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Dorset Special Educational Needs Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

Cancelled drop-in sessions due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

We've cancelled our drop-in sessions until after Easter following the government guidance on coronavirus. We'll let you know if anything changes.

You can still contact us by phone or email for support for:

  • children
  • young people
  • parents and carers

Read this easy-read advice about the coronavirus from Easy Read Online.


We're a free, impartial and confidential service that provides information, advice and support to:

  • children and young people aged from 0 to 25 with special educational needs and/or disability (SEND)
  • parents and carers of children and young people with SEND

We also work with:

  • the local council in Dorset
  • education and training providers
  • the voluntary sector
  • other agencies

We aim for parents and carers, children and young people to play an informed part in:

  • planning provision
  • agreeing outcomes to meet SEND

What support we can provide

SENDIASS officers are trained in SEND. They will help you:

  • to express your views for assessments or meetings
  • to find other support
  • if there's a disagreement
  • by listening to your concerns and talking to you about your choices and options

Our service provides:

  • a telephone helpline with 24 hour voicemail
  • an email advice line
  • face-to-face support
  • help to prepare for meetings
  • written information
  • signposting to other services and people who can help 
  • support through the education, health and care (EHC) plan process

Find out more about our service and how we can help in this video:

SENDIASS drop-in sessions

Come and meet a Dorset SENDIASS officer at one of our special educational needs drop-in sessions.


Every Friday during term time
from 10am to midday.

At Verwood Youth Club (Emmanuel Middle School site)
Howe Lane
BH31 6JF


Until Tuesday 11 February 2020

Every Tuesday during term time
from 10am to midday

At Dorchester Children's Centre
Middle Farm Way

From Thursday 27 February 2020

Every Thursday during term time
from 10am to midday

at Dorchester Youth and Community Centre
Kings Road

No need to book, just pop in.
Contact SENDIASS for more details.

Resources and support services

Find support and other services in Dorset to help you.

Read the SEND guide for parents and carers from GOV.UK.

Find information about Contact, the charity for families with disabled children.

Listening to you

We also offer information on what to do if you have a concern about a child or young person.

We can feed back your views about the Local Offer for SEND children and young people in Dorset to the local authority.

SENDIASS officer for Dorchester,

Name: Helen Ciorra
Mob: 07771 181563
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for Dorchester,

SENDIASS officer for Weymouth and Portland (Chesil)

Name: Rebecca Maslen
Mob: 07464 675467
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for Weymouth and Portland (Chesil)

SENDIASS officer for North Dorset

Name: Jane Schmidt
Mob: 07748 624609
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for North Dorset

SENDIASS officer for East Dorset, Purbeck, Corfe and Lytchett

Name: Emily Jones
Mob: 07767100290
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for East Dorset, Purbeck, Corfe and Lytchett

SENDIASS officer for West Dorset

Name: Lydia Hayles
Mob: 07771 978404
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for West Dorset

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