Bringing an appeal

An appeal to the tribunal is an exercise both in law and bureaucracy.

A useful guide to the process for appealing an SEN decision can be downloaded here: How to appeal a Special Educational Needs and Disability Decision (SEND) A Guide for Parents.

If however, the complaint really relates to a claim for disability discrimination against a school, then there is a guide which relates to those claims: Guide to making a disability discrimination claim against a school.

The necessary starting point, as with all ventures into administrative territory is to find the correct form. Helpfully, the internet makes the task relatively straightforward and the necessary forms are all on the tribunal website and can be found here:

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForms.do?court_forms_category=Special%20Educational%20Needs%20and%20Disability%20Tribunal

Although the form is a necessary starting point, it is useless without consideration of the rules which underpin how an appeal is brought and disposed of, a copy of which can be found here: The Tribunal Procedure (First Tier Tribunal)(Health Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008

The FTT also publishes more guides which provide useful background, such as the information relating to schools Information about schools and also what the local authority should be doing to prepare its case: Preparing the local authority case.

One of the most important issues in any SEN appeal with be the treatment of expert evidence: although in the fields of personal injury claims and clinical negligence disputes, many experts have substantial practices writing reports and giving evidence in court, the same may not necessarily be true of experts who might need to be instructed to produce evidence for the FTT so a short guide on expert evidence has been provided for their benefit Guidance for expert witnesses.

Two particular aspects of appeals each have their own advice note: the production of working documents for use by the FTT Working document guidance  and a particular bugbear of tribunals, the production of a useful hearing bundle, the carriage of which lies with the local authority: Guidance for the local authority producing the hearing bundle.

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