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Disagreements, Mediation, Tribunals & Appeals


If you are unhappy with the SEN Panel’s decision, you may wish to discuss the matter further with the SENCo at your child's school. You can also contact the SEN team on 0118 937 2674.  If we are unable to resolve your concerns, you may wish to contact Reading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEN (formerly The Parent Partnership Service), which is a service that all authorities are legally required to provide for parents and carers who have a child with special educational needs, with or without a EHCP. Although part of Brighter Futures for ChildrenReading Information, Advice & Support Service for SEN offers impartial advice and support. Thet can be contacted on 0118 937 3421 or email:   Reading IASS


This is a statutory service commissioned by local authorities which is designed to help settle disagreements between parents or young people and local authorities over EHC needs assessments and plans and which parents and young people can use before deciding whether to appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal about decisions on assessment or the special educational element of a plan. Mediation can cover any one or all three elements of an EHC plan and must be offered to the parent or young person when the final plan is issued, but they are not able to appeal to the Tribunal about the health and social care aspects of the plan.

You can also contact our regional Global Mediation Service on 0800 064 4488 Global Mediation Service 

Tribunals & Appeals

National Trial – SEND Tribunal Single Route of Redress

As you may be aware there are changes planned in relation to the SEND Tribunals. 

In summary the Government are trialling extending powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Local Authority decisions regarding Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a special educational appeal. The trial will apply to decisions made from 3 April 2018 and will run for two years. 

The guidance sets out the extended powers and duties in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017

Currently appeals can only be made to the Tribunal over the educational aspects of Local Authority decisions regarding EHC plans. In the trial appeals over the educational aspects are broadened and will give parents and young people the ability to also appeal associated health and social care issues at the same time.  Appeals to the Tribunal cannot be made just on health and social care issues. CLICK here to find out more.

A toolkit providing a number of resources has been created to support local authorities, health commissioners, parents and young people in preparation for and throughout the trial

Guidance on the single route of redress national trial, is published on GOV.UK

You may also appeal to the Special Education Needs and Disability Tribunal. The Code of Practice states that families should request mediation to discuss their concerns before registering an appeal. The address of the tribunal is:

Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal
1st Floor
Darlington Magistrates Court

Tel: 01325 289350 e-mail:

Website: First tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

Updated September 2019