Resolving disagreements FAQs
Can I use disagreement resolution and mediation at the same time?
Yes, disagreement resolution services can be used at any time, if both parties agree. This includes while an EHC needs assessment is being conducted, while the plan is being drawn up, after a plan is finalised or while an appeal is going through the tribunal process.
What if I want to make a complaint about the EHC assessment process?
You can contact the SEN Team directly to discuss your complaint or you may prefer to contact IASS. If you want to make a formal complaint, then this will be dealt with through our complaints procedure.
What if I want to make a complaint about the local authority or health?
You can contact the SEN Team directly to discuss your complaint or you may prefer to contact IASS. If you want to make a formal complaint about the local authority this will be dealt with through the our complaints procedure.
If you want to make a complaint relating to health issues you can contact the service you're dealing with directly to discuss your concerns, or you may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) which will be able to offer you support and guidance to help you to resolve the issue informally, or provide you with advice on how to make a formal complaint. Further information about how to make a complaint about the National Health Service in England can be found at NHS Choices.
What if I disagree with the provision that the school/college has put in place?
It's always best to try and solve and disagreement with the school/college directly. Your child’s class teacher or the SENCo should be able to help you. If you or your child has an EHCP you may wish to request that a review of the EHCP is held if you believe that the provision being put in place isn't appropriate to meet the needs identified within the EHCP, or if you feel that the EHCP doesn't accurately reflect your or your child’s special educational needs. Alternatively you may want to contact The Information Advice and Support Services (IASS) for support and advice on how to complain about the education provision that has been put in place for you or your child.
If you or your child has an EHCP you can contact us directly to discuss the EHC plan.
If your complaint is about how the school is implementing the provision described in the EHC plan, or about the provision that the school or college has put in place to meet your or your child’s needs at SEN Support, you can use the individual school/colleges complaints procedure, which should be accessible on their website.
Is there a difference between disagreement resolution and mediation?
Mediation is the term used in the code of practice for meetings planned and arranged by trained mediators in circumstances where there's a right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal. In these circumstances, we're obliged to offer mediation and to participate if the parent/young person requests it. Participation in mediation doesn't affect your rights of appeal to tribunal, but does provide an opportunity to explore the possibility of agreeing a solution which could avoid tribunal.
The term 'disagreement resolution' covers a range of support and advice services and includes:
- Early informal meetings with school staff and/or the SEN team to try and resolve issues without third party involvement
- Advice, information and support provided by IASS
- Meetings facilitated by IASS
- The mediation process used at an early stage and in a wider range of circumstances
Within disagreement resolution processes the participation of all parties is voluntary.
Who can I bring to disagreement resolution or mediation with me?
The parents of a young person can be accompanied by a friend, adviser or advocate. If you're the parent of a child you may also be accompanied by your child where we have no reasonable objection.
Can I use disagreement resolution if my child is SEN support?
Yes, disagreement resolution can be used if you disagree about the provision that the school is putting in place to support your child at SEN Support. Contact Shropshire IASS in the first instance. They'll be able to support you to decide what the disagreement is about and who needs to be involved in resolving this.
What if my child doesn't have SEN?
If you don't agree with an aspect of your child’s education, and your child doesn't have an identified special educational need, you'll need to discuss your concerns with the school. Every school should have a clear process in place to support you to discuss a concern or make a formal complaint.
What if I have further queries relating to resolving disagreements?