Skip to main content | Skip to section menu | Access keys.

Clackmannanshire Council Online

Resolving differences - next steps

Resolving differences - next steps


Mediation is a way of resolving differences and disagreements with the help of an impartial third party, called a mediator. The mediator works with parents/carers, children/ young people, as well as staff to enable them to explore options, make decisions and reach agreement. The mediator does not take sides and does not decide the terms of any agreement.

Mediation can help resolve differences and disagreements and avoid conflicts which arise out of misunderstandings. It can help all parties to build or rebuild a positive relationship leading to agreement over the arrangements to meet a child or young person's additional support needs. The overriding principle is reaching an agreement. Mediation is confidential and any discussions held can only be shared by agreement.

The council uses the mediation service Resolve:ASL. This service is free of charge to parents/carers and children/young people.


Parents and carers and young people aged 16 years and over can appoint an Advocate to conduct all or part of their discussions to resolve any differences or disagreements that they have with the education service provision of Clackmannanshire Council. This can include writing letters and emails as well as completing forms and dealing with other agencies and services who may also be involved.

Advocacy services can be accessed by contacting Forth Valley Advocacy Services. You can also refer to Enquire's Factsheet 5: Taking part in meetings about your child's education.

Clackmannanshire Council has no obligation to source, provide or finance an advocate for a parent/carer or young person over the age of 16 years.

Dispute Resolution

When this is requested the Scottish Government will appoint an independent person called an adjudicator. They will look at the information provided by the parents and young person and the local authority in order to get a clear understanding of both sides of the disagreement.

The adjudicator will then make recommendation to everyone involved. This process should take about eight weeks.

When is Dispute Resolution used?

When a child or young person has additional support needs, but does not have a coordinated support plan.

Dispute Resolution can be used when there are disagreements about

  • the assessment of additional support needs,
  • the level of additional support required or being provided.

This service is provided free of charge to parents and young people.

Dispute Resolution Request

Requests for Dispute Resolution should be made in writing to the Improving Outcomes Manager (ASN) at the address below, who will acknowledge your request and help make the necessary arrangements.

Additional Support Needs Tribunals (ASNT)

Parents/carers and young people who are 16 years and over have a right to refer to an ASNT when they disagree with a decision made in relation to a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP). Additional Support Needs tribunals will deal only with matters relating to CSP's.

How the ASNT is constituted:

  • The ASNT is a panel of independent people who will make a decision about a CSP where there is a disagreement between parents/carers and/or young people aged 16 years and over and the local authority in relation to it.
  • There are three members of the ASNT panel, one of whom will have a legal background, the others will be experienced in Additional Support Needs.
  • Parents/carers and young people aged 16 years and over will have two months after receiving a decision letter about a CSP to refer to the ASNT if they disagree with the local authority's decision.

The aims of the ASNT are to

  • make independent judgements,
  • seek to avoid formal, legal proceedings by providing a forum for constructive discussion,
  • make decisions which reflect best practice in relation to Additional Support Needs.

What matters can be referred to an ASNT?

Parents/carers and young people who are 16 years and over can refer to an ASNT if they disagree with any of the following decisions made by the local authority:

  • To prepare a CSP
  • Not to prepare a CSP
  • To continue a CSP
  • To discontinue a CSP
  • About the timescales of a CSP
  • Not to comply with a request to establish whether a child or young person requires a CSP

Where a CSP already exists parents/carers or young people who are 16 years and over can refer to the ASNT concerning

  • the information within the CSP,
  • failure to review the CSP at the end of 12 months,
  • failure to review the CSP within the timescales of the regulations,
  • the decision to refuse a placing request. (This also applies if a CSP is not yet prepared but there is intention to do so).

Further Information

For more information please contact us using the details below.

Useful resources

For Further Information Contact

Educational Support Officer, Education & Schools
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000