Welcome to the Children and Young People’s section of our website.

Here you will find information about mediation and our services, other services that can provide you with support as well as information on our complaints process.

So what is mediation?

The law says that young people’s views must be listened to and that young people must be involved in decisions that affect their education.

Mediation is a way to help you to get the right people listening to you to assist in solving any difficulties you maybe having with your education, health or care.

It involves an independent person called a mediator meeting with you and the people who you have the disagreement/difficulties with. Unlike most mediation company’s, all of our services are delivered and facilitated by accredited mediators rather than administrators/support staff.

When is mediation/disagreement resolution appropriate?

Mediation/disagreement resolution can be used to try to resolve different types of disagreements, such as:

  • You do not feel you are getting the support you need in school/college;
  • You are not happy with information that has been written about you in your Education, Care and Health Plan;
  • You do not feel that your views are being listened to;
  • The local authority has identified a school/college placement that you are not happy with.

How can mediation/disagreement resolution help?

These services can help to:

  • Improve communication between yourself, parents/carers, schools, professional and local authorities;
    Bring the right people and information together;
  • Provide a safe, secure environment for you to share your views freely;
  • Focus everybody on the issues and needs;
  • Rebuild your trust with the people you have had difficulties with so that the best outcome for all involved is found.

What happens if I decide to go to mediation?

If you decide to take part in mediation:

  • You will be provided with the name of a mediator, this person will be the person you need to talk to if you have any questions. He/she will call you to introduce themselves and will guide you through the process;
  • A date and time will be set for the mediation day in agreement with you and the people who need to be there;
  • The mediation meeting will be held in a neutral location within 30 days of the local authority being told you would like mediation. The mediator will send you details on the time date and place of the meeting.

On the mediation day:

  • You will be greeted by the mediator on arrival and shown to a room which will be available to you for the rest of the day;
  • The day will normally begin with one to one meetings between the mediator and each party. So the mediator will meet with you in your room and then they will go and meet with the other party;
  • Usually this is followed by a joint meeting, so everybody sits around a table in one room. The mediator makes sure that the process is understood and that everyone understands the ground rules. Everybody is encouraged to share why they are there and what they would like to achieve from attending;
  • However, if you do not want to or feel unable to face the other people, just let your mediator know at the beginning of the mediation day so that they can talk you through your options.

The mediation will continue until either an outcome has been agreed, the parties agree to take a break and resume on another occasion, or one party chooses to abandon the mediation process.

After the mediation the Mediator will issue a certificate within three working days confirming that mediation has concluded. If all your issues haven’t been resolved, you can use the certificate to register your appeal with the tribunal if you wish.

What is a mediator?

A mediator is an independent person who will help you to talk honestly with each other in a calm and safe environment. They won’t make judgments about who is in the right, or tell you what to do. They will explain the mediation process and answer any questions that you have.

How do I request a mediation or disagreement resolution meeting?

You can request a mediation or disagreement resolution meeting, or seek advice in confidence by:

Do I have to pay anything to speak to you?

No you do not have to pay anything if your local authority has provided you with our details and/or they have told you that you can speak to us.

You will find some useful information on our frequently asked questions page.

What is mediation advice?

If you think that you want to lodge an appeal with the tribunal service because you are unhappy with decisions made by the local authority about your special educational needs, then you have to consider mediation as a way to resolve your disagreement(s) before you can lodge your appeal unless:

  • Your appeal would be about the name of the school, college or other institution named on the plan, the type of school, college or other institution specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named;
  • Your Appeal is only about a health and/or social care issue;
  • If it is a disability discrimination claim.

You can do this by speaking to one of our independent mediators on 01908 889080 or by emailing admin@essentialmediation.co.uk. The mediator will provide you with factual, neutral information about mediation and the process as well as answer any questions that you may have.

Once you have received mediation advice it is up to you to decide whether you want to go to mediation before taking your appeal to the tribunal. If you do not want to try mediation first, the mediator will issue you with a certificate within three working days so that you can register your appeal.

Your right to appeal is not affected if you do not have mediation first and you will not be judged by the tribunal if you have not used the mediation services.

What do I do if you can't help me or my problems is about someone else?

If you’ve got a problem or are worried about someone you know, it can be hard to know what to do to make the situation better. Click here for further information about services and people that are there to help.

What can I do if I am not happy with your service?

If you are not happy with the service that we have provided to you – about its quality or reliability, about the way that our staff have treated you, about the decisions that have been made then click here for further information.