Join I CAN and our partners to support families to find, receive and request the services they need by I CAN CEO Virginia Beardshaw.

I am proud to announce the launch of a pilot website SENDirect will enable parents, professionals and young people across England to search for and compare services for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  The services cover a very wide range of activities – from  play schemes to schools and cinemas.  SENDirect’s explicit aim is to give children, young people and their families the information they need to make their own decisions about the services they require.

I CAN is a founding member of the consortium of charities which sponsored SENDirect. The major changes to the Special Educational Needs system created by the Children and Families Act 2014 prompted us to establish the national brokerage system that is being piloted from today.  To create it we’ve used funding from the Department of Health and the Department of Education.

From my own experience as mother of someone with Special Educational Needs I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find the information we need to make meaningful choices. When complete will benefit families in so many ways, bringing a vast array of information together in one place.

The service launched in pilot from today will not be rolled out to families until April 2015. Before then we need the help of many SEND service providers, we need as much information for families to be uploaded on the site as possible. That’s why until April 2015 service providers will be able to list what they offer families for free. They will also benefit from free access to support and marketing to get ready for the changes in the law, along with help understanding personalisation and personal budgets and delivering services directly to families.

Please join us in helping families to access the services they need. If you run a service for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and/or their families or know of a service that does please pass this on or sign up to be part of SENDirect at