SEN and Disability Support and Advice

Special Educational Needs and Disability Support and Advice for Parents/Carers

Supportive Parents delivers the ‘SENDIAS’ (Special Educational Needs & Disability Information Advice & Support) service for three local authorities; Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The service is free, confidential and impartial and available to all children and young people up to 25 with SEND, and their families, as well as to Professionals working in SEND.

The SENDIAS service covers all aspects of special educational needs (SEND), from providing information and guidance to address earliest concerns, to helping with complex legal processes like statutory assessments, Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP), mediation, appeals, exclusions and complaints.

Examples of the support offered

Understanding legal processes, such as Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and plans; knowing what Children, Young People and their families need to do and critical timescales.

Guidance with practical tasks, such as dealing with paperwork, getting a child or young person referred for extra help (SEN support), asking for an EHC needs assessment, checking a draft EHC plan or contributing to reviews.

Working with families to help develop a good working relationship with staff at nursery, school or college, or with other professionals. Helping families to consider options, clarify priorities and to make decisions. Understanding how to deal with exclusions, disagreements with professionals or how to move forward when things have gone wrong. Signposting to additional sources of information, advice or support, groups and services. They run free SEND courses and workshops for young people, parents and carers and also offer support groups and ‘surgeries’ in local areas. They provide training for SENCO’s, school governors, educational psychologists and others.

Support for young people and children with SEND in North Somerset

Supportive Parents provide advocacy support for individual children and young people (up to 25) that empowers them to express their views and wishes and helps them to understand and exercise their rights in matters including exclusion, complaints, SEND processes, and SEND appeals.

This is not statutory advocacy but means they will:

Listen to the views and concerns of children and young people and help to explore options and rights

Provide information to help make informed decisions

Offer help to get in touch with relevant people, or talk to them on their behalf with consent

Accompany and support in meetings where needed.

North Somerset Services To access Supportive Parents and to speak to one of their trained advisors, please call their Information, advice and support Line on 0117 9897725 or email them at

The service is open from 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, with an answerphone available at all other times. Please see their website for further information, resources and upcoming events at