Elaine Maxwell  is : our Chair of Trustees. She qualified as a barrister in the 1970s specialising in chancery work and public law and planning. Elaine chose to specialise in education law as it fitted in well with her interest in public law as well as using her experience in the Civil Service.  After becoming a partner at a firm in Preston, Elaine set up her own practice in Lancaster in 1998, focusing solely on education law and provision to help those with special needs.  It grew to be the biggest team acting for individuals in the education sector and won large contracts from the Legal aid Agency.  From 1998 until 2014, Elaine became involved with ensuring appropriate standards in the delivery of education law advice, advising the Legal Services Commission. She joined IPSEA as a Trustee in 2014 and then became the Chair of Trustees in 2015.

Roger de Ste Croix: qualified as a Social Worker and subsequently managed social work teams in a variety of settings, including disability teams. In 1993 Roger was appointed Quality Assurance Manager and in 2001 he was appointed Head of Quality in the new Children, Schools and Families service for Hertfordshire Social Services Department. Roger took early retirement in 2007 and he is currently Chair of the Local Authorities and Communities Group of the British Quality Foundation. Roger volunteers on IPSEA's Advice Line.

Roger Hadaway: was the Headteacher of an Independent Junior School, following which he held a number of senior appointments in Government Service. More recently, he has been responsible for a Sue Ryder Hospice and he has, for many years, been a school governor. Roger volunteers on IPSEA's Tribunal Helpline.

Sharon Gillot: is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience. After graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Economics she went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. She has particular experience in providing advice at times of change for a business. Her current role is Group Accountant, reporting for a group of companies offering a range of facility management services across the north of England. She has been involved with the voluntary sector in a number of capacities over the years. Sharon has been a Governor of a special school for 4 years, served as co-Chair of her local Parish Pastoral Council and has been a member of the Parish Finance Committee for many years.

Tony King: qualified as a solicitor and he taught at The College of Law for several years before joining one of the firms which merged to create Clifford Chance as a tax lawyer. Tony was involved in education, training and professional development at Clifford Chance from 1988 until he retired as a Director in July 2014. He was instrumental in introducing the Firm's extensive global programme of legal-technical and business skills programmes for people at all levels in the Firm. Tony has been a member of the Legal Education and Training Group and of its North American equivalent. In addition, he is a member of various City of London Law Society's Training Committees and a member of the Advisory Board of of the International Bar Association's Academic & Professional Development Committee. He has written articles and contributed to books on a range of legal and professional development topics as well as having co-written two legal textbooks.

Ben Essex: is an IPSEA volunteer. For 25 years he worked as a GP in London. He also specialised in the development of primary care in developing countries and was a consultant to the World Health Organisation for 15 years. During the past 10 years he worked as a medical advisor to the North East London Strategic Health Authority and to Lewisham and Croydon Primary Care Trusts. He also undertakes clinical investigations into deaths in custody on behalf of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. Ben volunteers in our Tribunal Support service.

IPSEA mailing list

Click here to join our mailing list so that we can send you relevant updates and information.

IPSEA training

IPSEA provides a wide range of SEN training for Parents, School Staff, Parent Forums, Support Groups, Local Authority SEN teams, Parent Partnership Schemes, School Governors and other groups / organisations. Click here for details.

Advice Line

This provides next step advice on: problems with schools, requesting statutory assessment, statements and Education, Health and Care Plans, annual reviews, disability discrimination and exclusion. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Tribunal Helpline

Our Tribunal Helpline Gives next step advice on SEN appeals and disability discrimination claims to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. When you call we will also assess whether you need casework support. Please click here to book an appointment to get one of our advisers to call you back.

Information Service

The Information Service is for general legal enquiries and will signpost you to factsheets and resources on our website.  The Information Service cannot provide specific advice about individuals and their circumstances.

Face to Face Advice

IPSEA is now able to offer free and independent legally based SEN advice at Face to Face sessions organised in conjunction with the Pen Green Centre for children and families (pengreen.org).

For information on how to book a session please click here.