Independent Parental Special Education Advice - IPSEA

We offer free, independent, legally based information, advice and support to help families get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and/or disability. We cover the whole of England (the law is different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Our website has hundreds of free and downloadable resources. We have model letters, frequently asked questions, a jargon buster and lots more.

Our trained volunteers deliver the following free services:

Information service

By completing our online information service form, you will get a quick response clarifying your legal position, signposting you to help.

Advice line

We provide next step advice on: problems with schools, requesting statutory assessment, statements and Education, Health and Care Plans, annual reviews, disability discrimination and exclusion. Visit our advice line webpage for opening times. You can also find details on how to book an appointment for getting one of our advisers to call you.

Tribunal helpline

Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Visit our tribunal helpline webpage for further details, including how to book an appointment for one of our advisers to call you back.

Tribunal support

Our Tribunal Casework Volunteers provide free individual support to families appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. This unique service can only be accessed by calling the Tribunal Helpline. If our assessment is that you need this support, it will be provided throughout the Tribunal process - including representation at a hearing if needed. Our volunteers work with parents to empower them to obtain the best possible result from their appeal.

You can join our mailing list so that we can send you relevant updates and information.

IPSEA training

We provide a wide range of SEN training for Parents, School Staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors and other groups / organisations. Visit our training webpage to find out more.

Volunteering with IPSEA

If you are interested in completing our rigorous and free training to provide voluntary advice and support based on the law, you find out more on our volunteer roles page.

When is it on?

Time of day
Morning
Afternoon
Evening
Session information
Monday to Friday - see our website for opening hours.
Advice Line and Tribunal Helpline operated by trained volunteers from home. Information Service via website offers general information by email on the law and your rights.

Who to contact

Contact name
Linda Fletcher
Contact position
Development Officer - North East
Telephone
0800 018 4016 (Advice Line)
0845 602 9579 (Tribunal Helpline)
E-mail
lfletcher@ipsea.net
Website
https://www.ipsea.org.uk
Notes

Charity number 327691

Where to go

Name
IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) - HEAD OFFICE, ADMIN ENQUIRIES ONLY
Address
Hunters Court
Debden Road
Saffron Walden
Essex
Postcode
CB11 4AA

Other details

Cost description
All services are free of charge.
Referral required?
No

Local Offer

Local Offer description

Linda Fletcher started a ten month contract with IPSEA as the Regional Development Officer for the North East. Her role is to get to know local parent and carer groups in the North East, and also to recruit and support new volunteers.

IPSEA want to make sure that parents and carers know how to get information, advice and support so that they can achieve better outcomes for their children. Linda can offer an introductory session for local parent/carer groups to explain who she is and how she might be able to support the group.

Regular and up-to-date information can also be sent about what's happening for children, young people and their families in the world of special educational needs and disabilities.

If you would like to speak to Linda, please email lfletcher@ipsea.net

Contact name
Linda Fletcher
Contact telephone
0800 018 4016 (Advice Line) 0845 602 9579 (Tribunal Helpline)
Contact email
lfletcher@ipsea.net

What does your service do?

What does your service do?

Free independent legally based information, advice and support to parents to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

IPSEA operate a telephone Advice Line and Tribunal Helpline, online resources on the website and Information Service via email.  Available throughout England.

Who does your organisation provide a service for?

Who does your organisation provide a service for?

Parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25 years if they are in education.

How can I start using the service?

How can I start using the service?

Ring the advice line for free and independent legally based advice to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

Ring the tribunal helpline for free and independent legally based advice about appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Contact the information service via the website to receive up to date information on the law and your rights, including:

  • Your child/young person's rights
  • Local Authorities' duties towards children and young people with SEN (and their parents)
  • The duties of schools/colleges towards children and young people (and their parents).
  • Your rights as a parent of a child with SEN.

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

The service is open to anybody who is a parent or carer of a child or young person with SEND.

How do I know what is going on and can I be involved in making plans for the future?

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making / planning?

IPSEA seek to improve SEN policy across England using the evidence gathered via their services. They make complaints against Local Authorities, take part in Government consultations and provide training on SEN/disability law.

Training:

IPSEA SEND Law Foundation Training

IPSEA have developed a range of new foundation level training for parents, carers and families of children with SEND (and those who support them).  E-learning, SEND updates and Training days available.

IPSEA Accredited SEND Advisor Training

IPSEA has designed comprehensive training for those wanting an in-depth understanding of SEN Law in order to provide advice to families. This training is aimed at professionals whose role includes advising those caring for/supporting children and young people with SEND.

IPSEA Bespoke Training

IPSEA provides bespoke training to school staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors, Parent/Family Advisers and other groups/organisations.

Is your service fully accessible?

Is your service fully accessible?

Not applicable

What training have your staff had regarding SEND?

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

The Advice Line, Tribunal Helpline and Tribunal Casework Support services run by IPSEA rely entirely on highly trained volunteers. Every year they provide thousands of consultations (either over the phone or by supporting Tribunal appeals). All volunteers must complete IPSEA's three stage volunteer training: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/volunteering/volunteer-roles/volunteer-training

Volunteers are supported by an admin team and legally qualified staff.

Who can I contact for further information?

Who can I contact for further information?
  • Advice line
  • Tribunal helpline
  • Information service     
Disclaimer

Durham County Council's Families Information Service does not promote nor endorse the services advertised on this website. Anyone seeking to use/access such services does so at their own risk and may make all appropriate enquiries about fitness for purpose and suitability to meet their needs.
  • IPSEA logo

Journey planner

Address: Hunters Court  Debden Road  Saffron Walden  Essex

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