If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s support, you have the right to bring this up with the people involved, and to challenge the decisions being made.
There are many organisations out there who can help you do this, and there are official processes in place to make sure your child gets the best possible outcome.
How to challenge your child's support
The first thing you can do is request a meeting with the people involved or write to the school or local authority A local authority is also called a council A council is also called a local authority. They are a group of people who make decisions about some of the things in the area where you live. These include: schools, social care Social care means the services that give care and support to people who need it. (support for people), parks and dustbin collection. . They are a group of people who make decisions about some of the things in the area where you live like schools, social care (support for people), parks and dustbin collection. about your concerns. This problem solving toolkit from disability charity Cerebra has some helpful model letters and tips for preparing for a meeting.
If the people involved aren't able to find a satisfactory solution, you can take your concerns further and you may end up in contact with the SEND tribunal (see below).
Organisations that can help
There are several organisations who can help you challenge your child’s school or education Education is when you learn things. When you fill in a form to get a job, education means you write where you went to school, college or university. provider, or the local authority:
- Your local SEND IASS (Information, Advice and Support Services) are there to advise and support disabled children and young people and their families. Find your local service at IASS Network.
- Contact have specialist education advisors available on their helpline on 0808 808 3555.
- IPSEA also offers advice on your child’s rights Rights are the things everyone should be allowed to do like have a say, or go to school. , and resources to help you challenge education providers and local authorities.
- Cerebra’s Legal Entitlements Research Project helps families of children and young people with special educational needs who are experiencing problems with education services.
The SEND Tribunal
The SEND Tribunal is there to adjudicate between schools, local authorities and families/young people with special educational needs and disabilities. The tribunal can make decisions on the following matters:
- if you believe that a school has discriminated against your child because of their disability
- if the local authority refuses to carry out an EHC needs assessment An assessment is a way of finding out what help a person needs. When you have an assessment, you might have to go to a meeting or fill in a form.
- if the local authority refuses to issue an EHC plan
- if the local authority refuses to make changes to a plan after a review or reassessment
- a decision by the local authority to end the plan
- what the plan says about your child’s special educational needs, including the school or college named in the plan.
You might want to do more to influence decisions about special educational needs issues locally and nationally. Your local parent carer forum campaigns on issues that are important to you and your child. Visit the National Network of Parent Carer Forums to find your local forum.
Timeframes for lodging an appeal and considering mediation
You have 2 months to lodge your appeal To appeal means saying you want someone to think about a decision again. with the tribunal. For many appeals you must decide whether you want to go through optional mediation.
You can do this by phoning the mediation services your local authority has recommended for you. You must make this call within the two month timeframe that has been set. Once you've called the mediation service, your deadline for lodging your appeal may be extended.
The Learning Disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. Helpline is our free help and advice line.
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