National Helpline


Call us:

020 8538 3731

Walk in advice centres

Click here for details and locations.

Getting started

SEN Law and Practice

The Children and Families Act

The Children and Families Act came into effect in September 2014, replacing statements with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP's).

This document, prepared by Eleanor Wright, details the main changes from the previous system.

The Code of Practice for the new legislation can be downloaded from the government website.

On this page you can also find other SEND guides for parents and carers, and information on how the system is implemented.

Further information on EHCPs will appear on our website in due course.

It is important to remember that the old legislation under the 1996 Education Act and Code of Practice remain highly relevant for the next three years until transitional arrangements are completed for the replacement of statements with EHCPs. 

SOS!SEN operates a free, friendly, confidential telephone helpline and advice centres for those seeking information and advice on special educational needs.

PLEASE NOTE: The helpline, advice centres and workshops operate during term time only.


Need help? Call our Helpline!

Call 0208 538 3731

We offer advice on:

  • getting the right help for your child
  • dealing with the school or local authority
  • interpreting official letters
  • getting a statement for your child
  • finding independent expert professional advice
  • appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

For further information on the times and dates the helpline is open, please see here.

Walk-in Advice Centres

Come and talk to one of our volunteers. We run free monthly “surgeries” in Thornton Heath, Aldershot, Hampton Court (formerly Hampton Hill), central London near Waterloo station and now Manchester!

Find out more here.


SOS!SEN runs regular “hands-on” training sessions such as how to appeal a Statement of SEN and how to prepare for a Tribunal hearing. It also runs larger workshops on special SEN topics.

For more information and booking forms for all workshops, see our Workshops and Events pages.

Find out more here.


Information sheets

Download our free advice sheets here.

We cover topics such as:

  • Finding the Right School
  • Statutory Assessments
  • Statements
  • Tribunal Appeals
  • Judicial reviews
  • Legal Aid

Useful tips for parents

See also our useful tips for parents here.

These give invaluable advice to help avoid the pitfalls and traps that parents can get into if they do not realise how dangerous is the “minefield” of SEN.

Parent Feedback

I first heard of SOS!SEN when searching for some advice & help to assist securing some extra support in school for my eight year old severely dyslexic son, whom was floundering & suffering extreme anxiety.

I will never forget making that initial call to SOS!SEN, finally I could speak to somebody who listened to me & understood what we were going through & offered sound advice on the initial steps I needed to take. SOS!SEN are a fantastic organisation, they helped me to navigate myself through the minefield of difficult processes & procedures.

They gave excellent support & advice & I attended many workshops which were invaluable to assist me in appealing my son's statement & going on to go through the Tribunal process.
-Ms B from Hampshire’