CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: Complaining when the local authority fails to comply with statutory deadlines for action following the conclusion of an appeal (model letter 16)

What should I do?

The local authority (“LA”) is required by law to comply with certain deadlines following conclusion of an appeal in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

The action the LA is required to take by when depends on the type of appeal, when in the appeal process it concluded and how (e.g. because the LA conceded the appeal before the deadline for its response or following conclusion by a consent order or determination by the Tribunal following a hearing).

We have set out the actions the LA may be required to take and associated deadlines in the body of this model letter.

If the LA misses a deadline for a required action following an appeal you should make a formal complaint to the LA and you can adapt model letter 16 to do this.

When should I write?

As soon as possible following the LA’s failure to comply with the deadlines for action.

What if the school or college offers to write on my behalf?

It is fine for the school or college to also write to the LA too. However, this should be as well, not instead of, your own letter.

Who should I write to?

You can use this letter to write to the top person at the LA, usually the Director of Children’s Services. You can find this information and contact details for this person by clicking here. It may help to copy in the LA’s monitoring officer, your ward councillor, and the LA case worker or officer you have been dealing with as well.

Your LA’s Local Offer should clearly set out how a formal complaint can be made in its complaints procedure. This can be found on your LA’s website. You should follow the LA’s complaints procedure as well as writing to the Director of Children’s Services. See our making a complaint about a LA page for more information.

Remember to keep a copy of any letter or email you send.

If you don’t get a reply after five working days, or if you need further advice, you can book an advice line appointment with IPSEA.