Hi Rachel. Presumably the LA are in receipt of all the available evidence, have considered the evidence and decided to refuse a NA. If this is the case why would they change their decision? It might be that the LA offer some additional support/advice at mediation. If this were the case the parent should be made aware that in future times if this ‘additional’ support was withdrawn there is no right of appeal and the parent is back to his/her original position. If the need for additional provision through an EHCP is pressing mediation will inevitably further delay the process.
Appealing to the SEND Tribunal is fairly straightforward in that the parties (LA and Parent) generally do not attend and the appeal is decided on the paperwork. If the school is supporting the parent the chances of success are high. The Tribunal will decide on the need for a NA on whether the pupil may have a special educational need which may require an EHCP. This is quite a low threshold and in general much lower than the thresholds used by many LAs. However currently the wait for a hearing is running at around 6 months. That said during this period parent and LA can still negotiate It is a process not an event. From the brief statement of the evidence you have given your chances look high and it is far from unknown for LAs to concede in the hard light of day which appealing brings. David