Educational needs and provision

You can appeal against the contents of Section B (special educational needs), Section F (special educational provision), or Section I (the school or other setting to be attended) of an EHC plan.

The contents appeal can be about any of:

  •  The child’s special educational needs set out in Section B;
  •  The special educational provision to meet those needs set out in Section F;
  •  The school or other setting in Section I; and/or
  •  If no school or other setting is named in Section I, that fact.

All of Sections B, F and I can be appealed. It is normally not advisable just to appeal Section I, as the SEND Tribunal will be considering whether the placement is able to meet the needs and provision set out in Sections B and F.

Fact sheet: Appealing the school named in an EHC plan

Health and social care

Health care provision and social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is capable of being special educational provision and, as such, should be specified in Section F of an EHC Plan (see the section on what an EHC plan contains for more information). Therefore, you might appeal where this provision has been specified in the wrong part of the EHC plan and you are asking for it to be specified in Sections B or F instead.

The Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice have announced that they will introduce a two-year national trial in England to extend SEND Tribunal powers to the health and social care sections of EHC plans. From April 2018, parents and young people who are dissatisfied with the sections of the plan relating to health and social care, and who have not been able to resolve their disagreement locally, can take their appeal to the SEND Tribunal. The appeal must also involve an appeal about the education parts of the EHC plan (Sections B, F or I). 

The SEND Tribunal will only have the power to make ‘non-binding recommendations’ on health and social care (unlike the binding decisions they make in relation to special educational provision). However, it has been made clear that the expectation is that the recommendations will generally be followed.

You can read more about how to challenge the health and social care parts of an EHC plan in the guidance issued by the SEND Tribunal.

What about the other sections of the EHC plan?

This still leaves some sections of an EHC plan which are completely outside of the SEND Tribunal’s scope:

  • section A – the views, wishes and aspirations of the child and his parents or the young person;
  •  Section E – the outcomes to be sought; and
  •  Section J – dealing with direct payments.

You cannot appeal about these sections of the EHC plan.

There is a general power in Regulation 43(1) of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (the “SEND Regs”) to “correct any deficiencies” in an EHC plan. For example, if because of changes to Sections B and F the outcomes in Section E are no longer relevant, then the Tribunal may order that these are changed. However, parents or young people cannot bring an appeal about their contents.


See the section on how to submit a contents appeal for more information on how to get started.