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SEN Disagreement Resolution and Mediation

Who to contact

Contact Name
Special Education Needs (SEN) Assessment Team
Telephone
01922 652871
E-mail
sen@walsall.gov.uk

Where to go

Name
Education Development Centre
Address
Pelsall Lane
Rushall
Walsall
Postcode
WS4 1NG

Local Offer

Description

The SEN Mediation Process

Walsall Council is fully committed to working with young people, parents and carers in partnership to support students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

We aim to make decisions about provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities jointly with parents and the student themselves. The views of the student and the parents/ carers are fundamental to the process and you will be asked to contribute throughout the process.

To support this we will communicate with you in an open way, use the knowledge and experience of the student, their family and professionals’ advice to help us to make good decisions.

There may be occasions when we may not be able to reach full agreement. The Local Authority welcomes the opportunity to talk through any concerns you may have. You can do this by contacting the EHC (Education, Health and Care) Assessment Team on 01922 652871 or by speaking to your named Case Officer.

SENDIASS Support

Walsall Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND) can provide impartial advice, information and support about disagreement resolution regarding Special Educational Needs, Health and Social Care. They can be contacted on 01922 650330 or you can email them at: iasssend@walsall.gov.uk.

Mediation

SEND Code of Practice (11.13)

If parents and young people want it to, mediation can take place following decisions by a local authority not to carry out an EHC needs assessment, not to draw up an EHC plan, after they receive a final EHC plan or amended plan, following a decision not to amend an EHC plan or a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.

 

Why consider mediation?

  • If you disagree with the Local Authority decision and wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability) you first have to consider mediation advice. If you decide not to go use mediation, the mediator service will issue a certificate so you can register an appeal, if you ask them. If you are only appealing Section I, placement, on an Education Health and Care plan then you are not required to consider mediation.

 

  • Mediation focuses on issues and disagreements specifically relating to decisions about Education Health and Care Plans. The Local Authority would ask that you initially speak to the Case Officer or the Senior Case Officer prior to requesting mediation as this can often resolve issues and disagreements in a more timely way.

 

  • Mediation is:
    • voluntary
    • free
    • confidential
    • independent

How do I access mediation?

  • Full information around mediation providers and the students/ parent/carer rights to appeal are part of all decision letters.  
  • When the mediation meeting has finished, the mediator will issue you with a certificate within 3 working days.
  • You need this certificate if you still want to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal.
  • Your time limit for appealing to the tribunal is two months from the date of the decision you disagree with, or one month from the date of the mediation certificate, whichever is later.

Tribunals

You can appeal to the SEND tribunal for the following reasons:

  • Refusal to secure and EHC needs assessment (statutory assessment)
  • Refusal to re-assess
  • Refusal to issue an EHCP
  • Following receipt of the final EHCP if you are dissatisfied with the EHC plan’s content or the placement named in the EHC Plan
  • Refusal to amend the EHC Plan following Annual Review
  • Where a proposal is made to cease the EHCP

We would encourage you to first speak or meet with your EHC Assessment Team Case Officer to discuss your concerns.

Information explaining how to register an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal is contained in all EHCP decision letters. SENDIASS can also provide independent advice and guidance around tribunals.  (link to local offer page). Further information regarding First Tier Tribunals can be found at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-special-educational-needs-and-disability

Contact Name
SEN Assessment Team
Contact Telephone
01922 652871
Contact Email
Sen@walsall.gov.uk
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