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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To help you find the information you are looking for we have organised our most frequently asked questions and their answers into subject headings.

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  • SEN Appeals

    Deciding to make an appeal

    When can I make an appeal to the tribunal?

    There is a two-month time limit for appealing to us. We must receive your appeal no later than two-months from the date when the Local Authority told you in a letter about its final decision.

    If you use or are referred to a Disagreement Resolution Service (DRS) before the two-months is up, then the time-limit may be extended. Your Local Authority must provide information about how to access its independent DRS. It is important that you ask SENTW about any extension to the time-limit before the two-months is up.

    What can I appeal about?

    You can appeal if the Local Authority:

    • will not carry out a statutory assessment of your child’s special educational needs,
    • refuses to reassess your child’s special educational needs
    • refuses to make a statement of your child’s special educational needs, after a statutory assessment
    • decides not to maintain (decides to cancel) your child’s statement.
    • refuses to change the school named in your child’s statement, if the statement is at least one year old and a previous request has not been made in the last 12 months (you can only ask for a school that is funded by a local authority). This is limited to the same type of school as the school named in the statement and it is not possible to ask us to change Parts 2 or 3 of the statement
    • decides not to change the statement after reassessing your child
    • has made a statement, or has changed a previous statement, and you disagree with one or more of the following.
    • The part which describes your child’s special educational needs (Part 2).
    • The part which sets out the special educational provision (help) that the Local Authority thinks your child should receive (Part 3).
    • The school or type of school named in the statement (Part 4).
    • The Local Authority not naming a school (Part 4).

    Are there any issues that SENTW cannot deal with?

    We cannot deal with the following.

    • The Local Authority deciding not to amend the statement after an annual review.
    • The way the Local Authority carried out the assessment, or the length of time that it took.
    • How the Local Authority or the school is arranging to provide the help set out in your child’s statement.
    • The way the school is meeting your child’s needs at School Action or School Action Plus.
    • The description, in Parts 5 and 6 of the statement, of your child’s non-educational needs or how the Local Authority plans to meet those needs.

    Can children make their own appeal?

    The Education (Wales) Measure 2009 gives children the right to make their own appeal or claim to SENTW.

    Existing parental rights will not be affected by the new right for children to make their own appeal. A parent/carer can still make an appeal whether or not their child makes one.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website.

    (What is an appeal?: A booklet for children and young people – Guidance Booklet SENTW 22)

    What else can I do?

    Even if you make an appeal you should still talk to your Local Authority to try and reach agreement. All Local Authorities must have independent Disagreement Resolution Services (DRS). The service deals with disputes between parents, the Local Authority and schools in relation to Special Educational Needs. Your Local Authority must provide information about how to access its independent DRS.

    If you decide to use DRS after an appeal has been registered you may make an application to the Tribunal President to stop the appeal for a period of time. You may for instance wish to stop the appeal whilst DRS meetings are taking place.

    What help can I get?

    The Local Authority should have told you about the following groups that you may be able to get advice from.

    • A voluntary organisation which helps people with special needs.
    • A parents’/carers’ group.
    • An independent parental supporter.
    • A parent partnership adviser.

    The Local Authority should also have told you about its named officer who you can work with to try and sort out the issues you are appealing against. The groups above and your Local Authority officer may be able to put you in touch with an independent supporter or a representative.

    Can I get Legal Aid for help with my appeal?

    You may be entitled to Legal Aid (or public) funding for help in preparing your appeal. A solicitor will be able to advise you on whether you are entitled to this. The Law Society or your local citizens’ advice bureau will be able to give you the names of solicitors who take part in the Legal Aid scheme and are experienced in these matters. You will not be able to get public funding for a lawyer to represent you at the hearing.

    What decisions can SENTW make?

    If the Tribunal agrees with an appeal it has the power to make an Order. The Order will be written in the Tribunal’s decision.

    Depending on the type of appeal an Order may be one or more of the following.

    • To carry out an assessment or re-assessment.
    • To make a statement.
    • To change the statement.
    • To change the school named in line with the parents wishes.
    • To continue a statement.
    • To cancel (cease to maintain) a statement.

    The Local Authority must carry out our order within a fixed amount of time starting from when the decision was issued.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website.

    (Carrying out an Appeal Order: A parents’ guide to what happens now – Guidance Booklet SENTW 15)

    If SENTW does not agree with the appeal it will dismiss it, bringing it to an end.

    How long does it all take?

    The process of appealing, from when we receive your appeal to when we have the hearing and make a decision, usually takes four to five months. It may take longer depending on the type of case and how complicated it is.

    Do I have to pay anything?

    SENTW does not charge for this service.

  • Making an appeal

    When do I need to make my appeal and are there any time-limits involved?

    There is a two-month time limit for appealing to us. We must receive your appeal no later than two-months from the date when the Local Authority told you in a letter about its final decision.

    If you use or are referred to a Disagreement Resolution Service (DRS) before the two-months is up, then the time-limit for making an appeal may be extended. Your Local Authority must provide information about how to access its independent DRS. It is important that you ask SENTW about the extension before the two-month time-limit is up.

    Who can make an appeal?

    Only a parent or person who has parental responsibility or care of the child within the definition of the Education Act 1996, can make an appeal.

    The Education (Wales) Measure 2009 gives children the right to make their own appeal to SENTW.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website.

    (What is an appeal?: A booklet for children and young people – Guidance Booklet SENTW 22)

    How do I make an appeal?

    To make an appeal you must complete and send an appeal application to SENTW. Applications can be sent to us in the post or by email.

    Our application form can be downloaded from this website.

    (Appeal Application – Form SENTW 2)

    What do I need to tell you about?

    Information about what you need to tell us about as part of your appeal can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (How to Appeal – Guidance Booklet SENTW 1)

    What documents should I send with the appeal application?

    In all cases you will need to send us:

    • a letter confirming that you have told all the persons and organisations who have or share parental responsibility for the child or have care of the child, that you are proposing to make an appeal;
    • a letter giving the reasons why you have not notified all persons or not provided the names and addresses of all persons;
    • the documents you will be relying on to support your appeal.

    If the appeal is about the school you want to have named in the statement you must send us either:

    (a) If the school is maintained (funded) by the Local Authority:

    • a copy of your letter to the headteacher of the school saying that you would like the school named in the statement
    • a copy of your letter to the Local Authority responsible for maintaining (funding) the school saying that you would like the school named in the statement

    (b) If the school is an independent school (a school that is not funded by the Local Authority) or a non maintained special school:

    • a copy of the letter from the school confirming there is a place available for the child.

