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.
****SERVICE OPERATING AT A REDUCED CAPACITY****
Due to current staff shortages, the Ruils SEND Advice service is temporarily operating at reduced capacity. We are still accepting new referrals but please bear in mind we have a waiting list of up to two months. If you are new to Ruils we will need you to complete a referral form and returning clients will go onto the waiting list.
If you are unable to wait, please 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
Our next SEND Advice workshop will take place on Friday 1st December:
SEND Support/EHCP needs assessments: what are they? Friday 1st December, 10am, The Crossway Centre,
This is a 2 hour workshop about EHC Needs assessments. It will be run by Jonathan Rourke, Sendiass Coordinator, in partnership with Ruils and Skylarks
The session will aim to cover the following;
- How to request an EHC needs assessment;
- The legal test to be met which means an EHC needs assessment should be carried out;
- What evidence to provide to support your request for an EHC Needs Assessment;
- What the Local Authority (LA) will consider;
- What to do if the LA decides not to carry out an EHC needs assessment;
- What happens during an EHC needs assessment;
- What happens after an EHC needs assessment.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions although please be aware that we will not be able to provide detailed responses on individual cases during the session.
Book a free place here
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).