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Appeals and tribunals

Appealing to the SEND tribunal

The SEND Tribunal, also known as the first-tier tribunal, hears parents’ and young people’s appeals against local authority decisions about EHC plans. It has the power to order local authorities to carry out EHC needs assessments, issue EHC plans, and amend existing EHC plans.

Refusal to issue

You can appeal if the local authority refuses to carry out an EHC needs assessment or reassessment

Refusal to assess

You can appeal if the local authority refuses to issue an EHC plan after a needs assessment

EHCP contents

You can appeal if the local authority issues or amends an EHC Plan but you disagree with the contents in some sections. You are able to appeal the educational sections B (needs), F (provision) and I (placement) separately or together.

If you are bringing an appeal about one of the educational sections, you can also appeal sections C, D, G and H (social and health care), but the recommendations made by the tribunal will not be legally binding.


If you are happy with the contents of the EHC plan, and only disagree with the placement in section I you can appeal this section separately. This is a contents appeal, but you do not need a mediation certificate and you may be offered a Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution (JADR) hearing.

Cease to maintain 

You can appeal if the local authority decides to cease to maintain the EHC plan at any point until the young person is aged 25.


You can also appeal to the SEND tribunal about discrimination by schools or local authorities due to a child's disability. 


Appealing to the SEND tribunal is a legal process, and the decisions made will be in line with the Children and Families Act 2014, the SEND Code of Practice and the SEND regulations.

The SEND tribunal will look at the evidence put before it by yourself and the local authority and make a decision based on the law and the code on what is right for the child or young perosn on the date of the hearing.

There is more information about how to appeal on the SEND tribunal's website, as well as our guidance pages here. Appealing a local authority decision can feel overwhelming, so you may want to contact us for more individual information, advice or support after reading the information.