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We are committed to working in partnership with children, young people, parents and carers. We hope that disputes will not arise, but if they do, then we promise to work with you to solve the problem.

What is dispute resolution?

Dispute resolution was set up under the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (Amended 2009). It is a formal process that is recognised in law. All education authorities must now have a dispute resolution process.

Who can use dispute resolution?

If you are a parent or a ‘young person’ (a person over school age, generally over 16 years of age and who is not yet 18 years of age and still at school) and a permanent resident in East Ayrshire, then you can use this procedure.

However, it is only intended to be used on matters to do with additional support for learning.

When can dispute resolution be used?

You cannot be compelled to use dispute resolution. It is intended for individual cases, and not matters of general policy. It might be used in cases where, for example, it is thought there is non-delivery of a service under a Coordinated Support Plan.

What are the alternatives to dispute resolution?

The authority also has an independent Mediation Service, Common Ground Mediation. Mediation allows you to meet a relevant person or people from your child’s school or education authority. An independent and trained mediator will seek to help both parties. In some cases such as placing requests, the authority’s Appeals Committee should be used. Where there are issues concerning a Coordinated Support Plan, you also have the right to refer a case to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.

I want to resolve a disagreement, what do I do now?

The first step is to talk to the head teacher, head of centre or your case educational psychologist. If this does not produce a solution, please contact us.

List of schools in East Ayrshire

What happens next?

The matter will be raised with the school or centre and investigated. All efforts will be made to resolve the matter at school or authority level. If this cannot be done, then alternatives such as mediation will be offered to you. Should the matter still not be resolved, and it meets the requirements, then the disagreement can be referred for 'Independent External Adjudication'. The arrangements for this are summarised in a separate leaflet available from East Ayrshire Council. 

Should the matter need independent external adjudication, the authority will offer you support in the preparation of your case. Although the authority will generally comply with any external adjudication, it is not obliged to do so. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the adjudication, then you could consider referral to the Courts, Scottish Ministers or Public Sector Ombudsman.

Support and advocacy

Throughout the dispute resolution process you are entitled to be supported. This can be a friend, a relative, a voluntary worker, or an appropriate professional.

Additional support needs

If you have additional support needs then the authority will make such arrangements as are necessary to help you participate fully in these arrangements. This includes measures such as an interpreter or signing services or provision of written material in alternative forms, for example to meet the needs of those with a visual impairment.

Further information

Download a copy of our full dispute resolution policy.

Apply to use dispute resolution

Find out how to apply to use dispute resolution.

Contact Information

Psychological Services
St Joseph’s Academy
Grassyards Road
Telephone: 07500 913 493
Telephone: 07500 912 741
Telephone: 07985 394 638
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
Telephone: 0800 377 7330