Our advice and information is based on current education law and guidance and covers state funded education for children aged 5-16 years in England only. Our advice and information aims to give parents up to date knowledge of law and guidance as well as practical advice on how to work with their child's school to resolve any concerns. Our advice covers a wide range of educational issues.
If you are the parent or carer of a child at school and you would like to speak to an adviser you can call our free confidential telephone adviceline on 0300 0115 142. Calls to the ACE advice line usually cost the same as calling a standard landline number - even from a mobile. 0300 numbers are often included in any inclusive call minute packages offered by phone operators. You should check with your own provider to be sure.
Normal opening hours: Monday to Wednesday from 10am to 1pm. Term time only.
PLEASE NOTE: We are a small organisation and don't receive any funding for our advice services. We rely on volunteers to help us provide advice to parents and carers. Sometimes we may not be able to open the adviceline as advertised. If you hear a closed message please contact one of the organisations listed below instead. Please do not leave a voice message for us as unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide a call back service.
Contact a Family provide information and advice on any aspect of caring for a child with special educational needs or a disability. Their website has information on issues such as education, benefits and family life, and their parent resources cover a range of topics including health and social care services.
Telephone helpline: 0808 808 3555. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5.00pm
System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): A network-related or instance-specific error occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. The server was not found or was not accessible. Verify that the instance name is correct and that SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. (provider: TCP Provider, error: 0 - The wait operation timed out.) ---> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005): The wait operation timed out at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlInternalConnectionTds..ctor(DbConnectionPoolIdentity identity, SqlConnectionString connectionOptions, SqlCredential credential, Object providerInfo, String newPassword, SecureString newSecurePassword, Boolean redirectedUserInstance, SqlConnectionString userConnectionOptions, SessionData reconnectSessionData, DbConnectionPool pool, String accessToken, Boolean applyTransientFaultHandling, SqlAuthenticationProviderManager sqlAuthProviderManager) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnectionFactory.CreateConnection(DbConnectionOptions options, DbConnectionPoolKey poolKey, Object poolGroupProviderInfo, DbConnectionPool pool, DbConnection owningConnection, DbConnectionOptions userOptions) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionFactory.CreatePooledConnection(DbConnectionPool pool, DbConnection owningObject, DbConnectionOptions options, DbConnectionPoolKey poolKey, DbConnectionOptions userOptions) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.CreateObject(DbConnection owningObject, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal oldConnection) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.UserCreateRequest(DbConnection owningObject, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal oldConnection) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningObject, UInt32 waitForMultipleObjectsTimeout, Boolean allowCreate, Boolean onlyOneCheckConnection, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal& connection) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionPool.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningObject, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal& connection) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionFactory.TryGetConnection(DbConnection owningConnection, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions, DbConnectionInternal oldConnection, DbConnectionInternal& connection) at System.Data.ProviderBase.DbConnectionInternal.TryOpenConnectionInternal(DbConnection outerConnection, DbConnectionFactory connectionFactory, TaskCompletionSource`1 retry, DbConnectionOptions userOptions) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.TryOpenInner(TaskCompletionSource`1 retry) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.TryOpen(TaskCompletionSource`1 retry) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.Open() at Umbraco.Core.Persistence.FaultHandling.RetryPolicy.<>c__DisplayClass1.<ExecuteAction>b__0() at Umbraco.Core.Persistence.FaultHandling.RetryPolicy.ExecuteAction[TResult](Func`1 func) at Umbraco.Core.Persistence.Database.OpenSharedConnection() at Umbraco.Core.Persistence.Database.<Query>d__1c`1.MoveNext() at System.Collections.Generic.List`1..ctor(IEnumerable`1 collection) at System.Linq.Enumerable.ToList[TSource](IEnumerable`1 source) at Umbraco.Core.Persistence.Repositories.MacroRepository.<PerformGetByQuery>d__e.MoveNext() at System.Linq.Enumerable.WhereEnumerableIterator`1.MoveNext() at System.Linq.Enumerable.FirstOrDefault[TSource](IEnumerable`1 source) at Umbraco.Core.Services.MacroService.GetByAlias(String alias) at umbraco.cms.businesslogic.macro.Macro.<>c__DisplayClass9.<GetByAlias>b__8() at Umbraco.Core.Cache.CacheProviderExtensions.<>c__DisplayClass1`1.<GetCacheItem>b__0() at System.Lazy`1.CreateValue() --- End of stack trace from previous location where exception was thrown --- at System.Runtime.ExceptionServices.ExceptionDispatchInfo.Throw() at System.Lazy`1.get_Value() at Umbraco.Core.Cache.HttpRuntimeCacheProvider.GetCacheItem(String cacheKey, Func`1 getCacheItem, Nullable`1 timeout, Boolean isSliding, CacheItemPriority priority, CacheItemRemovedCallback removedCallback, CacheDependency dependency) at Umbraco.Core.Cache.HttpRuntimeCacheProvider.GetCacheItem(String cacheKey, Func`1 getCacheItem, Nullable`1 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