The return of normality to schools – or not – is much in the news. Despite the uncertainty the work of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal continues as far as possible as usual. Local authorities are still expected to respond to requests for education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments and to appeals against EHC plans as before – timetables have not been relaxed. The Tribunal itself is conducting hearings via video or telephone-conferencing, except hearings to decide appeals against refusals to assess a child’s EHC needs which are conducted “on the papers”, meaning the judge considers written evidence only and issues a decision. So far we have not seen significant delays in the Tribunal’s processes.
If you do have concerns that your child may need an assessment, or you have received an EHC Plan which you don’t agree with, don’t assume that deadlines don’t apply or that the usual timetable has been paused. Contact the school and the local authority to voice your concerns and if necessary take independent advice.