Northamptonshire’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.
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, access to Independent Supporters on request, referral to other statutory and voluntary agencies, access to local and national support groups, telephone support and face to face meetings.
Our service will:
- Support parents/carers of children who have or may have special educational needs.
- Support children and young people 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
- contact with an independent parental supporter for you
- 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
- someone to help you put forward your views
- someone to attend meetings with you
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
- maintain information provided on a secure and confidential database
- provide telephone advice and information
- meet with you, if required
- attend meetings with you, if needed
- maintain confidentiality, in accordance with local safeguarding procedures
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)
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.
We use the term ‘advocacy’ in these standards, and we are using a definition of advocacy which we think accurately describes the work and role of IASS.
- Telephone: 01604 364772 (Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post: Information, Advice and Support Service, One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, NN1 1ED
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.
Arms Length agreement
The Information, Advice and Support Service has an Arms-Length agreement with the local authority in order to retain the impartiality of the service.
What to do if you have a complaint about our service
Please discuss it with the Service Manager who will do all they can to help you.
If after that, you are not satisfied, you can write to:
- Head of School Standards & Effectiveness and Virtual Schools, County Hall, George Row, Northampton, NN1 1AN
Find a full copy of our complaints procedure on the Northamptonshire County Council website.
The Northamptonshire’s Information, Advice and Support Service website does not capture or store any personal information, other than that you submit using our contact form. The data captured by this forms is only used for the purposes for which it is submitted and is not shared with any third party.
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