Issues, complaints and resolving disagreements
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Issues, complaints and resolving disagreements

We are committed to providing the best possible service and we want to work with you to resolve any issues. If you are unhappy with anything in relation to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment or an EHC plan, please email sensap@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 1030.

We would like to resolve any disagreements locally with families, so we will look into any complaint and get back to you. If you're not happy with our response then you have the opportunity to escalate it.

Please note: If you/your child still has a Statement of Special Educational Needs then much of the following information does not apply. In that case, please disregard the information on this page and email sensap@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 1030 to get in touch and we will respond to your query individually.

Quality Assurance

If you are concerned about the quality of the special educational provision which is being implemented at your school or setting, or if you think that the provision stipulated in the EHC plan is not being provided effectively, you can contact a Monitoring and Quality Assurance Officer who will be able to investigate the issue further on your behalf. If you would like to notify us of an issue, please email sensap@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 1030.

Disagreement Resolution

In some circumstances, a quick and non-adversarial way to resolving issues can be achieved through a disagreement resolution approach. Disagreement resolution arrangements are designed to resolve issues about the performance of duties, SEN provision, disagreements over health and social care provision and disagreements between health commissioners and local authorities. They are completely voluntary. Parents and young people can use the complaints procedures in addition to using disagreement resolution services. Currently the contract for formal disagreement resolution services in Leeds is with Community Accord. Please see the Leeds SEND Information Advice Support Service​ for more information.

Mediation If parents or young people wish to make an appeal to the Tribunal they must contact an independent mediation advisor within two months to see if this may be a suitable way of resolving a disagreement and to get mediation information. This would be when the local authority takes the following decisions:
  • When a local authority decides not to carry out an EHC assessment
  • When a local authority decides not to draw up an EHC plan
  • After parents or young people receive a final or amended final EHC plan
  • Following a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan

If a parent or young person wants to have formal mediation then the local authority will arrange this with the mediation advisor within 30 days of being advised of this decision. Once mediation is completed the mediation advisor must issue a certificate within 3 working days so that the parent or young person can appeal to the tribunal if they still wish to. If a parent or young person, after receiving all the information from the mediation advisor, decides not to go to formal mediation, the advisor will issue them with a certificate within 3 days of the parent or young person telling them. This will confirm that information has been provided and it will enable the parent or young person to lodge their appeal with the SEND tribunal. This will be either two months from the original decision being sent by the council or within one month of receiving the certificate, whichever is later. If parents or young people disagree with the school, college or other institute named in the plan, they do not need to contact a mediation advisor prior to registering an appeal. Currently the contract for mediation services in Leeds is with Community Accord. Please email sensap@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 1030 if you wish to use this service.

SEN & Disability First-Tier Tribunal

Following a certificate of mediation, parents and young people can appeal to the first-tier tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) against decisions made by the council about their education. For further information about how to appeal, and to access the relevant application forms, please see the SEND tribunals page or call the tribunals service on 01325 289350.

In many authorities it is reported that parents/young people feel unnecessarily burdened by the thought of a Tribunal appeal. In Leeds in order to ensure that all our parents/young people feel empowered and supported to enact their right to appeal, we have created our “9 Tribunal Pledges” which outline the ways in which we will work and the commitments we make to ensuring a fair and transparent appeal process. See our 9 SEND tribunal pledges and our Appeals annual review for more information.

Impartial information, advice and support

In addition to the formal support processes set out above, parents and young people can seek advice and support from Leeds SEND Information Advice Support Service who will be able to offer support on any of the above services. You can call the Helpline on 0113 378 5020 or send an email to sendiass@leeds.gov.uk. See First-Tier Tribunal (SEND) or Leeds SENDIASS for more information.

Advocacy services

Barnardos have been commissioned to provide an impartial advocacy service, which supports young people in asserting their rights, being involved in decision making processes and ensuring that their views are listened to and taken into account. In order to use this service, please visit Barnardo's website.

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