Disagreement Resolution, Mediation and Appeals
What is Disagreement Resolution?
Under the new 'Special Educational Needs and Disability Act Code of Practice 0-25 years' local authorities must make disagreement resolution services available to parents and young people.
Early resolution of disagreements benefits parents and young people and can avoid unnecessary stress and expense.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a statutory service to help parents or young people resolve disagreements about EHC needs assessments and plans. Parents and young people can use mediation before deciding whether to appeal to the SEND Tribunal about decisions on assessment or the SEN element of a plan.
The new mediation arrangements apply specifically to parents and young people who are considering appealing to the Tribunal about EHC needs assessments and the special educational element of an EHC plan or who want mediation on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.
What is the difference between disagreement resolution and mediation?
The key difference is that mediation under the new Code of Practice is now linked more formally to the Tribunal process. Therefore it takes place at the end of the assessment and planning process. Disagreement Resolution can be made available at any time.
Do I have to consider mediation?
Parents and young people who wish to make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal may only do so after they have contacted an independent mediation adviser to get information about mediation.
This requirement does not apply where the disagreement is only about the name or type of school, college or other establishment named on the EHC plan.