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Cardiff Council

Disagreement resolution, advocacy and tribunal

A child, parent, carer, or a young person can ask the council to reconsider a decision made by a school about the child or young person's needs.

The council must decide if the child or young person has additional learning needs. When this happens, the council must inform the school of the request and ask for further information from them. If the council does not agree with the school's decision, we may direct the school to write an IDP.

If a child, parent, carer, or young person is unhappy with the IDP, they can ask the council to reconsider the plan. The council may:

  • revise the plan, 
  • tell the school to revise the plan, or 
  • confirm the plan is appropriate.  

If the plan is maintained by the school, a child, young person, parent, carer, or the school can ask the council to take responsibility for maintaining the plan.

If we decide we are not taking over the plan, we will inform all those who are affected in writing. 

There are a number of ways that can help prevent problems or misunderstandings happening.

Talk to the school

Speak to the school's Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) when you have worries or concerns. Share all the information you have about your child with the school and professionals involved. They will: 

  • listen and take your problem seriously,
  • involve you and your child and consider your views,
  • explore all the issues and concerns, and
  • gather information and plan a way forward with you.

Named officer within the local authority - ALN Advice and Helpline

If you disagree with a school or local authority decision on anything relating to your child’s ALN provision or placement you should contact a named officer at the council’s Inclusion Service.  We have named officers who will provide advice and support and can help by providing:

  • impartial advice on the rights of a child, parent or young person,
  • support to unpick difficulties and plan a way forward,
  • face to face meetings,
  • support to attend and contribute to meetings, and
  • ongoing support if problems are difficult to solve.

SNAP Cymru

SNAP Cymru provides independent, practical advice to families with children who have additional learning needs. SNAP can provide:

  • impartial information,
  • advice and support,
  • disagreement resolution and mediation,
  • advocacy,
  • discrimination advice, and
  • training for carers and professionals.

SNAP also provide mediation. An experienced mediator will meet with parents or carers and school or council staff. The mediator does not take sides but will listen and find out what has been happening. The aim is to find a workable solution that everyone can agree with.
For more information, you can contact SNAP Cymru​

© 2022 Cardiff Council