June 23, 2021, Pocklington Post: Families in East Yorkshire appealed more than a dozen council rulings on disabled children’s education https://www.pocklingtonpost.co.uk/education/families-in-east-yorkshire-appealed-more-than-a-dozen-council-rulings-on-disabled-childrens-education-3282174
East central England East Yorkshire families applied to tribunals to overturn more than a dozen council decisions on disabled children’s education last year, figures reveal. Ministry of Justice data shows 16 appeals were submitted to the Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunal in the East Riding in 2020. 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. Families who disagree with the local authority’s decision not to assess or reassess a child, or not to change their Education Health and Care plan, can lodge an appeal to the SEND tribunal. In 2020, 2,574 decisions which had the potential of being appealed were made across the East Riding, with families appealing 0.6% of them to the tribunal – lower than the 1.2% rate the year before, and the 0.7% rate recorded in 2014. Some council decisions cannot be appealed through the tribunal and can only be dealt with via the authority’s own complaints procedure. 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.