Mediation advice for SEND school appeals

If it has not been possible to reach an agreement with the Local Authority (LA) over the assessment process or the provision of or content of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan), you have the right to appeal to Special educational needs and disability (SEND) Tribunal.

SEND is an independent first-tier tribunal who hear and decide parents or young peoples' appeals against the decisions of the LA in relation to special educational need (SEN).

You must have mediation advice in order to be able to register an appeal with the Tribunal, except in a few specific circumstances. These exceptions are:

  • if your appeal is solely about the name of the school, college or other institution named
    on the plan, the type of school, college or other institution specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named
  • if your appeal relates solely to the health and social care elements of an EHC Plan
  • if it is a disability discrimination claim

Once you have received mediation advice it is up to you to decide whether you want to go to mediation before any appeal you might make to the Tribunal.

To receive mediation advice, contact the Mediation Adviser on 0800 064 4488 or email :

This is an independent service which is free of charge and your conversation will be confidential.

If you do not want to try mediation first, the Mediation Adviser will issue you with a certificate so that you can register your appeal.

Your right to appeal is not affected if you do not have mediation first and no inference will be drawn by the Tribunal if you have not used the mediation services.

If you wish to pursue mediation please inform the LA and the reason why including if it is about a health care provision.