Are you a parent or young person and unhappy about either:
- A decision that the local authority has made in relation to an Education Health Care (EHC) Plan or Needs Assessment? or
- About the way your Special Educational Needs / Disabilities (or your child’s SENs / Disabilities) are being provided for?
If so, the following provides further information for you:
Our SEND Leaflet
Our SEND leaflet click here introduces Mediation and Disagreement Resolution services and their benefits.
Mediation and Appeals
If the local authority has made a decision in relation to an EHC Plan or a Needs Assessment, you will likely have received a letter with the decision.
If you are not happy with the decision you are able to appeal. You can ultimately take your appeal to the Tribunal Service. A tribunal is a legal process that takes around four months and it will decide, on presentation of evidence, whether to uphold the Council’s decision or find in favour of the parent or young person.
Before going to tribunal, you can try ‘Mediation’ – ‘working things out by talking things through’. It can offer a straight-forward, timely way of resolving and trying Mediation does not affect your right to go to tribunal.
Mediation is voluntary – you don’t need to take part – but you do need to have a Mediation Advice conversation (see below), so you can find out more about it before you make any decisions.
When you first make contact with us, we will take some details from you – your contact details, the child / young person’s date of birth, the decision made and the date of the decision – and arrange a time to call you back for the Mediation Advice call, which takes about 30 minutes.
There are two parts to the call:
1) It is useful for us to have some background and we will ask you about the decision the local authority has made and why you don’t think the decision is in your child’s / your own best interests. There may be other concerns too, like a difficult working relationship with a school / other support service.
2) We’ll then talk about the Mediation process, timescales and have a discussion about the possible benefits for you.
Following the call, it is then up to you whether you’d like to try the service or not.
If you decide not to, we will issue a Mediation Advice Certificate within three working days. You then use this (within 30 days of receiving) to register an appeal with the Tribunal Service.
If you decide to try Mediation, we will set up a Mediation session.