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Dispute Resolution and Mediation / Special Educational Needs and Disability(SEND) Tribunal

Despite the authority and parents coming to complete agreement in the majority of all SEN issues there may be times when a disagreement may occur.

Dispute resolution and mediation are positive ways of resolving disagreements for parents and carers of children with SEND, the children and young people themselves, their local authority and their school when there is a disagreement about how best to meet a child or young person’s need.

You have a right to access the Information, Advice and Support services for parents and carers  , and the similar service for children and young people which will provide impartial and unbiased information, advice and support.

Disagreement Resolution Service

You have a right to access, free of charge, an independent Disagreement Resolution and Mediation service commissioned by Lambeth Borough Council from KIDS London SEN Mediation Service. This can be accessed though the Information, Advice and Support services or through a Mediation Notice under Regulation 32 which is available from the SEND Team.Disagreement resolution consists of an independent facilitator bringing together all parties to seek to resolve disagreements through discussion. You can take someone with you if you wish. If disagreement resolution fails the next step is mediation which you can access in a similar way.

Further information and advice can be obtained from the Parents Information, Advice and Support Service or the Children and Young People’s Information Advice and Support Service or directly from this link KIDS London.

Dispute resolution needs to be gone through before you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

Involvement in dispute resolution does not affect your right to appeal to the SEN and Disability Tribunal.

Tribunal Hearings

Educational Needs and Disability sits in the Health Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal. Appeals against the panel's decisions now go to the Upper Tribunal instead of to the High Court.

Parents whose children have special educational needs can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) against decisions made by Local Education Authorities in England about their children's education. For example, the council may not agree that your child needs some specific type of extra support in the classroom to help them with learning difficulties.

You usually have to appeal to the tribunal within 2 months of getting the council’s decision letter.

For more information on the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal process visit the HM Courts & Tribunal Service website: www.sendist.gov.uk where the answer to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about appeals can be found.

To access online forms click here http://www.justice.gov.uk/forms/hmcts/send

Contact details:

HM Courts & Tribunal Service
Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal
1st Floor Darlington Magistrates Court

Telephone number 01325 289 350

Fax number 08707 394 017

Email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Office opening hours are Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays)

Click on this link to download a copy of the EHC Plan Dispute and Resolution process.