    Do I have to send the appeal application myself?

    No, but the appeal application must be signed by you (that is the person making the appeal application) or your representative on your behalf if you have given them permission to do so.

    Where an appeal is made by a child, the appeal application must be signed by the child or the child’s case friend.

    Can I send the appeal application by e-mail?

    Yes. Appeal applications that are sent by e-mail must contain the electronic signature of the parent making the appeal or, if permission is given, the electronic signature of their representative.

    Appeal applications made by the child and sent by email must contain the electronic signature of the child or the child’s case friend.

    What happens once we receive your appeal application?

    If we can deal with your appeal we will:

    • write to you within 10 working days of receiving your appeal to tell you we have registered it
    • also write to the Local Authority to tell them that we have registered the appeal and to send them a copy of your appeal

    Both you and the Local Authority will then have 30 working days to send us any further evidence that you want us to look at as part of the appeal. We call this a case statement.

    If we cannot register your appeal we will write to you:

    • usually within 10 working days of receiving your appeal to tell you why we cannot register it
    • if we need more information about your appeal and we will tell you what we need and give you 10 working days to send it to us.

    What do I do if I want to withdraw the appeal?

    If you decide that you no longer want to continue with the appeal you can withdraw it at any stage in the process. To withdraw an appeal you simply need to tell us this in writing, by email or in a letter.

    What if I have any other needs?

    Please make sure that you give details of any additional needs when you send us your appeal application. For example, you should say if you need a signer or an interpreter at the hearing, or need any additional arrangements to be made so you can come to the hearing.

  • Preparing a case statement: A guide for parents

    What is a case statement?

    Your case statement is a chance to send us more information. This can be any information and evidence that you want us to look at as part of your appeal.

    When we write to tell you that we have registered your appeal, we will also tell you the date, when we:

    • must have your case statement (you will have 30 working days to send us your case statement)
    • need to have your completed attendance form, to tell us who you are bringing with you to the hearing.

    When we register your appeal we will send a copy to the Local Authority. We will also give the Local Authority 30 working days to send us its case statement.

    Do I have to do a case statement?

    Yes. At the very least you must send us the following information as part of your case statement.

    In all cases where the appeal has been made by the parent/carer of the child the case statement must include:

    • the views of the child on the issues to do with the appeal; or
    • the reasons why the views have not been provided.

    Where the appeal has been made by the child or the child’s case friend the case statement must include:

    • the views of the child’s parent/carer on the issues raised in the appeal; or
    • the reasons why the views have not been provided.

    It is a requirement of the Tribunal’s Regulations that the views of the child or the parent/carer, depending who has made the appeal, are provided. The Tribunal panel will expect this information to be included in your case statement unless there is a good reason for not doing so.

    What happens if I do not send in a case statement or you receive the case statement after the deadline?

    There are restrictions on the admission of evidence that is received after the deadline for case statements has passed. You may make a written request to the Tribunal President to extend the deadline for submitting a case statement.

    What if I cannot get hold of a document from the Local Authority that is relevant and important to my case?

    If you apply to us well before the hearing, we may be able to make an order to get the Local Authority to release it.

    What will the Local Authority do about my appeal?

    The Local Authority will have the same 30 working days as you to send their case statement and evidence.

    The Local Authority’s case statement must say whether or not they oppose your appeal and, if they do, they need to give reasons why. They must also tell us:

    • about their grounds for opposing the appeal;
    • give a summary of the facts; and
    • tell us about the steps, if any, already taken to resolve the dispute.

    The Local Authority must send with its case statement, a copy of its final decision letter, and if there is one, a copy of the statement of special educational needs and latest review.

    The Local Authority must also tell us about the views of the child on the issues to do with the appeal, or the reasons why they have not provided the views. Generally, Local Authorities must find out children’s views wherever possible. They may also contact you about the appeal as they may have looked at the evidence again and feel they can provide some or all of what you want.

    What happens if the Local Authority does not send us a case statement?

    If the Local Authority does not send a response by the end of the time in which they have to reply, we can do a number of things, including stopping them from taking further part in the appeal.

    Before deciding what to do, we will write to the Local Authority asking for an explanation of why they have not responded, or not responded in time.

    The Tribunal’s President or chairperson will consider any reply the Local Authority gives and will decide what should happen. If the Local Authority is barred from further involvement, we will decide whether your case can be dealt with on the Appeal Application and any other documentation received or amended, or whether there should still be a hearing, but without the Local Authority.

    What happens if the Local Authority does not oppose the appeal?

    This will depend on what your appeal is about.

    If the Local Authority agrees to change the contents of the statement it must write to us to tell us the changes it is agreeing to make. We will write to you and ask if you want to withdraw your appeal. If you withdraw, your appeal will come to an end.

    If you want to continue with the appeal we will pass it to a tribunal panel who will decide the appeal. The tribunal panel will decide the appeal either by looking at the information you have already provided or by holding a hearing at which the Local Authority may not be able to attend.

    If your appeal is about a decision not to assess or reassess, not to issue a statement, not to change the school named in a statement that is over one year old or to no longer maintain a statement, and the Local Authority does not oppose it, your appeal will come to an end. The Local Authority will have to do what they have agreed to do within a fixed time limit.

    What happens to the case statement?

    Once the deadline for sending us case statements has passed we will send a copy of all the papers we have received about the appeal to both you and the Local Authority.

    Can I send more documents after the deadline for case statements?

    Written evidence that is submitted after the deadline for case statements is called late written evidence. There are restrictions on the admission of late written evidence.

    Information about the late evidence rules are available under the Late Evidence section of these FAQs.

    What other important information do we need you to tell us about?

    When we write to tell you about the deadline for sending us your case statement we will also ask you to give us information that we need to arrange the hearing.

    We will ask you to tell us about dates when you and your representatives and witnesses are available to attend a hearing. We will give you a deadline for sending us this information. If we do not hear from you we will go ahead and set a date for the hearing.

    We will also ask you to tell us who you are bringing to the hearing. It is important that you give us this information before the hearing. Anyone not listed before the hearing may not be allowed into the hearing. You will also need to tell us if you make any changes to the people you want to attend the hearing. If you do not do so they may not be allowed into the hearing.

