Case examples

Special educational needs

This case was an appeal made to tribunal in regard to a statement of special educational needs for a 15-year-old girl with autism and some medical difficulties that require support. Her parent was concerned that the statement didn’t accurately reflect her daughter’s needs and did not made adequate provision to support those needs, and she disagreed with the school named in the statement for her daughter to attend. The appeal wasn’t settled fully at mediation but the parties agreed to extensive drafting changes in the statement and agreed that new background information that had been obtained would be presented to the local authority panel in reconsidering its decision on which school to name in the statement.

Disability discrimination

This mediation involved a discrimination claim made against a private nursery for permanently excluding a child with autism. HIs parents raised concerns about the lack of record keeping and unfair treatment of their son when he bit another child. At the mediation, a full and final legal settlement was reached, including the nursery agreeing to make a payment to an autism charity on behalf of the child.

A parent claimed a school discriminated against her son with Down’s syndrome by not providing communication aides and by teaching him outside the classroom away from his peers. She had lodged an appeal with the tribunal, and this was stayed to allow mediation to take place.  A four-hour mediation was held between the parent and the headteacher, and the appeal was resolved to both parties’ satisfaction.

The parent of a pupil in a mainstream primary school complained about the school’s treatment of her son, who has behavioural and emotional difficulties. She lodged her claim of disability discrimination with the tribunal. Her son had not been allowed to go on the class residential trip, which caused him frustration and disappointment. The school’s position was that it carried out two risk assessments and could not feel confident that he could be safely included in the trip. The agreements reached at mediation included an apology to the mother and her son and a financial contribution towards an alternative residential trip for the pupil.

Higher education

A university student was unable to finish her professional degree course and claimed that this was because of racism she experienced on a placement. She felt the university had not taken responsibility for handling her complaint about the placement, and as a result her mental health had deteriorated. Two mediation sessions were held to explore options to resolve the dispute and get her back on track. A full settlement was reached, including financial compensation and wording on a reference.

A visually impaired student issued a claim of disability discrimination against her university for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The claim was issued in county court and was stayed pending mediation. A six-hour joint mediation session was held, attended by the student, her supporter, her barrister and her solicitor and by the university’s solicitor and disability services director. A full and final legal settlement of the claim was reached.

Workplace

The mediation was of an interpersonal dispute between colleagues who were former friends. A grievance had been taken out by one party against her manager, but neither party knew what was happening with the grievance. Both were anxious about the mediation, and communication was difficult. At the mediation, a three-page record of agreements was produced, giving the parties a clear way forward in restoring their professional relationship.