Special Educational Needs: Appeals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lingfield Lord Lingfield Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to compensate parents who have appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal but whose first hearing was cancelled without adequate notice and as a result have incurred expense.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is free to access and use, but where appellants have incurred and can evidence financial loss as a consequence of the postponement of a hearing they may apply for a compensatory payment. Each application for an ex-gratia payment is treated on its own merits and dealt with in accordance with HM Courts & Tribunals Service’s complaints procedure.

Examples of the types of claims which might be made include the payment of any legal expenses incurred and, where the hearing has been postponed at short notice, the payment of loss of earnings of witnesses who have been unable to find other remunerative employment on the date in question.

In 2018/19 there were 17 applications for a compensatory payment, 14 of which related to the cancellation of the first hearing. The average sum paid was £2,347.

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