Special Educational Needs assessments and tribunals

For each of the academic years 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and as much of 2018/19 as you have data for:
1) How many times was the council challenged at the SEND tribunal for refusing to assess a child’s special educational needs?
a. Of those, how many were:
i. conceded by the LA ahead of the tribunal hearing
ii. withdrawn by the parent/carer/young person
iii. upheld by the SEND tribunal
iv. not upheld by the SEND tribunal

Academic YearNumber of casesConcededWithdrawnUpheldNot upheld
September 01 2014 – August 30 2015*****
September 01 2015 – August 30 201610****
September 01 2016 – August 30 20171811***
September 01 2017 – August 30 201810****
September 01 2018 – August 30 2019NoneNoneNoneNoneNone

* Use of this symbol indicates that disclosure of the numbers may identify individuals and be in breach of the first principle of the Data Protection Act. Therefore this information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Section 40(2) Personal Data

b. What was the cost to the council of defending all of these appeals, both successful and unsuccessful?*

The costs to Devon County Council are the time and employment of a tribunal team within the Special Educational  Needs service. These costs are held. The term costs is also used in the legal arena to refer to the costs of the other party involved. We do not keep a record of these costs as these are not incurred by the Local Authority.

2) How many times was the council challenged at the SEND tribunal for refusing to issue a SSEN or an EHCP?
a. Of those, how many were:
 conceded by the LA ahead of the tribunal hearing
 withdrawn by the parent/carer/young person
 upheld by the SEND tribunal
 not upheld by the SEND tribunal

Academic year Number of cases Conceded Withdrawn Upheld Not upheld 
September 01 2014 – August 30 2015*****
September 01 2015 – August 30 2016*****
September 01 2016 – August 30 20178****
September 01 2017 – August 30 2018*****
September 01 2018 – August 30 2019*****

Use of this symbol* indicates that disclosure of the numbers may identify individuals and be in breach of the first principle of the Data Protection Act. Therefore this information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Section 40(2) Personal Data

b. What was the cost to the council of defending all of these appeals, both successful and unsuccessful?*

The costs to Devon County Council are the time and employment of a tribunal team within the Special Educational  Needs service. These costs are held. The term costs is also used in the legal arena to refer to the costs of the other party involved. We do not keep a record of these costs as these are not incurred by the Local Authority.

How many finalised EHCPs or SSENs resulted in an application to the SEND tribunal to challenge any part of the EHCP/SSEN?
a. Of those, how many were:
 conceded by the LA ahead of the tribunal hearing
 withdrawn by the parent/carer/young person
 upheld by the SEND tribunal
 not upheld by the SEND tribunal

Academic year Number of cases Conceded Withdrawn Upheld Not upheld 
September 01 2014 – August 30 201514****
September 01 2015 – August 30 201618*10**
September 01 2016 – August 30 201722*10**
September 01 2017 – August 30 201842*14**
September 01 2018 – August 30 2019NoneNoneNoneNoneNone

b. What was the cost to the council of defending all of these appeals, both successful and unsuccessful?*

The cost to the council relates to the maintenance of the SEN Tribunal team- £64,477.

How much compensation or legal costs were paid to parents in the above cases?
*when calculating ‘cost to the council’, please include in-house legal costs, representation and barristers, expert witnesses including the cost of attending tribunal, professional reports, tribunal preparation costs, admin etc

We do not hold this information.

How many requests for SEND needs assessments were received in each year from:
o Parents/carers/young people
o Schools
o Initiated by the LA without a request from parents/carers/schools

• How many of these requests resulted in an assessment of need being carried out, and how many were refused, for
o Requests from parents/carers/young people
o Requests from schools
o Requests initiated by the LA without a request from parents/carers/schools

• How many of the needs assessments resulted in an agreement to issue an EHCP for
o Requests from parents/carers/young people
o Requests from schools
o Requests initiated by the LA without a request from parents/carers/schools

Assessment requests received 2014 – 2018 

• How many applications for an EHCP were either rejected or finalised within the statutory 20 week period? How many took longer than 20 weeks?

• What was the mean and median time between an EHCP assessment first being requested, and the EHCP being finalised? (To be clear, please include all EHCPs which were finalised in the given academic year, even if they were first applied for in the previous academic year. For this particular question, I am only interested in EHCPs which were finalised – not applications which were rejected and never successfully appealed).

Final Education Health and Care Plans Issued 2014 – 2018 

B) Across the entire period 1. September 2014 until the present date, what was the longest an individual applicant had to wait between first requesting an EHCP assessment and having an EHCP finalised?

247 days.

C) At the start of each of the last five school years, including 2018-19, how many pupils going through the EHCP application process (including appeals) were
• …on a roll at a school but not attending?
• …not on a roll at any school?
• …on a part-time timetable?

This information is held by multiple county council services and by schools themselves and we estimate that to locate and collate the information required to answer the request in full would take in excess of the 18 hours specified under the Freedom of Information Act Section 12 – Cost of Compliance, therefore this information is exempt.