1. SEND Information Advice and Support Service
Buckinghamshire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support (SEND IAS) Service (formerly Parent Partnership).
All local authorities, by law, have to provide children and young people with SEN or disabilities, and their parents, with information, advice and support. Buckinghamshire SEND IAS Service is the information, advice and support service here. Our service is free, confidential, impartial and at arm’s length from Buckinghamshire County Council.
We offer accurate and up to date resources and information about the law on special educational needs and disability. This covers:
- education, health and social care
- national and local policy
- the Local Offer
- your rights and choices
- your opportunities to participate
- where you can find help and advice
- how you can access this support.
Sometimes information alone is not enough. You may want help to gather information, make sense of it and apply it to your own situation. We call this advice and we offer this service by email, on the telephone, face to face and through work with groups or in training.
We can also offer more intensive support if you need it. This can include helping with letters, attending meetings with you or supporting you in discussions with the local authority, school or other setting. We work closely with the Independent Support team, who can offer you help with Education, Health and Care Plans.
Buckinghamshire SEND IAS Service is a statutory service provided by Buckinghamshire County Council in response to the Children and Families Act 2014:
Local authorities must arrange for children with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, and their parents, and young people with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, to be provided with information and advice about matters relating to their SEN or disabilities, including matters relating to health and social care.
SEND Code of Practice 2014, DfE
Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that local authorities, in carrying out their functions under the Act in relation to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN), must have regard to:
- the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents
- the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions
- the need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood
What is a disability?
You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
What is a special educational need?
Children and young people with SEN all have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children and young people of the same age. These children and young people may need extra or different help from that given to others.
How we help
- Signposting children, young people and parents to alternative and additional sources of advice, information and support that may be available locally or nationally
- Individual casework and representation for those who need it, which may include:
- support in attending meetings, contributing to assessments and reviews and participating in decisions about outcomes for the child or young person
- directing children, young people, parents and those who support and work with them to additional support services where needed
- Help when things go wrong, which includes:
- supporting children, young people and parents in arranging or attending early disagreement resolution meetings
- supporting children, young people and parents in managing mediation, appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), exclusions and complaints on matters related to SEN and disability
- making children, young people and parents aware of the local authority’s services for resolving disagreements and for mediation, and on the routes of appeal and complaint on matters related to SEN and disability
- Provision of advice through individual casework and through work with parent carer support groups, local SEN youth forums or disability groups, or training events