IASS's are free statutory services offering information, advice and support to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs from birth to age 25.
They have a role in making sure that parents’ views are heard and understood and that these views inform policy and practice.
All IASS’s are at ‘arm’s length’ from the LA and the services they provide are confidential* and impartial.
Individual services may vary but all should be able to provide information and advice about:
- How special educational needs are assessed by schools and the LA
- Who parents can talk to in school or LA about any concerns
- The SEN Code of Practice, the Statutory Assessment process, EHC Plans & Reviews
- EHC Plan Appeals and Tribunals
- Parents/carers rights and responsibilities
- Meetings and reviews about a child’s needs
- How progress is monitored and reviewed
- What parents can do if they are not happy with a decision made about their child’s SEN.
How support is provided:
- Parent and Carer (or young person over age 16) referral service only
- Telephone and email consultations
- Accompanying parents to meetings
- Surgeries / Drop ins
- Training and information events
What support regularly consists of:
- General guidance
- Liaison with home / school / LA
- Helping parents with written submission, letters and reports etc
- Accompanying parents to meetings and if required speaking for parents at meetings
- Finding out information
Who can contact the ‘IASS’?
As already mentioned, the IASS is a parent, carer or young person only referral service.
The confidential nature of the support offered to parents prevents IASS personnel receiving information or referrals from any other source, or discussing cases without their prior knowledge and permission. Therefore, if it is felt that parents would benefit from the involvement of the IASS, it is important to either:
1. Advise the parents to contact IASS themselves or,
2. Ascertain their permission to contact the IASS.