Throughout any decision making progress the SEND team will work closely with you and will be happy to meet with you if you would find this useful, to explain the stages of the decision making process, and why decisions have been made.
There may be times where we are not able to agree with what you are asking for, and through meeting with you to explain the reasons for this, generally we can reach agreement on how to proceed.
If this is not possible there are some options available to you and more information about these are provided below.
Mediation and dispute resolution are processes used to settle disagreements that arise between parents and the Local Authority / schools / Academies / Further Education institutions / NHS about the special educational needs (SEN) of children and young people, and how best to meet these needs whether they are education, health or social care needs.
Mediation is an informal, voluntary process which involves an independent facilitator (the mediator) who helps those in dispute to reach agreements that are acceptable to all parties. The mediator is impartial, does not take sides, nor gives suggestions or possible solutions to the dispute.
The mediator is there to help to facilitate discussions and to make sure everyone is treated fairly. The mediator is in control of the process but not of the outcome of the mediation. It is the parties themselves that find solutions and decide the outcome through participating in the mediation process.
Independent and confidential mediation service for London Borough of Hillingdon residents is available from Kids. For information on how you can seek information, advice and guidance please contact Kids mediation service.
If you decide to request formal mediation, the mediation adviser from Kids will inform your local authority who must meet you within 30 days. When the mediation has finished the mediation adviser must issue a certificate within three working days. You will need this certificate to register an appeal to the SEND Tribunal if your medication has not reached a solution you are happy with.
Where agreement cannot be reached through mediation, you can appeal the local authority decision to the First-Tier Tribunal, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). Parents and young people who wish to register an appeal to the Tribunal may only do so after they have contacted an independent mediation adviser and discussed whether mediation might be a suitable way of resolving the disagreement. Appeals must be lodged within two months of the date of the decision, or within one month of a mediation meeting.
The SEND Tribunal is a legal body. It hears appeals against decisions made by local authorities about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans (such as a mainstream school/college) specified in the plan or that no school or other institution is specified.
Parents/carers, in relation to children aged from birth up to the end of compulsory schooling age, and young people over the compulsory school age, until they reach age 25, can appeal to the Tribunal about the EHC assessments and EHC plans, following contact with a mediation adviser.
Young people can register an appeal in their name but can also have their parents help and support if needed. (Young people over the compulsory school age making an appeal to the Tribunal may require a mental capacity assessment.)
Parents/ carers and young people can appeal to the Tribunal regarding:
To register your appeal you must supply a copy of the decision that you are appealing against and the date when the LBH made their decision, or the date of the mediation. You are also required to give reasons why you are appealing and complete this tribunal application form.
Register your appeal with:
HM Courts & Tribunal Service
Special Educational Needs and Disability
1st floor, Darlington Magistrates Court
Telephone: 01325 289350
Note: The SEND tribunal does not hear appeals about Personal Budgets but will hear appeals about the special educational provision to which Personal Budget may apply.
You can also go to mediation with your local authority or your local CCG about the social care and health parts of an EHC plan if you tell your local authority that you are unhappy with these parts of the plan.
Local authorities and others have arrangements in place if you disagree with decisions taken, or want to complain about other things such as:
You can also complain using the local authority, health and social care complaints procedures.Last reviewed: 22/09/2017
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Page Reference: SEND Right to appeal
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