Resolving disagreements

Pages in Resolving disagreements

  1. Mediation for parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs
  2. Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal 
  1. Single Route of Redress - National Trial
  2. Guidance, links and contacts

Mediation for parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs

The Information Advice and Support Service is often able to help when parents do not agree with the decisions or provisions made by Schools or Local Authorities (LAs) for their child's special educational needs.

How we can help to resolve disagreements

Most disagreements can usually be resolved quickly with all parties working together with the child's best interests at heart.

Local Authorities must make disagreement resolution services available to parents and young people. Use of the disagreement resolution services is voluntary and has to be with the agreement of everybody involved.  Even though the Local Authority has to provide these services, disagreement resolution services must be independent.  Parents and young people can also access informal support in resolving disagreements through the local impartial Information, Advice and Support Service and with the help of Independent Supporters.

Local Authorities must set out the arrangements they have made for securing mediation information services and mediation itself in the Local Offer (SEND Code of Practice 11.16).

Where disagreement persists the SEND Information Advice and Support Service aims to inform parents and schools about the range of support available for disagreement resolution.  Including involvement, if applicable, from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal

What is mediation?

The Local Authority have a duty to provide disagreement resolution services. This is commonly known as Mediation.  

  • In mediation the people involved in the dispute work together to reach an acceptable solution, with the help of a mediator.
  • The mediator is a specially trained independent facilitator who does not take sides and does not give advice or judgement but manages discussions fairly and confidentially to help people communicate and explore options.
  • The child's needs and interests are kept at the heart of these discussions.
  • It is widely used to settle disputes between family members, work colleagues or even neighbours.
  • It is an increasingly popular way of sorting out disagreement.

To find out about the local Mediation Service please see below or contact the Local Authority or telephone the SEN Management Services on: 024 7683 1614. 

Mediation Providers

The following organisations are available to help you resolve disagreements. You should contact the organisation you choose who will talk to you about the process:


Tel: 03330 062 835

Susanna Diegel - SEN Mediational Regional Manager   (email:  [email protected])
249 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands

Why use mediation?

  • It can be provided quickly and is usually very successful
  • It offers an alternative to what can be a lengthy, sometimes confrontational and otherwise stressful approach
  • It is voluntary - for it to be successful everyone involved has to agree to take part, but it also helps everyone to work together after the mediation has finished.

Is mediation confidential?

  • Nothing said in mediation can be used elsewhere (with the exception of serious child protection issues)
  • Once an agreement is reached the mediator will write it down.  The agreement will include the decisions made, what is to happen, who is responsible and the timescale.  It will also include arrangements to check that it is working and everyone will receive a copy

Using the service does not affect parents' rights of appeal to the SEN Tribunal (SENDIST) and the service is free to parents and can be used at any time during a disagreement. The mediation meetings are always held locally as close as possible to the people involved.

The Local Offer 

The Coventry Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer brings together information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. The SEND Local Offer will cover services available to the public across education, health and social care:

  • Education: such as nurseries, playgroups, schools and colleges and support services like educational psychologists and SEN services
  • Health: children's and adult services including GPs, therapists and hospital services
  • Social care: such as short break services and children's and adult disability services.

SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS)

Open Mon - Thurs 9am - 5pm. Fri - 9am - 4.30pm

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 024 7669 4307


Limbrick Wood Centre
Thomas Naul Croft
Tile Hill

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