  • Preparing a case statement: A guide for Local Authorities

    What happens once an appeal is made to SENTW?

    If we can deal with the appeal we will register it. We will write to the Local Authority named officer and enclose a copy of the appeal. We will tell you about the time limit, 30 working days, for sending us the Local Authority’s case statement and any written evidence on which the Local Authority wishes to rely. The parents will be given the same amount of time for sending us their case statement.

    At the end of the case statement period, we will send the Local Authority and the parent a page numbered set of all the papers that will need to be brought to the hearing.

    We will arrange a hearing, at which a tribunal panel will consider all the written evidence, as well as anything the Local Authority, the parents and the respective witnesses have to say.

    We will aim to issue our decision within approximately 10 working days after the hearing.

    The whole process, from when we receive an appeal to when we make a decision, usually takes about four to five months. It can sometimes take longer if it is a very complex case. Before the hearing the Local Authority must send us a case statement in writing. Details of what should be provided can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a case statement: A Guide for Local Authorities – SENTW 6)

    Is there a time limit for case statements?

    There is a strict time limit by which we must receive the Local Authority’s case statement and any other evidence. We will write to the Local Authority’s named officer to tell you when this is. Normally you will have 30 working days.

    If the Local Authority fails to send us its case statement or we do not receive it within the time limit, we may decide the appeal on the papers submitted by the parent only or hold a hearing which the Local Authority may not be able to attend.

    What do the Tribunal’s regulations require?

    The Local Authority must submit the following so that it is received in SENTWs office before the end of the case statement period:

    • a copy of the disputed decision letter,
    • if the child has one, a copy of the child’s special educational needs statement, any documentation attached to or forming part of the statement and a copy of the latest review,
    • all evidence to be relied on which has not already been submitted,
    • a case statement,

      - the case statement must state whether or not the Local Authority intends to oppose the appeal,
      the case statement must be signed by a person who is authorised to sign such documents on behalf of the Local Authority,

    If the Local Authority intends to oppose the appeal the case statement must state:

    • the grounds on which the appeal or any part of the appeal is opposed,
    • a summary of the facts,
    • the reasons for the disputed decision,
    • the steps, if any, already taken to resolve the dispute,
    • the views of the child concerning the issues raised in the appeal, or
    • an explanation of why the Local Authority has not established the child’s views,
    • the name and address of the Local Authority’s representative,
    • the address to which documents for the Local Authority should be sent.

    What information does the Local Authority need to include with the case statement?

    Details of what the LA should include in the case statement can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a Case Statement: A guide for Local Authorities – SENTW 6)

    Can the LA ask to strike out an appeal?

    Yes, the Local Authority can make an application, on limited grounds, for an appeal to be struck out. If the Tribunal strikes out the appeal it will bring it to an end.

    The only grounds on which an appeal can be struck out are that the appeal:

    • is made otherwise than in accordance with the Tribunal’s regulations;
    • is not or is no longer within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction;
    • discloses no reasonable grounds; and/or
    • is an abuse of the Tribunal’s process.

    An application to strike out an appeal must be made in writing setting out the grounds and reasons to be relied on in full.

    What should the Local Authority do if it has reached agreement with the parents on some of the appeal?

    Appeals only reach us if the parent disagrees with the Local Authority’s decision, but it is quite in order for discussions between the parent and the Local Authority to continue taking place after an appeal has been made. It would be helpful if you told us about any parts of the appeal that you and the parent have been able to resolve after we have received the appeal.

  • Disability related discrimination claims

    Deciding to make a claim

    What is a disability?

    Before SENTW can decide whether there has been disability discrimination we will need to be sure that either:

    • your child has or has had a disability;
    • that your claim is based on association with a disabled person; or
    • a perception that your child has a disability.

    The Equality Act says that disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

    Substantial means more than minor or trivial. Long-term means the effect of the condition is likely to be life long or to last at least 12 months or more in total and may include recurring or intermittent conditions.

    What is disability discrimination?

    Disability discrimination occurs when a person receives worse (less favourable or unfavourable) treatment than another person because of a disability.

    Disability discrimination can also occur when a rule or policy or way of doing things has been put in place which disadvantages a particular group of disabled pupils when compared with non disabled pupils and a disabled person is disadvantaged as a result.

    What are the types of discrimination?

    The Equality Act means that people who have or have had a disability are protected against different types of discrimination. These are:

    • direct disability discrimination
    • indirect discrimination
    • discrimination arising from disability.

    In addition the Equality Act means that people who have or who in certain cases have had a disability are protected against two additional forms of conduct. These are:

    • disability related harassment
    • disability related victimisation.

    Further details of the types of discrimination can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (How to make a claim – Guidance Booklet SENTW 3)

    When can discrimination be justified?

    Even though your child may have been treated unfavourably or has been placed at a disadvantage, the discrimination may not be unlawful if the school or Local Authority can show that was justified.

    What about the duty to make reasonable adjustments?

    Schools and Local Authorities must take reasonable steps to make sure that disabled pupils, including children who are not yet at school and in some cases former pupils, are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared with a non-disabled pupil.

    A reasonable step, for example, may be amending a policy or changing the way things are done.

    Schools do not have to alter buildings. This is because schools and Local Authorities have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to buildings over time.

    Under the Equality Act 2010 the duty to make reasonable adjustments may include an obligation to provide an auxiliary aid or service. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) define an auxiliary aid or service, as anything which provides additional support or assistance to a disabled person (EHRC Equality Act 2010 Code of Practice) such as specialist computer equipment, adapted desks or speech and language therapy.

    Can a child without a disability be discriminated against?

    The Equality Act means that people without a disability are protected against certain types of unlawful conduct. These are:

    • direct discrimination based on association. direct discrimination based on perception. disability related harassment. disability related victimisation.

    Further details about these types of discrimination can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (How to make a claim – Guidance Booklet SENTW 3)

    What aspects of education are covered by the Equality Act?

    The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise a person on grounds of disability in relation to the following areas of school life.

    Admissions
    Education and access to any benefit, service and facility.

    Exclusions
    Auxiliary aids and services

    Further details about these aspects of education can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (How to make a claim – Guidance Booklet SENTW 3)

    What claims can SENTW deal with?

    SENTW deals with all disability related discrimination, harassment and victimisation claims against schools in Wales, except for claims about:

    • maintained school admission decisions (these are currently heard by an admission appeal panel)
    • permanent exclusions from maintained schools (these are currently heard by exclusion appeals panels).

