SEN Mediation is a statutory service to help parents or young people resolve disagreements about Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans. Parents and young people can use mediation before deciding whether to appeal to the SEND Tribunal about decisions of an assessment or the SEN element of an EHC plan. The new mediation arrangements apply specifically to parents and young people who are considering appealing to the Tribunal about EHC needs assessments and the special educational element of an EHC plan or who want mediation on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.
KIDS provides this statutory service on behalf of Derbyshire County Council.
We are registered as a mediation provider organisation by the Civil Mediation Council.
How does mediation work?
Clarity of thinking about the issues involved in the relationship with a parent and family members. Opportunities to discuss points of view. Finding a way forward. [The mediation process was] extremely useful. The whole process from initial contact to the mediation has been very impressive and useful.Mediation is an informal, voluntary process which involves an independent facilitator (the mediator) helping those in dispute to reach agreements that are acceptable to all parties. The mediator is impartial, does not take sides, nor put forward 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.
Using mediation does not affect your right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal. For more information about the SEND Tribunal, please visit their website here.
Mediation is voluntary and if at any point during the process a parent/carer or young person does not wish to continue with mediation we will issue a certificate explaining this. The certificate will enable the parent/carer or young person to register their appeal with the Tribunal Service.
If you have decided to proceed with mediation to resolve your dispute, then you are in good hands, as our SEN Mediation Service has over 13 years of experience in mediating joint meetings and helping those in dispute to reach agreements that are acceptable to all parties.
You will be introduced to a mediator from our experienced panel of independent mediators who are highly skilled, have accredited qualifications in mediation and have received expert training in SEN legislation and practice.
Our mediator will contact all parties to fully understand each side of the disagreement and help each party to set out the issues they wish to discuss at the mediation meeting. If it is the parent(s)/carer(s) proceeding with the process, we also ascertain the voice of the child wherever possible.
Liaising with all parties we arrange a date and neutral venue for the mediation meeting. Each parties’ summaries are exchanged in advance to reduce anxiety and, through helping participants prepare for the meeting, increase their confidence. At the meeting the mediator will go through the process and ensure that everybody is clear about the meeting (confidentiality, respectful behaviour, willingness to hear what others have to say) and we will remind everybody that they are impartial, and will not put forward suggestions nor possible solutions to the dispute.
The mediator will 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 for the parties to find solutions and decide the outcome through participating in the mediation process.
At the conclusion of the meeting a SMART agreement is written jointly in the participants' own words and a copy given to each party to ensure that there is no ambiguity about what has been decided.
Who is the service for?
Parents/carers who have a disagreements about the Education, Health and Care needs assessment and/or plan of their child.
Young people (aged 16 to 25) who have a disagreement about their own Education, Health and Care needs assessment and/or plan.
Local authorities and schools to resolve disagreements with parents or young people over Education, Health and Care needs assessments and/or plans.
For families who have a disagreement about their child's Statement or who are on School Action or School Action Plus, then they will require the SEN Disagreement Resolution Service that can be contacted through Derbyshire County Council.
How to access the service
Accessing our service is easy. Parents or a young person can refer themselves.
Any other party must have parents’ permission for contacting us.
Requests for mediation can come from:
- The young person (aged 16 to 25) themselves
- Local Authority Officers
- SENDIASS Officers
- School staff
- Other parties, such as voluntary agencies.
No paperwork is required. Simply phone or email us:
Phone: 03330 062 835
Please note that Local Authority Officers, IASS Officers or any other third parties must have permission from the parents or young person before passing their details to the KIDS SEN Mediation Service.
How much does it cost?This service is available free of charge for residents of Derbyshire local authority.
When is this service available?Our SEN Mediation Service is available Mondays to Fridays from 9:00am to 6:00pm
How to contact us
Susanna Diegel on 03330 062 835
KIDS, National SEN Mediation and Disagreement Resolution Service, 249 Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1EA
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