Law, Regulations and Guidance

The following is the law relating to the identification and assessment of children with special educational needs:

Part 3, Child and Families Act, 2014.  Available to download here.


SEND Regulations, 2014.  Available to download here.



Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice, 2015 which provides guidance on how the law should be implemented by Under 5 providers, schools, post 16 providers as well as Local Authorities and Tribunal panels.  Download a copy for yourself here.


Tribunal Rules and Practice Directions:

The appeal process is a legal process:


The Tribunal Rules are available to download here.


The Tribunal Practice Directions are here.


Case Law

Over the past twenty years, various legal precedents have been established, through the decisions made by the 'First-tier' Tribunal being appealed to a higher Court (the Upper Tribunal)  While the decisions of the First-tier Tribunal do not create precedents as they only make a decision about an individual child or young person if that decision (on a point of law) is appealed to the Upper Tribunal, a decision made by the Upper Tribunal creates a legal 'precedents' which should be followed by the Tribunal Judge hearing appeals brought by parents or young persons. 


These legal precedents are referred to as case law.  For example, it was an appeal to a higher court (at the time, the Court of Appeal) which created the legal principle that Speech and Language therapy is, in the vast majority of cases, to be regarded as special educational provision (with the need identified in Section B, and Speech and Language therapy to meet the need, in Section F).


For some further information about Tribunals and how case law is made, together with some important cases, see here.


How to Argue