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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

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

Dorset SENDIASS

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:

We're listening to you

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

We can give pass on your views about the Local Offer for SEND children and young people to the local authority.

Contact Dorset SENDIASS

SENDIASS officer for Dorchester,

Name: Helen Ciorra
Email: helen.ciorra@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Mob: 07771 181563
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for Dorchester,

SENDIASS officer for Weymouth and Portland (Chesil)

Name: Rebecca Maslen
Email: Rebecca.Maslen@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Mob: 07464 675467
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for Weymouth and Portland (Chesil)

SENDIASS officer for North Dorset

Name: Jane Schmidt
Email: Jane.Schmidt@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Mob: 07748 624609
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for North Dorset

SENDIASS officer for East Dorset, Purbeck, Corfe and Lytchett

Name: Emily Jones
Email: emily.jones@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Mob: 07767100290
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for East Dorset, Purbeck, Corfe and Lytchett

SENDIASS officer for West Dorset

Name: Lydia Hayles
Email: lydia.hayles@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Mob: 07771 978404
Full contact details for SENDIASS officer for West Dorset

Opening times for Dorset SENDIASS

We're open to help you

  • 8:40am to 5:20pm from Monday to Thursday
  • 8:40am to 4pm on Fridays

If we're helping other people when you call leave us a voicemail (24 hours), text us or email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Response times for Dorset SENDIASS

We'll do our best to help you as soon as we can. During busy periods this can be up to 5 working days. We'll make sure we get back to you within the 5 working days.

Contact charity for families

You can also get in touch with Contact, a national charity for families with disabled children. This is a free helpline for parents and carers where you can get information and advice about special educational needs and disability (SEND):

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. 

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.

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