    How can I find out information for my case?

    If you think your child has been discriminated against, you can try to obtain information about your case from the school or Local Authority involved.

    There is a question and answer form you can use that may help you to find out more information about what happened.

    The form has specific set questions.

    If you decide to use the procedure you will need to request information in writing from the school or Local Authority before you make a claim to SENTW or within 28 days of making a claim.

    The school or Local Authority do not have to provide answers to your questions but if a reply is not received within eight weeks of the request being sent or if the answers are unclear, then the Tribunal can take that into account when making its decision.

    If you do receive a reply, the answers may help you to decide whether you have a valid claim or not.

    If you decide to make a claim the answers can form part of the evidence.

    You can get a copy of the form and guidance from the Government Equalities Office (GEO)

    Can children make their own claim?

    The Education (Wales) Measure 2009 gives children the right to make their own claim to SENTW.

    Existing parental rights will not be affected by the new right for children to make their own Claim. A parent/carer can still make a claim whether or not their child makes one.

    Our Guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website.

    (What is a Claim?: A booklet for children and young people – Guidance Booklet SENTW 23)

    What else can I do?

    You may wish to also use the following procedures:

    • The schools complaints procedure;
    • Local Authority Dispute Resolution Services; and/or
    • Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) - Conciliation Service

    Further details about these services can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (How to make a claim – SENTW 3)

    None of these procedures will affect your claim to SENTW.

    What help can I get?

    You can ask your Local Authority about the following groups that you may be able to get advice from:

    • A voluntary organisation which helps people with special needs
    • A parents/carers group
    • An independent parentalsupporter
    • A parent partnership adviser

    The groups above and your Local Authority officer may be able to put you in touch with an independent supporter or a representative.

    The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) can provide expert information, advice and support on discrimination, and whether public funding may be available.
    Telephone: 0800 444 205
    Textphone: 0800 444 206
    www.equalityadvisoryservice.com

    We can explain what you need to do if you decide to claim and tell you what will happen. We cannot tell you whether you should make a claim or advise you on what to include in your claim.

    Can I get Legal Aid for help with my claim?

    You may be entitled to Legal Aid (or public) funding for help in preparing your claim. A solicitor will be able to advise you on this. The Law Society or your local Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to give you the names of solicitors who take part in the Legal Aid scheme and are experienced in these matters. You will not be able to get public funding for a lawyer to represent you at the hearing.

    What can SENTW do to put things right?

    SENTW can order education providers to take action to help make up for any opportunities that your child has missed and to help prevent discrimination against disabled pupils in the future.

    Examples might include:

    • training for school staff and governors;
    • writing up new guidance for staff and governors;
    • making amendments to school or Local Authority policies;
    • providing extra tuition to make up for lost learning;
    • apologising to a pupil either verbally or in writing;
    • providing trips or other opportunities to make up for activities that your child may have missed.

    SENTW cannot order payment of compensation.

    How long does it all take?

    The whole process, from when we receive a claim to when we make a decision, usually takes about four to five months. It may take longer depending on the type of claim and how complicated it is.

    Do I have to pay anything?

    SENTW does not charge for this service.

  • Making a claim

    When do I need to make my claim and are there any time-limits involved?

    There is a six month time-limit for making a claim to us. We must receive your claim within six months of the alleged discrimination.

    If you use or are referred to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Conciliation Service before the six months is up then the time-limit for making a claim may be extended. It is important that you ask SENTW about the extension before the six month time-limit is up.

    Who can make a claim?

    A parent or person who has parental responsibility or care of the child within the definition of the Education Act 1996, can make a claim.

    However, the Education (Wales) Measure 2009 gives children the right to make their own claim to SENTW.

    Existing parental rights will not be affected by the new right for children to make their own claim. A parent/carer can still make a claim whether or not their child makes one.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website.

    (What is a claim?: A booklet for children and young people – Guidance Booklet SENTW 23)

    How do I make a claim?

    To make a claim you must complete and send a claim application to SENTW. Applications can be sent to us in the post or by email.

    The application form can be downloaded from this website.

    (Claim Application – Form SENTW 4)

    Do I have to send the claim application myself?

    No, but the claim application must be signed by you (that is the person making the claim application) or your representative on your behalf if you have given them permission to do so.

    Where a claim is made by a child, the claim application must be signed by the child or the child’s case friend.

    Can I send the Claim Application by email?

    Claim applications that are sent by email must contain the electronic signature of the parent making the claim or, if permission is given, the electronic signature of their representative.

    Applications made by the child and sent by e-mail must contain the electronic signature of the child or the child’s case friend.

    Who is the claim against?

    Your claim is against the Responsible Body. This can vary depending on the type of case. It is usually either the school governing body, Local Authority or the proprietor of the school concerned.

    The Responsible Body is the organisation that is responsible for the school. You don’t need to tell us who the Responsible Body is; you just need to tell us the name and address of the school or place of education where the alleged discrimination took place.

    If the school is maintained (looked after by the Local Authority) you also need to tell us the name of the Local Authority.

    What do I need to tell you about?

    If you make a claim you will need to tell us about the following:

    • Your child’s disability.
    • If your child is not disabled, in what way the alleged discrimination relates to direct disability discrimination based on association or perception.
    • What happened, and the date or dates when the alleged discrimination took place.
    • In what way the alleged discrimination is to do with your child’s disability if they have one.
    • In what way your child has been treated less favourably or placed at a disadvantage.
    • In the case of indirect discrimination and discrimination arising from disability, why you think that the alleged discrimination was not justified.
    • What it is you are asking SENTW to do to put things right.

    What documents should I send with the claim?

    In all cases you will need to send us:

    • a letter confirming that you have told all the persons and organisations who have or share parental responsibility for the child or have care of the child, that you are proposing to make a claim
    • a letter giving the reasons why you have not notified all persons or not provided the names and addresses of all persons
    • the documents you will be relying on to support your claim.
    • If you fill in the claim form in full we may not need anything else. But if you think there is more information that will help SENTW and the Responsible Body to understand your claim, please send it.

    Do I have to send original documents with the claim?

    Please make sure that any documents you send to us are photocopies of the originals.

    What happens once we receive your claim application?

    If we can deal with your claim we will:

    • write to you within 10 working days of receiving your claim to tell you we have registered it
    • also write to the Responsible Body to tell them that we have registered the claim and to send a copy of the claim.

