IPSEA (Independent Provider of Special Education Advice)
Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) is a registered charity (number 327691) operating in England. IPSEA offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations.
Why families need IPSEA
By law, children with SEND are entitled to educational support that meets their individual needs. Since IPSEA was formed in 1983, we have helped to improve educational support for thousands of children with all kinds of SEND. We do this by providing free and independent legally-based information, advice and casework support.
How we help
IPSEA has a suite of free downloadable legal guides and resources available to parents and carers. These guides are complemented by a free Advice Line and Call-in Helpline which provide legally based information and next step advice on any educational issue that is a result of a child's SEND. IPSEA’s Tribunal Helpline gives next step advice on appeals and disability discrimination claims to the SEND Tribunal and is also the gateway to our Tribunal Support Service where a referral can be made for more extensive casework support from a volunteer, including representation at the hearing. Our advice services are delivered by a national network of around 200 highly-trained volunteers, supervised and supported by IPSEA’s Legal Team members.
IPSEA provides legal training for parents, school staff, parent carer forums, support groups and other organisations in order to increase their knowledge and understanding of the SEN legal framework. The proceeds raised from our training courses helps fund IPSEA’s core services (Advice Line, Tribunal Helpline and Tribunal Support Service).
We also work to challenge unlawful SEND policy and influence policy development at both a local and national level. Our policy work is informed by information and evidence captured through our training and advice services, and has been instrumental in shaping law and policy in the field of special educational needs and disability.