Mediation and Tribunal
Mediation is a statutory service commissioned by local authorities which is designed to help settle disagreements between parents or young people and local authorities over EHC needs assessments and plans. In North Yorkshire this is arranged through Kids Mediation
Parents and young people can use mediation before deciding whether to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal about decisions on assessment or the special educational element of a plan.
Mediation can also consider health and social care aspects of the plan.
Requirement to consider mediation
Parents and young people who wish to make an appeal to the Tribunal may do so only after they have contacted an independent mediation adviser and discussed whether mediation might be a suitable way of resolving the disagreement.
This requirement does not apply where the appeal is solely about the name or type of the school, college or other institution named on the plan.
Where a parent or young person is required to obtain a mediation certificate, he or she must contact the mediation adviser within two months after written notice of the local authority’s decision was sent, and inform the mediation adviser that he or she wishes to appeal and inform the mediation adviser whether they wish to pursue mediation.
Please watch this helpful video from Suffolk IASS which explains in detail all about the mediation process:
For further information on Mediation please click HERE
The First-Tier (SEN and Disability) Tribunal hears appeals against decisions made by the local authorities in England in relation to children’s and young people’s EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.
It also hears disability discrimination claims against schools and against local authorities when the local authority is the responsible body for a school.
The SEND Tribunal
The SEND Tribunal is part of the system of courts and tribunals which makes decisions in appeals and claims in relation to, as its name suggests, relating to children and young people’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability.
When can you appeal?
As a parent of a child with SEN (or a young person over 16 with ‘mental capacity’), you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal if your Local Authority (LA):
- refuses to carry out an EHC needs assessment;
- refuses to issue an EHC plan after an assessment;
- refuses to amend an EHC plan following a review or reassessment; and
- decides to cease to maintain an EHC plan.
There are also rights of appeal about the contents of an EHC plan when first issued or reviewed/amended in a final form, specifically against:
- Section B: detailing the child or young person’s special educational needs;
- Section F: setting out the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan;
Section I: naming the school or other setting in the EHC plan (and/or the type of school or setting), or if no school or other setting is named.
As of 3 April 2018 the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal the “SEND Tribunal” began a 2-year trial period whereby its powers were extended beyond disputes in relation to education, to include health and social care issues too. This is referred to as the “National Trial”.
For detailed information on SEND Tribunal please click on the headings below:
For specific information and guidance on the types of appeals please click below:
Appeals about the contents of an EHC plan (Sections B and F)
Appealing against the school named in your EHCP (Section I)
The National Trial (appeals against Health & Social care as well as education)
For further information and support please contact us
Or call us on 01609 536923