Link to homepage

Special educational needs - advice and support

This page provides information about a range of advice and support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents and carers.

Details about the information, support and advice which local authorities must provide for children and young people with SEND and their parents is available in Chapter 2, page 30 of the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice and in the parents' guide to the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice.

Information and contacts on helplines and organisations that provide support to children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers is also available on the groups and networks page.

Between September 2014 and March 2016, the Government has made additional funding available to provide specialist individual support to parents, carers, children and young people who are involved in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment.Trained Independent Supporters will work with you throughout the assessment period. They can explain each stage, help you to get your views across and ensure you take an active lead role in this process.

Independent Support in North Yorkshire will be jointly provided by the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), which was formerly known as the Parent Partnership Service, in partnership with Core Assets Children's Service.

SEND Information, advice and support service

SENDIASS provides confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents and carers of children who have special educational needs, learning difficulties or disabilities.

The team of SENDIASS co-ordinators are qualified and experienced in special educational needs, and are based at the locations across the county - pdf icon for details, please see the SENDIASS contact information [10kb].

They can:

  • Listen to your concerns and worries;
  • Give you information about special educational needs;
  • Offer home visits;
  • Provide advice by telephone;
  • Support you in meetings;
  • Go with you and your child to visit schools;
  • Give you information about the special educational needs mediation service;
  • Provide information about the special educational needs and disability tribunal; and
  • Put you in touch with a voluntary organisation or parent support group.

North Yorkshire SENDIASS will continue to offer information and support to families of students with SEND up to the age of 25 years whether or not they have a statement or EHC Plan.

For further information please contact us on 01609 536923

This enquiry line is open during office hours throughout the year, including school holidays.

More information is available for parents in the 'downloads' section of this page. 

Independent Supporters

Core Assets Children's Service will work primarily with families where the child or young person is transferring from a Statement of special educational needs or Learning Difficulty Assessment to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. For further information please contact us on 0800 028 8455 or e-mail:

Alternatively you can visit our website and make a direct enquiry.

The role of the Independent Supporter is to:

  • Help the parent or young person understand the local EHC assessment process and local offer
  • Act as an independent and impartial contact person for the parent or young person throughout the EHC  assessment and planning process
  • Focus on the task of helping of helping  parents and young people to be fully involved in the transfer of a statement of SEN to an EHC plan (transfer reviews)
  • Work with parents and young people who are coming up to school leaving age
  • Liaise across a range of  local services with the parent or young person to help gather information required for an EHC plan
  • Provide information to parents and young people on personal budgets
  • Signpost parents and young people to SEND Information, Advice and Support Service when the  issue is outside the remit of the Independent Supporter

Independent support is available in a variety of ways

  • A dedicated, independent telephone support service operated between 9am and 9pm on weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.
  • Access to a trained Independent Supporter, with the option of follow-up face-to-face support if needed from a person who is independent of the local authority and trained to provide this support.
  • A dedicated, independent website providing information, signposting and resource links as well as the option for support and information exchanges via emails.
  • A range of outreach information and support points across a range of community venues and services including information groups

Disagreement resolution, mediation and complaints

Anyone who uses our services or is in contact with us can make a complaint. A relative, friend or advocate can complain on your behalf, but we will need your agreement and consent to share information with them. Information and support is also available through the SEND Information Advice and Support Service and Independent Supporters, as described above.

Information about disagreement resolution arrangements and mediation regarding aspects of SEND provision and the EHCP process is included in Chapter 11 of the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice and the accompanying Department for Education Guide to the SEND Reforms (pages 42-45) 

General information on making a complaint is available on the County Council's complaints webpage. However, the County Council uses four complaints procedures which depend on the service in question. More information on these complaints procedures is available on the following pages:

In the first instance, it would be helpful to raise your concerns with the people delivering the service involved, or their managers. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you can contact us using our online form, in person, or by phone, email or post.

Disagreement resolution

The Local Authority (LA) must commission independent disagreement resolution service for disagreements between parents or young people and

  • LA
  • education provider
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) or LA about health provision
  • or LAs and Health commissioners

This can happen at any point after a child's special needs have been identified.


LA must commission a mediation service that is specifically linked to the EHC process (disagreement resolution can be used at any time) and that is factual, unbiased, informal, non-legalistic, accessible, and voluntary.

NB even if you do not use mediation, you will need a Mediation Certificate before going to Tribunal

Parents and young people can go to Mediation over health or care elements of an EHC Plan but if the health or care provision is intended to educate or train it should be considered as special education provision and therefore can be appealed to the Tribunal.

SEND Tribunal

If unresolved by Mediation then families/ young people can go to Tribunal only over:

  • Decision not to assess
  • Decision not to issue EHC Plan
  • Educational provision in EHC Plan
  • Disability Discrimination in schools (Equality Act 2010)
This page was last updated on 9 September 2015