If you disagree with a decision made about an EHC needs assessment or education health and care plan (EHCP), you can visit our specific information about mediation and appeals.
What to do if you are unhappy with a service
Wherever possible we want to enable concerns and disagreements to be discussed and resolved at the earliest opportunity.
To start with, this may be through an informal chat with a teacher, social worker or health professional.
If this isn’t possible, settings, colleges and services will have their own published policies and/or guidance for addressing complaints and disagreements.
Provide feedback about a Derby City Council service
- Provide feedback about a Derby City Council service
- Provide feedback about a service provided by Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board
If you haven’t managed to resolve your issue by talking directly to the service involved, then disagreement resolution can help parents and young people resolve disagreements with their local authority or their nursery, school, or college. It covers all children and young people with any kind of special educational need or disability (SEND) – you don’t need an EHCP to access disagreement resolution services. Taking part is voluntary for all parties involved.
What is it for?
There are three areas of disagreement that a family may seek disagreement resolution services for:
- If you and your family disagree with how a nursery, school, college, or local authority carries out its education, health, and social care duties. This applies if your child has any kind of SEND. Your child doesn't need to have an EHCP.
- If you and your family disagree with your nursery, school, or college about the special educational provision they are making for your child. This applies if you child has any kind of SEND. Your child doesn't need an EHCP.
- If you and your family disagree with your local authority or Integrated Care Board (previously known as Clinical Commissioning Group) about health or social care provision for your child. You can only seek disagreement resolution services about health or social care provision during an EHC needs assessment or while an EHCP is being prepared or reviewed, or when your child is being reassessed.
Parents and young people can seek disagreement resolution at any time. Unlike mediation, it is also available at any stage in the EHC needs assessment process. Disagreement resolution meetings are confidential and without prejudice to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal process. Partial agreement achieved by using disagreement resolution services can help focus on remaining areas of disagreement in any subsequent appeals to the SEND Tribunal. Taking part in disagreement resolution is voluntary for all parties. The local authority has a duty to ensure that disagreement resolution services are available to children and young people and their families.
Who is involved?
Disagreement resolution meetings involve the parents, carers and young person with SEND, the local authority, integrated care board or a school or setting, and a disagreement resolution service. In Derby, the service provider that is regionally commissioned by the local authority is called Global Mediation.
The parents, carers and young person with SEND contacts the disagreement resolution service, Global Mediation. The service then contacts Derby local authority informing them of the request.
If the local authority agrees to the disagreement resolution, a meeting is held where concerns and options are discussed. The meeting is confidential and without prejudice.
This means that the SEND Tribunal would not consider anything discussed at a disagreement resolution meeting. It provides an opportunity to resolve the matter outside of court.
You can bring someone to support you, such as a teacher, educational psychologist, SENCo, or a family member or friend. You can bring reports and important information from people who have opinions about the support the child or young person may need.
Further information is also available in the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice paragraph 11.6 to 11.10.