The role of the SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability, Information Advice and Support Service) in Southend, ensures parent carers have access to impartial information, advice and support so that they can make informed decisions about their child’s special educational needs.
This is achieved by working in partnership with parent carers or the young person, providing information, services and training, working with relevant agencies and ensuring parents views influence local policy and practice.
The information, advice and support we offer should promote independence and self advocacy for children, young people and their parent carers.
This service is also available directly to young people aged 14-25.
Referrals into the service are accepted directly from parent carers and young people, and cannot be made by professionals.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2015) states that:
When designing Information, Advice and Support Services, local authorities should take into account the following principles:
- The information, advice and support should be impartial and provided at arm’s length from the local authority and the ICB (Integrated Care Board) previously known as the CCG.
- The information, advice and support offered should be free, accurate, confidential and in formats which are accessible and responsive to the needs of users.
What this means
- Staff will not take sides with any party.
- Staff will provide factual information and advice based on what the guidance and legislation says.
- Staff will endeavour to provide children, young people and parent carers with enough information and support so that they can make their own decisions. We will not tell children, young people or parents carers what to do.
- The service will not store or have access to reports about a child or young person without the consent of parents, or the from the young person if they are over 16.
- Staff do not have any vested interests in the outcome of any decisions taken in relation to an individual child or family.
- All staff will be made aware of the Impartiality Policy.
- Staff and or service volunteers are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any conflict of interest in relation to individual families, parent support groups, schools, nurseries, colleagues or other agencies.
- Staff and or service volunteers are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any personal or voluntary involvement in issues relating to education or SEND that might impact upon their work.
The policy will be shared with the Local Authority and other agencies so that they are aware of it and understand it. The policy will be reviewed Annually.
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