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Independent disagreement resolution

Independent disagreement resolution (IDR) is a way of resolving disagreements in a quick and non-confrontational way. 

Young people with SEN and their parent/carers can use independent disagreement resolution whether or not the child/young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. It's voluntary for both parties in the disagreement.

Parents/carers and young people can have independent help to resolve a disagreement from Gateshead's SEN Disability Information Advice Service phone 0191 487 4667.

Difference between Independent Disagreement Resolution and mediation

IDR is different from mediation because:

  • IDR can be used at any time. Mediation is only available when decisions are made by us which parent/carers and young people can appeal to the tribunal about or when an EHC Plan is made, amended or replaced.
  • the use of the IDR is voluntary for both parties. Parent/carers or young people who wish to make a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) appeal to the First-tier Tribunal must, in most circumstances, have contacted an independent mediator first before the tribunal can proceed.

Four types of disagreement

IDR can be used to help resolve four types of disagreement between :

  • us, parent/carers and young people, governing bodies of maintained schools or nursery schools, early years providers, further education institutions or the proprietors of academies about how those organisations are carrying out their education, health and care duties for children and young people with SEND. These duties includes our duties to keep their education and care provision under review, the duties to assess needs and draw up an EHC Plan and the duty on governing bodies to use their best endeavours to meet children and young people's SEND.
  • parent/carers and young people and early years Providers, schools or post-16 institutions about the special educational provision made for a child or young person.
  • parent/carers and young people and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) or us about health or social care provision during an EHC Plan needs assessments, while an EHC Plan is being drawn up, reviewed or when children or young people are being reassessed. IDR can also be used to resolve disagreements over special educational provision through assessments, the drawing up of an EHC Plan, while waiting for tribunal appeals and at review or during reassessments.
  • us and CCGs during an EHC Plan needs assessments or reassessments, the drawing up of an EHC Plan or reviews of those plans for children and young people with SEND. In relation to EHC Plans, this includes the description of the child or young person's education, health and care needs and any education, health and care provision set out in the plan. These disagreements do not involve parent/carers and young people.

Start an Independent Disagreement Resolution

Get in touch with your case worker (their name will be at the top of any letters you receive from the SEND) or call the SEND Team on 0191 433 3619. If you prefer, you can ask Gateshead's SEN Disability Information Advice Service or, your Independent Supporter to contact the SEND Team for you.

Contact us

Special Educational Needs and Disability Team
Gateshead Council

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For further help and information visit the Learning Disability Matters website

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