel daunting. No parent or carer wants to have to face the pressures of a battle, before a judge with the Local Authority, school and others.
The SEND tribunal operates in a way that is informal compared to traditional court settings, but nonetheless is nerve wracking for parents and carers.
Making sure that the application and supporting evidence is carefully prepared is vital. It is important to understand what the Tribunal can and cannot do. Appeals to SEND must be lodged within 2 months of the decision date on the letter from the Local Authority, or within 30 days of the issue of a mediation certificate.
Anyone wishing to apply to the SEND Tribunal needs to have consulted with a mediation adviser, whose details are available from the Local Authority or on the Local Offer website. You do not have to attend mediation, but you have to discuss whether it is right in your case. There is an exception to this. If the issue to be decided is the actual educational establishment to be named in the EHCP then you can make an application directly to the tribunal if you choose.
By working with parents at an early stage gathering the necessary information and presenting it in a way that promotes the case is very important. I believe it is critical to provide as much information as possible at the early stages, sometimes a Local Authority will review their case and agree to make the necessary provision, and the SEND tribunal judge can see the reason the appeal is needed and the evidence that supports the case from the outset.
The Advice from the government at https://www.gov.uk/special-educational-needs-disability-tribunal makes it clear that you do not need to be represented. However, many parents feel the need to engage legal support for all or parts of the appeal process.
They also provide a video showing how it works in practice https://youtu.be/ExNEpi-E4XI
The service I offer is tailored to your own specific needs. Some parents wish to engage me for the whole SEND process, others want support to draft the appeal documents and gather evidence, and others want representation.
I offer support, advice and representation at all stages of the process and can work around your needs and budget.
The initial call is free, complete the Contact Us form or phone 03337729763 to discuss your situation and possible ways forward.