Complaints about Special Educational Needs

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of a Special Educational Needs (SEN) assessment, you have the right to complain.

Reasons to complain

Sometimes we will decide not to carry out a statutory assessment for your child, or you might not agree with some of what is written in the statement. If this happens, you can usually sort this out by talking to someone.

Before we issue a final statement, we will send you a proposed statement first. This is the best time to discuss your concerns and we may change things before issuing the final statement.

Remember that the statement summarises all the reports, so it cannot include every detail and every example. There must be evidence for everything in the statement.

Ways to complain

If you are not happy with an outcome you should contact either:

  • Your SEN case officer - you will find their contact details on your statement letter
  • The SEN co-ordinator or head teacher at your child’s school

You can ask them to explain the decision given on your proposed statement.


If your child has special educational needs and we decide that they do not qualify for transport, you can appeal against this decision.

To appeal you must write to: Pupil Awards and Student Support Appeals Panel, 42 York Street, Twickenham TW1 3BW.

The panel meets once a term, and includes councillors and parent governors. They will consider your reasons very carefully and make a decision. We must follow the decision of the appeals panel. You can also use the Disagreement Resolution Service.

What happens next

If you are still unhappy about the outcome of your discussion, you can progress your complaint further.

You should arrange to speak to a senior SEN officer, but first you should write down the points you are concerned about. This meeting can be arranged by your child's SEN case officer, or you can contact the Parent Partnership Service. the Parent Partnership Service can give you advice about procedures and explain the support available to your child. They can also help arrange meetings between us and the school and come to meetings with you.

If you still disagree after this stage, you should contact the Disagreement Resolution Service. This is an independent mediation service, which is free to parents. If you use the Disagreement Resolution Service, you still have a right of appeal at tribunal. You can contact the service by telephone on 020 7837 2900.

If you are unable to reach a full resolution you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Updated: 28 October 2016