Appeal an education, health and care plan decision

Where to get advice, how to challenge an EHC decision and information about your rights as a parent or carer.

Before you appeal

Please talk to your caseworker if you’re not happy about a decision to do with an education, health and care (EHC) plan or assessment. They can help you resolve disagreements quickly.

Organisations and charities that provide free and independent advice include:

Get mediation advice

    Most of the time you'll need to get mediation advice or a mediation certificate before you appeal.

    If we can't reach an agreement you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, sometimes called SEND Tribunal or SENDIST.

      Check what you can appeal about

      The SEND Tribunal can make binding decisions, which means they have to be followed, if you’re appealing about:

      If you are appealing about one of the areas listed above, you can also ask the SEND Tribunal to make recommendations about health or social care parts of the EHC plan.

      This is part of a national two-year trial from April 2018 that gives you the opportunity to make a complaint about all parts of an EHC plan at the same time and in one place. 

      Recommendations about health and social care elements are not legally binding, which means they don't always have to be followed.

      If you disagree with a health or social care decision, without also disagreeing about one of the areas listed above, you can complain to social care services or complain to local health services.

      Make an appeal

      You need to appeal within 2 months of the date on the decision letter from the council, or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate – whichever date is later.

      If you’ve had mediation advice and you’re still not happy you can:

      What happens next

      You’ll be asked to go along to SEND Tribunal appeal hearing. You’ll get their decision usually within 10 working days of the hearing.

      When you get a decision

      Check what happens and what you can do if you:

      More information

      Go to the GOV.UK website for more information about: