What to do if you're unhappy with SEND services

Your views are important. We welcome the chance to talk about your concerns.

Disagreement resolution

Disagreement resolution is for all children and young people with SEND. It's not just for those having an EHC needs assessment or have an EHC plan. It's free service that's independent of the council.

It can help if you disagree with:

  • how a provider is carrying out their EHC duties
  • your early years settings, school or college about their SEN provision
  • the health or social care provision during your child’s EHC needs assessment
  • an EHC plan, or a review or reassessment

How to access the service

​​Email the EHC assessment team to ask for the disagreement resolution service.


You can use this service if:

  • you're unhappy with a decision not to assess your child for an EHC plan
  • you disagree with what's in your child's EHC plan

You can either:

  • go through mediation, which can sort out problems quickly
  • ask for a mediation certificate and go to tribunal without mediation

There's more information about mediation in all ECH plan decision letters. The IPSEA website explains what happens during the process.

How to access the service

Contact Prime Resolution (our independent mediation provider) for free advice. They will take you through the process that's right for you. You should contact them within two months of the date on our decision letter.


The tribunal handles appeals if we have refused to:

  • assess a child or young person’s educational, health and care (EHC) needs
  • reassess their EHC needs
  • issue an EHC plan
  • change what’s in a child or young person’s EHC plan
  • maintain the EHC plan

How to access the service

You can find out how to make an appeal to the first-tier tribunal (SEND) on gov.uk. There's also information in all EHC plan decision letters.

Get support with disagreement resolution, mediation and appeals

There is no regulation covering representation for SEND tribunals. This means anyone can set themselves up as a SEND advocate and charge for services. 

You can get free information, advice and support from:

SENDIOG have produced a guide for parents who need support with SEND tribunals or disputes.

Tell us what you think about council services

You can contact us to: