If we can't agree...
The mediation process
The aim of the process is to settle disagreements that arise between parents and the Local Authority / schools / Academies / Further Education institutions / NHS about the special educational needs (SEN) of children and young people, and how best to meet these needs whether they are education, health or social care needs.
The SEND regulations 2014 No. 1530 make it clear where mediation relates to health care provision specified in the EHC plan or that no health care of a particular kind is specified in the plan, the Local Authority will respond through the mediation process as described below.
The KIDS London SEN Mediation Service provides mediation support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs when there is some kind of disagreement surrounding how best to meet those needs. Mediation is an informal, voluntary process where parties in disagreement meet together with an independent mediator.
The KIDS London SEN Mediation Service provides the mediation meetings for parents, local authorities and schools in the majority of London boroughs including Haringey, Camden, Enfield and Islington Local Authorities. The service provides a panel of independent experienced mediators who are highly skilled, impartial professionals that have an accredited qualification in mediation and have received additional training in SEN legislation and practice.
How does mediation work?
Mediation is an informal, voluntary process which involves an independent facilitator (the mediator) who helps those in dispute to reach agreements that are acceptable to all parties. The mediator is impartial, does not take sides, nor gives suggestions or possible solutions to the dispute.
The mediator is there to help to facilitate discussions and to make sure everyone is treated fairly. The mediator is in control of the process but not of the outcome of the mediation. It is the parties themselves that find solutions and decide the outcome through participating in the mediation process.
- Learn more about the Mediation Process (PDF, 169KB)
Parents must access the mediation process first in order to have the right of appeal through Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Services - the Health, Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal. Again, the Haringey Information, Advice and Support (Haringey IAS) Service can help parents with advice on how to make such an appeal.
How to make a referral?
Parents can make referrals themselves. Any other party must have parents’ permission to contact the Mediation Service.
Requests for mediation can come from other parties such as:
- Local Authority
- Haringey Information Advice and Support service (IASS) formerly called the Parent Partnership Service (who would be supporting the parent who may have a concern).
- Barnardos Independent Support
- School staff
- Other parties, such as voluntary agencies
No paperwork is required - simply contact:
- Tel: 020 7359 3635
- Web: Mediation service (external link)
A member of staff will take details of the case and if both parties to the disagreement agree to take part in mediation, a date will be arranged, and the mediation will proceed.
Please note that Local Authority Officers, Haringey Information Advice and Support service (IASS) or any other third parties must have permission from parents/ carers before passing their details to the KIDS London SEN Mediation Service.
You can contact the Haringey Information Advice and Support service (IASS) call 020 8800 2611.
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