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Challenges and Disputes

What happens if I do not agree?


Refusal to assess

Where the LA  have decided an EHC needs assessment is not necessary, they must tell you why and include the following information about:

  • your right of appeal

  • independent disagreement resolution and mediation

  • how to get further information, advice or support

Mediation, what’s involved and what happens

If you disagree with the local authority's decision, in most instances you will need to consider Mediation before making an appeal to the SEND Tribunal.


SEND Mediation is held with an independent Mediator who will aim to find a way forward that you, your child or young person and the Local Authority are happy with. Mediation works best when all parties have access to the same information and resources. The person from the Local Authority will have the power to make decisions and you will leave the mediation with an agreed way forward. Mediation meetings are generally held at a neutral venue and you can take a member of the IAS with you or another person to support you if needed.


Exclusion from school means that a pupil is not allowed in school for disciplinary reasons.


The exclusion can be either a fixed period exclusion or a permanent exclusion and these can both be stressful and emotional for parents, as well as for the child or young person. Only a head teacher (or acting head teacher if the head teacher is off site) can exclude a child.


It is important that you have the right information and support and that you ask the right questions about options for the future.


Exclusion from school can be a worrying time. IAS can help parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) whether they:


• are at risk of exclusion

• have a fixed period exclusion or

• have a permanent exclusion

Making a complaint or challenging a decision

Sometimes problems can be resolved by discussion and informal forms of dispute resolution. However, sometimes problems do not go away and parents of children with SEN and young people may need to take further action.

The steps to take depend who/what you need to make a complaint about. In all instances, the IAS Service can help you.

The following links to the IPSEA website provide useful information about each type of complaint/disagreement resolution.

Where your concern relates to an EHC Plan, or refusal to undertake an EHC Needs Assessment, your recourse is to the SEND Tribunal.


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