Parents and young people who wish to make a SEND tribunal appeal 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.
Mediation arrangements are specifically linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and plans.
If parents or young people want it to, mediation can take place following decisions by a local authority:
- not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
- not to draw up an EHC plan, after they receive a final EHC plan or amended plan
- not to amend an EHC plan or a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan
These mediation arrangements complement the disagreement resolution arrangements.
If it is decided by the parents or young person that they wish to proceed with mediation, the local authority must ensure that this takes place within 30 days of being informed by the advisor of this intention. The local authority must attend. Parents and young people will not be charged for it.
If the parent or young person is considering registering an appeal and has contacted the mediation adviser, the adviser will provide information on mediation and answer any questions which the parent or young person may have. The information will normally be provided on the telephone, although information can be provided in written form, through face-to-face meetings or through other means if the parent or young person prefers.
Parents or young people wishing to appeal to the SEND Tribunal about the education elements of EHC assessments and plans will need to obtain a certificate to demonstrate that they have at least considered mediation before the Tribunal will accept their appeal.
This certificate will be issued by a mediation adviser, who can provide support and guidance to you about:
- what can be appealed to tribunal
- how mediation can be accessed
- who the appointed mediators are for the East Midlands
The certificate is usually emailed to the parents, carers or young person within 3 working days and will enable them to lodge their appeal.
How do I contact a mediation advisor?
Parents and carers should contact the approved mediation provider for the East Midlands - Global Mediation.
You can request a call back and a Mediation Adviser will contact you to discuss the case.