As a result of the Children and Families Act 2014, every Local Authority has to provide a free, confidential Information, Advice and Support Service, to give impartial advice, information and support across education, health and social care issues to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) living in the area.  Children and young people with SEND can also use the service.

Ask Us Nottinghamshire is the parent partnership service for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We support parents and children/young people with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. If you are preparing to move into Nottingham or the county of Nottinghamshire, we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and support you as you make the transition between local authorities.

Ask Us can offer support around education issues to parents and carers who believe their child has special educational needs or a disability.  You do not need to have a medical diagnosis of your child’s needs in order to take advantage of our service, but on your first contact with us you will be asked to describe how your child’s difficulties impact on their education as this will help us to know how best we can support you.  You just need to provide us, in your own words, with a picture of how your child’s needs affect their life at home, in school and in the community.

The children whose parents we support have needs spanning a very wide range, including, but not limited to:

  • Emotional needs (maybe vulnerable to bullying and lacking in self-esteem),
  • Behavioural needs (perhaps diagnosed as ADHD or ASD, or arising through other causes),
  • Medical needs (through a medical condition such as chromosomal conditions or epilepsy), 
  • Physical needs (such as cerebral palsy or degenerative muscular conditions),
  • Sensory needs (hearing or sight difficulties),
  • Learning needs (frequently associated with other difficulties such as Down’s syndrome or ASD),
  • Social interaction difficulties (usually associated with ASD and related conditions such as attachment disorder).

We can offer you support to:

  • Find a suitable school for your child
  • Understand the different ways the school will support your child 
  • Build and maintain a good working relationship with school staff
  • Be fully involved in decisions made about your child’s education
  • Resolve problematic situations 
  • Make a complaint to the school governors when a difficult situation is unable to be resolved
  • Understand and set in motion statutory processes where your child has very high-level needs
  • Ensure that you are informed about and involved in those processes
  • Access independent appeals where other means of resolving disagreement have been exhausted
  • Resolve issues around school exclusion

…and with other education-related issues.

The depth of support we offer depends on your needs. It could be a single phone call to the helpline, where we listen and talk through your current difficulties with you, or it might be that you need a series of in-depth meetings to help you to fill out paperwork or support you through a complex issue. Some parents contact us just occasionally, to ask about something that has arisen in school, while others remain in close contact over a longer period of time, perhaps having individual support from a caseworker for up to a year. 

You’re welcome to come back to us as often as you’d like – in fact we rather like to hear how things are going, but if you just need support for a short time, that’s okay too.


The Children's Disability Register

The Children’s Disability Register is a secure database of children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 25 who live in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire, or who have their home base here. The Children Act 1989 requires all local authorities to maintain a register of disabled children.  The information that you provide is then used by the authority to plan, monitor and develop appropriate facilities and services for disabled children and their families.

Registration is entirely voluntary, but this is a useful opportunity for you to let the authority know about your needs and the services that would be of use to you.

More information.

Children’s Disability Register

Add your child to the Nottingham City or Nottinghamshire County Children's Disability Registers

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