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Cardiff Council

What if I don't agree with a Council decision about my child?

​​​​This information will help you consider what you can do if you are not happy with the provision made for your child. There are a number of ways you can help prevent problems or misunderstandings arising. 

  • Always speak to the school's Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCO) as soon as you have worries or concerns. 
  • Share all the information you have about your child with the school and other professionals involved. 
  • Always attend meetings about your child. 
  • Keep in contact with your SEN Casework Officer in the SEN Casework Team. 

SEN Casework Officer

If you disagree with anything relating to provision or placement you should contact your Casework Officer for an explanation. It is their job to support you and to make sure your views are heard.

Independent Parental Support 

You could contact the local Independent Parental Support service (currently SNAP Cymru) who are able to offer advice and support to you including attending meetings with you. 

Disagreement Resolution or Mediation 

Sometimes it is difficult to reach an agreement. The disagreement resolution service can help parents, schools, and the local education authority when there is a dispute about SEN provision. 

A mediator will meet with parents and school or local education authority 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. 

Disagreement Resolution is free and independent of all parties including schools and the local education authority. It is totally confidential and is available when all sides want to reach an agreement and therefore resolve any disagreement. In Cardiff, Disagreement Resolution is provided by SNAP Cymru. 

Parents who want to know more about this service can speak to the SEN Casework Team on 029 20872731, or contact SNAP Cymru on 0845 120 3730. 

Special Educational Needs Tribunal 

If you have chosen to go through the mediation process and are still unhappy, you have a right to appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales. The Tribunal is independent and will consider appeals when parents disagree with the local council’s decisions about their child. 

An appeal can be made if: 

  • The Council refuses to carry out a statutory assessment of your child (unless an assessment has been carried out in the past six months).
  • The Council refuses to make a statement after an statutory assessment. 
  • You disagree with Part 2,3 or 4 of your child's statement when the statement is first made or later changed. 
  • The Council refuses to carry out a statutory reassessment. 
  • The Council decides to ce​ase an existing statement. 

There are strict guidelines for appealing to the SEN Tribunal, so that appeals do not delay any special help needed by a child. An appeal has to be lodged by a parent within two months of the Council making its decision. 

If you do decide to appeal to the SEN Tribunal, you should let your Casework Officer know as soon as possible and continue to discuss your concerns. 

We consider it very important to work in partnership, and for all parents to share their views openly in order to try and reach an agreement wherever possible.​

Who can I contact if I need further help or support?

For further information you could get in touch with any of the contacts below:

​The Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCO) at your child's School or Setting. Please contact the school’s office to find out who the ALNCO is at your child’s school.

Your Casework Officer based in the SEN Casework Team at County Hall.
Tel: 029 20872731

SNAP Cymru who provide an Independent Parent Partnership Service
Tel: 0845 120 3730

Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales

Government Buildings
Spa Road East
Llandrindod Wells

Tel: 01597 829800​

© 2022 Cardiff Council