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Disability and SEN

Child with windmill

The Local Offer
As well as the information listed on this directory, Brighton & Hove has published its Local Offer to tell you what services are available for children or young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and/or a disability. The Local Offer covers health, education, social care and the voluntary sector.
As a Local Authority, we have listened to parents and carers and they have told us that it can often be difficult to find out what is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability and their families. The Local Offer makes it much easier to find out about this information as it is all together in one place.
The Local Offer helps  you to understand what services you can expect from a range of local agencies, including your statutory entitlements, eligibility & referral criteria. The Local Offer  also makes clear what is available from early years settings, schools (including Academies and Free Schools), colleges and other services including those from health and social care.

What to do if you are worried about your child
If you have any concerns about your child’s development, your first port of call should be your health visitor, your child’s teacher or your GP. They may be able to reassure you or arrange some support for your child in the community.
Parents and carers can ask any professional who knows their child to complete a referral form and send it to the team at Seaside View - Children's Disability Service

Amaze is a small local charity making a big difference. It provides information, advice and support to parents of children aged 0 to 19 with disabilities or special needs.
The charity’s ‘front door’ is a telephone helpline where parents can leave a message, or talk direct to a helpline worker from 9.30am-12 noon Monday to Thursday and in term time 12 – 5pm on Tuesday and 5.30-8pm on Thursdays.
Other Amaze services include one-to-one support with DLA applications, education issues and transition to adulthood; workshops and training for parents; and a wide range of useful information, including two comprehensive handbooks and fact sheets on key issues. Amaze also hosts the PaCC, the local parent carers council where parent carers come together to have a voice on the issues that matter to them.

Free and discounted activities
Amaze also provides the Compass Card, a leisure incentive card for children and young people aged 0-19 with significant special needs. The card offers free or discounted entry to venues across the city. The Compass Card also includes Compass Card Activities. These are activities supported by Amaze that provide teachers or coaches with special needs experience and discounts for Compass Card holders when there’s a charge.
Call the Amaze helpline on 01273 772289 for more information, or visit their website.

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Young People

Two young people at the beach

Brighton & Hove Youth Participation Team

The Youth Participation Team supports:

Youth Participation - Creating opportunities for all young people to be involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy and the development of services and programmes for young people. This service includes supporting the Youth Council, Children in Care Council and Young Ambassadors.   

The Youth Advocacy Project  - Supporting children and young people who are cared for by the authority and with child protection plans; ensuring their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard.

Youth Arts Awards & Duke of Edinburgh Award - Providing individual and group work support, working towards a formal accreditation to young people facing multiple barriers to education.

Independent Visitors for children in care.  

The Extended Adolescent Service provides specialist support for young people around teenage pregnancy, sexual health and substance misuse.

The Youth Employability Service provide free information, advice and guidance for young people living in Brighton and Hove who are not in employment, education or training.

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Education, work and training

Child with bucket and spade on the beach

School places
The school admissions team process all applications for school places. They produce guides for both primary school and secondary school containing useful information about the schools, open days and evenings and how to apply for a place.
You can email the School Admissions Team at, or call them on 01273 293653.

Colleges and Universities
• University of Brighton 01273 600900
• University of Sussex 01273 678416
• Open University Distance Learning
• UCAS 01242 222444
• BHASVIC 01273 552200
• Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (MET) 01273 667788
• Portslade Aldridge Community Academy 01273 422632
• Plumpton College 01273 892034
• Varndean College  01273 508011

Youth Employability Service (YES)
If you are aged 16-18 (19-24 with a statement of educational needs/education, health and care plan) and are not in education, employment or training, you can access free information, guidance or support from YES.


The Jobcentre offers advice and support on claiming benefits or finding a job. Visit their website or call 0845 604 3719.

Adult Learning Providers
You can search the Adult Learning Directory  for details of adult learning providers and courses in the city that are members of the Brighton & Hove Adult Learning Group.

Community Learning

The Community Learning Team  offers short and informal courses for adults such as Food Hygiene and basic skills. They can also offer careers advice.

