Hi Guest 120
I am interested to know whether or not you think it is worth it
A recent article in the Times suggested that these companies charge around £2000. Cheaper than private school, but not very cheap if they don't succeed. Do make sure that you check their knowledge of your area, and ask for a local reference - preferably a telephone number, so that you can be sure the reference is fairly local to you - at least within County.
The main issue with such companies seems to be that their approach can be "formulaic", and spotted very easily by panels. Also, they really cannot know your child as you do.
If you want to look into DIY, do take a good look through the posts on Essex - I recall some information on appeals for Southend this time last year, before this Appeals thread was created.