    Both you and the Responsible Body will then have 30 working days to send us any further evidence that you want us to look at as part of the claim. We call this a case statement.

    If we cannot register your claim we will:

    • write to you usually within 10 working days of receiving your claim to tell you why we cannot register it
    • write to you if we need more information about your claim and tell you what we need and give you 10 working days to send it to us.

    What do I do if I want to withdraw the claim?

    If you decide that you no longer want to continue with the claim you can withdraw it at any stage in the process. To withdraw a claim you simply need to tell us this in writing, by e-mail or in a letter.

    What if I have any other needs?

    Please make sure that you give details of any additional needs when you send us your claim application. For example, you should say if you need a signer or an interpreter at the hearing, or need any additional arrangements to be made so you can come to the hearing.

  • Completing your case statement: A guide for parents

    What is a case statement?

    Your case statement is a chance to send us more information. This can be any information and evidence that you want us to look at as part of your claim.

    Do I have to do a case statement?

    Yes. At the very least you must send us the following information as part of your case statement.

    In all cases where the claim has been made by the parent/carer of the child:

    • the views of the child on the issues raised in the claim; or
    • the reasons why the views have not been provided.

    Where the claim has been made by the child or the child’s case friend:

    • the views of the child’s parent on the issues raised in the claim; or
    • the reasons why the views have not been provided.

    It is a requirement of the Tribunal’s regulations that the views or the child or the parent depending who has made the claim, are provided. The Tribunal panel will expect this information to be included in your case statement unless there is a good reason for not doing so.

    What happens if I do not send in a case statement or you receive the case statement after the deadline?

    There are restrictions on the admission of evidence that is received after the deadline for case statements has passed.

    What if I cannot get hold of a document from the Responsible Body that is relevant and important to my case?

    If you apply to us well before the hearing, we may be able to make an order to get the Responsible Body to release it.

    What will the Responsible Body do about my claim?

    The Responsible Body will have the same 30 working days as you to send us their case statement and evidence.

    The Responsible Body’s case statement must say whether or not it opposes your claim and, if they do, they need to give reasons why. They must also tell us:

    • about the reasons for their actions;,
    • give a summary of the facts and issues they feel are relevant to the claim; and
    • tell us about the steps, if any, already taken to resolve the dispute.

    The Responsible Body must also tell us about the views of the child on the issues to do with the claim or the reasons why they have not provided the views.

    Generally, Responsible Bodies must find out children’s views wherever possible. They may also contact you about the claim as they may have looked at the evidence again and feel they can provide some or all of what you want.

    What happens if the Responsible Body does not send us a case statement?

    If the Responsible Body does not send a response by the end of the time in which they have to reply, we can do a number of things, including stopping them from taking further part in the claim.

    Before deciding what to do, we will write to the Responsible Body asking for an explanation of why they have not responded, or not responded in time.

    The Tribunal’s President or chairperson will consider any reply the Responsible Body gives and will decide what should happen. If the Responsible Body is barred from further involvement, we will decide whether your case can be dealt with the claim application and any other documentation received or amended or whether there should still be a hearing, but without the Responsible Body.

    What happens if the Responsible Body does not oppose the claim?

    If the Responsible Body agrees with the claim you have made and agrees to act to end the discrimination, we will write to you and ask if you want to withdraw your claim. If you withdraw your claim that will bring it to an end and we will take no further action.

    If you want to continue with the claim, we will pass it to a tribunal panel who will decide the claim. The Tribunal panel will decide the claim either by looking at the information you have already provided or by holding a hearing at which the Responsible Body may not be able to attend.

    What happens to the case statement?

    Once the deadline for sending us case statements has passed we will send a copy of all the papers we have received about the claim to both you and the Responsible Body.

    If the case goes to a hearing the tribunal panel will consider the case statements and any other documents provided by you and the Responsible Body, together with the evidence that it hears to help them make a decision about your case.

    Can I send more documents after the deadline for case statements?

    Written evidence that is submitted after the deadline for case statements is called late written evidence. There are restrictions on the admission of late written evidence.

    Information about the late evidence rules are available under the Late Evidence section of these FAQs.

    What other important information do we need you to tell us about?

    When we write to tell you about the deadline for sending us your case statement we will also ask you to give us information that we need to arrange the hearing.

    We will ask you to tell us about dates when you and your representatives and witnesses are available to attend a hearing. We will give you a deadline for sending us this information. If we do not hear from you we will go ahead and set a date for the hearing.

    We will also ask you to tell us whom you are bringing to the hearing. It is important that you give us this information before the hearing. Anyone not listed before the hearing may not be allowed into the hearing. You will also need to tell us if you make any changes to the people you want to attend the hearing. If you do not do so they may not be allowed into the hearing.

  • Answering a claim of disability related discrimination: A guide for Responsible Bodies

    What is a disability?

    The Equality Act 2010 says that disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial (more than minor or trivial) and long-term adverse effect (to last for at least a year or the rest of their life) on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

    What aspects of Education are covered by the Equality Act?

    The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate, harass or victimise a person on grounds of disability in relation to the following areas of school life:

    Admissions

    Education and access to any benefit, service and facility

    Exclusions

    Further information about these aspects of education can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a Claim Case Statement – A Guide for Responsible Bodies – SENTW 8)

    What is disability discrimination?

    Disability discrimination occurs when a person receives worse (less favourable or unfavourable) treatment than another person because of a disability. Disability discrimination can also occur when a rule or policy or way of doing things has been put in place which disadvantages a particular group of disabled pupils when compared with non disabled pupils and a disabled person is disadvantaged as a result.

    What are the types of Discrimination?

    The Equality Act 2010 means that people who have or have had a disability are protected against different types of discrimination.

    These are:

    • direct discrimination;
    • indirect discrimination;
    • discrimination arising from disability;
    • failure to provide a reasonable adjustment for a disabled child;
    • harassment; or
    • victimisation.

    Further information about the types of discrimination can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a Claim Case Statement – A Guide for Responsible Bodies – SENTW 8)

    When can discrimination be justified?

    Even though a pupil may have been treated unfavourably or has been placed at a disadvantage, the discrimination may not be unlawful if the school or Local Authority can show that was justified.

    In cases of indirect discrimination and discrimination arising from disability, justified means being able to show that there was lawful and genuine reason for the treatment and that it was a fair, balanced and reasonable response.

    What about the duty to make reasonable adjustments?

