We work with parents, carers and young people to reach agreements about what is needed to meet a child or young person’s needs. Professionals work in collaboration with parents, carers and young people to produce the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), determine their outcomes and what services and support are required.
If you have any concerns, we recommend you talk to a member of the SEN team or our SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), which is independent of the council and provides informal, impartial advice. Both teams will work with you to address your concerns and reach a satisfactory resolution for all parties. It is in everyone’s interest to try and resolve any disagreements without the additional burden of having to go to tribunal.
If you have a disagreement or issue that you wish to discuss we encourage you to talk to the relevant service:
If the relevant service is unable to resolve your issue, it may be necessary for parents, carers and young people to use the mediation or disagreement resolution service.
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process. You will be helped by a neutral third party mediator to resolve problems. The mediator helps participants reach a solution they are happy with.
Disagreement resolution is a formal process where the council, schools, parents and carers meet to find a solution to a difference of opinion.
Participation in mediation and disagreement resolution does not take away the parent or carers right to appeal to the SEN tribunal. However, we aim to resolve all disagreements and disputes at a local level by having honest and open dialogue.
If your issues remain unresolved despite the involvement of Kids, you have the option to proceed to the SEND tribunal. You will be asked to produce a copy of a certificate at the SEND tribunal which will demonstrate whether you have sought to resolve your issue through mediation.
For more information, email the team or contact them on 01325 289 350.
We're extending the powers of the first-tier tribunal (SEND tribunal), to make recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. The trial will apply from 3 April 2018 and run for two years.
To date, you could only appeal the educational parts of EHC plans. The trial also gives new rights to ask for recommendations about the health and social care needs and provisions given in EHC plans. This means you can raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.
The tribunal can only consider the health or social care part of the EHC plan if you’re already making an appeal about the educational part.
If you’re unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can appeal to the SEND tribunal. This means the tribunal will take into account all the needs of the child or young person.
This does not stop you from also complaining about other things you disagree with through other complaints procedures. You should seek advice about the different routes available, such as from your local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS).
Recommendations from the tribunal about health or social care parts of an EHC plan are usually followed, but are not legally binding. If they aren't followed, the reasons must be put in writing to you and the Department for Education through the evaluators. You can then complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) or Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) or ask to have the decision reviewed in court.
You can request the tribunal makes a recommendation about health and social care needs as part of an appeal relating to:
Local authority SEND teams will be responsible for:
Health and social care commissioners will be responsible for:
If you want to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want the tribunal to consider your concerns, you should follow the normal appeals process. You can find forms and advice on making SEND appeals by visiting GOV.UK. More information can be found in the toolkit.
There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to decide if the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. This will run until March 2021.
The evaluation will be based on evidence from interviews with parents and young people going through the appeals process. This could include telephone or online interviews after the appeal hearing or when the appeals process is complete. There will also be a follow-up interview six months later to see how recommendations have been carried out and what the impact has been.
Parents and young people who take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal about the evaluation and how their personal data will be protected and stored confidentially.
Before you can register an appeal with the tribunal, you must contact a mediation adviser within two months of the decision You do not have to contact a mediation adviser if you only want to appeal about the school or other institution.
You can ask for recommendations about the health and social care parts of an EHC plan without mediation advice as long as you are also appealing an education issue.
Once you have contacted or taken part in mediation, you will be issued with a certificate. This will be needed if you’re still unhappy and wish to progress to an appeal. with the tribunal. The appeal must be made within two months of the or one month after the issue of the certificate.
If mediation resolves the educational issues, you will not be able to appeal to the tribunal on any health or social care issues. Mediation gives us a chance to resolve disagreements and can be quicker than an appeal. It does not affect your right to make an educational appeal. Some aspects of the disagreement can go to appeal even when other aspects are resolved.
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