North East Lincolnshire Council

How can I find help and support or how can I complain?

Find out about the help and support available around special educational needs and how complaints can be made if you are unsatisfied with our Local Offer.

Tell us your feedback – Are you pleased with our Local Offer? How could we improve? Are we missing something? Complete our online feedback form to let us know what you think.

Appealing a decision on EHC assessments and plans

If you are not happy about any decision made about your child’s education, health and care plan (EHCP) or assessment for a plan, you can talk to us about why you are unhappy. Details on who to talk to will be included in any information sent to you.

Independent mediation

You can also use a mediation service to help sort out disagreements. Having an independent person involved who can offer a different view can help all sides to agree on what to do next.

When we write to you about a decision to do with your child’s EHCP, we will give you information about independent mediation services available to you.


Before you appeal a decision you must be able to show that you have contacted a mediation service first.

You can also appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal about any decision made on your child’s EHCP or assessment for a plan. You can also appeal to the tribunal if you are claiming disability discrimination against a school or us.

You can find out how to appeal on the Government’s website.

Teachers at your child’s school or setting will help you with any questions you may have.

If you need further information or advice you can always contact our Special Educational Needs Assessment and Review Team (SENART):


Telephone: 01472 323166

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm except bank holidays

Children’s Disability Service

Go to our Children’s Disability Service page, or call on 01472 326292 (option 1).

You can also get advice from:

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice, and Support Service (SENDIASS)

Address: 11 Dudley Street, Grimsby, DN31 2AW

Website: Go to our Local and national support page


Telephone: 01472 355 365


North East Lincolnshire Parent Participation Forum


Call: 07583 474 892

If you have a complaint about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in the Local Authority you can contact our Special Educational Needs Service Manager.


Telephone: 01472 323236

Decisions about provision for children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities should be made jointly by providers, parents, and children and young people themselves, with the views of children, young people and parents taken into account when those decisions are made.

Decisions about provision for children and young people with SEN should be made as soon as possible. However, where agreement cannot be reached, early resolution of disagreements benefits parents and young people and can avoid unnecessary stress.

Disagreement resolution services

Use of the disagreement resolution services is voluntary and has to be with the agreement of all parties. The service in North East Lincolnshire is provided by Community Accord, who are independent of the local authority.

Disagreement resolution services are available to parents and young people to resolve disagreements about any aspect of SEN provision, and health and social care disagreements during the processes related to Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and EHC plans.

The disagreement resolution service is to help resolve four types of disagreement or to prevent them from escalating further:

  1. Between parents or young people and local authorities, the governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools, early years providers, further education institutions or the proprietors of academies (including free schools). It focuses on how these authorities, bodies or proprietors are carrying out their education, health and care duties for children and young people with SEN, whether they have EHC plans or not.
  2. Disagreements between parents or young people and early years providers, schools or post-16 institutions about the special educational provision made for a child or young person, whether they have EHC plans or not.
  3. Disagreements between parents or young people and Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) or local authorities about health or social care provision during EHC needs assessments, while EHC plans are being drawn up, reviewed or when children or young people are being reassessed. Disagreement resolution services can also be used to resolve disagreements over special educational provision throughout assessments, the drawing up of EHC plans, while waiting for Tribunal appeals and at review or during re-assessments.
  4. Disagreements between local authorities and health commissioning bodies. These disagreements do not involve parents and young people.

A decision by parents and young people not to use disagreement resolution services has no effect on their right to appeal to the Tribunal.

Disagreement resolution meetings are confidential and without prejudice to the Tribunal process and the Tribunal will disregard any offers or comments made during them.

Parents and young people can also use the complaints procedures set out in SEN The Code of Practice paragraphs 11.67 to 11.111 in addition to these disagreement resolution arrangements. There is no requirement to have used the disagreement resolution services before using those other complaints procedures, and disagreement resolution services can be used before, at the same time or after those procedures.

For more information about SEN Dispute Resolution and Mediation Services read the Community Accord SEN Leaflet (PDF)

If parents or young people want it to, mediation can take place following decisions by a local authority:

  • to not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • to not to draw up an EHC plan
  • after they receive a final EHC plan or amended plan
  • following a decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • following a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan

The mediation arrangements are specifically linked to decisions about EHC needs assessments and plans.

Mediation on matters which can be appealed to the Tribunal

Parents and young people who wish to make an appeal to the Tribunal may do so only after they have contacted an independent mediation adviser and discussed whether mediation might be a suitable way of resolving the disagreement.

You said – “Parents  at the SENDIASS steering group meeting stated that they don’t know what ‘The Local Offer is and that a search for ‘SEN’ on NE Lincs website would be more useful.”

We titled our Local Offer as Special Educational Needs – Local Offer.

You said – “NELPPF asked us to make available a paper copy of the Local Offer.”

We are currently exploring the best way to do this.

You said – “The contract lead for the carers support service contacted us on behalf of their carers to ask us to update details of the service.”

We provided a brief summary of the service, attached the most up to date Carers Alert card leaflet  2016, deleted the outdated information regarding pathways.

You said – “NELPPF asked us to update our Social Care.”

We have asked our partners in school care to develop this area of the Local Offer and aim to have this in place by January 2017.

You said – “Parents told us the language used in the Local Offer was to technical and full of jargon.”

We invited parents and SENDIASS  to form a ‘Local Offer Working group’ to rewrite the information about Special Educational Needs, Education Health and Care Plans and support in their own words. The part of this project has been published on the Local Offer. Further work continues.

You said – “Parents asked us to provide a link to social media for SEN.”

We now have a Facebook link and Instagram link on the Local Offer.

You said – “Parents from a local Special School asked us to put the Disability Register on line on the Local Offer.”

We have put the form on line accessible through the Local Offer. All families who sign up will receive a free MAX card.

Family Information Service


Telephone: 01472 326292, option one

Opening times (telephone and email enquiries): Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 5 pm and Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm except bank holidays

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 8.30 am to 5 pm and Friday 8.30 am to 4.30 pm except bank holidays