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A.M. Phillips - Education Law

A Specialist Education Law Practice

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Special Educational Needs in Wales

The legislation in Wales differs from that of England.  The current relevant legislation and regulations are: -

  • The Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales Regulations 2012.
  • The Education (Wales) Measure 2009.
  • The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for Wales.
  • The Education Act 1996.
  • The Equality Act 2010.
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission Code of Practice for Services, Public Functions and Associations.

When can I make an appeal to the tribunal?

There is a two month time limit for appealing to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW). Your appeal must be received no later than two months from the date when the Local Authority told you in a letter about its final decision.

If you use or are referred to a Disagreement Resolution Service (DRS) before the two months is up, then the time limit may be extended. Your Local Authority must provide information about how to access its independent DRS. It is important that you ask SENTW about any extension to the time limit before the two months is up.

What Can I Appeal About?

You can appeal if the Local Authority:

  • will not carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s special educational needs;
  • refuses to reassess your child’s special educational needs;
  • refuses to make a statement of your child’s special educational needs, after a statutory assessment;
  • decides not to maintain (decides to cancel) your child’s statement;
  • refuses to change the school named in your child’s statement, if the statement is at least one year old and a previous request has not been made in the last 12 months (you can only ask for a school that is funded by a local authority). This is limited to the same type of school as the school named in the statement and it is not possible to ask us to change Parts 2 or 3 of the statement;
  • decides not to change the statement after reassessing your child;
  • has made a statement, or has changed a previous statement, and you disagree with one or more of the following.
  • The part which describes your child’s special educational needs (Part 2);
  • The part which sets out the special educational provision (help) that the Local Authority thinks your child should receive (Part 3);
  • The school or type of school named in the statement (Part 4);
  • The Local Authority not naming a school (Part 4);

SENTW cannot deal with the following matters.

  • The Local Authority deciding not to amend the statement after an annual review.
  • The way the Local Authority carried out the assessment, or the length of time that it took.
  • How the Local Authority or the school is arranging to provide the help set out in your child’s statement.
  • The way the school is meeting your child’s needs at School Action or School Action Plus.
  • The description, in Parts 5 and 6 of the statement, of your child’s non-educational needs or how the Local Authority plans to meet those needs.

Can Children Make Their Own Appeal?

The Education (Wales) Measure 2009 gives children the right to make their own appeal or claim to SENTW.

Existing parental rights will not be affected by the new right for children to make their own appeal. A parent/carer can still make an appeal whether or not their child makes one.

If you need help and advice on these, or any other matters relating to your child or young person's special educational needs, please call 029 2073 6329 to arrange your FREE initial telephone consultation or make an online enquiry by clicking here.