Advice & support

Advice and support

Throughout our site we’ve tried to provide links to help you find out more about every topic, issue, challenge or concern. Here we add to that a list of resources which might be helpful to some of you. To make it slightly easier to use, we’ve grouped resources under six broad headings:

We hope this page will be useful. If it helps just one person, the time taken to gather the resources will have been well worth it! We will keep updating the page and would welcome suggestions as to what we might add.

The information is here not just because we want to offer support to people within our current school community, but also so that we can all learn more, and understand more about our wider community. This page is about inclusion in its widest sense.

To find help on the following areas, please follow the links to other specific pages on our site:

Schools & education

The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. Their web pages are the starting point to access a whole range of information about the law as it relates to schools.

The Education Hub is a DfE site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. You’ll find accessible, straightforward information on popular topics, Q&As, interviews, case studies, and more.

Hertfordshire County Council is our local education authority and their policies and decisions govern many aspects of school life and learning in the county. You can access local information from the schools and education pages of their site.

As a Church of England school various aspects of our life are shaped by the education policies and vision of the national church, and you can find out more about that vision and how church schools work from the education pages of the Church of England site.

The Early Years Alliance is an educational charity to support early years providers to deliver high quality, affordable, and sustainable care and learning to families, and to ensure that all children, regardless of background, are given the best possible start in life. Although aimed at providers, the charity also has valuable information for parents.

General support & advice

The National Children’s Bureau is an organisation working across England to bring people and organisations together to drive change in society and deliver a better childhood. It has a number of projects which may also be helpful to you, such as the Childhood Bereavement Network and the Council for Disabled Children.

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA) is a registered charity which offers free and independent legally based information, advice, and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They also provide training on the SEND legal framework to parents and carers, professionals and other organisations.

KIDS is a national charity, founded in 1970, that provides a wide range of services, including information, advice, and mediation, to disabled children, young people and their families in England.

The National Association for Special Educational Needs is a charitable membership organisation that exists to support and champion those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.

Contact is a charity which was founded by families of disabled children, who recognised that even if their child’s conditions were different, they shared a common experience – of being a family with a disabled child. They understood how important it is to support each other. Contact offers a wide range of services and events to help families with disabled children feel valued and are strong, confident, and able to make the decisions that are right for them.

Hertfordshire SENDIASS is an impartial Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). They can offer support with preparing for meetings, writing reports and letters, applying for Education, Health and Care assessments, as well as signpost you to relevant professionals, voluntary organisations and parent support groups. They support children, young people with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) aged 0 to 25 years and their parents on issues relating to SEND. They provide free, confidential and impartial information, advice and support through a helpline service, online resources, at events and workshops as well as through individual casework.

Scope is a charity promoting equality for disabled people, they have a helpine and online support and advice covering all aspects of living with a disability. Scope believes that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people’s attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can’t do certain things.

Disability Sport is a guide to organised sport and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities at both local and international levels. Their mission is to facilitate access to disability sports by providing information on a wide range of sports and sports organisations focusing on people with hearing, visual, physical and intellectual impairment.

The Children’s Commissioner for England speaks up for children and young people so that policymakers and the people who have an impact on their lives take their views and interests into account when making decisions about them. Independent of Government and Parliament, the Children’s Commissioner has unique powers to help bring about long-term change and improvements for all children, particularly the most vulnerable. The site has a range of reports, news, and information on a wide range of topics.

Mermaids is a charity focusing on gender identity issues, empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends. It’s not just an issue for teenagers and older people, gender dysphoria can be experienced by younger children and this can show up in lots of different ways. Often, the thing to look out for is a persistent, insistent and consistent gender identification that is different to the one they were given at birth. If you need help and advice, Mermaids has a helpline and is a great place to start.

Neurodiversity

Although our brains all work in a fairly similar way, we’re all a bit different. We all experience, interact with, and interpret the world in unique ways. In the past some people were stigmatised for being in some way ‘too different’, but now we recognise that such differences are not problems that need to be ‘fixed’ or ‘cured’. They’re simply variations of the human brain. We should recognise and welcome neurodiversity, but also offer understanding, support, and advice to people who find their differences challenging. You can begin to find out more about neurodiversity from these sources of information and advice.

The ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity is an integrated health and education service offering a unique lifespan – strength based service, for the 1 in 5 people who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome.

Autismlinks is a website dedicated to making those helpful and sometimes vital links to sources of support and advice about autism, it covers who to talk to, where to go and contains lots of helpful advice all in one place.

The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. They provide support, guidance, and advice, as well as campaigning for improved rights, services, and opportunities to help create a society that works for autistic people.

The British Dyslexia Association (BDA) is the voice of dyslexic people. They aim to influence government and other institutions to promote a dyslexia friendly society that enables dyslexic people of all ages to reach their full potential. They offer a wide range of support and advice.

The Dyspraxia Foundation is a charity which supports individuals and families affected by dyspraxia/DCD, promotes awareness and understanding of dyspraxia/DCD, and helps professionals in health and education to assist those with Dyspraxia/DCD.

Afasic is a charity and association for parents. It supports parents and children with speech, language, and communication needs. There is a helpline and online advice. Speech, Language and Communication Needs, or SLCN, is quite common. It is estimated that around 10% of children starting school have SLCN – that’s approximately 2-3 children in every classroom.

The Dyscalculia Association was set up by Professor Steve Chinn and Judy Hornigold in February 2018 to promote understanding of Dyscalculia and Maths Learning Difficulties generally.

The Dyscalculia Centre provides a range of information on dyscalculia for both parents and teachers.

Tourettes Action is the leading support and research charity for people with Tourette Syndrome and their families. They offer people with TS practical support and work for the social acceptance they need to help them live their lives to the full.

Hearing & sight

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the largest community of blind and partially sighted people in the UK, inspiring people with sight loss to transform their own personal experience, their community and, ultimately, society as a whole. Their focus is on giving them the help, support and tools they need to realise their aspirations.

The British Deaf Association (BDA) is the UK’s leading membership organisation and registered charity run by Deaf people for Deaf people. The BDA delivers a range of services to achieve its aims of empowering Deaf people to overcome difficulties that they face on a daily basis.

Sense is an organisation for everyone living with complex disabilities, including everyone who is deafblind.They help people communicate and experience the world.

Allergies

Allergy UK is a charity which offers a helpline and support and advice for people living with allergies. They have a dedicated Dietitian Service to assist families and children ages 0-5 with food allergies. In addition to services and support, they also provide information on reviewed or tested products that may help people living with allergic diseases.

Asthma UK is a charity which works to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack. They have advice and offer a helpline.

The National Eczema Society provide information and advice for people living with eczema and their families, which they deliver through their website, social media channels, publications and nurse-supported helpline. They are also the voice of people with eczema, raising awareness of the condition, supporting research into new treatments and campaigning for better medical care.

Conditions & disorders

Diabetes UK is a charity offering advice and support about all types of diabetes across all ages. On their website you can learn about preventing diabetes, living with diabetes, finding a support group, and the charity’s research work.

Ataxia is a charity supporting people living with a group of neurological disorders that affect balance, coordination, and speech. There are many different types of ataxia that affect people in different ways.

The Downs Syndrome Association a national organisation, committed to improving quality of life for people who have Down’s syndrome, promoting their right to be included on a full and equal basis with others. They have a help and information service helpline, accessible by telephone, email or video calls.

This page was last updated on 11th March 2022