Markfield Impartiality Policy

for the Haringey Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS)

 

Background

It is a requirement of all IAS services to be impartial, as stated in the chapter 2 of the SEND Code of Practice. In addition, it is a requirement within the national minimum standards for IAS services as set by the Council for Disabled Children that SENDIAS services must be impartial from the local authority and the host organisation. There is also a requirement that each IASS has a manager based solely within the service, without additional roles, who has responsibility for strategic planning, service management and delivery, quality assurance and implementation of IASS related policy.

 

The aim of this policy:

To support the SENDIAS service to be a key source of impartial information on law in relation to SEND that Haringey parents, carers, children, young people, schools and the Local Authority may access.

 

What we mean by impartial:

The SENDIAS service will provide unbiased information and advice about the local authority’s policies and procedures, and about the policy and practice in local schools and other settings. We will not give priority to any particular impairment, disability or special educational need, nor do we campaign for any particular approach to education or therapies. By being impartial we aim to help parents, children and young people have clear, accurate and relevant information that will support them to take part in decisions about their lives.

 

We will further this aim in the following ways:

 

SENDIASS relationship with the Local Authority

• Haringey SENDIAS service is contracted to be provided by Markfield which is an independent charity.

 

Information and publicity

• We will provide impartial information, advice and support to explain SEND policy and legislation.
• Our leaflets, website, social media and publicity materials will provide accurate, neutral and impartial information in plain language.
• We will endeavour to advertise our service and its purpose as widely as possible.

 

Removing barriers to impartiality

• We acknowledge and respect every person as an individual and will endeavour to be responsive, courteous and helpful to everyone who contacts us.
• We will not take sides or favour one view over another in a situation of disagreement or conflict, but we will endeavour to ensure that all available facts, opinions and perceptions are respected and shared openly.
• We will not base advice on staff’s own personal judgements about the quality of services (such as schools, local authority or health services). All information shared with families and professionals will be based solely on facts, legislation and case law.

 

Networking and collaboration

• When working with parents, children, young people and professionals we will inform them of the impartial nature of our service and what that entails.
• Whether working with parents, carers, children, young people or professionals we will consider factors that may be shaping their views and we may offer a constructive challenge to inaccurate perceptions.

 

Reflective practice

• We are aware that staff and volunteers’ own personal opinions and/or experiences may have an impact on their impartiality, and we will use training and supervision to monitor standards of the service we deliver and encourage reflective practice to maintain impartiality.
• We will always support parents and young people to prepare and present their own views.

 

Support to challenge

• We will provide information and support for parents, carers, children and young people in challenging a school’s and/or Local Authority SEND policy and practice if it is at odds with current legislation or guidance or case law.
• If a parent, carer, child, young person or professional is unhappy with any aspect of our service, including our impartiality, they may make a complaint through our complaints procedure.

 

Review of this policy

• The Impartiality Policy will be monitored and reviewed bi-annually by the SENDIASS manager and the Markfield Executive Committee.