Mediation, appeals and resolutions

If you disagree with a local authority decision, the Children and Families Act 2014 outlines a clear process for resolving disagreements.

This can take the following forms:

  • Mediation which is designed to help resolve disagreements between parents, carers or young people and the Local Authority where it is specifically linked to decisions relating to Education Health and Care (EHC) assessments and plans
  • Appeals can be registered with the First Tier Tribunal where a disagreement has not been resolved through mediation. The First Tier Tribunal is independent of the local authority and its decisions are binding
  • Disagreement resolution is a more general process to resolve disagreements relating to SEN duties and special education, health and social care provision
  • Complaint procedures cover a number of different procedures to enable individuals to seek redress against statutory and non-statutory organisations
  • Single route of redress - National trial 2018

Which process should I use?

If you disagree with the local authority’s decisions regarding an EHC statutory assessments and plans, you should contact SENDIASS to request information regarding mediation and tribunal appeals.   

Mediation information and a mediation certificate must be obtained from SENDIASS prior to entering into formal mediation or registering an appeal.

Examples of disagreement are:

  • Not to carry out an EHC statutory assessment or re-assessment
  • Not to agree an EHC plan following a statutory assessment
  • A disagreement about the final EHC plan or an amended plan
  • A decision not to amend an existing EHC plan
  • A decision to cease to maintain an existing EHC plan

If you disagree with the local authority, education setting, early years provider or health provider on:

  • how they are undertaking their duties for children and young people who have or may have special educational needs or a disability; or
  • the health or social care provision

You should contact SENDIASS to request information regarding disagreement resolution.

If you have a complaint about the service that you have received or about an individual person within that service, you should use the relevant complaints procedure for that service or organisation.

Single route of redress - national trial

In line with Schedule 2 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 all local areas in England are required to publish details in their local offers for ‘notifying parents and young people of their right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the Tribunal and their extended rights as part of the single route of redress national trial.