Professional Support Around Special Educational Needs

Unavoidably, there may be times when parents find themselves confused about special educational needs procedures, or when there are disagreements between parents, schools and the local authority.  To help prevent difficulties from developing into formal disagreement various forms of professional support are available to parents of children with special educational needs.

Hartlepool IASS are able to provide hands on support or able to sign post to an appropriate source of help.  If you wish to discuss in the first instance, contact Hartlepool IASS on: 01429 284876 or send an email to:

The following services detailed below are available:  


Independent Support

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 get your point of view across and ensure you take an active role in the process.  They can also help you to find information on the local offer of services and personal budgets.



Independent Disagreement Resolution and Mediation Services

If you are not happy about a decision that has been made in relation to the transfer of an existing Statement of Educational Need, Learning Disability Assessment or the decision made on the New Single Coordinated Assessment (EHC Plan), then you would need to make contact with Hartlepool IAS service that is impartial to the SEND Team and decision makers.  Their contact details: Tel No: 01429 284876 or by email to: who can provide you with a list of organisations who will provide you with independent advice separate from the local authority on mediation and disagreement resolution services.

See the link at the bottom of the page to access the leaflet.


Independent Parental Special Educational Needs Advice (IPSEA)

For parents who wish to appeal against the decision about their child in relation to a statement of education need, this is supported via an independent body IPSEA.  You can find them on the website: or ring the general advice line on 0800 018 4016.  More information can be found within Coordinated Assessment - Parent Support


Contact us for advice and support

Are you a parent of a child with special needs? Do you have problems with their education?  IPSEA's trained volunteers give free, legally based independent advice and support in England and Wales.  Our help lines can be busy as we generally have just one or two volunteers covering them.

General Advice Line: 0800 018 4016

Advice on: Problems with schools; requesting statutory assessment; proposed statements; annual reviews; possible disability discrimination; exclusion from school, etc.


ACE Advice and Information Services

We aim to offer a comprehensive range of advice and information on education issues.  Our information is based on current education law and guidance and covers state funded education for children aged 5-16 years in England only.

ACE Telephone Advice line

If you are the parent or carer of a child at school and you would like to talk to an adviser you can call our confidential telephone advice line on 0300 0115 142.  Calls to the advice line cost the same as calling a standard landline number - even from a mobile. 0300 numbers are often included in any inclusive call minute packages offered by phone operators.

Normal opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 1pm.  Term time only.

Website Link:


Neurodevelopmental Pathway

Across Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees we have worked with NHS colleagues to develop a ‘needs led’ neurodevelopmental pathway to make sure you and your child are supported as much as possible. If you or a professional thinks that your child has a neurodevelopmental need, help is available.

These are needs which can be associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). For more information visit The Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group website.


Contact (Previously Contact a Family)

Is a national charity that exists to support the families of disabled children.

North East Regional Office:

The Dene Centre, Castles Farm Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1PH

Free Helpline: 0808 808 3555




Links to information

Independent Disagreement Resolution and Mediation Services for Education, Health and Care Assessments and Reviews

Hartlepool Independent, Advice and Support Service Trifold Leaflet

Hartlepool Independent, Advice and Support Service Young People Trifold Leaflet