- 24 May 2022
Big thank you to Aaron King for this invaluable 5min read. Aaron explains: the main types of cases that go to tribunal, what happens once at tribunal, financial and emotional costs.
He concludes: The costs of SEND tribunal are not just measured in money. They can also include the emotional costs, time cost and educational costs. Recognising these costs doesn’t mean that a parent shouldn’t take cases to the SEND Tribunal – lots do and most ‘win’, but it does recognise burdens that many parties can face when preparing for and attending a SEND tribunal.
Read the rest of the article to prepare yourself for the journey.
- 18 Oct 2021
It's ok to take notes and read from them.
Take a deep breath before starting.
If you do feeel anxious, it's ok to say "I'm sorry if I'm not perfect reading this - I'm just a bit nervous." The panel will understand that you aren't a lawyer and that parents can feel really anxious about it.
- 13 Oct 2021
Having just had my first tribunal, I would suggest the following. Make your opening/positioning statement short and factual - ideally no longer than five minutes. Ensure you have all your paperwork to hand, in order and the specific areas of contention highlighted and marked. Listen carefully to the judge - they are generally really experienced and they will set the agenda for how the tribunal will pan out. Ensure you have set up a What's App group with your professionals/witnesses beforehand - this was so useful for me, as it meant we could counteract comments from the Local Authority swiftly. Also, ensure you have someone with you - even if it is a friend - to help take notes and support you. Listen very carefully to the closing statement from the Local Authority - make notes if you can - and use your closing statement to conclude on what you are at appeal for and counteract any comments that the Local Authority made in their closing statement, that you felt was not an accurate reflection of the events. Use groups like IPSEA and SOS!SEN to help you prepare - they have online seminars and lots of useful tips on how to prepare. Also remember, the judge and the panel appreciate that many parents do this without legal support and are very understanding of this.