This report presents findings from the evaluation of the trial extension of powers of the
First-tier Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal. The extended
powers allow the Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations about health and social
care elements of appeals alongside education aspects. This evaluation was
commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and conducted by IFF Research,
an independent research agency, working in partnership with Belmana, an economic

The evaluation involved preliminary in-depth interviews with national stakeholders;
baseline and follow-up local area case study visits; a survey (conducted by telephone
and online) of 122 appellants who submitted an appeal to the SEND Tribunal under the
national trial; a follow-up telephone survey with 57 of those appellants 6 months later;
analysis of LA and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responses to recommendation
letters; an LA and CCG cost survey; in-depth interviews with LAs and CCGs about
provision costs related to the trial; and cost modelling in order to assess the value for
money of the extended powers.

SEND tribunal: national trial independent evaluation