Meeting with the local authority
You can request a meeting with a person from Hampshire County Council. This might mean we can address your concerns without having to go to a tribunal. We hope that we can reassure you that your child is getting the right support for their needs.
You must consider mediation before you appeal to the tribunal. Mediation is a less formal way of working out a solution to your problem. Mediation is free and we will pay reasonable expenses. After mediation, you will get a mediation certificate to show you have tried this route. You can't appeal without a mediation certificate, unless you are only disagreeing about the school/college named on the plan.
If you decide to appeal, it will be heard by an independent body called The First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability).
The tribunal is made up of three people. One person will chair the meeting and he or she will be a solicitor. The other two will have experience of special educational needs and local government.
You can attend the tribunal. You can take your independent parental supporter with you. You can also ask professionals who know your child to speak on your behalf at the tribunal.
The tribunal will look at the evidence and will make a final decision. The tribunal may consider how our actions compare with the guidance set out in the SEND Code of Practice. If we have not followed the Code, the tribunal will not necessarily say that our decision was wrong. However, it will expect us to explain why we have not followed the Code’s guidance. We will need to show that we were acting in the child or young person’s interests.