    Schools and Local Authorities must take reasonable steps to make sure that disabled pupils, including children who are not yet at school and in some cases former pupils, are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared with a non-disabled pupil.

    A reasonable step, for example, may be amending a policy or changing the way things are done.

    Schools do not have to alter buildings. This is because schools and Local Authorities have a duty under the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to buildings over time.

    Can a child without a disability be discriminated against?

    The Equality Act means that people without a disability are protected against certain types of unlawful conduct, these are:

    • Direct discrimination based on association
    • Direct discrimination based on perception
    • Disability related harassment
    • Disability related victimisation

    Further details can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a Claim Case Statement – A Guide for Responsible Bodies – SENTW 8)

    What claims can SENTW deal with?

    SENTW deals with all disability related discrimination, harassment and victimisation claims against schools in Wales, except for claims about:

    • maintained school admission decisions (these are currently heard by an admission appeal panel), and
    • permanent exclusions from maintained schools (these are currently heard by exclusion appeals panels).

    How do parents obtain information about their claim?

    If someone thinks they may have been discriminated against they can try to obtain information from the School or Local Authority to help them to decide if they have a valid claim or not. If a request for information is made you are not obliged to answer the questions raised, however if you do not do so within 8 weeks of the form being sent or if your answers are considered vague or equivocal then the tribunal panel can take this into account when making its decision.

    There is a prescribed form produced by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) that a potential claimant or claimant can use (but they do not have to) if they want to ask questions.

    What else can be done to help resolve the dispute?

    • The schools complaints procedure
    • Local Authority Dispute Resolution Services

    None of these procedures will affect a claim to SENTW, they are completely separate processes from making a claim to SENTW. A parent can make a claim and continue with these other forms of dispute resolution if they wish.

    Even after a claim has been submitted it is sometimes possible to resolve disputes or to agree certain aspects of the claim by discussing it with the parent. It is helpful if you let the Tribunal know about any agreements that are reached.

    Can children make their own claim?

    Children and young people can make their own claim against schools in Wales.

    Existing parental rights will not be affected by the new rights for children to make their own Disability discrimination claim. A parent can still make a claim whether or not their child makes one.

    Is there a time-limit for making a claim?

    Claims are made to SENTW. A claim must be made by a parent no later than six months from when the alleged discrimination or last alleged act of discrimination took place. This time-limit may be extended in cases where the Equalities and Human Rights Conciliation Service is used.

    Who is the Responsible Body?

    Claims are made against the Responsible Body. The Responsible Body is the organisation that is responsible for the school - it is usually the School Governors and / or the Local Authority. Claims cannot be made against an individual person like the head-teacher.

    What happens once a claim is registered?

    We will notify when you the claim is registered and tell you when you have to send in your case statement and attendance form. You will have 30 working days to submit your case statement and attendance form. We will also write to the parents to give them the same amount of time for sending us their case statement. At the end of the case statement period, we will ensure that you and the parents see each other’s case statement.

    We will also arrange a hearing. At the hearing a tribunal panel will consider all the written evidence, as well as anything you, the parents and your respective witnesses have to say. We will aim to issue our decision within approximately 10 working days after the hearing.

    The whole process, from when we receive a claim to when we make a decision, usually takes about four to five months. It can sometimes take longer if it is a very complex case.

    How do we know if we are the Responsible Body?

    The Responsible Body depends on the type of school and the circumstances of each case. In most cases, the Responsible Body will be as set out below, but there can be exceptions.

    • Maintained school - School Governors, in general
    • Pupil referral unit - Local Authority
    • Maintained nursery - Local Authority
    • All independent schools - The proprietor
    • Non-maintained special school - The proprietor.

    If you do not think you are the Responsible Body you should write and tell us straight away, explaining why.

    Is there a time limit to respond to the claim?

    There is a strict time limit by which we must receive the case statement. We will tell you when you have to send in your case statement and attendance form. You will have 30 working days to submit the information.

    What information needs to be submitted as part of the case statement?

    The Responsible Body must submit the following:

    • a copy of the disputed decision
    • all evidence to be relied on which has not already been submitted
    • a case statement

    The case statement must:

    • state whether or not the Responsible Body intends to oppose the claim,
    • be signed by a person who is authorised to sign such documents for the Responsible Body

    If the Responsible Body intends to oppose the claim the case statement must state:

    • the grounds on which the claim or any part of the claim is opposed
    • a summary of the facts
    • the reasons for the disputed decision
    • the steps, if any, already taken to resolve the dispute
    • the views of the child concerning the issues raised in the claim, OR
    • an explanation of why the Responsible Body has not established the child’s views
    • the name and address of the Responsible Body’s representative
    • the address for which documents for the Responsible Body should be sent.

    Your case statement response should set out the relevant facts as you know them; about what happened, the child’s disability, and background information (e.g. school policies, earlier difficulties).

    Further information about what you may wish to include and detail within your case statement can be found in our guidance booklet that can be downloaded from this website.

    (Preparing a Claim Case Statement – A Guide for Responsible Bodies – SENTW 8)

    What should we do in relation to any of the remedies listed by the parents?

    Whether or not you oppose the claim as a whole, you may wish to give a view on any remedies proposed by the parents. We have included an optional section in the claim form for parents to say what they think should be done to put things right. If they have completed this, please tell us how far you think the measures suggested would be reasonable. If you have suggestions of your own, these may also help us decide what should be done.

    What should we do if we reach agreement on some of the issues in the claim?

    Claims only reach us if you and parents have a disagreement, but it is quite in order for discussions between the parties to continue taking place after a claim has been made. It would be helpful if you told us about any parts of the claim that you and the parents have been able to resolve after we received the claim.

    Should we dispute the claim?

    The parents claim form includes an optional box in which they can say how they would like to see things put right. These may be things you are prepared to do without need for a Tribunal. If you agree that there has been discrimination but plan to put things right, the parents may be prepared to withdraw their claim.

    If we dispute the claim will we need a lawyer?

    Legal representation is not essential at Tribunal hearings. But you may choose to instruct a lawyer to attend in addition to your representative. If you consult a lawyer, or some other representative, you should do so as early as possible.

    What happens if we do not oppose the claim?

    If you do not oppose the claim you must write to us to tell us this by the end of the case statement period. You must include information about what action you intend to take to end the discrimination. We will then write to the parent to ask whether they wish to withdraw the claim. If they do not withdraw the claim will go to hearing at which the Responsible Body will not be able to attend.

