News story

SEND disagreement resolution arrangements review

DfE and MOJ to lead review of SEND disagreement resolution arrangements as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Children and Families Act 2014 requires there to be a review of arrangements for disagreement resolution. The review will be led jointly by the Department for Education and the Ministry for Justice and will start in April 2015.

The Secretary of State for Education and the Lord Chancellor are required by law to lay a report on the outcome of the review before Parliament by 1 May 2017.

Arrangements for SEND disagreement resolution review

The review is expected to cover:

  • the impact of the new education, health and care (EHC) assessment and planning process in resolving and preventing disagreements
  • the effectiveness of local special educational needs and disability (SEND) disagreement resolution and mediation arrangements
  • the effectiveness of local complaints procedures for resolving complaints from parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities, taking into account other reviews such as the Francis inquiry and Clwyd review into health complaints
  • the piloting of the tribunal making non-binding recommendations about health and social care aspects of SEN appeals about the content of EHC plans

Advisory group to support the review

An external advisory group has been appointed to support the review, jointly chaired by DfE and MOJ with the following terms of reference to:

  • advise on issues concerning the scope of the review
  • advise on delivery of the review
  • discuss the progress and evaluation of the review
  • ensure that the views and expertise of interested parties are represented
  • advise on the report to parliament on the outcomes of the review

The membership is as follows:

  • Department for Education
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Department of Health
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability)
  • Healthwatch England
  • NHS England
  • Local Government Ombudsman
  • Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman
  • Council for Disabled Children
  • Independent Parental Special Education Advice
  • Special Educational Consortium
  • Local Government Association
  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services
  • National Network of Parent Carer Forums

The group is expected to discuss the precise scope of the review and the detailed arrangements for managing the pilot at its first meeting later this year.

Published 31 October 2014