What if we cannot agree?
This information will help you consider what you can do if you are not happy with the provision made for your child. There are a number of ways you can help prevent problems or misunderstandings arising.
- Always speak to the school's Additional Learning Needs Co-ordinator (ALNCo) as soon as you have worries or concerns
- Share all the information you have about your child with the school and other professionals involved
- Always attend meetings about your child
- Keep in contact with your Named Officer in the Local Authority (LA)
Local Authority Officer
If you disagree with the LA on anything relating to a decision made regarding provision or the outcome of a statutory assessment, you should contact the LA Officer named in the letter you received which included the decision as soon as possible.
Independent Parental Support
You could contact the local independent parental support service (currently SNAP Cymru) who are able to offer advice and support to you including attending meetings with you.
They can be contacted on 0845 1203730 (calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge) or from a mobile 0345 1203730.
Disagreement Resolution / Mediation
Whether Statutory Assessment has been refused or carried out, it is sometimes difficult to reach agreement. The disagreement resolution service can help parents, schools, and the LA when there is a dispute about SEN.
A mediator will meet with parents and school or LA staff. The mediator does not take sides but will listen and find out what has been happening. The aim is to find a workable solution that everyone can agree with.
Disagreement Resolution is free and independent of all parties including schools and the Local Authority. It is totally confidential and is available when all sides want to reach an agreement and therefore resolve any disagreement.
Special Educational Needs Tribunal
If you have chosen to go through the mediation process and are still unhappy, you have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal For Wales. The Tribunal is independent and will consider appeals when parents disagree with the Local Authority. You do not need to go through Disagreement Resolution before making an appeal to Tribunal, although disputes can often be resolved before this course of action is required.
An appeal can be made if:
- the Council refuses to carry out a statutory assessment of your child (unless an assessment has been carried out in the past six months)
- the Council refuses to make a statement after a statutory assessment
- you disagree with Part 2,3 or 4 of your child's statement when the statement is first made or later changed
- the Council refuses to carry out a statutory re-assessment
- the Council decides to cease an existing statement
There are strict guidelines for appealing to the SEN Tribunal so that appeals do not delay any special help needed by a child. An appeal has to be lodged by a parent within two months of the Council making its decision.
If you do decide to appeal to the SEN Tribunal, you should let your LA Officer know as soon as possible and continue to discuss your concerns.
The Local Authority will always strive to work in partnership with parents and pupils and will always encourage parents to share their views openly in order to seek an agreement wherever possible.
The Special Educational Needs Tribunal For Wales can be contacted at:
Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales
Spa Road East