National Helpline

Call us:

0300 302 3731

or

0208 538 3731

Walk in SEN advice centres

Click here for details and locations.

Helpline

*Summer Helpline* 

Our helpline will be operating between 9:30-12:30pm, Monday to Thursday during August. We will close on Thursday 25th August and reopen on Monday 5th September. This is particularly aimed at people whose children have no school place in September or who are going through appeals. 

Need help? Call our Helpline!

The Term-time helpline will be open between 9:30 - 12:30 and 1 - 4pm Monday to Friday as well as Tuesday and Wednesday evenings 8pm - 10pm, unless stated on the dates below.

Monday 5th September – Friday 21st October 2022

Monday 31st October – Friday 16th December 2022

Tuesday 3rd January – Friday 10th February 2023

Monday 20th February – Friday 31st March 2023

Monday 17th April – Friday 26th May 2023

Monday 5th June – Friday 21st July 2023

​(Note: our admin staff cannot respond to helpline queries)

 We do not offer a call back service

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 YOU 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 10 advice centres where you can visit for face-to-face advice.

WE DO ASK YOU TO TRY TO RESTRICT YOUR CALLS TO ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO FREE UP THE LINES FOR OTHER CALLERS.

 

Helpline Calls Answered 

   2018   2019   2020 
January   119   162   154
February  125   121   148
March  216   176   149
April  89   97   127 
May  125   141   130
June  145   165   ??? 
July  62   124   ??? 
August Closed Closed Closed
September  123   136   ??? 
October  141   180   ??? 
November  189   179   ??? 
December  78   116  ??? 

 

Help to keep our helpline and advice centres available to everyone

Text message costs £10 plus one standard text message.

 

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.
  • 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.