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Disagreement, Resolution and Mediation

When disagreements arise in connection with special educational needs the County Council aims to do all it can to resolve any differences without the need to resort to formal process. However, from time to time, it may be necessary to call upon the services of an independent Disagreement Resolution and Mediation Service.

Please find the useful disagreement, resolution and mediation flowchart under the downloads on the right.

There are circumstances in which parents and young people can make an appeal to an independent Tribunal Service. This usually applies where there has been a request for Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment and/or where there is an EHC plan in place. However, those wishing to make such an appeal must be able to demonstrate that they have considered the possibility of seeking to resolve any differences through mediation and will require a certificate to show this.

 

Mediation

Releasing Potential is a Hampshire County Council approved provider Tel: 02392 479762 (Head Office) or you can call the mediation advice line on 07764 326384 or email: mediation@releasingpotential.com

Parents and young people may contact the provider direct or, alternatively, there are a number of voluntary organisations, referred elsewhere in the Local Offer, who may be able to assist.

The provider can issue a certificate to confirm that you have been in contact with them to consider mediation. This will allow you to make an appeal or you can ask for mediation.

You do not have to agree to mediation but if you do then it is free of charge and you can claim a contribution towards your expenses at rates set out in Government regulations. If you do decide to accept mediation then this does not affect your right of appeal.

Mediation is often a cheaper and less stressful way of resolving disagreements compared to an appeal to the Tribunal.

Disagreements outside of the tribunal service

There are disagreements that arise which are outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal Service.

Sometimes there are disagreements which don’t involve the County Council or the Health Service at all, such as a dispute between a parent and the child’s school.

In these circumstances it will be possible to make a formal complaint but the provider  can offer a disagreement resolution service similar to a mediation service which will attempt to resolve matters amicably between the parties involved.

Please find the useful disagreement, resolution and mediation flowchart under the downloads on the right.

National Trial – SEND Tribunal Single Route of Redress

As you may be aware there are changes planned in relation to the SEND Tribunals. 

In summary the Government are trialling extending powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Local Authority decisions regarding Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a special educational appeal. The trial will apply to decisions made from 3 April 2018 and will run for two years. 

The guidance sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017

Currently appeals can only be made to the Tribunal over the educational aspects of Local Authority decisions regarding EHC plans. In the trial appeals over the educational aspects are broadened and will give parents and young people the ability to also appeal associated health and social care issues at the same time.  Appeals to the Tribunal cannot be made just on health and social care issues.

A toolkit providing a number of resources has been created to support local authorities, health commissioners, parents and young people in preparation for and throughout the trial

Guidance on the single route of redress national trial, which begins on 3rd April 2018, has now been published on GOV.UK

Website: First tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

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