SEN Appeals and Mediation
If it has not been possible to reach an agreement with the Local Authority over the assessment process or content of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you have the right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). This is an independent first-tier tribunal who hears and decides parents or young peoples’ Appeals against the decisions of the Local Authority which have been included within the EHCP.
You are able to appeal Sections B, F and I of an EHCP. The Government has extended the first-tier tribunal powers on a trial basis until 31/10/2020, this is known as the Single Route of Redress. The tribunal is, therefore, able to also consider Social Care and Health Sections of an EHCP and make non-binding recommendations, as part of an appeal.
In order to register an Appeal, you must first contact an independent Mediation Adviser and obtain a certificate to prove that you have done so. The Mediation Adviser will provide you with factual information about mediation. You do not have to have a mediation certificate if your Appeal is only about Placement (Section I), or if it is a disability discrimination claim.
Global Mediation’s Mediation Adviser can be contacted on 0800 064 4488. This service is free of charge and your conversation is confidential. 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 not want to try mediation, the Mediation Adviser will issue you with a certificate so that you can register your Appeal.
If you do want to try mediation, you will first need to contact Global Mediation, they will contact the Local Authority to arrange a mutually convenient time for this to take place. From the date this request is made, this must take place within 1 month.
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.
Whilst Mediation aims to help resolve disagreements for children and young people that are being assessed for or have an EHC, disagreement resolution arrangements are available for parents of and all children and young people with SEN, , where it has not been possible to resolve those issues through the normal routes such as a school or college complaints process.
Disagreement resolution meetings aim to resolve your disagreements in a quick, informal way using a neutral third party, often a mediator, to help you reach a resolution that is mutually satisfactory. If you wish to request a Disagreement Resolution meeting, it also best to contact Global Mediation on 0800 064 4488.
This service is free of charge and your conversation is confidential.
For more information go to the Global Mediation website.