SEND Advice (Richmond)
If your child or young person has special educational needs, RUILS’ independent SEND Advice Service offers free, impartial advice, support and advocacy. Our aim is to help you to understand and to apply your rights, and to secure the educational provision your child needs.
- We can help with all areas of education: SEN Support, EHCPs - how to apply, how to manage the assessment process, placements, what to do if things go wrong, how to get the most out of Annual Reviews.
- We will do our best to help resolve any other issues you may have and can also signpost to other useful voluntary and professional organisations locally and nationally.
- We can support you at school and local authority meetings, help draft emails and review documents, and advocate on your behalf in mediation sessions.
We do not currently offer support with appeals to the First Tier Tribunal, and we are not a school finding service; but we will guide you to resources and contacts who can help.
Alex Hardy has been working in SEND with families in Richmond since 2014 and has personal experience of the emotional and administrational journeys and battles involved. Yolanda Bryant joined the team in 2022 as a SEND advisor and works alongside Alex to help meet the needs of parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
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The Ruils SEND Advice service is still operating at a reduced capacity, but we are accepting new referrals. If you are new to Ruils we will need you to complete a referral form and returning clients will go onto the short waiting list. Please bear in mind that all our staff work part time.
Please also see this list of alternative SEND provision in the borough:
Richmond and Kingston Sendiass:
Sendiass is an independent advice service provided by the local authority. Richmond & Kingston Sendiass offers impartial information, advice and support on issues relating to a child’s or young person’s special educational needs or disability.
The national charity IPSEA has a helpline which gives information on which legal service providers offer free initial advice appointments.
There are resources on a comprehensive range of SEND issues on IPSEA’s website. This includes guides on the law as well as letter templates that may help you to communicate with your school and local authority. These cover a wide range of subjects, such as making requests for Education Health Care Needs Assessments, content of Education Health Care Plans, Annual reviews, exclusions and failure to provide support set out in EHCP plans etc.
IPSEA support pages: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Pages/Category/get-support
This organisation provides a range of information, advice and support to help parents find their way through the daunting legal and bureaucratic maze of securing SEN support for their children. https://sossen.org.uk/
South West London Law Centres: https://swllc.org/get-advice/education/
A number of SEND organisations provide webinars and workshops which can provide you with information and skills to secure the education provision your child needs. If you are on our mailing list you will be informed of any workshops Ruils or our guest speakers are running. If you are not on our mailing list but would like to receive updates, please email Torasykes@ruils.co.uk
To read about other children's services at Ruils, visit our pages on Family Matters (for family support), FriendBee SEND Befriending and Bright Futures (SEND Transitions).