Mediation and SEND information, advice and support service

Find out what mediation is and how it works in North Yorkshire.

Mediation is free, confidential and independent and it is when a person (the mediator) helps people in dispute find agreement. It will still be between you and the local authority person, not the mediator to decide the outcome. Mediation usually focuses on the present and the future rather than the past.

North Yorkshire has provided an experienced mediation service that is completely separate from them, called Kids mediation. This is a free service for all young people, parents or carers living within North Yorkshire. Kids will explain exactly what you need to do and what to expect.

The SENDIASS North Yorkshire team can help support you through this process too as SENDIASS is also arm's length, independent and separate to any other service and may go into the mediation meetings with you if they can.

How mediation works

The local authority will always take part and the mediation must be arranged within 30 calendar days from when the mediation service told them.

The mediation meeting will be about three to four hours long, sometimes less, held in a local room near to you. You can bring a family member, friend or someone else to support you.

What you need to do

If you have received a letter from the local authority saying they have decided not to apply for an education, health and care assessment or that they will not offer a plan, you have two calendar months from the date of this letter to contact Kids mediation.

If you decide you do not want mediation but you want to lodge an appeal for a tribunal, you must still contact Kids and ask for a certificate. This must still be done within the two calendar months' time frame.

Education, health and care plan single route of redress - national trial

The Government are extending the powers of the first-tier tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of education, health and care plans as part of a two-year trial.

You can find out more about the trial changes here.

Mediators and what do they do

We have a panel of experienced SEN mediators, who are trained in SEN legislation.

Contact the Kids special education needs mediation service

You can contact Kids on 03330 062835 (helpline), send an email or visit their website.

You are welcome to speak to the SENDIASS team first if you are unsure about making direct contact with the Kids mediation service.