From 3rd April 2018 all local authorities and health commissioning bodies in England will take part in a national trial to extend the powers of the First-tier Tribunal Special Educational Needs and Disability.   The current powers of the Tribunal are limited to decisions concerning SEN, special educational provision and educational placement.  The new powers will enable to Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of local authority decision making on all areas of its appeals in relation to Education, Health and Care plans except whether or not to carry out an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.

The aims of the trial are to:

  • Create a more holistic, person-centred view of the child or young person’s needs at the Tribunal
  • Bring appeal rights in line with the wider remit of EHC plans
  • Encourage joint working
  • Bring about positive benefits to families

The trial will run for two years and will only include local authority decisions and plans issued or amended from 3rd April 2018

Mediation is still encouraged as an effective way to resolve disagreements quickly.

The information, Advice and Support Service is available to advise parents/carers and young people about any aspect of appeals and mediation, this includes the new trial arrangements.  For further information, please contact us.

We will continue to bring you news on developments.

Updated: October 2, 2020 — 1:34 pm