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Livewell Southend

Mediation

Mediation

Sometines there are disagreements between the Local Authority and Parents/Carers or young person over decisions made about SEND issues.

It is always recommended you ask for a meeting with a Local Authority representative to discuss why you are unhappy with a decision they have made.  

See what to do if you disagree with a decision  for more information.

However in some cases where agreement cannot be reached Mediation or a Disagreement Resolution Service can help. 

Local Authorities are legally obliged to provide SEN mediation and disagreement resolution in relation to disputes with parents, carers and young people. 

Disagreement resolution arrangements cover all children and young people with SEN, not just those who are being assessed for or have an EHC Plan. 

Mediation is to consider whether this is a means of resolving your disagreement with the Local Authority and is specifically linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and EHC Plans that can be appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. 

Aims of Mediation

Mediation is to consider whether this is a means of resolving your disagreement with the Local Authority specifically linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

Mediation:

  • aims to resolve your disagreements in a quick, informal way using a neutral third party, a mediator, to help you reach a resolution.
  • is confidential
  • is independent of the Local Authority and free to access.  

Your Local Authority will provide details of how to contact the mediation service. In Southend this is provided by KIDS SEND Mediation and Disagreement Resolution 

For more information please ring 03330 062 835. (This is a local rate number) or email mediationlondon@kids.org.uk. Website: www.kids.org.uk/send-mediation

 


What to expect from mediation

Mediation is a less formal way of working out a solution.

When seeking mediation, an impartial person is appointed as mediator; they arrange a meeting with you and a representative from the Local Authority to discuss the issues.

The mediator helps to keep the meeting calm, productive, and focused on finding a solution to the issue you are raising.

The mediator does not judge or impose a solution but ensures that any settlement is agreed between you and the Local Authority

The mediator will make a record of the meeting and the agreements reached. A mediation certificate will be issued shortly after the meeting.  

 



 

Do I have to use Mediation?

You do not need to have a mediation meeting but in most cases, you must consider mediation if you intend to appeal to SENDIST.  You can decline mediation, but you will still need to contact the mediation service to discuss this as you may require a mediation certificate if you wish to appeal. 

You can register an appeal without considering mediation first if the appeal is only about:

  • The name of the school or college named on the EHC Plan.
  • The type of school or college specified in the EHC Plan.
  • The fact that no school or other institution is named.

 

 

Mediation has not resolved my issue

If Mediation has not resolved your issue, you may consider appealing to the Special Education needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST).

Mediation is without prejudice to the Tribunal process and the Tribunal will disregard any offers or comments made during mediation.

However partial agreement achieved by use of mediation services can help to focus on the remaining areas of disagreement in any subsequent appeals to the Tribunal.

For more details on how to appeal click here. 

 

Disagreement Resolution Service

Disagreement resolution arrangements cover all children and young people with SEN, not just those who are being assessed for or have an EHC Plan. 

The disagreement resolution service can provide a quick and non-adversarial way of resolving disagreements between families and the Local Authority.

The use of the disagreement resolution services is voluntary and has to be with the agreement of all parties. The service, while commissioned by it, is independent of the local authority – no-one who is directly employed by a local authority can provide disagreement resolution services.

 

Aims of disagreement resolution service

The disagreement resolution service is to help resolve four types of disagreement or to prevent them from escalating further: 

  • The first is between parents or young people and local authorities, the governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools, early years providers, further education institutions or the proprietors of academies (including free schools), about how these authorities, bodies or proprietors are carrying out their education, health and care duties for children and young people with SEN, whether they have EHC Plans or not. These include duties on the local authority to keep their education and care provision under review, the duties to assess needs and draw up EHC Plans and the duty on governing bodies and proprietors to use their best endeavours to meet children and young people’s SEN.
  • The second is disagreements between parents or young people and early years providers, schools or post-16 institutions about the special educational provision made for a child or young person, whether they have EHC Plans or not.
  • The third is disagreements between parents or young people and CCGs or local authorities about health or social care provision during EHC needs assessments, while EHC Plans are being drawn up, reviewed or when children or young people are being reassessed. Disagreement resolution services can also be used to resolve disagreements over special educational provision throughout assessments, the drawing up of EHC Plans, while waiting for Tribunal appeals and at review or during re-assessments.  
  • the fourth is disagreements between local authorities and health commissioning bodies during EHC needs assessments or re-assessments, the drawing up of EHC Plans or reviews of those plans for children and young people with SEN. In relation to EHC Plans, this includes the description of the child or young person’s education, health and care needs and any education, health and care provision set out in the plan. These disagreements do not involve parents and young people.

In Southend the disagreement resolution service is provided by KIDS SEND Mediation and Disagreement Resolution 

For more information please ring 03330 062 835. (This is a local rate number) or email mediationlondon@kids.org.uk. Website: www.kids.org.uk/send-mediation

Further advice and support on this topic:

You can get further advice and support on this topic:

  • A presentation for families to get a better understanding of what SEND Mediaton isKIDS SEND Mediation - YouTube

  • SENDIASS is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)  - Southend SENDIASS
  • IPSEA is a national charity offering free and independent legally based information, advice and support for parents/carers of children and young people with all kinds of SEND - IPSEA
  • Click here for a helpful video from SENDIASS Suffolk explaining Why Choose Mediation
 Last updated: 12 Apr 2022

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