What to expect from SENDIASS

SENDIASS offers three levels of service:

     1) information
     2) advice
     3) support

Information: is provided through this website, our helpline, outreach sessions at schools and children’s centres, and our programme of online and face-to-face information sessions.

Advice:   Sometimes information is not enough. You may also want individual advice to help you to find the right information, make sense of it and apply it to your own situation.

  • We offer advice by email, on the telephone and in online and face-to-face surgeries and drop-ins at venues across the borough
  • We aim to respond to telephone messages and emails within two working days
  • SENDIASS Advisers are trained in SEND law, and will give you factual and impartial information so you can make decisions
  • We aim to support you to understand the information and gain the knowledge and skills to advocate for yourself.

Support:  If our information and advice is not enough to enable you to advocate for yourself/your child without further help, SENDIASS may be able to provide you with one-to-one support, subject to available staffing resources. This can include filling in forms with you and coming with you to meetings and helping you to get your views heard.  We prioritise giving one-to-one support to:

  • Young people with SEND aged up to 25
  • Parents and carers of children and young people who have been excluded from school, or do not have a permanent school place, or are not attending full-time education
  • Parents/carers who need extra help (e.g. those with communication or literacy difficulties, or a disability that affects your ability to advocate for your child).

How we work with you

We do not operate a system of named caseworkers (ie. we do not have one worker allocated to hold each case – it means that you may be helped by any member of the SENDIASS team, depending on staff availability). We are a small team and we collaborate and share our expertise to ensure the best support is given to each parent/young person.

Confidentiality and safeguarding

The information you give to us is recorded securely on our database. We will not disclose any information about you or your child to the local authority, school or any other professionals without asking your permission. (The only exception to this would be if we have reason to believe that there is a significant risk to the safety or well-being of you or your children).

Coming with you to meetings

We cannot guarantee to meet all requests to accompany parents/carers/young people to meetings with schools and other professionals, due to limited staffing in our team. We can offer information and advice to help you to prepare for meetings.

Language interpreters

Within our team we currently have staff who can speak Turkish and Spanish. For other languages we can provide interpreters where possible to enable parents and young people to access information advice and support from SENDIASS.

Help with SEND Tribunal appeals

We give parents and young people information and advice about appealing to the SEND Tribunal. Where our staffing resources allow further support may be available to those who we prioritise for SENDIASS support – please see above. For more details please see our Policy and guidance on support to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.