It is responsible for hearing and deciding appeals against decisions made by local authorities and further education institutes about children and young people’s additional learning needs, or special educational needs. ETW is also responsible for dealing with claims of disability related discrimination in schools in Wales.
Appeals and claims can be made by a child, the parent of a child, or a young person. A child or young person who wants to make their own appeal or claim can do so on their own, or with someone to help them.
- The Education Tribunal for Wales is an independent tribunal established in 2003, by Section 333 (1ZA) of the Education Act 1996. At the time, it was called the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales (SENTW).
- The tribunal covers the whole of Wales. This includes children who live in England, but receive their education in Wales.
- The tribunal is funded by the Welsh Government, but the tribunal, its members and its decisions are independent of government and local authorities.
- The tribunal has two parts; the secretariat and the tribunal members. Both work together during the appeal and claim processes, but they do different jobs. It is the role of the tribunal members to hear and decide applications. It is the role of the secretariat to carry out administrative duties involving the processing of appeal and claim cases.
- ETW used to be called the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales. Its name was changed by the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (2018 Act). The change came into effect in September 2021.
- The 2018 Act will change the way pupils’ additional learning needs are met in schools and other education bodies. It will replace previous legislation about special educational needs slowly. Each year, a group of school years will move from the Special Educational Needs (SEN) system to the new Additional Learning Needs (ALN) system. In the first year, nursery age children will be included into the system, and in the third year, young people from age 16-25 will be included. The SEN legislation only included children of compulsory school age.