Special education needs

THE number of successful appeals to special educational needs tribunals has risen by almost a third, according to junior minister Jacqui Smith.

Official figures show that 921 appeals were upheld by tribunals in 1998-99, compared with 701 the previous year. This is the fourth year in a row that the number of successful appeals has risen. The number of cases coming before SEN tribunals also increased for the fourt successive year to 1,220. However, after three consecutive rises the number of unsuccessful appeals fell by 135 to 299. This suggests that parents are becoming more successful at gaining special provision for their children.

In 1998-99 three-quarters of all appeals were upheld compared to just 58 per cent in 1995-96.

Mrs Smith was replying to a question from Conservative spokesman, Tim Boswell.

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