Cornwall’s Information, Advice and Support Service is a statutory service which is run at ‘arm’s length’ from the Local Authority and provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to parents of children with special educational needs and children and young people with SEND from 0-25.
It aims to promote good working relationships between children, young people, parents, education settings and the LA, whilst seeking to empower them to play an active and informed role in their child’s education.
We can support parents, carers, children and young people in a number of ways. We provide a range of flexible services which include training, referral to other statutory and voluntary agencies, access to local and national support groups, telephone support and face to face meetings depending on need.
Our service will:
- Support parents/carers of children who have or may have special educational needs
- Support children and young people 0-25 who have or may have special educational needs
- Recognise the importance of parents, carers, young people and children’s views
- Help the Local Authority and parent/carers and schools work together to meet the needs of children and young people
- Offer free impartial advice.
What can the service offer you?
- someone impartial to talk to in confidence
- information and support on a one-to-one basis
- information about support groups and services in your area
- the Local Offer
- Personal Budgets
- a straightforward explanation of educational procedures
- information on special educational needs and disability, health and social care
- help to fill in forms related to SEN
- someone to help you put forward your views
- someone to attend meetings with you depending on need
The service runs a helpline where you will receive advice relating to special educational needs.
- aim to respond to your enquiry within two working days
- help you to express your views and resolve issues
- assist with paperwork depending on need and related to SEND
- maintain information provided on a secure and confidential database
- provide telephone advice and information
- meet with you, depending on need
- join meetings with you, depending on need
- maintain confidentiality, in accordance with local safeguarding procedures.
Our aim is to enable our service users to participate independently in meetings following our input. However, attending meetings is part of the service that we offer when it is necessary. We also need at least 5 days’ notice to attend a meeting.
SENDIASS may agree to attend with a service user where the following has been established first:
- There is no other friend, family member or professional who can attend with the service user
- The service user has disclosed a learning difficulty (or mental health difficulty) or disability which prevents them from being able to put across their views independently
- The service user is a Child or young person and has requested independent support
- There are other access requirements that need to be addressed, for example, English is an additional language for the service user
- We have worked with the service user prior to the meeting
- We have the capacity to attend the meeting
- The meeting is a tribunal hearing and one of the above also apply.
We will not:
- contact other people on your behalf without your prior consent
- pass your information on to other organisations without your agreement
- make decisions on your behalf
- attend meetings or provide reports in your absence
- provide transport to/from meetings (except in exceptional circumstances).
- Offer information, advice or support on issues that are not linked to SEND, for example, financial matters like benefits, Disability Living Allowance, carers’ allowance or health and social care not connected to an EHCP and we cannot complete forms that address issues not related to SEN.
- Deliver emergency support or interventions for service users – this is for the local authorities to have in place.
- Offer to automatically complete paperwork on behalf of service users – we use our discretion based on the individual needs of the service user on a case-by-case basis.
- Allocate a named advisor within the IAS team to a case.
- Automatically check EHCPs for service users unless there is an access need on the part of the service user.
- Re-addressing an enquiry that has already been addressed by another member of the IAS team.
- Take a grievance or complaint forward on your behalf
- Continue to support you if you have instructed a lawyer or are getting advice and support from another person/organisation this is to avoid confusion and ensure we are making the best use of our limited capacity.
Minimum standards for IASS
- The new minimum standards for Information Advice and Support Services (IASS, sometimes known as SENDIASS) were finalised in September 2018:
The standards were drawn up by a group of IASS managers, parents, LA reps and the chair of the IASP board, in consultation with the DfE. They are based on the law, the SEND Code and the IASS Quality Standards (which they now replace). The consultation process received feedback from IAS Services, LA staff, third sector organisations, health services and parents.
What IASS must do for children and young people with SEND and their families, to meet the minimum standards
Telephone: (01326) 331633 (Monday to Friday from (10.00 – 3.00pm)
Post: Sendiass, POSEIDON HOUSE, Neptune Business Park, Cattedown, Plymouth PL4 0SJ
The service is totally confidential except when a member of staff or a volunteer has a concern relating to child protection which must take priority over confidentiality.