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SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

The National Children's Bureau (NCB) are carrying out a survey for the Department for Education (DFE). The survey is about service users experience of using SEND Information, Advice and Support Services.
If you have used Blackpool  SENDIASS in the last 12 months (since July 2018) please feel free to participate.

The survey can be found here  along with further details.

The Service also offers information and advice to parents, children and young people from 0-25 years. Our service is free, confidential, impartial and at arm’s length from Blackpool Council.

SENDIASS staff are independently trained in SEND law and practice.

The service
IAS services are a statutory service that provides information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents (who have children/young people 0 to 25 years)

  • IAS services must be impartial, accessible and free.  (The "Arms Length and Impartiality Policy" is available within the "Useful Documents" section on this page.)
  • IAS staff should be independently trained
  • The obligations and expectations of an IAS Service are set out in Chapter 2 of the SEND Code of Practice 2014
  • The standards expected of IAS Services can be found in the minimum standards
  • IAS Services will differ greatly from authority to authority, with variation in size, capacity and resources

How may Blackpool SENDIASS be able to help?
IAS services aim to encourage and develop partnerships between children, young people, parents, schools, the local authority and all other partners who are involved in working to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of children and young people. This will include:

Information, advice and support on subjects including local policy and practice, personalisation, personal budgets, preparation for adulthood, the law on SEN and Disability, Health and Social Care.

  • Information, advice and support through the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) assessment and planning process. Also information about existing Special Educational Needs (SEN) Statements and review process.
  • Information, advice and support about additional SEN support.
  • Confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents.
  • Confidential and impartial information, advice and support to young people (16+)
  • Individual casework and representation
  • Support in preparing for and attending meetings
  • Help in filling in forms and writing letters/reports
  • Support in resolving disagreements, including disagreement resolution, mediation and tribunals
  • Signposting to other local or national sources of advice, information and support
  • Links to local parent support groups and forums
  • Information on the role of Independent Supporters (IS) and how to access this support, see below for more information.

Range of Support

The range and duration of support will vary dependent on the individual needs of the case and the information and support offered by the service will be tailored accordingly. This may include face-to-face meetings, contact by telephone and/or email.

How to make a Referral

Primarily the service operates a ‘self-referral’ process. However, on occasions it may be considered appropriate for a professional to make contact with the service on behalf of the parent or young person. The service will act upon such requests only on the full understanding that consent has been given.

Information about Local Area SEND Inspections

SENDIASS have published information about Local Area SEND Inspections. It inlcudes information about:

  • What a Local Area Inspection is
  • What will the inspectors be looking for
  • What you may want to share with the inspectors
  • How your views will be sought

For more information about these inspections, please click here

The service does operate an answer machine service, so messages may be left at any time and your call will be returned at the first available opportunity.

Blackpool SENDIASS have updated their Privacy Notice which relates to the information they collect and keep. Please see the download section to view the SENDIASS Privacy Notice.  

Independent Supporters (IS)

In 2014 The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) secured government funding to deliver the Independent Support Programme (ISP).

The ISP was always intended to be a short-term programme to help support the introduction of the SEND reforms (Children & Families Act 2014).

Grants were awarded to both the Voluntary Sector and to existing Information Advice and Support Services (previously Parent Partnership Services) to provide Independent Support to families.

In Blackpool funding was awarded to Blackpool SENDIASS service and to Barnados Independent Support agency.

Independent Supporters were trained nationally by the CDC and their role was to support Parents/Carers and Young People through the Education Health and Care Assessment process, the transfer of Statements of Special Educational Need to Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s) along with the annual review of EHCP’s.

The role of the Independent Supporter was time limited and finished once the final EHCP was agreed.

All other SEND Information Advice and Support continued to be delivered by Blackpool SENDIASS.

The Independent Support Programme has now finished nationally for both SENDIASS (end of June 2018) and ISP agencies (end of July 2018).  

However, we want to reassure Blackpool SENDIASS parents/carers, children and young people that this will not have an impact on you as we have always delivered both the IS and IAS services, so if you are/have been receiving support from Barnados IS agency staff you will just transfer across to a Blackpool SENDIASS service Officer who will continue to provide you with the support you may require.

SEND IASS are also exploring other options to help support families following the end of the ISP contracts.

The government have announced further funding for SEND. CDC and Contact are now working in partnership to deliver the Information Advice and Support Programme (IASP), including a national SEND Helpline (the helpline is not new and has been delivered by Contact, previously Contact a Family, for some years). Information Advice and Support (IAS) services have been invited to apply for funding to carry out a ‘Review and Planning’ process. Targeted funding may be available from April 2019 to IAS services to enable them to implement their plans and ensure compliancy with the new minimum standards (due September 2018).

Local Authorities and CCGs will be expected to continue to fund IAS services now and into the future and will be expected to ensure that services are resourced sufficiently to meet identified need in the area.

Information leaflets

You can download information from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) website on the SEND reforms. The information has been produced by CDC in partnership with the Department for Education. The series of fact sheets, films and posters are designed to help parents/carers,children and young people understand some of the key themes of the new reforms including EHC plans, Post-16 support, the Local Offer and making decisions.

The Service also offers information and advice to parents, children and young people from 0-25 years. Our service is free, confidential, impartial and at arm’s length from Blackpool Council.

SENDIASS staff are independently trained in SEND law and practice.

Who to contact

01253 477083

Time / Date Details

Session Information
Mondays - 9am to 7pm
Tuesdays to Fridays - 9am to 5pm

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Early Years (3-4 years)
Birth (0-2)
Secondary (11-15 years)
Primary (5-10 years)
Adulthood (16-25)
Needs Level
SEN Provision Type
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