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(UK) Buckinghamshire: Parent appeal 150 denials of SPED services by council

SE London This is becoming a growing trend in the county. Buckinghamshire families applied to tribunals to overturn more than 150 council decisions on disabled children's education last year, figures reveal. Ministry of Justice data shows 166 appeals were submitted to the Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunal in Buckinghamshire in 2020. The number was up from 90 the year before and more than five times the 29 appeals in 2014. Children and young people who require extra support for their education are assessed by the local authority. If it is deemed their needs cannot be met in mainstream education, an Education Health and Care plan is issued, defining the support the child needs. … In 2020, 5,260 decisions which had the potential of being appealed were made across Buckinghamshire, with families appealing 3.2% of them to the tribunal – higher than the 1.8% rate the year before, and the 0.9% rate recorded in 2014…. Disability charity Contact said the system for getting support in school was not working for many children and dedicated funding was needed to prevent an increase in SEND appeals in the future. Amanda Batten, Contact's chief executive, said it was likely the rate of appeals dropped last year as families were busy caring for their children at home…. Across England, while the number of appeals registered rose to 7,843 in 2020, the proportion of outcomes appealed dropped slightly to 1.7%, from 1.8% in 2019. The Department for Education said the extension of EHC plans from school-age children to under-25s, as well as a trial to allow tribunals to make other recommendations, explained the rise in the number of appeals. The Government recently announced it was increasing the SEND funding for local authorities by £780 million this financial year, and a further £730 million in 2022-23….


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