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SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

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 IAS 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 includes 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.

IAS (information Advice and Support) Programme

The Information Advice and Support Programme is a national government initiative which commenced in June 2018 and will inow run March 2021. The programme seeks to ensure that in every local authority area, children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers have access to impartial and free information, advice and support covering SEND issues – including the offer of a Helpline and online advice which is provided by Contact.

Blackpool SENDIASS submitted an application for funding which was successful and has been granted a contract. Funding has now been allocated and this will help us to continue to develop our service in line with the IAS minimum standards.

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.

Who to contact

SENDIASS website

Time / Date Details

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

Local Offer


We are an inclusive service and support children and families with special educational needs and disabilities.

 Last updated: 25 Jun 2020