A parent, or a person with parental responsibility, has the automatic right to appeal certain decisions made by Local Authorities about a child with special educational needs. When a child reaches the end of compulsory education they become a 'young person'. The young person has the legal right to make a decision regarding their future education and it is the young person, and not their parents, who has the right of appeal. Compulsory School Attendance ends on the last Friday in June in the school year the young person becomes 16 (the school year means any time up to the end of August).
Please note: Participation ends at age 18/19 and an EHC Plan has the scope or potential to be in place until the last Friday in June following the Young Person's 25th birthday. Some conditions apply: the Young Person must want to stay in education or training.
In some cases, there may be a question of whether a young person has the mental 'capacity' to make this type of decision. If there is a disagreement about this issue, the First-tier Tribunal advises that a Telephone Case Management Hearing is requested at the time the appeal is registered to enable this issue to be resolved.
If there is agreement that a young person does not have capacity, in most cases a parent will be the 'alternative person' and can register the appeal. However the Tribunal will expect to see evidence of how the young person's views have been taken into account.
A young person of 16, who has capacity, can still ask parents to help them but it remains the young person's appeal and the Tribunal will expect the young person to be involved throughout the process.
Schools have no right of appeal. For example, if a school has submitted a request for a child to have an EHC assessment, and the Local Authority refuses to secure an EHC assessment, only the parent of the child concerned (or a young person over 16) can appeal the decision.