Special Education Needs (SEND) Tribunals

My request relates to Special Education Needs (SEND) tribunals and costs, and is as follows:

1. Please provide a monthly breakdown of the number of appeals made by parents, guardians, or other authorities, against the council’s decision on a child’s EHCP, from January 2018 – January 2022 

Please note the below table shows the number of appeals made and not the number which proceed to tribunal.  We try wherever possible to reach agreement as quickly as possible rather than wait for tribunal.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2018 6 5 8 5 2 3 3 2 3 2 5 3
2019 2 3 4 5 7 12 8 4 5 9 3 1
2020 10 11 9 8 9 10 11 14 13 6 7 8
2021 8 7 13 16 7 8 9 13 10 3 9 8
2022 5*

 * as of 24/01/2022

2. Please provide a monthly budget breakdown of all money spent on SEND tribunals, from January 2018 – January 2022. Please include any relevant or associated costs, for example solicitor costs, in-house solicitor time, associated costs such as SEND team costs including days spent, social care costs including days spent, health costs including days spent, total cost for SEND mediation services, and any additional costs associated with SEND tribunal such as printing and admin time.

If possible, please break down the monthly costs as above or however best suits, but if a substantive response is not possible within the time frame, please just provide total/overall costs over this time period rather than breaking it down. 

This information is held, however it is not held in a manner that can be easily extracted from our records.  We estimate that to provide a detailed breakdown, it would take greater than the 18 hours that the Council is obliged to spend answering a freedom of information request to provide a response to this question. Therefore, we consider that Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act  2000 (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 applies.

Under section 16 (advice and assistance) of the Act, the total spend for each year is as follows;

2018; 2019; 2020 the cost was £121,000 per annum

2021 the cost is £141,000