Swindon households appealed dozens of council rulings on disabled kids’s training
Swindon families petitioned the court to overturn dozen of council resolutions on the education of disabled children, figures show.
Justice Department data shows that in 2020, 56 appeals were made to the Swindon Special Education and Disability Tribunal.
The number was up from 36 in the previous year and more than four times the 13 appointments in 2014.
Children and young people who need additional support for their education are assessed by the local authority.
If their needs cannot be met in mainstream education, an education, health, and care plan is drawn up to identify the child’s support needs.
This is checked every 12 months.
Families who disagree with the local authority’s decision not to assess or reassess a child, or to change their education, health and care plan, may appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
In 2020, 2,172 appealable decisions were made across Swindon, with families appealing 2.6% of them to the tribunal – up from the 1.6% rate the previous year and the 1% rate the year before 2014.
Disabled Aid Contact said the school support system was not working for many children and that special funds were needed to prevent SEND appeals from increasing in the future.
Amanda Batten, General Manager of Contact, said, “Families have been busy not only with home schooling, but also as nurses, physical therapists and therapists.
“While the instructions were that schools would remain open to some children with SEN during the lockdown, in practice many were not at school.
“In addition, sometimes school support for disabled children, including physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and psychotherapy, has gone and in some cases it is still not back to pre-pandemic levels.”