Special Educational Needs: Appeals:Written question - HL16500

Q
Asked on: 19 June 2019
Ministry of Justice
Special Educational Needs: Appeals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) has sufficient (1) resources, and (2) judges, to cope with the number of cases before it; and what plans they have to (a) provide more resources, and (b) increase the number of judges, where they have found these to be insufficient.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 02 July 2019

The Special Educational Needs and Disability jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal (“the SEND Tribunal”) has seen a 50% increase in appeals over a 3-year period. In response to this, the SEND Tribunal has increased the number of administrative staff from 25 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) members of staff in May 2016, to 43.5 FTE in May 2019. The Legal Advisers team has also increased from 2.6 FTE at the beginning of 2018, to 4.6 FTE in June 2019.

10 new judges were assigned to SEND in September 2018 and a further exercise will be launched in September 2019 for an additional 20 fee paid judges. Parallel to this, HMCTS and the judiciary have been working closely with the Judicial Appointments Commission to recruit judges. In March 2019 21 new fee paid Judges were successfully recruited.

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