National trial of the 'single route of redress' for SEND tribunals
The DfE has launched a two-year national trial extending the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans.
The Tribunal will be able to do this for LA decisions and EHC plans issued or amended from 3rd April, as part of a SEND appeal. LAs must now amend their EHC decision letters to inform parents and young people of their new rights.
Although the recommendations are non-binding, they are made by a specialist Tribunal and would be expected to be taken forward; if they are not taken forward, parents and young people will be able to complain to the Ombudsman or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. The trial will be incorporated into Ofsted and CQC's local area SEND inspection judgements.
Support is available for local authorities, including guidance, a toolkit of practical materials and a helpdesk. The DfE will be training Information, Advice and Support Services to enable them to inform families of their new rights, and will provide funding of up to £4000 per case to cover some types of expenses.
The trial will be independently evaluated by IFF Research and Belmana.
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