To make an appeal you will need to demonstrate that the child or young person is classed as being disabled.

A definition of disabled can be found in the Equality Act 2010.

Types of disability discrimination

Failure to provide a reasonable adjustment for a disabled child

Schools have a duty to take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a disadvantage. These steps may have to be taken in advance of the pupil attending the school. 

Discrimination is when a school has not complied with its duty to take positive steps to ensure that a disabled pupil can fully participate in the education and other services that the school provides. This can include specialised computer equipment, adapted desks or speech and language therapy. 

Matters such as cost, health and safety requirements, and the need to maintain standards, are some factors that may be taken into account when considering whether a particular step is reasonable. 

Access Officers can provide support when identifying what a school is expected to do. Call 0113 378 6902 for more information. 

Direct discrimination

This is when a school treats a pupil unfairly compared to the way it treats other pupils because of a disability. 

Indirect discrimination

This is when a school puts in place a general requirement such as a policy or rule which puts disabled pupils at a disadvantage compared with others. 


This happens when a school engages in unwanted conduct related to a disability which has the purpose or effect of violating a pupil’s dignity or creating an intimidating, humiliating or offensive environment for the pupil. 


This is when a school does something which disadvantages a pupil because either the pupil or the pupil’s parents takes, or is thought to be about to take action under disability discrimination law. 


How to make an appeal

To make an appeal against disability discrimination, you will need to complete a claims form (availablehere ). This must be received by the SEND tribunal within six months of the alleged discrimination. 

For more information you can contact the SEND tribunal on: