What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process for parents and young people which can take place following decisions we take about certain aspects of an EHC plan, including our decision not to:
- Carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment
- Draw up an EHC plan after an EHC needs assessment has been done
- Amend an EHC plan after an annual review or re-assessment
or following our decision to:
- Cease to maintain an EHC plan
Mediation arrangements are specifically linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and plans.
We're fully committed to working in partnership with parents/carers and young people. However, there may be occasions when we're not be able to reach an agreement without the involvement of a third party. If this is the case mediation may be the next step to take before consideration of The SEN and Disability Tribunal.
We use Prime Resolution to provide impartial, independent and free disagreement resolution and mediation for parents/carers and young people up to the age of 25.
How do mediation services work?
Your mediator will work with you to identify the areas of dispute, and will organise and lead a structured meeting on your behalf. Mediation services are fully independent, and the mediator will ensure that everyone understands each other’s position. They'll support the discussion and assist everyone involved in arriving at an agreement if at all possible. If the meeting doesn't reach full agreement, you can still formally appeal to The SEN and Disability Tribunal for a final ruling.
If you're unsure about whether you need to proceed with mediation and would like further help with this, please contact us or Shropshire IASS.
What happens if I don't want to proceed with mediation?
There are some circumstances in which you don't need to have a certificate from a mediation adviser before you register an appeal with the SEND tribunal. This is the case if:
- Your appeal is solely about the name of the school, college or other institution named on the EHC plan, the type of school, college or other institution specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named
- You're making a disability discrimination claim to the SEND tribunal
In all other cases the law requires you to contact a mediation service, before proceeding to a SEN and disability tribunal. If, after you've discussed your position with a mediation service, you don't believe that a mediation meeting will be helpful you can request that the mediation service issue you with a certificate that confirms that they've spoken to you. You'll require this certificate before the SEN and disability tribunal will allow you to lodge an appeal.
A request for mediation must be made within two months of the date of our decision notice.
If you have any further queries relating to resolving disagreements or mediation, please contact the SEN Team on 01743 254267 or email@example.com