How long does a SENDIST appeal take?

Currently, appeals take approximately 14 weeks from registration of the appeal to hearing of the appeal. It takes a further two to three weeks for the issue of the written decision of the tribunal.

How do I lodge an Appeal with SENDIST?

A booklet entitled “How to Appeal” is available from the SENDIST, where staff can be contacted by telephone on 028 9072 4887 or 028 9072 4847.

The address of the SENDIST is as follows:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
Tribunal Hearing Centre
3rd Floor
Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street

In order to make an appeal a parent can call the SENDIST and ask to lodge an appeal. The booklet and forms will be sent out by post or e-mail.

The form asks for general contact details, the nature of the appeal and asks that you set out reasons for appeal.

Parents may seek free independent legal advice from the Children’s Law Centre to ensure all relevant reasons for appeal are included.

If you have any questions about the grounds of appeal to the SENDIST or how to draft your Notice of Appeal, contact the Children’s Law Centre on 08088085678 or email: for advice.

Are there time Limits for Special Educational Needs Appeals to the SENDIST?

The time limit for appeals to SENDIST in relation to special educational needs is 2 months from the date of receipt of the letter from the Education Authority to the parent/carer which outlines the disputed decision. This letter should also state that the parent has a right to appeal.

In what circumstances can I make a special educational needs appeal to the SENDIST?

The following circumstances may be grounds for appeal to SENDIST:

  •     Refusal to carry out a statutory assessment
  •     Refusal to carry out a statutory reassessment
  •     Refusal to make a statement of special educational needs
  •     Appeal against the contents of a statement – Part 2 (needs) and/or Part 3 (provision)
  •     Appeal against the school placement named in Part 4 of the statement
  •     Refusal of a request to change the school named on a statement
  •     Decision to cease to provide a statement
  •     Refusal to amend a statement after a statutory reassessment (note: this does not apply to a psychology “review” of a child – there must be a formal “reassessment”)

If you need advice on whether a valid ground of appeal exists you should contact the Children’s Law Centre on 08088085678 or email:

What is the SENDIST?

The SENDIST is the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. It is an independent appeal panel which considers parental appeals against Education Authority decisions about special educational needs. There is no separate right of appeal to the SENDIST for a child.

SENDIST also considers parental disability discrimination claims against schools and/or the Education Authority.