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Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales reports on appeals

View profile for Laura Giggs
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HCB Solicitors recently attended the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW) User Group Meeting 2017.


During the user group, the SENTW presented information about the appeals that it had dealt with during the year 2016/17.


In 2016/17, the SENTW received 153 SEN appeals, which is almost double the amount of appeals received in 2012/13. Of these, the majority were regarding the Local Authority’s refusal to assess, appeals against parts 2, 3 and 4 were the second most frequent, followed by appeals to part 4 only. Least frequently appealed was the Local Authority’s refusal to re-asses.


The number of appeals to the SENTW has risen each year for the past five years. In 2012/13 the SENTW received 81 SEN appeals, in 2013/14 there were 92, which raised to 111 in 2014/15, and then increased to 128 in 2015/16.


Out of the refusal to assess appeals, half of these were dismissed, and half were upheld. Surprisingly, 87.5% of the appeals regarding parts 2, 3 and 4 were upheld by the tribunal.


Looking at the number of appeals by each local authority, Swansea received the most appeals (33), followed closely by Rhonnda Cynon Taf (29). Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr only received one appeal, whilst Anglesey didn’t receive a single SEN appeal.


As a matter of general interest, two thirds of the 153 appeals were regarding boys as opposed to girls, and roughly 38% of the appeals were regarding children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Further, regarding the school age data, the majority of appeals were received whilst the child was at primary school age, followed by nursery age, primary transition, secondary school age, and finally secondary transition.


So far this year (2017/18), the Tribunal has carried over 26 appeals, and 13 new appeals have been received.


If you are not happy with a decision made by the local authority regarding your child’s SEN or statement, it’s likely that you have the right to appeal to the SENTW against the decision. Our education lawyers have years of experience dealing with these appeals and would be happy to help you through the process.


If you have questions or concerns about your appeal, contact our specialist team of education Solicitors on 02920 291 704.