Need help? Call our Helpline!
Open during term time dates* shown below at following times:
Mon to Fri 9:30am to 12:30pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Tue only 8:00pm to 10:00 pm
(Note: our admin staff cannot respond to helpline queries)
We presently 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.
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.
WE DO ASK YOU TO TRY TO RESTRICT YOUR CALLS TO ABOUT 20 MINUTES TO FREE UP THE LINES FOR OTHER CALLERS.
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 (subject to confirmation):
- Mon 09th September to Fri 25th October 2019
- Mon 04th November to Fri 20th December 2019
- Mon 06th January to Fri 14th February 2020
- Mon 24th February to Fri 03rd April 2020
- Mon 20th April to Fri 22nd May 2020
- Mon 01st June to Fri 17 Jul 2020
The helpline will be closed for training on the following dates: (subject to confirmation)
- Tuesday 15th October 2019
- Thursday 14th November 2019
- Wednesday 11 December 2019
- Thursday 16th January 2020
- Wednesday 12th February 2020
- Tuesday 17th March 2020
- Wednesday 22nd April 2020
- Thursday 21st May 2020
- Tuesday 16th June 2020
- Wednesday 15th July 2020
Helpline Calls Answered (Last Year) & This Year
|January||(119) / 162|
|February||(125) / 121|
|March||(216) / 176|
|April||(89) / 97|
|May||(125) / 141|
|June||(145) / 165|
|July||(62) / 124|
|September||(123) / 136|
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 .
- There is other useful information, including a Guide for Parents which can be found .
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.