March 2022

IPSEA was interviewed by researchers commissioned by the LGA to produce ‘Agreeing to disagree?’, a report on resolving disputes in the SEND system in England. We told them very clearly that the SEND Tribunal does nothing more than apply the law, and appealing to the Tribunal is often the only way that parents can make sure their children receive the special educational provision and wider support to which the law entitles them.

Commenting on the report, IPSEA’s chief executive Ali Fiddy said:

“This report completely misses the point that parents wouldn’t succeed at Tribunal unless the evidence supported their case. The Tribunal doesn’t uphold parents’ appeals because they engage persuasive advocates or because the judge gives in to demanding families – decisions are made on the basis of law and evidence.

“There are only two ways, as I see it, that the rate at which local authorities lose SEND appeals will fall. One is if local authorities comply with the legal framework and make lawful decisions. The other is if thresholds for assessment and support are made higher. It will be an absolute disgrace if the SEND Review aligns with the LGA’s preference, as this will result in children and young people with SEND being penalised while local authorities are rewarded for failing.”

 A copy of the full report can be found here.