If a parent has a disagreement with the Authority about their child’s additional support needs we ask that they contact the school in the first instance. If parents don’t feel that their concern has been addressed they will be provided with access to independent mediation provided by: SACRO. 110 Crown Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6HJ Tel: 01224 560550 Email: email@example.com
Parents can contact SACRO directly to make an initial appointment or to discuss whether mediation may be an appropriate route. Parents can also be referred by someone else as anyone can make a referral but the permission of the family involved is required as mediation is a voluntary process.
Mediation provides an option for avoiding, resolving or narrowing the area of disagreement between the Authority and parents or young people with the assistance of a mediator acting as an impartial third party.
Mediation can be used at any time and more than once. It does not affect the right of a parent to exercise any right they may have e.g. to make an appeal.
The mediation service is independent of Aberdeen City Council and is free to parents.
Dispute resolution, sometimes called external independent adjudication, involves a formal review of an individual case by an independent third party and is free of charge to parents. It is a paper exercise and considers written evidence submitted by parents, eligible children or young people and the Council. Although there is no legal requirement for the recommendations to be acted upon, both parties are expected to accept the outcome. In general, this process of review should not take more than 60 working days.
Dispute resolution can be accessed when disagreements are about a specified matter:
- Whether or not the child or young person has additional support needs;
- In the case of a child or young person with additional support needs, the accuracy of the description of these;
- The refusal of the Education Authority to respond to a request from the parent or young person to establish whether a child or young person, for whose education they are responsible for, has additional support needs;
- The refusal of an Education Authority to respond to an assessment request from the parents, eligible child or young person;
- The person carrying out an assessment or examination or the method of carrying it out;
- The failure of the Authority to provide, or make arrangements for the provision of, the additional support required by the child or young person, whether educational provision or not; and
- The failure of the Education Authority to request help from an appropriate agency.
A request should be made directly to Scottish Ministers to access dispute resolution at: Independent Adjudication, Scottish Government Directorate for Learning, Support and Wellbeing Unit, Area 2C North Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ
This request should be accompanied with other documents such as the child’s educational plan, letters, etc. The Scottish Ministers will then appoint an independent adjudicator from a panel of people experienced in additional support needs.
Health and Education Chamber First-tier Tribunal for Scotland
The Tribunal hears references from parents, eligible children and young people on matters relating to:-
- All issues to do with CSPs including decisions to prepare or not to prepare a CSP, to continue or not to continue a CSP following a review, the contents of a CSP, failures to comply with timescales for preparation or review of the CSP or to provide the support contained in a CSP.
- Placing request appeals for special schools
- School to post-school transitions
Reference forms can be found on the Tribunal’s website.
The Tribunals contact details are: Health and Education Chamber First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, Glasgow Tribunals Centre, 20 York Street, Glasgow, G2 8GT. Tel: 0141 302 5860 E-mail: ASNTribunal@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk