The Southwark Information Advice and Support (SIAS) team provides impartial, confidential advice and support about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to parents, carers and young people.

When you first contact the team you can explain what you need advice about. The team will explain if and how we can support you.

The types of queries we can help with include:

  • SEN (special educational needs) support in educational settings
  • Advice and support to request assessments for EHC Plans (Education, Health and Care Plans) and advice through the process
  • Help to prepare for SEND related meetings 
  • Support to resolve disagreements where related to SEND
  • Information, advice and guidance for young people aged 16-25 about education, training and employment. We can signpost young people to other places to access support for other matters. 
  • School exclusions, where related to SEND
  • Advice and help to make applications for travel assistance
  • Training and information sessions throughout the year.  Topics include: starting primary and secondary school, pathways to employment, SEND tribunal appeals

You can watch this YouTube video to find out more about services provided by Information, Advice and Support teams.

Children and young people with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) aged 0-25, and their families.     

SIAS is a self-referral service which means that parents, carers and young people contact us directly to request assistance. There is no referral form.


Please allow up to five working days for a response to your email.

Telephone: 0207 525 3104

We have an advisor on duty from Monday-Friday during office hours.
Our advisors experience a very high number of queries and we appreciate your patience.

If the phone line is busy or the advisor is unavailable at the time of your call, please leave your name and number, and a member of the team will call you back.

Tuesday online appointments
Click here to book an online appointment  - Every Tuesday between 9.30am - 1:30pm. Families can book a phone call or online video call. This service runs during school term-time only.

Thursday drop-in 
Come to the Sunshine House drop-in (pdf, 697kb) - Every Thursday between 2:00pm - 5:00 pm (last appointment time is 4.30pm). First come, first served. This service runs during school term-time only.

The service is funded by Southwark Council and is a statutory council service. There is an Information, Advice, Support Service in every local authority.

This service is free to access.

Although we are funded by Southwark Council, we work at ‘arms-length’ from other local authority services.  This means that we are able to provide a confidential and impartial service to families and will not pass your information on to others unless instructed by you or unless it relates to a child protection concern.     

  • IPSEA (Independent Provider of Special Education Advice) -  free and independent legally based information, advice and support for young people and families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  IPSEA also provides training.
  • Child Law advice – specialist advice and information on child, family and education law to parents/carers.
  • Kidscape – provide anti-bullying information, advice and support. 
  • Details of other support and advocacy services specialising in health, social care and more can be found on this local offer page.    
  • For details of legal representatives specialising in tribunal appeals, you may find this link, to information provided by Barrister Steve Broach, helpful. 

If you have sought information, advice or support from the SIAS Team, we would appreciate your feedback. Please complete the short feedback form at the following link: SIAS Feedback Form