What this website does
This website helps parents of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities living in England to get the right educational provision for their child or young person.
We give advice on how to argue your case and if necessary appeal against decisions made by Local Authorities.
The website is relevant to children and young persons up to the age of 25. Young persons aged 16 and over can use the website and if necessary make an appeal themselves.
Working through the website
Start by looking at The System. This section tells you how the system should work, and should help you to identify where your child is in the system.
Then look at How to Argue. This section gives advice on how to make your case as convincing as possible. We give general advice on the skills you need to get help for your child, such as working with schools, note-taking and video evidence.
The How to Appeal sections tells you how to appeal against Local Authority decisions affecting your child, including when and what you can appeal. As of 3 April 2018, the Tribunal's powers have been extended, under a system called 'The National Trial', to enable the Tribunal to make recommendations about the Social Care and/or Health sections of an Education, Health and Care plan. It is important to be aware that any appeal about the Health and Social Care sections must include an appeal against one or more of the educational sections of the EHC plan. For further information, please download the guidance here. In addition the right of appeal against the Health and Social Care sections of an EHC plan apply only to EHC plans issued on or after 3 April 2018.
Please also see useful blog post about extension of Tribunal powers here.
It's a good idea to download the SEND Code of Practice (2015). This sets out what schools and Local Authorities should be doing. This website makes references to relevant sections of the Code of Practice.
Getting the right help for a child or young person with special educational needs has never been easy, and it is getting harder. Don't give up.
We don't present to have all the answers, but we hope we can help. We've been there ourselves.
Please provide some feedback if you have found this site useful (or not).
Printing from this website:
If printed copies are required of the website (i.e. other than specific downloads), it is best to print in landscape mode.
We are also able to offer training for parents living in England. We have provided training to Parent Forums and can provide testimonials. Please fill in the form for further details.
We are most grateful to the Big Lottery who have provided funding to help make this website possible.
The information on this website is not to be regarded as advice for an individual case. Instead we aim to provide a wide range of information, guidance and resources that we hope will be helpful to your situation. For assistance with your individual circumstances, you are strongly advised to make contact with one of the Helplines listed in our Resources section.