Resolving disagreements, mediation and complaints

Resolving disagreements, mediation and complaints

This page outlines what you can do if you disagree with a decision made by a professional, regardless of whether your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan.

This includes your local authority (LA), your child’s school or other educational setting, local health, social care or other services.

If your disagreement is with your LA or Integrated Care System (ICS) about your Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan (or matters relating to it) and you are considering appealing to the SEND Tribunal there is an independent mediation service available. Details about this service can be found in Mediation.



What do I do if I don't agree with something?

If you do not agree with a decision your child’s early years setting, school or college has made about your child’s support you should first talk to them and try to reach an agreement.

You may also wish to contact the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) for help at this stage. They are impartial professionals who can explain the processes and support you through it. Contact SENDIASS on 01905 768153, by email at or via their website at Herefordshire and Worcestershire SENDIASS

Wherever possible the school, setting, Worcestershire County Council and/or Health Commissioners will try and resolve any disagreements by meeting and talking with you and, where appropriate, with the child/young person involved.

If you still do not manage to reach an agreement, you can use a Disagreement Resolution service, which your local authority must make available. This professional service is free to you and independent of your local authority. It can provide you with a quick and informal way of resolving disagreements.

If you can’t reach agreement, they will advise you about their procedures for making complaints. You don't have to use the Disagreement Resolution service before using any of the complaint's procedures, and Disagreement Resolution service can be used before, at the same time or after those procedures.

What is the Disagreement Resolution service and who can use it?

What is the Disagreement Resolution Service?

It is a service which is used with agreement from all the parties involved, with the aim of reaching a quick and less stressful solution to a disagreement. The process is informal and the Disagreement Resolution service acts to help meaningful discussions to take place. The facilitator is an expert in disagreement resolution and completely independent of everyone. They will have an understanding of the SEN processes, procedures and law, but don't take any part in any decision making.

What areas of disagreement does it cover?

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

If you disagree with your local authority, your school, early years setting or college about how they are carrying out their education, health and care duties

This applies if your child has any kind of SEN – not just those who are going through Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment or have an EHC plan

If you disagree with your early years settings, school or college about the SEN provision they are making

This applies if your child has any kind of SEN – not just those who are going through an EHC needs assessment or have an EHC plan

If you disagree with your local authority (LA) or Integrated Care System (ICS) about the health or social care provision during your child’s EHC needs assessment

Or about their EHC plan, and any review or reassessment of the EHC plan

Who can use the Disagreement Resolution service?

If, after going through Disagreement Resolution, you still cannot reach agreement about all or part of the decision you need to follow the appropriate organisation’s own complaints procedure. Details about these can be found on the organisation's own websites. SENDIASS will also help and support you through this process.

The Disagreement Resolution service is for parents and carers of all children and young people with SEN, and young people themselves with SEN or disabilities. You don't have to use the service, which is free.

You can get details about how to access this service by calling SEN Services at Worcestershire County Council on 01905 845579

Further information and links

Department for Education

Special educational needs and disability – a guide for parents and carers
Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years

Complaint Procedures:

Education: Every school should publish their own complaints procedure on their website. In the case of the Local Authority please see our Council wide complaints procedures


Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust - Complaints

Worcestershire Health and Care Trust - Compliments, comments and complaints

Social Care:

Adults social care - compliments, comments and complaints

Children's social care - compliments, comments and complaints

Patient compliments and complaints – Integrated Care System

If you have a compliment or complaint relating to an NHS service you can contact us in the following ways:

  • Write to: The Complaints Team, NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Kirkham House, John Comyn Drive, Perdiswell, Worcester,  WR3 7NS
  • Email:
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