Rotherham SENDIASS works to prevent disagreements. The Service adopts a neutral role in situations involving disagreements between parents/carers, school, and/or LA. Service staff will negotiate on parents/carers behalf with schools or the LA. Emphasis is placed on keeping lines of communication open and resolving disagreements before it becomes necessary to use formal procedures.
Sometimes it can be difficult to reach agreement. Rotherham SENDIASS can provide information with regards to more formal procedures.
The SEND Code of Practice says:
Local authorities must make disagreement resolution services available to parents and young people. Use of the disagreement resolution services is voluntary and has to be with the agreement of all parties. The service, while commissioned by it, must be independent of the local authority – no-one who is directly employed by a local authority can provide disagreement resolution services. (11.6)
Community Accord is an independent service that will provide a trained mediator to facilitate a discussion. The purpose is to look for a way forward that all the parties accept. The service is free and confidential - and you can choose whether to use it.
The disagreement resolution service is there to help resolve three kinds of disagreement between parents or young people and the organisations that are responsible for making provision for children and young people with special educational needs. These are about:
- how early years providers, schools and further education institutions carry out their duties for children and young people with SEN. For local authorities this includes keeping education and care provision under review, assessing needs and drawing up Education, Health and Care plans. For governing bodies and proprietors of schools it includes using their “best endeavours” to meet children and young people’s SEN
- the special educational provision made for a child or young person by early years providers, schools or further education institutions. This includes children and young people receiving SEN support and those with EHC plans.
- health or social care provision when this part of an EHC needs assessment, while EHC plans are being drawn up, reviewed or when children or young people are being reassessed.
Disagreement resolution services can also be used:
- during EHC needs assessments
- while EHC plans are drawn up
- while waiting for Tribunal appeals
- at review
- during reassessments
Rotherham SENDIASS or Community Accord can help you decide if independent disagreement resolution is the right way forward.
You can find out more about disagreement resolution services in the SEND Code of Practice sections 11.6 to 11.10.