IPSEA is the acronym for Independent Parent Special Education Advice and its website can be found here: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/home.
In its own words, IPSEA describes itself as follows:
Independent Parental Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA) is a registered charity (number 327691). IPSEA 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 (SEN) and disabilities. You can read an example of how IPSEA helps children and young people here. IPSEA gives advice and support on:
- Local Authorities’ legal duties to assess and provide for children with special educational needs
- Exclusions of children with special needs/disabilities
- Action/inaction by Local Authorities and/or schools which discriminate against children and young people with disabilities.
IPSEA’s services are provided by our highly trained volunteers. Many of our volunteers are parents of children with special educational needs.
IPSEA relies on donations and grants from trusts, companies and individuals in order to run our free services (rather than Government funding). Our independence enables us to hold statutory bodies to account.
We seek to improve SEN policy across England using the evidence we gather via our services. We make complaints against Local Authorities, take part in Government consultations and provide training on SEN/disability law.
IPSEA also provides training on the SEN legal framework to parents, professionals and other organisations
A lot of parents cannot afford to instruct lawyers on a private basis. IPSEA does not charge for the advice and assistance that it may be able to charge. It would be well worth contacting them if you are concerned about having to pay for legal advice, or would worry about its affordability.
It also runs training courses: I have sampled one of their online intermediate courses and completed it and found it a worthwhile exercise. The pricing for these courses hinges upon who the recipient of the training is. In short those most likely to be able to afford to pay more, are asked to do so. A copy of my certificate is to be found here: Certificate. I am pleased to report a 94% score, and still wonder where I lost the other 6%.