The Local Authority have a duty to provide SEN Mediation and Disagreement Resolution services. This is commonly known as Mediation.
Mediation is a process in which the people involved in a dispute work together with the help of a mediator to reach an acceptable solution.
The mediator is a specially trained independent facilitator, with knowledge of the legislation relating to SEN, health, and social care, who does not take sides and does not give advice or judgement but manages discussions fairly and confidentially to help people communicate and explore options and to help to clarify the nature of the disagreement in preparation for the mediation session. The child’s or young person’s needs and interests are always kept at the heart of these discussions.
The law says you have to consider whether to enter mediation before you can register your appeal so at the very least you must contact a mediation adviser, for whom contact details would be provided in the LA’s letter. Mediation services are free of charge.