Most appeals don’t actually get to a hearing, because the parties come to an agreement or the LA agrees to what you are asking for.

What happens where the parties come to agreement will depend on whether the LA has already sent in its response.

Agreement before the LA’s response

The LA response is due within 30 working days of the appeal being sent to it by the SEND Tribunal. Where the LA agrees to what you are asking for (known as conceding the case) before it has put in a response to the appeal:

  • The LA will notify the SEND Tribunal in writing that it agrees to what you are asking for and you will be sent a copy of this notification.
  • You do not need to do anything – the notification to the SEND Tribunal automatically ends the appeal. 
  • The LA must comply with the deadlines in regulation 45 of The SEND Regulations 2014 for assessing, issuing or amending an EHC plan. If the LA fails to comply with these deadlines, this is the same as it being in breach of an order of the SEND Tribunal.

Agreement after the LA’s response

Once the LA response has been submitted, the parties will need the SEND Tribunal’s permission to end the appeal process.  

Where the LA has already put in a response to the appeal, the parties should write up a document setting out what has been agreed and then both sign it. This is called a draft or proposed ‘consent order’. The SEND Tribunal has a template consent order you can use and we recommend that you do.

The consent order should be sent to the SEND Tribunal with:

  1. an explanation that the parties have agreed that the appeal can be resolved by consent, and
  2. all sections filled out, detailing exactly what has been agreed. The deadlines in regulation 44 of The SEND Regulations 2014 will apply unless the parties tell the SEND Tribunal they have agreed a shorter timescale.

In urgent cases, the parties could ask the SEND Tribunal to keep the hearing date if it won’t be able to issue the consent order before it (and give any reasons as to why delay would not be in the interests of the child or young person or fairness). Because the SEND Tribunal has a limited number of hearing slots, it is unlikely it will agree to having a hearing in these circumstances, but it may prioritise the request for a consent order over other, less urgent, requests.

Whilst the SEND Tribunal is considering the request for the consent order, there should be no further delay and the LA should start to carry out the agreed actions. For example, if the LA has agreed to your choice of placement, it should not wait for the SEND Tribunal to issue the consent order before naming that institution in the EHC plan or reviewing home-school transport eligibility.

Permission to end the appeal by consent is not guaranteed – the SEND Tribunal may refuse to allow the appeal to be ended, for example if the proposal by the parties fails to deal with all the issues in dispute, or it is very close to the hearing. The SEND Tribunal will not generally agree to issue consent orders that are requested within five working days of the hearing date. The parties should still send the request to the SEND Tribunal so the panel is aware that they have reached agreement but the SEND Tribunal will ask the parties to attend the hearing, usually simply to explain why it took a long time to reach agreement and to discuss the request.

If the SEND Tribunal agrees to end the appeal, it will send the parties an order to confirm this. At this point the appeal ends.

If you can’t find the answer to your question, you can book an appointment to speak with us.