    What if the Responsible Body does not submit a reply?

    If the Responsible Body does not send a response by the end of the time allowed, your claim will be passed to a Tribunal Chair who will decide what action should be taken. This may include refusing to allow the responsible body to take any further part in the proceedings.

    Can we resolve the matter without a hearing?

    It will generally be best if disputes can be resolved by agreement between you and the parents. It is quite proper to discuss the matter while a Tribunal claim is pending.

    Communication difficulties may well have been a factor in the dispute. Parents can use the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s independent mediation service. If you take part in conciliation meetings, what you say in these meetings can only be used in a Tribunal hearing with your consent

    Can I submit further information after the case statement?

    Written evidence that is submitted after the deadline for case statements is called late written evidence. There are restrictions on the admission of late written evidence. Information about the late evidence rules are available under the Late Evidence Section of these FAQs.

    Can the Responsible Body ask to strike out a Claim?

    Yes, the Responsible Body can make an application on limited grounds for a claim to be struck out. If the Tribunal strikes out the claim it will bring it to an end. The only grounds on which a claim can be struck out are that the claim:

    • Is made otherwise than in accordance with the Tribunal’s regulations;
    • Is not or is no longer within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction;
    • Discloses no reasonable grounds; and/or
    • Is an abuse of the Tribunal’s process.

    An application to strike out a claim must be made in writing setting out the grounds and reasons to be relied on in full.

  • Late evidence

    Can I send more documents after the deadline for case statements?

    Written evidence that is submitted after the deadline for case statements is called late written evidence. There are restrictions on the admission of late written evidence.

    You can ask the Tribunal panel on the day of the hearing whether the late evidence can be admitted. The Tribunal panel will consider your request as long as:

    • both parties agree to the admission of the late written evidence; or
    • you can show that the late written evidence meets the following conditions:
    • The late evidence was not, and could not reasonably have been, available before the end of the deadline for the case statement.
    • A copy of the late evidence has been sent to SENTW and the other party so that it is received at least five clear working days before the hearing.

    The Tribunal panel may only admit the late written evidence after considering any representations from the other party and only if the evidence is unlikely to impede the efficient conduct of the hearing.

    If the conditions are not met, the Tribunal panel may still give permission to a party to submit late written evidence at the hearing if it can be shown that unless the evidence is admitted there is a serious risk of prejudice to the party seeking to rely on it.

    The Tribunal panel may refuse to admit late written evidence if it is of the view that to do so would be contrary to the interests of justice.

    If the late written evidence has not already been copied to SENTW and the other party so that it is received at least five clear working days before the hearing, you should bring five copies of the late written evidence with you to the hearing.

  • Hearing

    When will you tell the parties about the date for the hearing?

    Once we have received availability from both parties we will write to them to let them know the date for the hearing.

    Where will my hearing be held?

    We hold hearings throughout Wales and will try to hold your hearing within a 1 hours travelling distance of the child’s home. We usually hold hearings in public buildings, like hotels. The hearing itself will be in a private room.

    We only use venues that are fully accessible for disabled users. Please do let us know if you have any particular needs.

    What time will my hearing start and how long will it last?

    Your hearing will be fixed for a certain time which is usually 10.00 in the morning. You should aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the hearing starts. A hearing may take all day but will not normally continue after 5.00pm.

    Who will hear the appeal or claim?

    The appeal or claim will be heard by a group of three Tribunal members. We call these people the tribunal panel. One person on the panel is legally qualified and will chair the hearing. The other two members have specialist knowledge and experience of children with special educational needs and disability.

    Do I have to come to the hearing?

    It may be possible to decide your appeal on the basis of the papers. That means that the panel will make a decision based on the evidence submitted from each party and an oral hearing will not take place. We will ask you about this on the appeal or claim application form.

    Even if you want an oral hearing to take place, you still do not have to come to the oral hearing, but it will be helpful if you do. The tribunal panel will want to hear what you have to say about your appeal or claim and may also have some questions to ask you. You may also want to ask questions yourself.

    Who else can I bring to the hearing?

    You may bring the following people to the hearing:

    A representative
    You can have someone at the hearing to represent you whether or not you come yourself. That person does not have to be legally qualified.

    The child’s parents/carers
    A parent or a person with parental responsibility for the child may come to the hearing even if they are not the person making the appeal or claim.

    Your child
    Your child can come to the hearing and speak to the panel and give evidence if they want to. It is likely that the panel will want to talk to your child for part of the hearing only. You must arrange for someone to come along who can look after your child while they are not in the hearing. The tribunal staff will not be able to look after your child and there may not be a suitable place in the building for them to be looked after by the person caring for them.

    Someone to give you support
    You can bring one person with you for support. They will be able to come into the hearing but will not be able to take part in the hearing or take notes during the hearing.

    Witnesses
    You can bring up to two witnesses to the hearing. Choosing who to bring as witnesses at the hearing can be difficult. The witnesses you choose should be able to discuss the main issues of your appeal or claim as they relate specifically to your child. Witnesses must expect to answer questions about their evidence. They will need a good knowledge of the facts and reasoning behind the information they give.

    An advocate
    You can bring someone to communicate the views and wishes of the child.

    Case friend
    This is only applicable for appeals or claims that have been made by the child or the child’s case friend, the child’s case friend is entitled to attend the hearing.

    Why must I complete an attendance form?

    You will need to let us know who you will be bringing with you to the hearing. We will send you an attendance form to complete when we register your appeal or claim.

    If you do not tell us who you are bringing to the hearing they may not be able to attend the hearing.

    Can I change my witness(es)?

    A person named as a witness on your attendance form may be changed. You must send written notification of the change to SENTW and the other party so that it is received no later than five working days before the hearing.

    Any application to change a witness made less than five working days before the hearing must be determined by the President or tribunal panel. The same rule applies to the Local Authority or Responsible Body.

    What if my witness will not attend the hearing?

    If you have asked someone to attend the hearing but they are unwilling to be there, you can write to us explaining why you feel it is important that they are at the hearing. We will need to receive the request at least 15 working days before the hearing. If we agree we will issue a witness summons for you to give to the person. That person will then have to come to the hearing unless there are very good reasons why they cannot.

    Who can the Local Authority or Responsible Body bring to the hearing?

