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Concerns, complaints and appeals

You can discuss any concerns you have about your child/young person's special educational needs and disabilities, whether they have an Education, Health and Care Plan or not - with the Coordinator Assistant Team in Achieving for Children’s SEND Service: 

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 020 8547 5872 

You can also discuss any concerns you have about your child/young person - whether they have an Education, Health and Care Plan or not - with the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). This is an independent and free service for all families living in Kingston and Richmond, provided by Polaris Children’s Services: 

Freephone number: 0808 164 5527 

Email: [email protected]

Website: rksendiass.co.uk

If your child/young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan, you can discuss any concerns with your Education, Health and Care Coordinator in the SEND Service. You will already have been provided with their email address and mobile phone number. If you don’t have this, please contact the Special Educational Needs and Disability Service:

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 020 8547 5872 

If your concern is about the Education, Health and Care Coordinator, you should still try to resolve your concerns with them first. After that, your Education, Health and Care Coordinator will involve their manager or more senior managers in the following order:

  • Senior Education, Health and Care Coordinator
  • SEND Team Manager
  • Deputy Service Manager
  • Head of Service

We will always do our best to try to resolve any concerns informally between us first but if we cannot resolve your concerns you may need to make a complaint

Complaints are about things such as if we haven’t done what we said we would do, not about the decisions we make about your child/young person’s special educational needs or disabilities. If you disagree with a decision we have made about your child/young person, you must follow a different route to challenge the decision. 

If you choose to make a complaint about the SEND Service, you can do so by following the complaints process for the council where you live. Information about how to complain is available on each council’s website - please choose the council in the area where you live:

If you disagree with a decision we have made about your child/young person, you must follow this route:

Parents and young people aged 16 to 25 years have a right to appeal the decisions we make to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). This is a court administered by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service.

You may make an application to appeal a decision in the following circumstances:

  • We declined to carry out an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment
  • We declined to award an Education, Health and Care Plan, following an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment
  • We declined to amend an Education, Health and Care Plan following an Annual Review
  • You disagree with the special educational needs identified in section B or the special educational provision related to a child/young person’s special educational needs in section F of a final or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan
  • You disagree with the health needs related to special educational needs identified in section C or the health provision related to a child/young person’s special educational needs in section G of a final or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan 
  • You disagree with the social care needs related to special educational needs identified in section D or the social care provision related to a child/young person’s special educational needs in section H of a final or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan 
  • You disagree with the education setting or other education arrangements we have written in section I of a final or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan
  • We haven’t named an education setting or other education arrangements in Section I of a final or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan
  • We ended a child/young person’s Education, Health and Care Plan 
  • We declined to carry out a re-assessment of a child/young person’s Education, Health and Care Needs

Way forward meeting

First, please consider requesting a way forward meeting with us. We always prefer to discuss our decisions with you informally and hopefully find a way forward together. We will arrange way forward meetings as quickly and as flexibly as possible, in the hope that we can agree on a fair outcome for you and us. If we arrange a way forward meeting, it doesn’t stop you from appealing, and you will have plenty of time left to do so.

Mediation

Before you are permitted to make an application to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), you must consider attending a formal mediation meeting with us. You must contact our disagreement resolution and mediation provider even if you don’t want to attend mediation.

You must consider or request formal mediation within two months of the date of the letter that told you our decision. If you request mediation after two months from the date of the letter, you will not have a right of appeal but we may still be able to arrange mediation.

To consider or request mediation, please contact our disagreement resolution and mediation provider, Kids Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Mediation and Disagreement Resolution Service. 

If you attend mediation, but still disagree with the outcome, you will have an additional 31 days from the end of the original two-month deadline and you may make an application to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

If after considering mediation you decide not to go ahead with it, you will be issued with a mediation certificate. You may then make an application to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). You must make an application to appeal within two months of the date of the original letter that told you our decision.

Appeal 

If you decide to appeal, you must submit your application to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) in line with the timescales explained earlier.

You may contact the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) in the following ways:

By post: First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), 1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates’ Court, Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RU

By phone: 0300 303 5857

By email: [email protected]

Website: First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)