Appealing against a Surrey County Council SEND decision

You can appeal to the special educational needs and disability tribunal for any of these reasons:

Here are the steps you should take before considering approaching the tribunal.

Surrey County Council refuses to initiate a statutory assessment

If we decided against giving your child a statutory assessment we will explain why your child does not meet the legal eligibility test in a letter to you and tell you what further action we think the school should be taking in order to ensure your child's needs can be met.

  1. Speak with your child's school to see how it will continue to support your child – for example, update the individual education plan or arrange for new professionals or specialist teachers to work with your child.
  2. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) should follow any advice from us on how your child should be supported.
  3. If the new strategies don't work or the school has more evidence it can provide to support a new assessment, another request can be made.
  4. Speak with your child's school SENCO, headteacher and the special educational needs and disabilities school governor.
  5. Seek independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey.
  6. Talk to a special educational needs and disability mediator.
  7. Speak to a voluntary organisation for your child's specific educational needs.
  8. You can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

Surrey County Council refuses to issue an education, health and care plan, after carrying out a statutory assessment

In the assessment process, we will have identified any provisions that the school should be arranging and changes to the individual education plan, to benefit your child and his/her learning needs.

We will produce clear guidance for the school on how to meet your child's needs based on the advice provided.

  1. Speak with your child's school to see how it will continue to support your child – for example, update the individual education plan or arrange for new professionals or specialist teachers to work with your child.
  2. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) should follow any advice from us on how your child should be supported.
  3. If the new strategies don't work or the school has more evidence it can provide to support a new assessment, another request can be made.
  4. Speak with your child's school SENCO, headteacher and the special educational needs and disabilities school governor.
  5. Seek independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey.
  6. Talk to a special educational needs and disability mediator.
  7. Speak to a voluntary organisation for your child's specific educational needs.
  8. You can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

If you do not agree with the content of the education, health and care plan issued by Surrey County Council

Timescales apply – The plan will initially be issued in proposed format, and you must respond with comments within 15 days of the proposed plan being issued. You may ask for a meeting and then you will have a further 15 days to make any comments or observations. If you still remain unhappy with the wording of the plan once the final plan has been issued you have a further two months from this date to register an appeal.

  1. Please discuss your concerns with your SEND Case Officer, who will work with you to understand what you are worried about and explain what can be changed.
  2. Get independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey.
  3. Ask to speak with the SEND Area Manager, who can arrange a local resolution meeting. This is called a Way Forward meeting and will give you an informal opportunity to share your concerns and any additional evidence you may have to support the changes you are seeking.
  4. If the plan is issued as a final plan and you don't agree with it consider mediation via a special educational needs and disability mediator (Global Mediation).
  5. You can appeal against the content of the final plan through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

If Surrey County Council refuses to amend your child's education, health and care plan following a review

Timescales apply – you must appeal the decision within two months of the authority informing you that it does not intend to amend your child's plan following a review.

  1. Please discuss your concerns with your SEND Case Officer, who will be able to explain more about why the decision was taken.
  2. Get independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey.
  3. Ask to speak with the SEND Area Manager, who can arrange a local resolution meeting. This is called a Way Forward meeting and will give you an informal opportunity to share your concerns and any additional evidence you may have to support the changes you are seeking.
  4. Consider mediation via special educational needs and disability mediator (Global Mediation).
  5. You can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

Surrey County Council makes changes to the education, health and care plan, possibly including the school named in it

Changes may be made:

  • because your child changes school or is due to change school to update the plan to reflect changes you have requested
  • If your child's needs and / or the provision required to meet their needs have changed.

Timescales apply – you must comment on the proposed plan within 15 days of it being made. You may ask for a meeting and then you will have a further 15 days to make any comments or observations.

  1. Please discuss your concerns with your SEND Case Officer, who will be able to explain more about why the decision was taken.
  2. Get independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey.
  3. Ask to speak with the SEND Area Manager, who can arrange a local resolution meeting. This is called a Way Forward meeting and will give you an informal opportunity to share your concerns and any additional evidence you may have to support the changes you are seeking.
  4. If the plan is issued and you don't agree with it consider mediation via a special educational needs and disability mediator (Global Mediation).
  5. You can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

Surrey County Council stops maintaining your child or young person's education, health and care plan

A plan lasts only as long as a child or young person needs it in order to get the support they require. At annual review, if it is felt that the support a child or young person needs can be provided without an EHC plan, or that they no longer require the special educational provisions identified, the plan will be ceased. If a child is still of school age, the school will continue to be able to support them, even where there isn't a plan in place. The decision to cease the plan simply means that the support needed is not at a level which warrants an EHC plan. There are other options available which allow schools to provide lower-level support and these should be discussed with your child's school.

For young people who are over 18, in making a decision, we will take into account whether the education and training outcomes in the plan have, or will have been met by the end of the academic year. This does not mean that the child or young person no longer has SEND but that the support needed can be provided outside of a statutory plan. If we decide to cease a plan, we will give notice of and explain the reasons behind this decision.

If a child or young person moves to another Local Authority area, we will arrange for the plan to be transferred to the new Authority and will no longer maintain it.

By law, an EHC plan must cease when a young person turns 25 (if there is still one in place) but the Local Authority may decide to maintain it until the end of the academic year in which they have their 25th birthday, if additional time is needed for them to achieve their outcomes

  1. Speak with your SEND Case Officer to understand the reasons for the plan being ceased and their suggestions as to how your child's needs can be met.
  2. Ask to speak with the SEND Area Manager, who can arrange a local resolution meeting. This is called a Way Forward meeting and will give you an informal opportunity to share your concerns and any additional evidence you may have to support the changes you are seeking
  3. If you remain unhappy with the decision, you can get independent advice from SEND Advice Surrey
  4. If you have been unable to find a resolution through an informal meeting, we can arrange mediation.
  5. As a last resort, you can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.

You request a placement in a maintained school which we do not support

You are entitled to make a request for a different maintained school or Academy for your child at any time, and the Authority must consider this, as long as you have not made a similar request within the previous 12 months.

  1. Speak with your SEND Case Officer to understand the reasons for the proposed change not being supported.
  2. Ask for a local resolution meeting – an informal meeting, giving you the chance to share your concerns and any additional evidence you may have.
  3. Consider mediation via a special educational needs and disability mediator (Global Mediation).
  4. You can appeal through the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal.