SEND Tribunal Survey 2013

Parents will recall that discussions took place in the House of Commons earlier this year about the draft Children and Families Bill. This Bill will change the way that children and young people with special educational needs will be supported from 2014. The operation of the SEND or First Tier Tribunal System was the subject of some debate at the scrutiny committee stage in the House of Commons, and, as a result, the Government's Department for Education has suggested that we find out more about parents' and carers' actual experiences of the SEND Tribunal system; both good and bad. This was the reason for our survey.

Thank you to all the parents who completed our survey about their experiences of the SEND Tribunal Service. Please download the results of the survey here.

Update November 2013

Read an email from a Kids First parent on a point of information for the Grand Committee, Children and Families Bill.

Update September 2013

Read a letter from a labour member of the Commons Scrutiny Committee to the Minister responsible for the Children and Families Bill and directly challenges him regarding our report. We have also had three supportive responses from various Lords including the Shadow Education Spokesperson for Education who says that the Labour peers will take the issue of the tribunal forward in the Autumn session and hope to amend the bill accordingly.

11 September – you can read the reply from Edward Timpson MP, the Minister responsible for the Children and Families Bill.

A new clause has now been proposed for the Bill in the House of Lords directly as a result of this SEND Tribunal Survey and we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is now approved by both Houses of Parliament. This is the proposed clause:

Clause 51

BARONESS HUGHES OF STRETFORD

BARONESS JONES OF WHITCHURCH

Insert the following new Clause—

“Collection of information

  1. The Secretary of State must collect information on all cases related to
    special educational needs which are considered by the Tribunal Service,
    including—
    (a) the local authority involved;
    (b) the cost to the Tribunal Service;
    (c) the amount spent by the local authority on fighting each case;
    (d) the nature of each case; and
    (e) the outcome of each case.
  2. The Secretary of State must collate and publish information collected in the
    exercise of his functions under subsection (1) once a year.
  3. The following bodies must make arrangements to provide such
    information to the Secretary of State as is necessary to enable him to
    perform his functions under this section—
    (a) the Tribunal Service;
    (b) local authorities.”

This and other proposed amendments can be found here.

We will keep you up to date with developments via the website.

Children and Families Bill and the Merton vision

You can read a presentation by Yvette Stanley, Director of Children, Schools and Families on the Children and Families Bill and the Merton vision.