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Tribunal delays

If a parent is not happy with the decision of their Local Authority with regarding an Education Health and Care Assessment, the granting of a plan or the provision or placement outlined in a plan they have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal.

Unfortunately, I am currently seeing serious delays in the Tribunal with many hearings being listed for almost a year in the future.  Once your appeal is lodged it usually, takes 2-3 weeks for the Tribunal to register an appeal. This used to be a maximum of 2 weeks.

Some parents have had to wait for well over a month for a tribunal decision to be issued, this is supposed to be available within 10 days. 

This can be very stressful for parents who have often poured all their emotional and financial resources into the appeal in the hope that their child will receive the help they need to access an education.

Most of my cases towards the end of 2023 had hearings listed a year after they have been registered with the Tribunal. Mostly the cases that I work on involve children and young people that are not in education. Often, I have had to push for my young clients to receive up to 2 hours education a week from the teaching provisions of the local County Councils as they have no adequate school placement.

Article 2 of the first Protocol of the European convention of Human Rights states that all children of mandatory school age are entitled to an education.  The combination of lack of funding and extreme delays has started an epidemic of the systematic failure of these children’s rights that seems to just be getting worse, not better.