Change in the remit of the Tribunal Service
From 3 April 2018, a two-year trial now gives you rights to request that non-binding recommendations about health and social care needs and provision are specified in the EHC Plan, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal.
This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC Plan in one place.
The Government are extending the powers of the First Tier Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC Plans issued/amended from 3rd April, 2018.
To date, you have only been able to appeal the education aspects of the EHC Plan. The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about health and social care needs and provision are specified in the EHC Plan, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC Plan in one place.
It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC Plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC Plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.
You can ask the Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations on health and/or social care aspects of the EHC Plans as part of an appeal relating to:
- A decision by the Local Authority not to issue an EHC Plan
- A decision by the Local Authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young person who has an EHC Plan
- A decision by the Local Authority not to amend an EHC Plan following a review or re-assessment
- A decision by the Local Authority to cease to maintain and EHC Plan
- The description of the child/young person’s special educational needs in an EHC Plan
- The special educational provision specified in an EHC Plan
- The school or other educational institution named in an EHC Plan
If you wish to appeal against a Local Authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC Plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal is available from the https://www.gov.uk website.
There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people through telephone or online interviews. Parents and young people that take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.