Advice About Childrens Services

We aim to support parents of children and young people with additional needs to have access to good and useful information.

Most children and young people will have their needs met within a mainstream school or additional resources setting, while others will attend special schools. Those with particularly complex needs or multiple needs may benefit from specialist services delivered by independent providers.

The basic principle around ensuring your child is receiving the most appropriate support involves identifying their specific needs and agreeing a plan and resources to meet those needs.

Parent and carers views are important and it is always wise to ask for advice early and ensure you are involved in all the decision that affects your child.

Education Resources

How to find a school

The National Network of Parent Carer Forums is a network of over 150 Parent Carer Forums in England.The forums are arranged into 9 regions and are shown below, these follow the same regional breakdown as the Department of Education; each of the regions has a regional representative. All regional representatives work together to form the national steering group.

ISPEA is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs.  All trained volunteers give legally based independent advice and support in England and Wales to help the right education for children with SEND.  There is also considerable information available on their website including common problems, taking action, exclusion, transport, refusal to assess and more.

ISBI is dedicated to helping parents find schools and has been a trusted source of information on independent, special and boarding schools in the UK and international schools worldwide for 25 years. The web site service is free to use for parents and offers a comprehensive search facility for schools on the internet. The website is designed to help you search, select and shortlist schools for further investigation and school visits.

Gabbitas is a directory designed specifically for parents offering step by step guidance on all aspects of finding the right provision for a child with special educational needs.  The Guide includes details of special schools throughout the UK together with information on special needs provision at mainstream independent schools.

Parent Advice and Support Service

Parents can often benefit from live discussion with another parent / trained advisor and the following organisations offer specialist support:

Sunshine Support is a Charitable Organisation providing parental support and advice regarding Special Educational Needs for children and young people. Using a network of highly trained and educated specialists, we provide you with the information you require to access the educational support your child requires. We can access specialist Solicitors, Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and private Social Workers to support and empower your understanding of your child’s needs. Find us on Facebook

The National Autistic Society Parent to Parent (P2P) is a UK-wide confidential telephone support service providing emotional support to parents and carers of a child or adult with autism.  The service is provided by trained parent volunteers, both mothers and fathers, who offer telephone support from their own homes.The service is available on Telephone: 0808 800 4106.

Contact a Family is the only national charity that exists to support the families of disabled children whatever their condition or disability. With over 30 years of experience, their vision is that families with disabled children are empowered to live the lives they want and achieve their full potential, for themselves, for the communities they live in, and for society. They offer support, information and advice to over 340,000 families each year and campaign for families to receive a better deal. Telephone: 0808 808 3555 

Educational Equality provides independent information to the families of those with special educational needs throughout England. Telephone:01980 677235 or 01634 753459

Epilepsy Action is the UK’s leading epilepsy organisation and exists to improve the lives of everyone affected by the condition. As a member-led association, we are led by and represent people with epilepsy, their friends, families and healthcare professionals. Telephone: 0808 800 5050

Family Lives works to transform the lives of families making happier relationships, happier families and a stronger society.  Their experience enables families to cope with problems or challenges that they face.  Trained family support workers, paid and volunteer, offer free and immediate and ongoing help on the phone, online or in local communities.Telephone: 0808 800 2222 

The Fragile X Society was formed in 1990 by families whose children had just been diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome. At that time there were no facilities to support and inform families about any aspect of fragile X, and so the Society came into existence. The charity has now grown to consist of a team of dedicated employees and volunteers. Telephone: 01371 875100

The Prader-Willi Syndrome Association is dedicated to supporting people with Prader-Willi Syndrome their families, carers and professionals. Telephone:01332 365676

Special Needs Jungle was started in 2008 by Tania Tirraoro, as a way of preserving the knowledge she had gained successfully navigating the ‘jungle’ of the statementing system for her first younger, then her older son. Over the years, it has expanded from a personal blog into a site that is packed with useful information about special educational needs and disability issues faced by children and their parents. It has personal stories from parents, articles from those providing useful resources and has become a narrative guide to the SEN reforms that have taken place.

Useful information

Guide for young people aged 16 to 25 on how to resolve SEND disagreements Department of Education Parent & Carers Guide to the New SEN System Aug 2014 SEN Support Flow chart Stage 1 SEN Support Flow Chart Stage 2 SEN Support Flow Chart Stage 3 SEN Support Flow Chart Stage 4 Check Your Childs Key Stage and Year Group This is me! – NAS Assessment Profile This toolkit gives children and young people with autism the chance to say what changes they would like to make to education, health care and social care plans. Suitable for all ages and abilities, This is me! has been written and developed by The National Autistic Society in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and with the help of children and young people on the spectrum. A Guide to the Children and Families Act

Derbyshire County Council Educational Psychology Service

Derbyshire County Council Information for Children Educational Psychology SEP 17 Older Derbyshire County Council Information for Children Educational Psychology SEP 17 Younger Derbyshire County Council Information for Parents and Carers Educational Psychology Service SEP 17

Health Resources

Care Resources


Challenging behaviour: a guide for family carers on getting the right support for children: Supporting Young People with Challenging Behaviour – Links   Advice on where to get grants –      

University College London -Social Media Guide for young people with autism, and their parents