Extended powers SEND tribunal: national trial

Guidance for local authorities, health commissioners, parents and young people on the trial to extend powers of the SEND tribunal.



On 20 July 2021, the Department for Education confirmed the extended powers given to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of education, health and care (EHC) plans, provided those appeals also included education elements, will continue.

These extended powers are currently being tested under a national trial, which began in April 2018. The trial will end on 31 August 2021 and the powers will continue.

This guidance sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017.

It explains how the appeal process will work, what happens if recommendations are not followed and the support available for commissioners and families.

Further guidance and support for the trial can be found in the SEND national trial toolkit.

Published 8 March 2018
Last updated 20 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated with the announcement that the extended powers are permanent from 20 July 2021. Also added the 'evaluation of the national trial extension of special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal powers'.

  2. Added a new mailbox address on pages 16 and 19 for responses to recommendation letters. These must be sent to the Department for Education.

  3. Added detail on the extended trial date due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

  4. Updated formatting in 'how to claim' section to make it clear that expenses guidance has changed in the toolkit.

  5. First published.