Mediation and appeals
Mediation aims to help resolve disagreements for children or young people who are being assessed for or who have a My Plan (EHC plan).
Disagreement resolution arrangements are available for parents of all children and young people with SEN (not just for those who are being assessed for or have a My Plan), where it has not been possible to resolve issues through normal routes such as a school or college complaints process.
Mediation and disagreement resolution meetings aim to resolve any disagreements in a quick, informal way using a third party mediator to help reach a satisfactory resolution.
If mediation is unsuccessful in resolving your dispute or complaint, you have the right to appeal and take your case to a tribunal. For more information visit the Government Justice website.
If it has not been possible to reach an agreement with the local authority over the assessment process or the provision of or content of a My Plan (EHC plan), you have the right to appeal to the SEND tribunal. This is the independent first-tier tribunal that hears and decides parents or young people's appeals against the decisions of the local authority in relation to special educational needs. The process is as follows....
1. Contact an independent Mediation Adviser
To register an appeal, you much first contact an independent Mediation Adviser and obtain a certificate to show that you have done so. The Mediation Adviser will give you factual information about mediation. You do not have to have mediation advice if your appeal is only about a placement, or the health and social care elements of a My Plan, or a disability discrimination claim.
Global Mediation's Mediation Advisers can be contacted on 0800 064 4488. The service is free and your conversation is confidential. For further information visit their website.
2. Decide whether to go to mediation or make an appeal to tribunal
Once you have received mediation advice, it is up to you to decide whether you want to go to mediation before any appeal you might make to the tribunal. If you do want to go to mediation, Global's SEN Case Manager will make all the arrangements for you. If you do not want to go to mediation, the Mediation Adviser will issue you with a certificate so that you can register your appeal. Your right to appeal is not affected if you do not have mediation first and no inference will be drawn by the tribunal if you have not used the mediation services.