WELCOME TO SKYLARKS SEND ADVICE SERVICE
We provide a comprehensive advice service regarding education matters for children and young people (0-25 years) who have special educational needs & disabilities. Please read to find out more.
How do I access the SEND Advice service?
Firstly, you need to register with Skylarks which you can do here
if you haven't already done so.
We aim to be as accessible as possible with a combination of bookable appointments and drop-in sessions that you don't need an appointment for.
- You can book a video/phone call appointment in advance here. These take place Monday-Friday between the hours of 10-4pm subject to availability.
- If you prefer to see us in-person you can book a 45 minute face to face appointment which takes place at The Crossway Centre, Twickenham, TW1 2PD during term time on alternate Tuesday afternoons (2.30-5.30pm). Details are here.
Drop- in sessions - no need to book in advance:
- Our helpline is available Monday & Thursday afternoons between 1-2.30pm - please call 07494 849013. Further details are here.
- Drop-in 30 minute 1:1 in-person advice sessions take place at The Crossway Centre, Twickenham, TW1 2PD during term time on alternate Friday mornings (10am-12pm - please arrive by 11.30am as otherwise we may not be able to see you) Dates and details are here.
- You are welcome to call us on 07494 849013 during office hours Monday-Friday. However, as there are only two of us running the service we are often unable to take calls and answer queries outside of the above options due to our workload. But we will call you back when we can to make an appointment if necessary.
Who will I speak to?
Michaela Eggleston manages the service, with her colleague Asya Kayani. They are SEND Education Advisers who have extensive experience in this field. On average they advise 500 families a year on all matters relating to education for children and young people with SEND. They are not solicitors, so therefore are not giving legal advice. But they have completed IPSEA Level 1-3 training in SEND Law, and take part in regular training to keep up to date.
The SEND Advice service is fortunate to also work with Fiona Slomovic from AMC Ltd
who can provide support for more complex cases. Fiona does not take cases on in their entirety through Skylarks , but offers a consultancy service to advise on specific matters where required. These appointments are limited to 30 minute video calls with parents and hosted by Skylarks SEND Advice service.
The SEND Advice service team decides which cases are referred for this service.
What does the SEND Advice Service offer?
The SEND Advice Service at Skylarks offers free, impartial support and information in relation to the education needs of children and young people (0-25 years) who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
We advise on all aspects of education, such as EHCPs, home to school transport, how to request a school, annual reviews of EHCPs, how to request an EHC Needs Assessment and more besides. The list is endless, so do get in touch to find out more about your own circumstances.
What don't you help with?
Unfortunately, the SEND Advice Service does not normally provide a service to manage appeals to the SEND First Tier Tribunal. We are able to signpost you to other services that do, and give general advice on how to apply yourself or where you can get further help if you need it. There is an 'Appeals to the SEND First Tier Tribunal' section under 'Resources'
which has several useful links.
We don't provide a school finding service , but we may be able to give you some suggestions to point you in the right direction. There is a useful 'Schools and Colleges' section with several links to help you find schools under 'Resources'
Do I have to pay?
In order to ensure Skylarks SEND Advice Service is accessible to all of those who need it, we do not charge and do not restrict by geographical area. However, the work required is often time consuming and requires a high level of specialist knowledge. As a small, independent charity we rely on donations to be able to continue to provide this highly valuable service and we therefore appreciate any donations
you can give.
What do I do if the SEND Advice Service can't see me in the timescale I need?
If your query is urgent and you are unable to wait then the following providers may be able to assist you:
have a phone line you can call as well as lots of information on their website.
All Local Authorities have to provides a SENDIASS which you can find here
for your area.
South West London Law Centre provides free 30 minute consultations with an Education Solicitor. Details are here
If you are a family from Richmond you can also contact Alex Hardy from Ruils, but he is likely to have similar waiting times email@example.com 07507 805 966