DfE extends SEND tribunal powers on health and social care in England

Thursday 22 July 2021

Tags: EHC plans, education, special educational needs, department for education

The government has confirmed that the extended powers given to SEND tribunals in England that allow parents and youngsters a single route of appeal about the education, health and social care elements of an EHC plan will continue.

The new powers were first granted in March 2018 as part of a national trial to evaluate the benefits of allowing SEND tribunals to hear appeals and make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of EHC plans, rather than just considering the education elements as was previously the case.

Children and Families minister Vicky Ford confirmed today that these powers will remain in place after 31 August 2021, when the trial is due to end.

This will be welcome news to families who are appealing about an EHC plan. The Tribunal can consider a child or young person’s education, health and care  needs in a more comprehensive way, thus hopefully improving their chances of receiving more joined-up support.

For example, if the tribunal order a local authority to issue an EHC plan, they can also recommend that health and social care needs are included. Similarly, if health and care provision isn’t included in an existing EHC plan, the tribunal can recommend that it should be added.

How we can help

If you have any questions about tribunal appeals, the national trial, about EHC plans or any other aspect of getting help with your child’s education, please contact our helpline on 0808 808 3555 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5pm).

To find out more about Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans, and other help in education, visit our education webpages.