Logging on as a Witness

Logging onto a Hearing as a witness

You will then be asked to leave and come back 5 minutes before the Hearing time.

At the start of the Hearing the Judge may ask for views on the disputed points and the hearing mostly takes the form of a formal conversation, with the Judge directing. It is important that no one interrupts when someone else is speaking.

The Judge will normally ask if everyone has had sight of the Bundle.

You may not have read the whole Bundle as these can be very big but you should read the EHCP / Working Document so you are familiar.

Both parties (parents and the LA) can put questions to each other and to any witnesses.

Your role as a witness

As a witness at a Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal (SENDIST), you should:

Claiming expenses

Witnesses to the SEND tribunal can claim for travel expenses, a fixed amount for loss of earnings.  You would fill in the following form:

Form SEND16A: Expenses claim form – witnesses and would have to send your tickets and receipts with your claim form.

You must send your claim to the tribunal within 30 days of the hearing. The address to send it to is on the form.

Travel expenses

If you travel to a Court you can claim for standard-class rail fares, bus or tram fares or mileage if you travel by car.

Loss of earnings

Witnesses can claim:

The tribunal may check any claims for loss of earnings with your employer.

If you get a witness summons

Either side can ask the SEND Tribunal to require a witness to attend the Hearing. This is known as a summons.  You can get a witness summons if all the following are true:

If you get a witness summons and do not attend the hearing, you can be fined up to £1,000.

If you do not think you need to come to the hearing (for example because you’ve already given a written statement), you would need to write to the tribunal explaining why.  Their email is send@justice.gov.uk

A tribunal Judge will consult the party who asked for the summons and then decide whether to cancel the summons.