National Helpline


Call us:

020 8538 3731

Walk in advice centres

Click here for details and locations.



We have an emergency SEND advice line open during the summer holidays for urgent queries or deadlines until 31st August 2017.

Tuesdays & Thursdays
9.30am - 12.30pm



The term-time helpline is closed for the summer.

**Need help? Call our Helpline!

Call 0208 538 3731

We offer advice on:

  • getting the right educational help for your child
  • liaising with the school or local authority
  • interpreting official letters
  • requesting an EHC Needs assessment for your child
  • finding independent expert professional advice
  • appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal

Please note that we are unable to call people back on the helpline. All of our volunteers work from different locations and they do not have access to the answer machine facility to call back.

If you are unable to get through to the helpline, then it is best to try again - once a caller finishes talking to an adviser the line will be free again. We also have 9 advice centres where you can visit for face-to-face advice.

Term-time Helpline

An experienced volunteer is usually available on our helpline every weekday between 9:30am and 12:30pm and between 2pm and 5pm and on Tuesday evenings from 8pm to 10pm. We are closed 12.30pm-2pm for lunch.

The helpline may also be closed during volunteer training sessions, please see below for any closure dates.

The term-time helpline will be open between the following dates:

  • Mon 11 September - Friday 20 October
  • Mon 30 October - Friday 15 December
  • Mon 8 January - Friday 9 February
  • Mon 19 February - Friday 30 March
  • Mon 16 April - Friday 25 May
  • Mon 4 June - Friday 13 July


Getting the best from the Helpline

We do understand that callers may be worried when they call and it will be easier to ensure that the volunteer gives you the best advice possible if they have a concise but complete account of your concerns. It also ensures that not only can your case be dealt with well, but that more parents can be helped during the session time available.

Before you contact us, you might want to review:

  • A copy of the SEN Code of Practice. 
    A PDF version of the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (from September 2014) can be downloaded from the Department of Education website here.
    For those with Statements the previous code of practice remains valid until 2018, a PDF version of this SEN Code of Practice is here.
  • There is other useful information, including a Guide for Parents which can be found here.

When you phone the helpline you will find the volunteer welcoming, please try to:-

  • Call from a landline as the line is usually clearer.
  • Find a quiet, distraction free location.
  • Have all your papers in order with you, so that you can refer to them easily.
  • Note down beforehand the key points e.g. all the needs you know or feel your child may have, the name of the local authority you live in and any information from the school.
  • Have pen and paper to hand and write down the information given.