The Children and Families Act has re-emphasised the importance of Mediation and Disagreement Resolution as a means of resolving disputes between parents, young people and local authorities. For the first time, it can also be used as a means to consider disputes against health and social care. We endorse the amicable resolution of disputes through these processes as they are cost effective for parents and help to preserve relationships between parties.
You would use Mediation Services if you are appealing to the SEN Tribunal in connection with a Local Authority’s decision. You would use Disagreement Resolution Services for non-Tribunal related matters. Our Factsheet sets out the circumstances when mediation must be considered and what it involves. We also have a separate Factsheet for using the Disagreement Resolution Services.
Regardless of when Mediation and Disagreement Resolution may be used, we provide advice and support for you to be able to navigate through these processes and can appoint a non-legal advocate to support you and to represent you at the mediation session.
There are a number of advantages of invoking these services as a means of resolving disputes, whether they are connected to a Tribunal or otherwise: