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A Guide to SEND Mediation Services and the 1st Tier Tribunal Process

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Wherever possible Blackburn with Darwen Council and/or Health Commissioners will try and resolve concerns or issues by meeting and talking with those involved.  Sometimes it isn't always possible to reach a resolution and you may want to seek support from a third party.

This guide explains

  • the difference between mediation services and disagreement resolution services
  • what mediation services offer
  • how to access the service
  • and who to speak to for more information

You may also want to view our guide to SEND disagreement resolution services

Changes to the SEND Tribunal: Single Route of Redress National Trial

On the 3 April 2018 a two year national trial will start. 

This trial will give more powers to the Special Educational Need and/or Disabilities (SEND) First-tier Tribunal to make non-binding recommendations on the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans.  The SEND first tier tribunal is where parents/carers and young people can appeal information and support that is included in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  Before this date parents, carers and young people could only make an appeal to the tribunal for the education elements that were included in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Although recommendations are non-binding, they are made by a specialist Tribunal and should not be ignored or rejected without careful consideration. Any reasons for not following Tribunal recommendations must be shared with the parent, carer or young person in writing and if parents, carers of the young person aren’t happy with the response they can complain to the Ombudsman or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed (Ombudsmen are independent, free of charge and impartial, using an ombudsman is a way of trying to resolve a complaint without going to court.   Judicial reviews are a court procedure that reviews the lawfulness of decisions made by public bodies).

The Government have provided lots of information for parents, carers, young people and for people who work in education, health and social care on this trial.  To learn more you can view this information by clicking on the links below and on the downloadable documents on your right. You can also speak to Blackburn with Darwen’s Special Educational Needs Information, Advice & Support Service (SENDIASS).

SEND tribunal: single route of redress national trial Guidance

SEND tribunal national trial: toolkit

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