How do I Prepare for an Appeal

If you think you will need to appeal to the Tribunal you will need to gather together evidence . The Tribunal is an evidence based process and they will make their decision based upon evidence that is produced to them in written form in advance of the Hearing and given orally by you and your witnesses at the Hearing .

The Tribunal Hearing is intended to be an " inquisitorial " process rather than "adversarial ".

The Tribunal, in their booklet available with the appeal form, will tell you what you need to send in to register the appeal . Once the appeal is registered the Tribunal will send you a letter setting out the dates when all further evidence needs to be submitted . Once the appeal has been registered , any evidence that you send to the Tribunal MUST be copied to the LA

What do i need to send in with my appeal ?

The amount and type of evidence required depends on the type of appeal . As a very basic guide , you need to send in the from the LA refusing to assess your child , refusing to issue a statement or the letter accompanying a final statement or issued after an annual review saying that the LA are not intending to amend the statement . Each of these letters will tell you that you have the right of appeal and give you the contact details of the Tribunal . The Tribunal requires this letter in order to register the appeal.

If you are appealing about the contents of the Statement you must also send in a copy of the Final Statement and the appendices listed on the Statement . If you do not have a full copy of the appendices you may ask that the LA send these into the Tribunal.

  • If you appealing about refusal to assess or refusal to issue a statement , you are required to prove that you child's needs maynot or cannot be met on School Action or School Action Plus . Thus you may wish to show evidence about
    • Your child's needs ; this may include reports from the school , LA professionals and independent professionals
    • The support the school has been putting providing to your child; what type of support has he been receiving ; has he been receiving daily support from a Teaching Assistant ; is this 1:1 or in small groups; how long has this been going on ; is he on School Action or School Action Plus; has the school sought advice or input from external professionals; is so from whom ( eg an Educational Pscyhologist , A Speech and Language Therapist or an Occupationl Therapist , a Specialist Teacher )
    • Your child's progress whilst being supported by the school ; you may wish to include school reports, IEPs, minutes of meetings
    • The resources or money available to the school on Schol Action and School Action Plus; This may include the budget allocated to the school for special educational needs; how many children they are supporting from that budget ; the number of children in your child's class with additional needs ; the staffing arrangements for your child's class; the amount of additional therapy, EP input  or specialist teaching  the school receives each term or year ; the caseload for these external specialists.
    • Any additional support you have been putting in out of school time  eg additional therapy , additional teaching .


  • If you are appealing about the contents of the statement , you will be proving that the description of your child's needs is inaccurate , hence the provision set out in Part 3 is inadequate and , possibly , that the school named in Part 4 is inappropriate to meet the needs defined in Part 2 and provide the provision required in Part 3 . Thus you will be required to submit detailed evidence as to
    • Your child's needs ; this will include reports from the school , LA professionals and independent professionals 
    • The provision your child requires to meet his/her needs; this will include details about the provision your child has been receiving , the progress your child has made as a result of provision put in place previously and any reports advising on future levels of support required. This will include reports from professionals already involved with your child and may involve independent reports
    • Details about the school you want to be named in Part 4 and the school the LA want to name in Part 4 . The Tribunal will expect to see a prospectus and Ofsted report from each school . They will also want to see reports from any assessments carried out at the schools and details about the class group  , curriculum , therapy , staffing levels and experience available at the schools. If the school is a non maintained or independent school they will require a signed provision of place form to prove that a place is available to the child at the school

What additional evidence will i need to compile during the course of the appeal ?


This will very much depend on what information you already have available, what the areas in dispute are , what the LA is offering  and what additional evidence you may need to prove that your child requires what you are asking for .

In many cases parents may commission an independent Educational Psychology Report to provide an independent overview as to the child's needs and appropriate provision and placement . In come cases it may be necessary to commission an independent Speech and Language Therapy , Occupational Therapy , Psychiatry or Social Workers report. However it is important to remember that , if the issue is not in dispute , there will be limited value in commissioning an independent report; eg , if the LA agrees that your child requires weekly 1;1 speech and language sessions and weekly group sessions both delivered by a therapist , it may not be necessary to commission an independent SALT report to confirm this. However if you believe that your child needs a SALT to be available on site for all of the week and to have the time allocated in her schedule to deliver a more intensive package of support and jointly plan and deliver some of the curriculum with the class teacher , you may need to request an independent report .