I've been to SENDIST a good few times and I'm going to try and make this an overall review and not base it on my last experience which was a bit of a shocker frankly.
I will say that though I think many of them REALLY try hard it's not mega parent friendly and is very legal beagal when you are new to it. Some people who work there make that a bit better than others. I think ideally they should have 'support through court' for families who are unrepresented.
It would be great if trainee or freshly qualified solicitors perhaps spent some time there clocking up some experience hours on a rota or something.
On the whole. If I took 95% of my cases I think decisions have been really fair. I do have a disability and I didn't find it mega accessible though the truth is that depended on who you were dealing with at any one time. My first experience was absolutely amazing but I had a really decent LA barrister who was opposing me who had a lot of integrity and a REALLY amazing case management experience. Since Corona Virus kicked in there's been a lot of issues speaking for myself personally but most of those have been around access which was tied into the pandemic and the biggest difference this time round has been with the opposition who are NOTHING like my previous experience so that's made it MUCH worse.
It is a bit disappointing how little power SENDIST actually have. Though they can't really help that to be honest. I think so long as you go there only expecting it to solve 'some' of your problems and that it won't be the 'final solution to ALL of your problems" (for most of us) then you will be in the right headspace. Expectations are the mother of all . . . .