Where you have made a reference appealing against the decision of your education authority on your capacity or wellbeing, one tribunal member - a legal member - will decide this, after reading all of the papers which have been sent by you and your education authority. There will not usually be a hearing.
The case officer will give you or your representative the date, time and address of the hearing in plenty of time.
When you arrive at the place where the hearing is being held, the case officer will show you where to go. You will go to a room where you, your representative and any of your witnesses will wait. There will be refreshments for you.
Three people who are all members of the Tribunal will consider your claim or reference at the hearing. These are:
- The legal member, AND
- Two people who have knowledge and experience of children and young people with additional support needs.
You and your representative will be asked to go into the room where the hearing will take place. The tribunal members will be in the room, seated at a table. There will be seats for you and your representative and the education authority or responsible body’s representatives at the same table.
You can bring a supporter to the hearing. This could be a friend, trusted adult, family member or a child advocacy worker.
When the hearing is ready to start, the legal member will ask everyone to say their name and their reason for being at the hearing.
The legal member will explain how the hearing will work and check that you understand everything that is happening. You can ask the legal member questions at any time.
Speaking at the hearing
You can speak at the hearing yourself, or you can ask your representative or your independent advocate to do this for you. If you have any witnesses, they will have the chance to speak at the hearing.
The education authority or responsible body will also have a chance to say what they think about your reference
You or your representative and the education authority or responsible body can ask the witnesses questions. The tribunal members will be listening to all the evidence and they may also ask you and the witnesses’ questions.
There will be rest breaks during the hearing.
If you are representing yourself or if you have a representative who is not a lawyer, the legal member will make sure that you are supported to present your case.
The tribunal members very carefully consider:
- Your views
- Your parent’s views
- The views of the education authority or responsible body
- Everything that has been said by others at the hearing
- All the papers in the bundle
- The law
The tribunal members then make their decision. Normally they will want to take time to consider everything and to write their decision. The decision will usually be sent out to you within 10 working days of the last day of the hearing. If it is going to take longer, the case officer will let you know.