Legal advice

Free legal advice

Sheffield SEN and Disability Information Advice and Support (SSENDIAS): A local service run by Sheffield City Council which provides impartial, confidential information, advice and support to parents/carers of children and young people (0-25) with disabilities and special educational needs in relation to education, health and social care services, disability benefits, support groups and leisure opportunities. They can support families with tribunal appeals.

Citizens Advice Sheffield provides a free, independent and confidential service to people who need independent advocacy support.

The University of Sheffield runs a free legal advice clinic. This is led by current Law students, and a supervising solicitor checks over all advice before it is issued.

IPSEA provides free legally-based advice on educational issues for parents of children with special educational needs.

SOS!SEN offer a free, friendly, independent and confidential telephone helpline for parents and others looking for information and advice on special educational needs.

The National Autistic Society runs a number of helplines which can give advice on education, benefits, social care, school exclusions and transition.

Contact a Family provides information and advice on any aspect of caring for a disabled child, including education and benefits. They run a free education advice line.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights.

Child Law Advice provides specialist advice and information on child, family and education law. They also offer a call-back service, which costs £25 for up to 30 minutes.

The Family Rights Group works with parents whose children are in need, at risk or are in the care system and advise them about their rights and options.

Cerebra run a project that helps families of children with brain conditions (including, autism, ADHD, epilepsy, learning difficulties etc.) cope with the legal barriers they face.

Paid legal advice

If you would prefer to use the services of an SEN Expert Lawyer, click here to download a list of SEN lawyers taken from Steven Broach’s blog Rights in Reality.

You could also use the services of an SEN education advocate.  These people are not normally lawyers, and so their fees tend to be lower. Whilst some have a lot of experience and legal training, others are not good at all, so you will need to be very careful in your choices. We are unable to recommend any specific firms or individuals, but you could try asking other parents about their experiences, e.g. on social media.