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If you have concerns about a decision being made about your child’s support, you have the right to challenge this with the people involved.

Before you do this, it is worth taking time to think about what you are not happy with and write down the main points you would like to resolve.

In the first instance, request a meeting with the person you have been dealing with, or their manager. Or you could write to them about your concerns. You may be able to resolve your problem this way.

You might need to talk to people such as:

  • Your special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school
  • Your social worker
  • Your health visitor
  • Another specialist worker, such as your EHC plan co-ordinator

There is a free problem-solving toolkit on the Cerebra website. This has helpful model letters and tips for preparing for a meeting.

Warwickshire’s SEND information, advice and support (SENDIAS) provides support for parents and families who have children and young people with SEND. They also support young people aged 16-25 years with a special educational need or disability. It is free, confidential and impartial.

Families of children and young people with SEND can work with many different services and agencies. This means that there may be a different route to follow depending on what the concern is about.

The following pages explain the routes for the main organisations you may come into contact with. Each organisation covers a large area. For example, your concern may be with a speech and language decision but the wider organisation will be health. Concerns about an individual education setting would come under the education setting. Whereas if the concern involved a school place, or school transport, then your concern is with the local authority.

If your concern is not about a decision being made but you are unhappy with the way something has been handled, there may be no right of appeal. This will usually follow a separate complaints process.

For more information on challenging or disagreeing with decisions, view GOV.UK SEND: a guide for parents and carers.

Chapter 11 of the SEND Code of Practice explains the process of resolving disagreements in full detail.

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