    The Local Authority or Responsible Body can attend the hearing and bring a representative, whether or not legally qualified to the hearing. They may also call up to two witnesses to the hearing; bring an observer and an advocate. Like you they will also have to complete an attendance form. We will write to you before the hearing to confirm who is attending the hearing.

    What happens at a hearing?

    Someone from the Tribunal will meet you and show you where to go. The hearing will take place in a private room with everyone taking part sitting around a table. The chairperson will start by asking everyone to introduce themselves. The chairperson will also explain what will happen at the hearing.

    The Tribunal panel will want to ask you what you think the relevant facts are, what you think should be done for your child and what you want the Tribunal to do about it. The Tribunal panel will also want to ask the Local Authority or Responsible Body what it thinks about the appeal or claim. Both you and the Local Authority or Responsible Body will also have a chance to ask questions and to mention anything that is important.

    The Tribunal panel will also want any witnesses at the hearing to talk about their evidence.

    There will be regular comfort breaks throughout the hearing and a break for lunch. If you need to go out of the room for any reason you should let the chairperson know.

    What expenses can be claimed?

    SENTW can only pay expenses to the parent and their witnesses to come to the hearing. If you bring a friend or a relative to look after your child, you will be able to claim their travel expenses as well.

    You should use public transport where possible (bus, tram, standard-class rail travel). If you travel by car, you can claim a fixed amount for mileage. We will only pay for taxi fares if public transport is not available, or if you have particular needs. (You must tell us about these before making your claim for expenses)..) We will need to authorise any taxi fare beforehand. We cannot pay for car parking and tolls.Your witnesses can also claim a fixed amount for loss of earnings.

    You can ask us for a form for expenses by contacting us.

  • Decision

    How will you make your decision?

    The tribunal panel makes their decision by considering all the evidence. This includes the documents you and the Local Authority or Responsible Body send before the hearing and also what is said at the hearing.

    When will I know the Tribunal’s decision?

    You should receive the written decision and reasons by post approximately 10 working days after the hearing. The decision will be sent to you, your representative if you have one and to the Local Authority or Responsible Body.

    Where an appeal or claim is made by a child, we will also send the decision to the child or his or her case friend if they have one.

    How long does the Local Authority have to carry out the order?

    If the Tribunal agrees with your appeal it has the power to make an order. The Local Authority must carry out our order within a fixed amount of time starting from when the decision was issued.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website

    (Carrying out an Appeal Order: A parents’ guide to what happens now – Guidance Booklet SENTW 15)

    Will you confirm that my child was discriminated against?

    If we think that your child was unlawfully discriminated against because of his or her disability, we will say so in our decision.

    If we disagree with your claim we will dismiss it. We will then close the case and take no more action.

    What can the Tribunal tell the Responsible Body to do?

    We can order the Responsible Body to do anything reasonable to put right the discrimination. The law does not allow us to order financial compensation.

    How long does the Responsible Body have to carry out the order?

    We will tell the Responsible Body to carry out the order within a given time. They must do this by law.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website

    (Carrying out a Claim Order: A parents’ guide to what happens now – Guidance Booklet SENTW 16)

    You may also want to get legal advice on whether you can take the Responsible Body to court.

    What can I do if I am not happy about your decision?

    Our decision is final. If you think there is a technical problem with the decision and how it was made you can ask us to review it. We will not review our decision simply because you are not happy with it. We must receive your written request to review within 28 calendar days of the date of the letter we sent with the decision.

    If you think that the decision is wrong on a point of law you can appeal to the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal. You must first apply to SENTW for permission to appeal. You must make your application so that we receive it within 28 calendar days of the date of the letter we sent with the decision.

    Our guidance booklet can be downloaded from this website

    (How to appeal to the Upper Tribunal – Guidance Booklet SENTW 20).

  • Sending and receiving secure emails using Egress Switch

    Why is the tribunal using Egress Switch?

    Egress Switch allows tribunal staff to securely send confidential information to external email accounts (including Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail). The nature of the work the tribunal carries out means that we often deal with information that is sensitive, which we wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. Measures such as secure postal services have been in place for some time now. However we are increasingly sending information by email, as this is quicker and more convenient for the people we work with. We’ve therefore introduced an easy to use piece of software that will help ensure that any information sent by email is secure.

    Is Egress Switch free to use?

    Yes. All recipients can view and securely reply to emails sent via Egress Switch from the tribunal for free.

    How do recipients view Egress encrypted emails?

    On their first use only, recipients will need to create an Egress account before they can sign in to view the email they’ve received. This is a short and simple process that involves inputting an email address and creating a password. Once this is done, an activation code will be sent to that email address and recipients will then be able to sign in and read their email. A step-by-step guide for this process is available on the Egress Switch website.

    Can multiple people view the email once it is decrypted?

    In general, emails can only be viewed by the original recipient. However, ‘access settings’ can be amended to allow others read access. This is useful in the case of group mailboxes, or where a solicitor needs to grant read access to colleagues or assistants. Find out how to make these changes.

    Can Criminal Justice Secure eMail (CJSM) accounts still be used?

    Yes. It isn’t mandatory to use Egress Switch. However we would encourage you to reply via Egress because of the various issues experienced with the CJSM accounts (e.g. small mailbox sizes, licensing costs).

    Can Egress Switch be used on a mobile phone or tablet?

    Yes. Egress Switch has a mobile website to enable easy use on a mobile device. There is also an Egress Switch ‘app’ available for BlackBerry devices and iPhones/iPads, and will be available soon for Android devices.

    Can Egress Switch be used on Apple Macs?

    Yes. The Egress Switch client can be installed on Mac OSX 10.6 and above.

    Does Egress store any of my data?

    Egress does not handle or store any information that users share. The information is encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption and written to a secure package which can be transferred to the recipient using CD/DVD, USB stick, local file, FTP, HTTP, or an attachment to email. The only information Egress keeps relates to user management, package management and audit. Egress considers this information to be sensitive too, so they have designed their policy engine to use secure transactions, strong authentication, and a secure encrypted server database.

    Can Egress see my information?

    Egress cannot see your information. The Egress Client software encrypts and decrypts your information on your local machine; therefore Egress does not have access to it.

    Who can external recipients contact if they are having technical issues with Egress Switch?

    They should contact the Egress support team directly using the following methods:

    Email support@egress.com
    Telephone 0871 376 0014

    Further advice and guidance on using Egress Switch can be found on the Egress website.

    For further enquiries about Egress Switch and its use in the tribunal, please email our tribunal mailbox.