Disputes involving schools are often drawn-out, complex matters that can have a significant negative impact on the wider community, including families, staff, governing bodies and public agencies. Issues surrounding children’s education are frequently sensitive and can be highly emotive. As a result, in an increasingly litigious society, the costs of many such conflicts can quickly spiral out of control and are all the more detrimental if they end up in court. Mediation can be used as an early intervention without the need for additional legal representation, or it can be used further down the line in collaboration with solicitors. However, AMC Mediation aims to provide a legally binding alternative that we hope will be more appealing for all parties involved. The principal advantages of using mediation are:
The process of mediation is bound by strict laws that ensure the issues discussed remain confidential to the parties involved. In contrast, court cases are in the public domain.
Depending on the dispute, the financial burden of litigation can be very high; mediation is often a more cost-effective route.
The majority of mediations are concluded on the same day, whereas litigative cases often drag on for months if not years, requiring a large investment of professional time and emotional energy.
Mediation promotes a balanced dialogue with a genuinely impartial intermediary, who is dedicated to finding a solution in the best interests of all parties involved. It is likely to be less damaging to relationships than contesting a lawsuit.
Director of AMC Mediation, Hugo Besterman, is well-placed to help resolve disputes in schools. Having worked in Senior Management, he has a good understanding of the way in which the independent sector operates. Furthermore, as an experienced boarding housemaster, he has been in loco parentis and knows the importance of finding a positive compromise between the families in his care and the schools for which he has worked.
Some examples of the school-based conflicts that may benefit from mediation are pupil exclusion and admission, discrimination, bullying, exam results, as well as management, governing body and staff-related disputes.
To arrange a confidential phone-call to discuss whether we may be able to help, please email Hugo Besterman