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Procedural Confusion: Challenging the Decisions of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal

Belinda Schwehr (Barrister, Rowe & Maw, London)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 1 July 1997



Rights of appeal against decisions of the new Tribunal are not found in the 1993 Education Act. The statute which creates such a right appears to give a choice of appeal route, and does not refer at all to the distinct legal procedure of judicial review. But recent cases have effectively limited rights of appeal from the Tribunal, to an appeal to the High Court on a point of law only, via a particular procedure, and precluded the alternative routes. However, even the way in which the cases are still being indexed and written about, in journals and digests, may perpetuate confusion among practitioners. The writer has heard, anecdotally, that Tribunals themselves are often insisting on being made parties to appeals, and, indeed, SENTs continue to appear in the books as respondents to appeals. The implications for local authority legal and education officers, and for advice workers, particularly as to time limits and legal aid, are considered in this article.


Schwehr, B. (1997), "Procedural Confusion: Challenging the Decisions of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 5-10.




Copyright © 1997, MCB UP Limited

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