Learn Direct
Learn Direct is the UKs largest provider of  skills, training and employment services. They offer qualifications in everyday skills like maths, English and IT, as well as vocational qualifications and apprenticeships. You can also undertake short online courses in subjects ranging from software packages to languages.

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Support for all the family

Man and boy in a park with a kite

Most families need a helping hand at one time or another, and whilst your children are growing up there are a range of services and professionals whose role is to provide support when you need it. These professionals can either offer you direct help, or signpost you onto other services. This could include:

 Family Hubs tailor their advice service to meet your needs, from providing information on this directory, to delivering advice on their helpline. They can also offer support on a range of services.

• The Front Door For Families is made up of professionals who work together to assess, decide and co-ordinate how best to support children, young people and their families where there are concerns

• If you have concerns that a child or young person is at risk of harm you should contact the Front Door for Families on 01273 290400.

For full information on the services available for children and young people with Special Educational Needs, and their parents and carers, see the Local Offer





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Health and wellbeing

Child on beach with toy buggy

NHS dental services

The NHS Choices website contains useful information about dental treatments and charges, as well as how to find a local dentist.
For emergency dental services (out of hours), call 03000 24 25 48. This service operates from 5.30 pm to 10.30 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 5.30 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Find a GP practice near you
You can find a local GP practice directly by typing your post code directly into the NHS Choices website.

Out of hours / emergency services
Medical help
You should call the NHS 111 service if you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best. Calls to NHS 111 are free from landlines and mobile phones
Mental Health
Sussex Mental Healthline offers telephone support and information. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 5pm – 9am and 24 hours at weekends and bank holidays. Call 0300 5000 101.
The Mental Health Rapid Response Service (MHRRS) provides an urgent response service to the people of Brighton & Hove when they feel they are in a mental health crisis and are at immediate risk of harming themselves or others. Call 0300 304 0078 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Related NHS websites

Health for under 5s
Health for Kids
Health for Teens

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Childcare and early learning

children playing

Childcare Support for two year olds
Some two year olds are entitled to up to 570 hours of childcare over the year. This is good news for twos as it helps them learn through play and meet lots of new friends their own age. Find out more about childcare support for two year olds here or read our factsheet, to see whether you are eligible. Two year olds places are available at nurseries, pre-schools and some childminders. Search for childcare providers that offer childcare support places.

NEW! for two year olds in 2024
From April 2024, childcare support for two year olds is being expanded to eligible working families - see our factsheet for more details. Applications open now

NEW! for 9 to 23 month olds in 2024
From September 2024, childcare support for 9 to 23 month olds is being introduced for eligible working families - see our factsheet for more details. Applications start from April 2024.

Universal entitlement for all three and four year olds
All three and four year olds are entitled to childcare support from the term after their third birthday. Parents are entitled to up to 570 hours of childcare over the year. There’s no need to apply, just speak to your chosen childcare provider about availability.

Extended entitlement (30 hours) 
This is for working parents of three and four year olds and doubles the existing universal entitlement of 570 hours per year to 1140 hours. Children are eligible from the term after their third birthday. It is important that you apply online the term before your child is eligible as if you apply any later, your child will have to wait until the start of the following term before they can start in a place. Download our factsheet or apply for the funding on the Government's Childcare Choices website

Children in foster care, where their foster parent/s are working in addition to being a foster carer, can now receive 30 hours, if their social worker agrees that it is in the best interests of the child.

Home Childcare 
If you would prefer childcare in your home, see our Home-based childcare factsheet, for more information and advice on a range of childcare options within your home.

Funding for childcare
Go to the government website Childcare Choices for information on the abovementioned funding as well as Tax Free Childcare.

Contact your local Job Centre for more back to work support or see their leaflet

Need extra support to find childcare?
Some parents need a helping hand to find the right care for their child. This could be for many reasons, perhaps your child has a disability, or you work unsocial hours? You might have searched on this directory, but still can’t find what you are looking for. If you do need help, our Childcare Officer can lend a hand. You can either call our helpline on 01273 293545, or email us at with your request.

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