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When and how do you appeal a decision by the Local Authority in a SEND dispute?

When can you Appeal a decision by the local authority in a SEND dispute?

You can appeal a decision your LA makes if:-

  • Your EHC Needs Assessment request has been rejected
  • After an EHC Needs Assessment the LA doesn’t offer an EHCP
  • You disagree with the description of the young person’s Needs in the EHCP
  • You disagree with the nature of the Support set out in the EHCP
  • You disagree with the specific school, college or learning centre named in the EHCP, or the type of school, college or learning centre named in the EHCP
  • You disagree with any amendments to an EHCP which is already in place
  • The LA does not amend the EHCP after a review
  • If the EHCP is ceased and you disagree with this decision

How do you appeal a decision by the local authority in a SEND dispute?

The LA have to issue a ‘Letter of Notification’ which sets out their decision and tells the parent(s) / young person why the LA have decided to:

  • refuse to conduct an EHC Needs Assessment
  • refuse to issue an EHCP
  • refuse to maintain an EHCP
  • refuse to amend the content of the EHCP or;
  • amend an EHCP without receiving the agreement of the parent(s) / young person.

The LA must also tell the parent(s) / young person that they have a right to appeal the LA decision. The LA must do this in writing, and set out what options the parent(s) / young person have if they wish to begin the appeal process. An appeal must be started within two months of the date on the Letter of Notification.

As part of the process of bringing their appeal, the parent(s) / young person can choose to use SEND mediation to find a solution quickly.


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A 2008 CIPD survey found that 51% of respondents use an external mediator to resolve people problems and conflict.

13th September 2016

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