1. Overview

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) if you disagree with your local authority’s decisions about your child’s special educational needs - for example if they refuse to:

  • assess your child’s educational, health and care (EHC) needs
  • make a statement of their special educational needs
  • reassess their special educational needs
  • create an EHC plan
  • change what’s in your child’s special educational needs statement or EHC plan

You can also appeal to the tribunal if a local authority has discriminated against your child or someone else because of your child’s disability.

The tribunal must receive your appeal within 2 months of you getting the letter about the decision.

The tribunal is independent of government and will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.

The rules are different in Wales.

Who can appeal

You can appeal as either:

  • the parent
  • the young person, if you’ve finished year 11 and you’re under 25

Help you can get

Before you appeal, see if you can discuss the problem with your local authority.

You may be eligible for legal aid to help with your legal costs. You can get advice from Civil Legal Advice if you’re eligible.

You can also get free help and advice from IPSEA or your local Parent Partnership Service. Contact the Information, Advice and Support Services Network for details of your nearest service.

Information, Advice and Support Services Network
Telephone: 020 7843 6958
Find out about call charges