The Children and Families Act 2014 requires all local authorities to provide independent mediation and disagreement resolution services to help when parents or young people cannot agree with the local authority or other providers about the special educational provision for a child or young person. Other providers include early years settings, schools, colleges and other post-16 provision.
The disagreement resolution arrangements are for all children and young people who have special educational needs, not just those who are being assessed for, or have, an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The mediation arrangements are for those who are considering making an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (SEND). The law says that young people or parents who want to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal (SEND) must first contact a mediation adviser.
Mediation is a process for parents and young people, which you can use if you cannot reach an agreement with your local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS) in matters relating to EHC plans. Examples include decisions by a local authority:
- not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
- not to draw up an EHC plan
- after a final EHC plan or amended plan is received
- following a decision not to amend an EHC plan or a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.
Further details and contact information for the disagreement resolution and mediation services provided can be found on the Global Mediation leaflet