What if you don't agree with the Council on an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
Should the LA decide not to initiate an EHCA, not to issue an EHC Plan, or you are dissatisfied with the content of an ENC Plan, the LA will give you the right to appeal the decision.
You will need to consider mediation before you register an appeal with a First tier tribunal (also known as Special Educational needs Tribunal). You must contact a mediation adviser within two months of the LA decision you wish to appeal.
If you want to appeal only about the school or other institution named in the EHC plan you do not have to contact a mediation adviser.
You can go to mediation about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan, but this is not compulsory. You can request recommendations about health and social care issues without having to receive mediation advice or attend mediation about those issues, provided there is also an education issue about which you are appealing.
If the parent wishes to mediate about education or social care, the LA must arrange the mediation through the mediation provider (even if the parent also wants to mediate about health). The health commissioning body or bodies must take part in the mediation arranged by the LA if the mediation is about the health element of the plan as well as either the education or social care parts of the plan.
You will be provided with information for a mediation service called Global Mediation and this is the pathway to formal mediation and a requirement to obtain a mediation certificate which would form part of your appeal.
View Global Mediation contact details and information (external link).
View SEND Tribunal contact details and information (external link).
Once a mediation adviser has been contacted, or once you have taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate. This will be necessary if you are still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal with the Tribunal. An appeal to the Tribunal must usually be made within two months of the decision about which the appeal is being made or one month following the issuing of the mediation certificate, whichever is the later.
If mediation resolves the educational issues, you will not be able to appeal to the Tribunal on any health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan. However, mediation provides an opportunity for us to resolve disagreements and it can be completed more quickly than an appeal. It does not affect your right to make an educational appeal, and some aspects of the disagreement can go to appeal even when other aspects are resolved.
Should you have any concerns about the LA’s decision, we would recommend that you talk to a member of the SEND Services, or Sutton’s Information, Advice and Support Service (SIASS) which is independent of the council and provides impartial advice. Both teams can work with you to address any concerns that you may have, and to reach a satisfactory resolution for all parties.
SEND Services -
Phone: 020 8323 0453 / 020 8323 0454
Phone: 020 8323 0462
Help and further information
Follow the link to GOV.UK (external link) – This includes advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and links to the appeal form.
Download the Government publication "SEND tribunal:extended appeals. Guidance for local authorities, health commissioners, parents and young people" (external link)
Key information and resources will be shared as the trial progresses, including a frequently asked questions and answers sheet.