SEND appeals

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Appeals


Recent changes in the law mean that Local Education Authorities have a responsibility to provide Independent Mediation in the event of a dispute over educational issues. Parents do not have to opt for mediation, but must demonstrate that they have considered all their options before being able to lodge an appeal with the SEND tribunal.

Releasing Potential Mediation can request mediation on behalf of a parent, carer or young person, if a young person has been refused an assessment for an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), when an assessment finds that an EHCP is not necessary, or when there is a dispute over the contents of an EHCP.

Mediation provides an alternative to a tribunal appeal, and allows both parties an opportunity to negotiate and potentially resolve their disagreement without the need for tribunal. If mediation does not fully resolve the dispute, parents are able to access tribunal services.

Mediation is not compulsory.  After accessing advice on their options from one of our specially-trained mediation team, those parents who prefer to appeal via tribunal without mediating first, will be issued with a certificate so that they can access tribunal services. This can be done by calling our dedicated mediation team within 60 days of the decision from your Local Authority; requests for mediation or tribunal certificates cannot usually be made after the 60-day deadline.

We are the only Hampshire-based service accredited by Hampshire LEA as an approved independent mediation service. We are easy to access at our premises in Havant and Chichester, and we have good knowledge of the local area. All funds raised from our mediation services for Local Authorities are reinvested into Releasing Potential School, an Independent School for children with Special Educational Needs.

All our mediators are specialists in SEND mediation. No one who works for Releasing Potential is employed by Hampshire County Council or any other Local Authority.

If you would like to discuss the SEND appeals process, please call our dedicated mediation line on 07764 326384.

Releasing Potential Mediation
7 Kingscroft Court
Charity No: 1097440
Company No: 4622100

07764 326384 (Mediation Helpline)

023 9247 9762 (Releasing Potential Head Office)