Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service (DARS)

What is the Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service (DARS)?

DARS provides an informal means of avoiding and resolving disagreements with schools or the Education Authority (EA) in relation to a child or young person who has or may have a special educational need.

Who can use the service?

  • A child/young person if they are over compulsory school age
  • The parent of  a child/young person in any other case

Why use the service?

Disagreements sometimes arise between a parent/guardian, and either a school or EA, in relation to the special educational provision being made for a child or young person. If initial attempts to resolve such disagreements have not been successful, it may be appropriate to make a referral to the Service.


The purpose of the service is to provide, within an independent, confidential and informal forum, further opportunities through which disagreements may be more fully addressed.

How does the service work?

Participation is voluntary and, when points of disagreement have been clearly identified, the challenge is to plan a way forward that all parties are prepared to accept.


Whilst the service will facilitate the possible resolution of disagreements, they do not have the authority to impose outcomes.


Ultimately, agreement can only be reached with the approval of all of the interested parties.

Contact Details

Global Mediation will provide the new, independent DARS on behalf of EA, and their contact details are:

Global Mediation

55-59 Adelaide Street

Belfast BT2 8FE

T: (028) 9072 6060

E: DARS@globalmediation.co.uk

W: www.globalmediation.co.uk/DARS

Last upated: 30/08/2019