SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

The Essex SEND IAS Service (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

It is free, easy to access and confidential. To read more about our impartiality, please see our further information page

We offer information, advice and support to:
• children and young people (up to 25 years) with SEND
• parents and carers of children with SEND
• practitioners (who might support children, young people or parents to access our service)

For more information about our work with children and young people, please see our CYP page

The SEND IAS Service can help by:

  • listening to your concerns and explaining what options are available
  • explaining how education settings can support children and young people with special educational needs/a disability
  • giving you information about what the law is and what your choices are, to help you make your own decisions
  • supporting you where required at meetings and helping you to get your views across
  • finding voluntary groups and other agencies that can also support you, with the help of the Essex Local Offer
  • guiding you through the Education, Health and Care Needs assessment process
  • supporting you in discussions with education settings and the local authority where a child or young person is at risk of exclusion or has been excluded
  • advise you on processes for resolving disagreements, SEND Tribunal processes and means of redress
  • consulting parents, children and young people and ensuring your views influence the development of local policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disability

Watch the video below created by IASS Network of parent’s experiences of Information, Advice and Support Services:

Please see the SEND IASS leaflet for further information or to print and distribute.

SENDIASS Case Studies and Further Information

SENDIASS Children and Young People’s page

Who the service provides for

The SENDIASS service is for parents, carers and children and young people (aged up to 25 years) in relation to special educational needs and disabilities.

The service is currently unable to offer face-to-face support in the North East area (Colchester and Tendring).  We are continuing to offer telephone and email support through our helpline for North East families.  Support in all other areas is continuing as usual.

Hours of operation

The service operates Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The helpline is manned throughout the year from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4:30pm on Friday. There are a high number of calls currently but the service aims to respond to you within five working days. Please leave a contact number and your name when leaving a message.

How the service is accessed

We are a direct referral service. Referrals can only be received from parents/carers, children or young people themselves, or someone who has their permission to contact us on their behalf. You can contact us in the following ways:

Helpline: 0333 013 8913
Online form:
Text: 07860 003010

Operational locations

  • Essex


County Hall
Market Road