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Disagreements about support for children and young people with SEN or disabilities

If you are unhappy with the support your child is getting, talk to his or her setting or school first to try to sort the problem out early on.

If you are not satisfied with the school’s response you can use the school’s complaints procedure. All schools have one and they must publish it. Check the school’s website.

Further education, sixth form colleges and universities all have complaints procedures for students, which you can find on their websites.

If you don’t make progress you can:

  • get advice from Waltham Forest SENDIASS information for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

  • use an independent organisation to help resolve the problem – Kids is a service we use to help sort out disagreements but there are other services that you can use.

Decisions on EHC assessments and plans

If you are not happy about any decision made about your child’s EHC plan or assessment for a plan, you can talk to us about why you are unhappy. Details on who to talk to will be included in any information sent to you.

Independent mediation

You can also use a mediation service to help sort out disagreements. Having an independent person involved who can offer a different view can help all sides to agree on what to do next.

We will tell you about how to get mediation in any letter we write to you about your child’s EHC plan or assessment for a plan.

You must contact an independent mediator before you appeal. 

Appeals

Before you appeal a decision you must be able to show that you have contacted a mediation service first. 

You can appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal about any decision made on your child’s EHC plan or assessment for a plan. You can also appeal to the tribunal if you are claiming disability discrimination against a school or us.

The special educational needs and disability tribunal is made up of a panel of experts, including a judge and two other members with experience in SEN and disability.

You can appeal to the tribunal if you are a parent or carer of a child aged 0 to 16 or if you are a young person aged 16 to 25.

You need to appeal within two months of receiving a decision about your or your child’s plan or assessment for a plan.

The tribunal will write to you to tell you of its decision and the reasons for that decision.

The tribunal’s decision is final. There is no right of appeal unless it has made a decision on a point of law. If it has, it will give you information about the next steps in the letter it sends you with its decision.

Get information on how to appeal on GOV.UK

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