What the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) does

We’re responsible for handling appeals against local authority decisions regarding special educational needs, including a refusal to:

  • assess a child or young person’s educational, health and care (EHC) needs
  • reassess their EHC needs
  • issue an EHC plan
  • change what’s in a child or young person’s EHC plan
  • maintain the EHC plan

We also handle appeals against decisions to refuse young people in custody:

  • an EHC assessment
  • an EHC plan after assessment
  • a placement to a suitable school or other educational institution after their release

We also handle appeals against discrimination by schools or local authorities due to a child’s disability.

In April 2018 the SEND jurisdiction was extended to trial the power to make recommendations about health and social care issues in all appeals where there was a valid appeal (all rights of appeal except refusal to secure an EHC needs assessment decisions). This was part of the Department for Education’s national trial of extended powers for the tribunal. That trial came to an end on 31 August 2021. Having evaluated its success, the SEND Tribunal will continue to have the power to make recommendations about health and social care issues after this date.

Who we are

We are part of the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber, one of 7 chambers of the First-tier Tribunal which settles legal disputes and is structured around particular areas of law.

Tribunal information

Contact the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)

General enquiries

First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)
1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates Court
Parkgate
Darlington
DL1 1RU
United Kingdom

Telephone

01325 289 350

Fax

0870 739 4017

Opening hours and facilities:
https://www.find-court-tribunal.service.gov.uk/courts/darlington-magistrates-court-and-family-court

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