We're super-excited today to announce some fantastic news that we hope will help us help many more parents and carers.
Jane McConnell, the Chief Executive of IPSEA, has agreed to become our Special Needs Jungle Agony Aunt!
In this great link-up, Jane, who is herself a Barrister and the parent of a young man with SEN, will answer YOUR legal queries that you come across as you seek to secure the special needs help your children need.
It's the perfect time for this venture with the commencement of the new SEN system, which has led to confusion and worry among many parents. Jane says that the IPSEA helplines have been lit up like Christmas come early since the beginning of September.
No matter how much general information is available, every parent's situation is different so it's not surprising that there is concern that hard-won support will be disrupted or lost, despite Ed Timpson, the SEN Minister, saying unequivocally that this must not happen.
It's not that we don't believe his intentions, we do, it's just that there is very little trust that local authorities, still light on culture change and complete Local Offers in many areas, have got the message. (If this happens to you, we want to know about it.)
No misinformation, just straight, legally accurate answers
Jane will have her own Agony Aunt column once a month in which she will answer a selection of questions sent in by readers. Jane will select the questions that are most suitable for answering on a public website, parent names will be kept to forenames or initials.
IMPORTANT: Depending on how many questions are received and Jane's time availability, we cannot guarantee that every question will receive an answer on SNJ and Jane cannot enter into private correspondence. If you feel that your query is too personal to be answered online, you should contact IPSEA directly.
IPSEA has a wonderful new website and there is lots of great legal advice on there too, but this is a chance to ask your own question and we thank Jane for agreeing to come onboard and help provide this vital area of expertise. We're putting the answers on the site because they are quite likely to help other parents too.
We will have a page dedicated to Agony Aunt questions with its own contact form, but for now, please use this form underneath to address your questions to Jane McConnell.