Early resolution of any disagreements is best for everyone and can help to avoid stress and expense.
If you are unable to agree about decisions or provision it may be helpful to have independent, impartial help. Disagreement resolution arrangements cover a range of disagreements.
Trained staff to help
SENDIASS (formerly Parent Partnership) have trained staff to provide dispute resolution. Disagreement resolution is also available through
Dispute resolution services can be used at any time, if both parties agree. The provider may be charged for this service.
Parents and young people may ask for mediation to help sort out disagreements relating to decisions about education, health and care needs assessments and plans.
How it works
Firstly, a trained, independent mediator will give advice about mediation, and then if it is agreed that mediation would be helpful a session will be set up with you and a representative of the local authority or health service depending upon what is disputed.
The mediator will clarify what the issue is and then try to help you both to reach an agreement.
Mediation can cover the health, education and/or care elements of an EHC plan.
Parents and young people must usually seek advice from an independent mediation adviser before they can make an appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal (known as the First Tier tribunal: SEN and Disability).
Find out more about mediation in the(paragraph 11.13 – 11.39).
In Oxfordshire, mediation is carried out for the local authority by. Any attempt to reach agreement would not prejudice a first-tier tribunal decision, your rights would not be affected and an appeal to the tribunal could run at the same time as any other means to resolve things.
Help and information
Impartial free advice and support - education
The special educational needs and disability information advice and support service (SENDIASS) offers impartial information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities regarding their education. You can get in touch by completing this online form.
The service aims to help parents, carers, young people and educational professionals to work together to provide the best possible support to children and young people with special educational needs, by:
- offering advice and training
- providing Independent parental supporters and independent supporters
- linking with other organisations who can offer help and support.
Finding support for parents/carers on your doorstep
Search for organisations and groups to support parents and carers of disabled children and young people and those with SEN and additional needs.
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