Appeal an education, health and care plan decision
Where to get advice, how to challenge an EHC decision and information about your rights as a parent or carer.
Before you appeal
Please talk to your caseworker if you’re not happy about a decision to do with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or assessment. They can help you resolve disagreements quickly.
Organisations and charities that provide free and independent advice include:
- Amaze who provide information, advice and support for local families with disabled children and young people
- Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)
- Family Action
Get mediation advice
Most of the time you'll need to get mediation advice or a mediation certificate before you appeal.
If we can't reach an agreement you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, sometimes called SEND Tribunal or SENDIST.
Check what you can appeal about
The SEND Tribunal can make binding decisions, which means they have to be followed, if you’re appealing about:
- a decision not to do an EHC assessment or a reassessment
- a decision not to issue an EHC plan
- a change to an EHC plan
- a decision not to change an EHC plan after a review
- a decision to stop the EHC plan
- anything else to do with the education parts of the EHC plan, such as support for your child or the school named in the plan
If you are appealing about one of the areas listed above, you can also ask the SEND Tribunal to make recommendations about health or social care parts of the EHC plan.
This is part of a national two-year trial from April 2018 that gives you the opportunity to make a complaint about all parts of an EHC plan at the same time and in one place.
Recommendations about health and social care elements are not legally binding, which means they don't always have to be followed.
Make an appeal
You need to appeal within 2 months of the date on the decision letter from the council, or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate – whichever date is later.
If you’ve had mediation advice and you’re still not happy you can:
- appeal as a parent or carer of a child under 16 years of age who has special educational needs or disabilities
- appeal as a young person 16 to 25 years old who has special educational needs or disabilities
What happens next
You’ll be asked to go along to SEND Tribunal appeal hearing. You’ll get their decision usually within 10 working days of the hearing.
When you get a decision
Check what happens and what you can do if you:
Go to the GOV.UK website for more information about: