Alternative Remedies

When you have no right of appeal in your situation, there are alternative routes you can consider:


Dispute Resolution

All statutory bodies (such as Local Authorities and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups) must have a procedure in place which allows parents of children with special educational needs to request a dispute resolution meeting.  At present, there is no right of  appeal against the contents of the Social Care or Health sections of an EHC plan.  If you disagree with either the Social Care or Health sections (or both) you can ask for a Dispute Resolution meeting to be arranged to discuss the relevant sections to see if any amendments can be achieved.


Making a formal complaint

All Local Authorities must, if requested, provide you with information about how to make a formal complaint. 


The Ombudsman

The Local Government Ombudsman can, if they feel the Local Authority has made a mistake, ignored deadlines etc. undertake a formal investigation.  You must make a formal complaint to the Council first and, then, if you feel the matter has not been resolved, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to investigate.


For more information, see here.


Ofsted and CQC Inspections

Ofsted and CQC have been undertaking joint inspections of Local Authority's SEN arrangements.  The results have not been encouraging.  Download a report on the results of their conclusions from the first year of inspections, here.


To find your individual local area report, the link is here.


Judicial Review

Judicial Review is a way of challenging decisions made by public bodies, such as schools or Local Authorities. You can only pursue a Judicial Review if you have pursued the public bodies own complaint process and are still unhappy with the decision made. The purpose of a judicial review is to make sure the public body acts within the law.  


If you need to pursue a Judicial Review you will need to obtain expert legal advice from a firm of solicitors who specialise in this area of the law.