Clackmannanshire Council is committed to working in partnership with parents. It recognises that clear and regular communication between parents, children and young people and those who work with them is essential to build good relationships.
Good communication alongside information and support help avoid disagreements or prevent them from escalating into more serious disputes.
The Council recognises the importance of parents in being fully involved in discussions about a child's additional support needs. Parents and carers should be included fully in decisions that affect their child and, where necessary, given support by their school or nursery to take part in meetings. Advocacy services are also available to offer support.
As a parent or carer you will be involved right from the start in making decisions about your child's additional support needs. If you are unhappy with anything being suggested or planned, make your views known as soon as possible.
You can do this at any meeting or by arranging an informal discussion with a relevant member of school staff. Your views will be taken into account. You have the right to bring a supporter along with you to help ensure that your views are understood, put across and taken account of in discussions.
Establishments and parents may not always agree on what is in the best interest of the child, but by developing good relationships, and through good communication, it is expected that most problems and disagreements will be solved at school/nursery level.
The staged procedures for working through disagreements are:
Discussion with Headteacher or other relevant member of staff, e.g. Principal Teacher of Pupil Support, or Depute Headteacher.
Discussion with relevant Education officer (ASN). If disagreements cannot be resolved at school or education authority level there are various options for resolution.
You can also refer to the Children in Scotland Specialist national services - Enquire and Resolve:ASL page.
Mediation is a way of resolving disputes with the help of an impartial third part, a mediator. The mediator works with parents, young people and staff together to enable them to explore options, make decisions and reach agreement. The mediator does not take sides and does not decide the terms of any agreement.
Mediation can help avoid conflicts which arise out of misunderstandings. It can help families and staff to build or rebuild a positive relationship leading to agreement over the arrangements to meet the child's additional support needs. The overriding principle is reaching an agreement.
Mediation is confidential and any discussions held can only be shared by agreement.
When this is requested the Scottish Government will appoint an independent person, an adjudicator. They will look at the information provided by the parents and young person and the local authority in order to get a clear understanding of both sides of the disagreement.
The adjudicator will then make recommendation to everyone involved. This process should take about eight weeks.
When a child or young person has additional support needs, but does not have a coordinated support plan.
Dispute Resolution can be used when there are disagreements about:
This service is provided free of charge to parents and young people.
Requests for Dispute Resolution should be made in writing to the Improving Outcomes Manager (ASN) at the address below, who will acknowledge your request and help make the necessary arrangements.
Parents and young people have a right to refer to a tribunal when they disagree with a decision made with regard to a co-ordinated support plan.
The aims of the tribunal are:
Parents and young people can refer to a tribunal if they disagree with the decision the authority has taken:
Where a CSP already exist parents or young people can refer to the tribunal concerning:
For more information please contact the Quality Improvement Officer(ASN) at Lime Tree House using the details below.
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000