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Disagreement resolution

Disagreement resolution can help parents and young people resolve disagreements with their local authority or their nursery, school or college. It covers all children and young people with any kind of SEN – you don’t need an EHC plan. Taking part is voluntary for all parties.

What is it for?

There are three areas of disagreement that this service can help with:

  • If you and your family disagree with how a nursery, school, college or local authority carries out its education, health and social care duties. This applies if your child has any kind of SEN. You don’t need an EHC plan.
  • If you and your family disagree with your nursery, school or college about the special educational provision they are making for your child. This applies if your child has any kind of SEN. You don’t need an EHC plan.
  • If you and your family disagree with your local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group about health or social care provision for your child. This is only available during an EHC needs assessment or while an EHC plan is being drawn up, reviewed or when your child is being reassessed.

Parents and young people can seek disagreement resolution at any time. Unlike mediation, it is also available at any stage in the EHC process. You can even use it after you have registered an appeal with the SEND Tribunal. Taking part in disagreement resolution is voluntary for all parties. The local authority does not have to agree to it - but if it does, then it must pay for it.

Who is involved?

Disagreement resolution meetings involve the parents and/or young person with SEN, the local authority and a disagreement resolution service. In Sheffield, the service provider used is called Collis Mediation Ltd.

What happens?

The parent or young person with SEN contacts the disagreement resolution service (Collis Mediation: Tel. 07715 958 290, email The service then contacts Sheffield local authority informing them of the request.

If the local authority agrees to the disagreement resolution, a meeting is held where concerns and options are discussed around a table. The meeting is confidential and without prejudice. This means that the SEND Tribunal would not consider anything discussed at a disagreement resolution meeting. It is an opportunity to resolve the matter outside of court.

You can bring someone to support you, such as a teacher, educational psychologist, SENCo or a family member or friend. You can bring reports and important information from people who have opinions about the support the child or young person may need.

More information

The Department for Education has published a useful guide for young people with SEND called "When people can't agree". You can download it from the Downloads box on the left.

Last updated: 03/01/2019

Information owner: Legal Services

Last Updated: 09/01/2019
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