The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) appeals process can be daunting for those involved. Releasing Potential Mediation offers a range of additional SEND resources to help parties in a dispute to stay informed about appealing against a decision made by the Local Authority.
The SEND code of practice outlines the statutory obligations of local councils and the legislation for SEND appeals.
It is a comprehensive document that details the legislation and legal framework for the process of applying for an EHCP from start to finish, and not just the appeals process.
Our handy appeals flowchart gives an overview of the SEND appeals process from the point of contact with Releasing Potential Mediation.
The diagram shows the possible outcomes of a mediation request and/or a mediation meeting.
Our leaflet is available to download here in PDF format.
It explains a little about who we are, what we do, and how to contact us, and can be printed or emailed should you wish to alert other people to our services. If you would like a hard copy to be posted to you, please ask one of our mediation team.
The mediation preparation document is not compulsory, but some parents like to use it to help them prepare. It encourages parties to reflect on what they would like to achieve from the meeting, and can provide a helpful resource for those who would benefit from having a written record of their thoughts and concerns to hand.
A SEND25 form outlines the appeals process from start to finish, including both mediation and tribunal. It should be used as a guide to the process of appeals when a parent is keen to try mediation. If mediation is not wanted, a SEND1 is a better option as this focuses only on the tribunal process.
A SEND24 form must be completed by a family appealing against an EHCP decision (for a child of or under statutory school age) who wish to appeal via tribunal. In most circumstances the parent(s) will need to supply a mediation certificate in order to proceed to tribunal.
The Agreement to Mediate is signed by all parties at a SEND mediation. It is the basic framework outlining the expectations of attendees to mediation. A copy is sent to both the parents and the Local Authority representative prior to mediation so that all parties can read and understand its contents in full before the mediation takes place.
A simplified version of the Agreement to Mediate is available here. It breaks down the legal language of the formal document and explains the process in simple terms. While this will not be the legal document signed prior to mediation, it can help parties to better understand what they are being asked to sign.
A SEND24A form must be completed by a family or young person appealing against an EHCP decision (for a young person over statutory school age) who wish(es) to appeal via tribunal. In most circumstances the parent(s) or young person will need to supply a mediation certificate in order to proceed to tribunal.
A SEND 24B form must be completed by a family appealing against a refusal to assess for an EHCP (for a child of or under statutory school age) who wish to appeal via tribunal. In most circumstances the parent(s) will need to supply a mediation certificate in order to proceed to tribunal.
The SEND1A is the form used to appeal a child or young person’s ‘Statement of Educational Needs’ Local Authorities have now transferred most ‘Statement of Educational Needs’ documents to EHCP documents, but where a statement is the most current document in place, it can be appealed using this form.
This document contains information about the procedure for tribunals for Health, Education and Social Care. It outlines the rules of the First Tier Tribunal as of 2008, and is the most up-to-date summary of the way that tribunals operate.
A SEND1 leaflet explains the tribunal appeal process for parents appealing against a decision by their Local Authority, but who are not seeking mediation.
It explains the process for appealing via tribunal and gives timelines.
The SEND14 leaflet explains the process for appealing at tribunal when the appeal concerns the school placement only. Parents can use this as a guide to appealing if the only part of the EHCP that they are disputing is the named provision (or type of provision) and the rest of the document does not need to be appealed.
Support for Parents
We know that navigating the appeal system can be difficult and confusing for parents.
Support can be found through your county’s Local Offer, or through a range of national organisations and charities.
AddressReleasing Potential Mediation 7 Kingscroft Court
PO9 1LS Charity No: 1097440
Company No: 4622100
07764 326384 (Mediation Helpline)
023 9247 9762 (Releasing Potential Head Office)