Parent Partnership Service
Disgareement Resolution, Advocacy and Tribunal
From time to time, disagreements may arise about your child’s Additional Learning Needs (ALN) or Additional Learning Provision (ALP). As far as possible these disagreements should be avoided or resolved at the earliest opportunity.
The aims of disagreement resolution are to:
- help bring together the relevant parties;
- support the needs of the child and young person;
- help to achieve early and informal resolution of disagreements through discussion and agreement;
- discuss the full range of options;
- ensure the minimum disruption to the child or young person’s education
Firstly, discuss your concerns with your child’s school or educational setting. The Parent Partnership Service can support you to do this and offer mediation and impartial advice and support (see below).
Steps for parents to consider:
- Narrow down your concerns or point of disagreement to one or two clear point.
- Make a list of key points you wish to be considered
- Make a list of any questions you have and would like responses to prior to attending a meeting.
Impartial Disagreement Resolution
The Parent Partnership Service can offer impartial advice and support to children or young people, and/or their parents where there is a disagreement about the support the pupil gets at school or college, a decision about Additional Learning Needs, or about an IDP. Being impartial means we don’t take sides and we support families to have their voice heard, offering mediation when required.
This could include:
- Supporting parents with phone calls, emails and meetings
- Making sure parents are treated as equal partners and the family views are central to the process
- Encouraging open and inclusive communication so concerns and misunderstandings are dealt with early on
- Supporting families to have information that is accurate, up to date and relevant
- Helping to improve home-school communication ongoing so trust is built
- Explaining the legislation to families to understand Rights and Responsibilities, and signposting to further information when needed
- Supporting families to understand IDPs and making sure decisions are transparent, and all evidence is considered.
Independent Disagreement Resolution
This service provides a formal way of resolving disagreements about support for learners with ALN. This could be a disagreement between a child, their parents or a young person and Pembrokeshire County Council; or between a child, their parents or a young person and the school. The service is independent and is provided by SNAP Cymru for Pembrokeshire local authority.
- Referral to PPS from Parent or Professional *
- PPS officers will work with child, their parents, or young person to identify and resolve issues
- If the issue cannot be resolved through informal dispute resolution, a referral can be made for the DRS Service*
- DRS Service will offer impartial independent dispute resolution
* permission required from child, their parent or young person
You can get details about accessing this service by contacting the Parent Partnership Service on 01437 776354
Advocacy for Children and Young People with ALN
Advocacy is about…
- speaking up for children and young people.
- empowering children and young people to make sure that their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard at all times.
- representing the views, wishes and needs of children and young people to decision-makers, and helping them to navigate the system.
How can I get an Advocate or find out more information?
Pembrokeshire’s Parent Partnership Service can offer formal Advocacy to children, young people and their case friends, aged up to 25 years. The Parent Partnership Service have staff trained in Advocacy from Independent Advocacy providers TGP Cymru and the National Youth Advocacy Service. The team can offer impartial, confidential and skilled advocacy to children, young people with ALN, or (when appropriate) their case friends.
The Parent Partnership Service will also make a referral to an Independent Advocacy Service in circumstances when this service is required.
The Education Tribunal is independent of government, local authorities, schools and Further Education Institutes (FEI) or settings.
The Tribunal hears and decides appeals and applications in relation to children and young people who have or may have Additional Learning Needs (ALN). Specifically, it hears and decides appeals about the decisions of an FEI or a local authority in Wales. The decisions made by the tribunal are legally binding.
A child, child’s parent or young person may appeal to the Tribunal about:
- a decision by a local authority or FEI as to whether the child or young person has ALN;
- in the case of a young person, a decision by a local authority as to whether it is necessary to prepare and maintain an IDP;
- the description of a person’s ALN in an IDP;
- the Additional Learning Provision (ALP) in an IDP, or the fact that ALP is not in an IDP, including whether the plan specifies that ALP should be provided in Welsh;
- the provision included in an IDP by a local authority or the fact that provision under section 14 or 19 of the Act is not in a plan;
- the school named in an IDP for the purpose of admitting a child to a named institution, or if no school is named in an IDP for the purpose of admission;
- a decision by the local authority not to revise an IDP where the local authority has been asked by a child, child’s parent ,or young person to reconsider an IDP maintained by a maintained school;
- a decision by the local authority not to take over responsibility for an IDP, which is maintained by a school, where it is requested to do so by a child or their parent, a young person or the governing body of that school;
- a decision to cease to maintain an IDP; or
- a refusal to decide a matter on the basis that there is no material change in needs or no new information that materially affects the decision.
A child or child’s parent seeking a declaration from the Tribunal must submit an application in writing to the Tribunal. The Education Tribunal will provide the relevant application forms upon request.
Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act - Welsh Government