Updates on SENDIAS Service

1. SEND Information Advice and Support Service

Buckinghamshire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support (SENDIAS) 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 SENDIAS Service is the information, advice and support service here. Our service is free, confidential, impartial and at arm's length from Buckinghamshire Council.

We offer accurate and up to date resources and information about the law on special educational needs and disability, covering:

  • 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.


Legal principles

Buckinghamshire SENDIAS Service is a statutory service provided by Buckinghamshire 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
SEND Code of Practice 2014


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

  • directing children, young people and parents to other 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

2. Contact the SENDIAS Service

If you would like to speak to someone from the team, you can contact us online.


Alternatively, you can contact us by telephoning 01296 383 754 or emailing sendias@buckinghamshire.gov.uk.

Please leave a message on our answerphone and we will respond to you within 3 working days. During particularly busy times this may change.


Report a concern about a child


The Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board and the Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Adults Board have created a short video to encourage people to report a concern, whether this is about a child or a vulnerable adult. 

You can report a concern about a child online


Useful websites

3. Updates on SENDIAS Service

Independent Support and the new Information Advice and Support Programme

The Independent Support programme closed on 31st July 2018 in line with government policy.

Bucks SENDIAS Service is now part of the Information Advice and Support Programme (IASP) which is a new government initiative. The programme is designed to ensure that, in every local authority area, children and young people with SEND and their parents have access to impartial and free information, advice and support on all matters relating to SEND - including through a dedicated free phone service. The programme is led by the Council for Disabled Children on behalf of the Department for Education, and will be delivered through a partnership arrangement which brings together the Information, Advice and Support Network and the ‘Helpline’ run by Contact. The programme will also work with Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) as a core training provider.

View the IASP two year operational plan.


Ofsted/CQC Area SEND Inspection

There will soon be an Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection of this local area's effectiveness in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

View the Local Area Ofsted and CQC Inspection information.

View the Bucks SENDIAS Service training for service users.



Buckinghamshire SENDIAS newsletter (updated September 2019) PDF, 1 page, 217KB

Buckinghamshire SEND newsletter (updated April 2019)

Buckinghamshire SENDIAS Service Annual Report 2018 to 2019 PDF, 12 pages, 499KB

Bucks SENDIAS Service self-review report PDF, 27 pages, 3.4MB

4. Volunteers at Bucks SENDIAS Service

Bucks SENDIAS Service has a team of dedicated volunteers who use their skills and experience to give support in a variety of ways.

Some volunteers are specifically trained as volunteer SENDIAS advisers. They are available to directly support children and young people, and parents/carers.

Other volunteers help Bucks SENDIAS staff in the office or at events and training.


Volunteer with us

Volunteers join us for all sorts of reasons. You might want to:

  • learn and develop new skills
  • work with new people
  • make a difference in your own community

We work to find the best role for you, depending on your experience. As a volunteer, you'll receive specialised training and individual supervision.

What you'll need

To become a SENDIAS volunteer, you'll need to be:

  • a good listener
  • able to communicate clearly
  • a people person (someone who can relate to others)

We ask our volunteers to be impartial and keep information confidential. You’ll need to understand what that means and be able to follow our guidance on it.


Volunteer SENDIAS advisers

Our volunteer SENDIAS advisers help parents, carers, and young people by:

  • explaining letters and reports
  • explaining jargon or how local authority processes work
  • helping with preparing letters and paperwork
  • helping prepare for meetings
  • attending meetings relating to education, health and care with you
  • helping you express and record your views
  • talking through procedures, choices and the implications of choices
  • helping you to be fully involved in the EHC needs assessment and EHC Plan process

Training for SENDIAS advisers

Volunteer SENDIAS advisers are carefully recruited.

All volunteer advisers are:

  • invited in for an interview
  • checked for references (from people who know them in a work, volunteering, or personal role)
  • given at least 10 hours of face to face training
  • supervised by the SENDIAS team and follow the same confidentiality and impartiality rules

If they are working with the public, all our volunteers are Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked. This means we can make sure they can work with vulnerable groups, such as young people.

SENDIAS volunteer advisers are all required to complete IPSEA Level 1 online training.


Contact us

If you'd like to find out more about being a SENDIAS volunteer or SENDIAS adviser, please contact our office to arrange a chat.

Buckinghamshire SENDIAS Service
Email: sendias@buckscc.gov.uk


5. Useful information

6. Children and young people's adviser

Are you a child or young person with a special educational need or disability?

If you are 25 or under and have a special educational need or disability, Bucks SEND Information, Advice and Support Service offers:

  • information, advice and support on education, health and social care
  • help with getting your views heard
  • help to find out what support is available for you and opportunities in the local area


Youth Voice: Special Educational Needs and Disability (Bucks SEND Youth Forum)

If you are aged between 12 and 25, are disabled or have a specific need, then ‘Youth Voice: Special Educational Needs and Disability’ wants to hear from you.

This forum is a place where young people aged 12-25 have the opportunity to get their voice heard. The group discuss topics important to them. All responses are fed back to help improve the lives of those living with a disability or a specific need. 

Find out further details on the Bucks Family Information Service website.


When do we meet?

The forum usually meets on the 1st Monday of every month.

Buckinghamshire Council
4:30pm to 6pm

A representative from Bucks SENDIAS Service often attends.


Useful links



Jennifer Ogley, Children and Young People's Adviser
Email: sendias@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
Telephone: 01296 383 754 (24 hour answerphone)

7. Join our mailing list

SENDIAS mailing list

Application to join the mailing list for information relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Join mailing list