You can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with our decisions about your child's special educational needs and the disagreement hasn't been resolved by disagreement resolution or mediation.

local offer logo Although we agree with parents on most SEN issues, there may be times where a disagreement arises.

We aim to make decisions about provision for children and young people with SEN and disabilities as soon as possible.

We also aim to make decisions jointly with children, young people and their parents.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Resolving disagreements

Disagreement resolution is free, confidential and aims to resolve any disagreements in a quick, informal way using a neutral person (a mediator).

Meetings are held in a safe, neutral environment that allows for both parties to be listened to and understood.

Disagreement resolution and mediation are positive ways of resolving disagreements for parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities, us and their school when there is a disagreement about how best to meet their child’s need.

You have a right to access an independent service to try to resolve disagreements and can arrange for independent SEN mediation.

Disagreement resolution consists of an independent facilitator bringing together all parties to seek to resolve disagreements through discussion. You can take someone with you if you wish.

Contact the independent disagreement resolution and mediation service for Lambeth:

KIDS London SEN Mediation Service
Telephone: 020 7520 0405
Email: enquiries.london@kids.org.uk
Visit the KIDS London SEN Mediation Service website

You can also contact the Lambeth SEND Information Advice Support Service for neutral information and support.

If you are involved in resolving a dispute, this does not affect your right to appeal to the Lambeth SEN and Disability Tribunal.

2. Mediation before making an appeal

Mediation applies where parents and young people wish to make an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Parents and young people should consider mediation before submitting their appeal to the Tribunal in the hope that a disagreement can be resolved quickly and amicably.

The aim of mediation is to reach an agreement that helps everyone to move on.

The mediation meeting is led by an independent person (the mediator) who will support discussion and make sure everyone is treated fairly. The mediator is neutral so does not take sides of put forward discussions or possible solutions.

The parties - the authority and the family/young person - are in control of the outcome. The mediation process helps them to reach an agreement that is acceptable to everyone.

3. Making an appeal if an agreement isn't reached

You can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with our decisions about your child's special educational needs and the disagreement hasn't been resolved by disagreement resolution or mediation.

For example, we may not agree that your child needs extra support in the classroom to help them with learning difficulties.

You usually have to appeal to the tribunal within two months of getting our decision letter.

You can contact us to talk about appeals and tribunals:

Appeals against our decisions no longer go to the High Court, but to the 'First-Tier Tribunal' of the British Court System.

To find out more about the process and how to appeal, contact:

HM Courts & Tribunal Service
Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
Telephone: 01325 289 350
Email: sendistqueries@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk
Visit the SEND Tribunal website