Appealing to the SEN Tribunal


Lodging an appeal

You must lodge an appeal within TWO MONTHS of the date of the letter informing you of the decision you are appealing against.

You can find the appeal forms on the Ministry of Justice website

The Tribunal can be contacted at

Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal
Mowden Hall
Staindrop Road
DL3 9BG 
01325 392760

Grounds of appeal


Conduct of the parties

The Tribunal has set rules of procedure for how proceedings should be conducted. You can find them here. It is worth reading them as they provide really important information about time limits and how parties should act. For example, they confirm the 

overriding objective and parties’ obligation to co-operate with the Tribunal
This is important as Tribunal proceedings often dragged out and the rules can provide some assistance. For example, section 2(e), obliges the parties to avoid delay.

You can make an application to the Tribunal judge about issues concerning the rules e.g. late evidence, failure to file case response etc by contacting SENDIST by email or on the telephone: or 01325 392760. It is best to put your concerns in writing.

It is worthwhile writing to the Tribunal and to the local authority and asking them to keep you informed of any application filed by the local authority. Sadly, it is very common for local authorities to attempt to change witnesses or add witnesses to the list or make other applications to the Tribunal without informing the parent.

Instructing witnesses

Exchanging evidence

It should be noted that the Tribunal has set out guidance for expert witnesses. This reminds all witnesses that their overriding duty is to the Tribunal and that they 

are expected to assist the tribunal by giving full, frank and honest evidence in
a fair, impartial and independent way, regardless of whether they are employed by, or paid by, one of the parties

 It also confirms that their reports should also contain the following statements:
I understand that my overriding duty is to assist the tribunal in matters within my
expertise, and that this duty overrides any obligation to those instructing me or their
clients. I confirm I have complied with that duty and will continue to do so
I confirm that I have made clear which facts and matters referred to in this report
are within my own knowledge and which are not. Those that are within my own
knowledge I confirm to be true. The opinions I have expressed represent my true and
complete opinions on the matters to which they refer
This duty applies to NHS therapists and local authority employed educational psychologists who are, of course, also governed by the ethical guidance of their own professional bodies.

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