The SEND Tribunal has wide case management powers. It won’t simply receive the evidence from you and the LA and wait for the hearing, it will use different methods to see if the case is ready to be heard and deal with any preliminary issues.

Case review hearings

In some instances the SEND Tribunal will contact you to invite you to a Case Review Hearing (CRH).

These will be cases which involve appeals against the contents of an EHC plan and also extended appeals where the SEND Tribunal is asked to decide and make recommendations on issues concerning health and social care.

The purpose of the CRH is so the SEND Tribunal can:

  • consider whether the appeal is ready to be heard and decided
  • deal with any outstanding issues between the parties, and 
  • estimate the amount of time required at any oral hearing for parties to present any additional evidence.

The CRH will be listed to be held by video after the return of the Case Review form and evidence bundle deadline. It will usually last for up to 1 hour.

A CRH may result in the parties being asked to participate in a Judicial Alternative Dispute Resolution hearing. If the SEND Tribunal does not ask you to attend this but you think it could be helpful, you can request it after the bundle deadline.

Judicial alternative dispute resolution

Appeals that are only about section I of an EHC plan (the setting and/ or type of setting named in an EHC plan only, not other sections of the plan as well) will be considered for judicial alternative dispute resolution. This is also known as JADR. 

This is a voluntary process in which a judge will see if they can help you and the LA reach agreement. Please see information the SEND Tribunal shared about JADR when it trialled it in 2021. If this arises in your appeal and you require advice, you can book an appointment to speak with us.

Telephone case management hearings

If the case is complex or there are issues which need to be sorted out before the hearing, you may be asked to have a telephone case management hearing (TCMH). You can also ask for the SEND Tribunal to arrange a TCMH if you feel it is needed.

A TCMH is an opportunity for the SEND Tribunal to consider any preliminary issues which need to be sorted out before the hearing can be held, for example:

  • whether further assessments need to be carried out, or 
  • where one party wants to postpone the hearing and the other does not. 

It may also be an opportunity to narrow down the issues in dispute.

If there is a matter which needs to be resolved before the hearing, you can make a request for a TCMH using the Request for Changes form.

For further information on this topic, see our main 'What happens after I submit my appeal?' page.