These terms and conditions govern the use of all our services which includes our website, helpline, advice centre sessions, printed materials (booklets), on-line services (webinars, Facebook advice sessions etc), individual advice sessions, written advice, and document drafting services. They also apply each time SOS!SEN and volunteers on its behalf provide legally-based information, support and advice via any of our helplines, advice centres and online services. By using our website and services you accept these terms and conditions in full.
Information provided to you by SOS!SEN is provided with any representations or warranties, express or implied. Information contained on our website is provided for information only and should not be construed as legal advice on any matter. We do not warrant that the information on our website is complete, true, accurate, or up to date.
While we make every effort and use appropriate care and attention to ensure that information and advice provided through our services is accurate, we do not take responsibility for this and, to the extent permitted by law, we accept no liability for any loss or damage arising from action taken or not taken as a result of such information and advice.
In accordance with our organisational policies, in providing our services we do not discriminate on the grounds of colour, race, religion, belief, nationality, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, pregnancy, or marital/civil partnership status.
We are a not-for-profit organisation. Our advice does not equate to legal advice or a regulated legal service. Users must not rely on information and advice as an alternative to legal advice from a lawyer or other legal service providers.
Our services are provided primarily by trained volunteers who are mainly parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, with their own personal commitments as well.
Helpline and advice centre services
These services are provided free at the point of use (although we do of course always welcome donations) and are funded through fund-raising activities, donations and service charges. When using these services, we record personal data with your permission to reconnect interrupted calls and facilitate feedback where necessary.
We advise on law and practice in England; the relevant law for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland differs and we regret we are not able to help with this.
If you are already receiving support from a solicitor, legal adviser, charity or advocate in relation to the issues about which you are seeking advice and/or request our services, we regret that we are unable to help.
We endeavour to ensure that we always act in your best interests and the best interests of the child or young person concerned in offering advice and information.
Individualised advice and drafting services
These services are chargeable to cover volunteer training, administrative and staff overhead costs, in line with our not-for-profit ethos and to enable us to operate our helpline and advice centres free of charge. We limit our charges as much as possible and can offer instalment plans by agreement and at our discretion.
We do not act as solicitors/lawyers or legal representatives on the user’s behalf, or for their children. This means that there is no lawyer-client relationship between users and individual advisers of SOS!SEN. You should never suggest to a local authority or anyone else that we or anyone employed by or volunteering for us is your lawyer.
We do not have an advocacy service for parents/carers at First or Upper Tier Tribunal hearings.
Our services are specific to the tasks required or booked service and do not include ongoing input thereafter. Additional tasks arising after delivery of any service by SOS!SEN must be requested, and further support will normally be chargeable. Services may be used flexibly in liaison and agreement with the volunteer (document drafting or analysis, attending meetings, annual reviews, mediation, etc.).
When requesting a service, we require personal contact details to communicate with you via email as much as possible. The information is also used internally to monitor matters such as user demand, profile of users, plus to collate general information about local authority practices, external referrals, types of SEN and disability, types of inquiry, etc. This helps us in maintaining standards, identify gaps, produce data in support of lobbying/queries to government and local authorities, and occasionally to apply for grants. The information you provide is kept strictly confidential and we will not share either your personal data or that of the child or young person with anyone, unless instructed or authorised by you to do so, or unless required by law (e.g. for safeguarding; see information below about data protection).
We cannot guarantee that we will be able to undertake all services requested and, if we are unable to do so, you will be informed as soon as possible.
When we agree to provide a service we cannot commit to timeframes, however we will endeavour to deliver it within a timeframe where necessary, whilst maintaining a high standard and quality of work. We cannot guarantee a delivery time for any service, nor can we guarantee that a named advisor or volunteer will carry out a particular service.
Services are provided in accordance with the accuracy and completeness of information you give us at the time of your request. We will not be liable for additional work arising from information submitted after the service has been delivered.
Services can be cancelled with sufficient notice (at least 3 working days) and prior to it being allocated to an adviser. If work has begun on a drafting service, a partial refund can only be processed by agreement, taking into consideration the work that has been carried out or completed.
At the point of use of any of our services, SOS!SEN will necessarily collect personal information about you and the child or young person concerned. This will happen when you fill in forms requesting a service, when you contact us in writing, if you are referred by third parties (e.g. schools), when you give us information on the helpline and at advice centres, when you provide documents to us, etc. We may also be privy to data about other family members such as siblings, grandparents, your partner and the like, for example if this features in documents provided by you. Where the information provided is about other people, we work on the assumption that you have their consent. If you are seeking advice for another person who is not a family member, we require written consent.
We collect and use your data to comply with our legal and safeguarding obligations, and for other legitimate reasons including recording, quality control and supervision of the advice to inform training needs; to avoid the need to repeat information should you contact us again; ensure that information and advice previously given is still relevant to any new query; advise you of our external training, fundraising events and other initiatives and campaigning activities. We will ensure that your data is kept secure with technical and internal security measures and policies. You and your child/young person are entitled, on request, to a copy of the personal data we hold about you or the child/young person.
We will not disclose any information relating to you or your child/young person except where instructed by you (e.g. in letters/appeal documents) or when required to do so by law. For further information on our data and privacy policies, please enter a request with our administration department. For further information on your data protection rights and your right to complain, please see information published by the Information Commissioner’s Office – https://ico.org.uk/
Subject to the express provisions of these terms and conditions, we and our licensors own and control all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website. All the copyright and other intellectual property rights in our website and the material on our website are reserved.
We further own and control all the copyright and other intellectual property rights in all written, recorded and broadcast material produced by us, including but not limited to booklets, webinars, handouts for webinars, draft documents and templates. All the copyright and other intellectual property rights in such material are reserved.
We aim to provide an excellent service to parents, carers and young people. We do want to be told if you believe that has not been the case and we will always do our best to put things right if we are at fault. We have a separate complaints policy; a copy of which can be supplied, if necessary, by contacting: email@example.com.
All disputes between service users and SOS!SEN shall be determined exclusively by the English courts in accordance with English law.
We reserve the right to revise these terms and conditions when necessary and update it on our website.
Our website is owned and services are operated by SOS! Special Educational Needs (SOS!SEN).
We are a registered charity, charity no: 1153884; registered Company No: 08634406
Registered office address: 92 Central Road, Worcester Park, KT4 8HU
Terms and conditions updated September 2023