Lancashire SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IAS) 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.
SEND IAS supports parents and carers of children aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We also directly support young people with SEND.
These are the important things to know about our service:
- It’s confidential. We don’t share anything you tell us, unless it’s a safeguarding issue or you have given us permission.
- It’s impartial. We aim to give you information about the options available, then it’s up to you to make the decisions. We won’t promote one option over another, unless there’s no alternative.
- It’s free of charge.
- We talk directly to parents, carers, guardians, children and young people. We can also talk to professionals if parents or young people give their permission.
- Anyone can access it. If you have communication difficulties or English as a second language, we will always do our best to arrange the right support. Some of our information is written in languages other than English and we can also produce information in large print if you need it. Please contact us if you need information in other formats or need more help.
- It’s based on the law. All SEND IAS officers have training about the legal areas of SEND support, EHC plans and issues such as exclusion.
- It operates on a first come first served basis, unless you need to speak to us urgently.
- It’s for anyone living in Lancashire. If you live in Blackpool or Blackburn with Darwen there are Information Advice and Support services for your area.
We will work to provide impartial, accessible information, advice and support for all Lancashire families who have a child or young person that may have additional needs and/or disability. Lancashire SEND IAS's vision is to be fully compliant with the national minimum standards (2018).
All of the conversations we have with you are confidential. However, if there is a safeguarding issue, we may need to share some information. If we are inspected by Ofsted they have a right to look at the information we keep. Otherwise, we won’t pass on any information unless you give us permission to. If you want us to talk with other professionals for you, we will need your permission. Or, if a professional contacts us and asks us to speak to you, we will make sure they have your permission too.
The Minimum Standards for Information Advice and Support Services (IASS, sometimes known as SENDIASS) were finalised in September 2018. You can find out more about the minimum standards for IASS on the Council for Disabled Children website.