If you need help or advice at any stage, you can speak to your named officer in Special Education or you may wish to contact either the Special Educational Needs Advice and Information Service, The Dispute Avoidance and Resolution Service (DARS) or the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
This service helps parents of children with special educational needs access support, guidance and advice in relation to the needs of their children. Each of the five offices of the Education Authority has an Information and Advice Service for Special Educational Needs. The contact details for the offices can be found here.
The Dispute Avoidance & Resolution Service (DARS)
This is an independent service which works towards avoiding and resolving disagreements between a child/young person if they are over compulsory school age or the parent of a child/young person in any other case and the Authority, or a school, in relation to a child or young person who has or may have a special educational need.
The service provides a forum for exploring differences, identifying points of agreement and finding a way forward which is acceptable to all involved. For more information about DARS, click here.
For parents wishing to engage with the service should make contact by telephone: 028 90 72 6060 or email: DARS@globalmediation.co.uk
If an agreement cannot be reached, you have a right to go make an Appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (or SENDIST) considers parents’ appeals against the decisions of the Education Authority about children’s Special Educational Needs, where the parents cannot reach agreement with the Education Authority. It also deals with claims of disability discrimination in relation to children at school.
Contact Details for SENDIST
Royal Courts of Justice
Belfast BT1 3JF
Tel: 0300 200 7812