Dispute resolution in additional and special educational needs: local authority perspectives

Riddell, Sheila and Harris, Neville and Smith, Emily and Weedon, Elisabet (2010) Dispute resolution in additional and special educational needs: local authority perspectives. Journal of Education Policy, 25 (1). pp. 55-71. ISSN 0268-0939

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The UK Government is keen to encourage the use of mediation, rather than court or tribunal, as the best means of resolving disputes between citizen and state on the grounds that legal proceedings are costly, lengthy and stressful. The policy of proportionate dispute resolution appears to be particularly applicable to the field of special educational needs (SEN), where both mediation and tribunal are available as dispute resolution mechanisms. However, evidence suggests that very little use has been made of mediation in either England or Scotland. In order to understand this phenomenon, this paper begins with investigating the dominant policy frameworks in SEN (England) and additional support needs (ASN; Scotland). Subsequently, the attitudes of English and Scottish local authority (LA) officers are explored. It is argued that both countries now have an eclectic mix of policy frameworks in play, including the traditional models of bureaucracy and professionalism, and the more recent models of managerialism, consumerism and legality. In Scotland, professionalism and bureaucracy continue to dominate, and this is associated with more restricted access to and less use of all forms of dispute resolution, in particular the tribunal.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: mediation, special educational needs and disability tribunal, additional support needs tribunals for Scotland, special educational needs, additional support needs
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Social Science
Depositing User: Users 3 not found.
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 14:25
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2015 14:34
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/357

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