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ERIC Number: EJ858326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
Approaches to Dispute Resolution in Additional Support Needs in Scotland
Riddell, Sheila; Weedon, Elisabet
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v24 n4 p355-369 Nov 2009
The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 aimed, among other things, to increase parents' rights in relation to the education of their children. In addition to the creation of the Additional Supports Needs Tribunals for Scotland, parents were given new rights to challenge local authority decisions through mediation and independent adjudication. In line with the wider social policy thrust of encouraging proportionate dispute resolution, low-level resolution of disputes at school and local authority level was also encouraged. This paper uses key informant interviews to explore the views of new dispute resolution arrangements, and whether the balance of power has indeed tipped in favour of parents. Local education authority officers expressed some concerns about the new measures, and were particularly critical of the tribunal on the grounds that it was expensive and stressful, although the role it might play in tightening up procedures was also recognised. Advocacy groups and parents' organisations, on the other hand, welcomed the new measures but were concerned about the rules restricting access to the tribunal and the fact that the outcome of mediation and adjudications were not legally binding. They were also concerned about limited access to information and advocacy. Overall, key informants believed that the new measures had advanced parents' rights to some extent, although further changes were needed to achieve a radical shift away from the post-war dominance of bureaucracy and professionalism in Scotland. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)