KIDS London SEN Mediation Service
Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 07:32 Written by Administrator Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:14
Provision of Disagreement Resolution and Mediation Services under the Children and Families Act 2014
Information for Service Users
KIDS London SEN Mediation Service is an impartial, independent and free service for parents/carers and young adults up to the age of 25.
Disagreement Resolution Services
- KIDS London SEN Mediation Service aims to help resolve disagreements that arise between parents/carers/young people when they do not agree with the provision made by education, health or social care services for children and young people with SEN or a disability. This includes children or young people who are looked after.
- The service also aims to help resolve disagreements between parents/carers/young people and the governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools, early years providers, further education institutions or the proprietors of academies, about how these authorities, bodies or proprietors are carrying out their education, health and care duties for children and young people with SEN, whether they have Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans or not.
- Disagreement resolution arrangements also cover disagreements about the health and social care elements of EHC plans and also disagreements between local authorities and health commissioning bodies during EHC needs assessments or re assessments, the drawing up of EHC plans or reviews of the plans.
At a very early stage of a disagreement, your local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS) is often able to help and should be contacted in the first instance for information, support and advice. Follow this link for the Lambeth IASS
Mediation arrangements under the Children and Families Act 2014 are different from disagreement resolution arrangements outlined above. Mediation arrangements are only available:-
- When decisions are made about which parents and young people can appeal to Tribunal or
- In the case of the health and social care elements of EHC plans which cannot be appealed to Tribunal, when a plan is made, amended or replaced.
Use of disagreement resolution arrangements is voluntary for all parties to the dispute whereas if parents or young people want to go to mediation then the local authority and /or the relevant health commissioning body or bodies must attend.
NB- The new mediation arrangements will not apply to those who still have SEN statements or LDAs.
What is mediation?
- Mediation is a confidential, informal, non legalistic, accessible and simple disagreement resolution process.
- A trained mediator helps the people involved in the dispute to meet, clarify the issues and work together to reach an acceptable solution.
- The mediator is an independent facilitator who does not take sides, give advice or make judgements.
- The parent or young person’s use of mediation is voluntary.
- The mediation process is explained in more detail on the following website:www.kids.org.uk/mediation
Mediation and Appeals to SEND Tribunal
Mediation must be considered before an appeal to SEND Tribunal is made except 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 or;
- You are making a disability discrimination claim to the SEND Tribunal
How do parents and young people contact a Mediation Adviser for a Mediation Information Session and Mediation Certificate before registering an Appeal to the SEND Tribunal ?
If you have been told by the local authority that you must contact a mediation adviser before registering an appeal with the Tribunal about the SEN element of an EHC plan contact KIDS London SEN Mediation Service on 020 7359 3635 within the two months you normally have to register an appeal. We will explain, over the telephone, what mediation is and can give you a certificate confirming that this information has been provided. The certificate will enable you to lodge your appeal with the SEND Tribunal if that is what you wish to do.
Using mediation does not affect your right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal.
The Regulation 32 Mediation Notice can be downloaded from this link