Any decision made by the LA which gives you the right to appeal to the first tier tribunal also gives you a right to mediation on the decision. In the decision letter received from the local authority there must be the contact information of the mediation service.
To begin the process, you need to contact the mediation service who will arrange for a mediation information advice session (MIAS). During this session you will have the process of mediation explained and then you can decide whether you wish to undertake mediation.
If you choose not to take part in a mediation session, the certificate will be issued to you within 3 working days. Following receipt of the certificate, you have 30 days to lodge at the first tier tribunal.
If you decide to attend a mediation session, the mediator will contact the local authority and arrange a mediation session within 30 days. This doesn’t mean the session will take place in 30 days but that a confirmed date will be agreed within 30 days.
If you would like support from SENDIASS, it is important to let the mediation service know you would like SENDIASS to be invited to the session and you should inform SENDIASS you have done this.
Should an agreed date not be found within 30 days you will be issued with the mediation certificate which will give you the right appeal to the first tier tribunal.
The mediation session will be led by the mediator who will facilitate the discussion. They are not a judge and don’t have the ability to make any decision, but will work towards a mutual agreement.
Ahead of the session:
- Make a note of questions you want to ask
- Consider the decision made and any evidence that supports your case
Everyone will be given the opportunity to speak and ask questions; the session is confidential. It’s important it is used as a constructive opportunity to address the decision. At the end of the session the mediator will write up the agreed outcomes of mediation.
This is a contractual agreement between the parties which will either be a full or partial agreement. Following this, the actions should be carried out. If you’re satisfied with the agreement reached in mediation, then the matter will end there. If an agreement isn’t reached, then you still have the right to appeal to the SEN tribunal.
For more information, please follow the link to the SEND Mediation and Disagreement Resolution Services on the East Riding Local Offer website.