Seven Students from Reading University Law School have just qualified as helpline advisers to parents with special educational needs problems on a training course run at the university by IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice). They are the first students at the Law School to have successfully undertaken this demanding training course which covers all aspects of special needs, including school exclusion, disability equality rights and disputes with local authorities over educational provision.
The training course is part of the Law School’s extensive pro bono programme which gives students important skills and experience that they will need for practice as lawyers, while at the same time answering the pressing need for volunteer legal advisers at a time when the legal aid budget has been slashed.
Reading is one of only three Law Schools in England and Wales that offers IPSEA training.
The cost has been met from generous donations made to the Law School by its Alumni. Following the success of last year’s intake, a further twelve students have just started their training and hope to qualify as telephone advisers next year.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, responding to this news, congratulated all involved. IPSEA, he explained, plays a vital role in helping to advise parents of children with special educational needs. Having Reading Law students trained up to be telephone helpline advisers for IPSEA, he added, is an excellent initiative. Not only will the students concerned learn new skills; they will be applying their knowledge and expertise in a practical way which will be of great help to parents