What about SENDIST and academies/free schools?

The short answer is that the SENDIST can deal with appeals relating to academies/free schools (as it would for mainained schools) but the detail of how that works in practice may be quite different.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) is now part of the “Health and Social Care Chamber” of (and is sometimes now referred to as) the First Tier Tribunal (FtT).

It hears appeals (principally by parents) against various decisions by local authorities relating to special educational needs and to statements of special educational needs; and also complaints of disability discrimination against schools.

This post considers appeals relating to SEN statements of SEN. Other posts consider complaints of disability discrimination.

Parents (including people with parental responsibility) can appeal against various decisions of local authorities as specified in Part 4 and Schedule 27 of the Education Act 1996, most particularly:

  • Refusals to undertake a statutory assessment (which could relate to a pupil at an academy/free school)
  • Refusals following assessment to make a statement (which could relate to a pupil at an academy/free school)
  • The contents of a statement when first made or amended (which could relate to a pupil at an academy/free school)
  • A refusal to amend a statement following annual review (which could relate to a pupil at an academy/free school)
  • A refusal to change the school named in part 4 of a statement (but only where the requested new school is a maintained school and so does not apply where parents want to change to an academy)
  • A proposal to cease to maintain a statement (which could relate to a pupil at an academy/free school)

The one which has proved controversial and which throws up particular complications is where parents are seeking a place for their child at an academy (and no doubt in due course). There is a separate post dealing with that.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *