SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

The SEND IAS Service (formally Parent Partnership) provides information, advice and support to parents, carers, children and young people in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability.

We are an impartial, free and confidential service and operate at arm’s-length from the Local Authority. To read more about our impartiality, please see our further information page

Referrals can be made by a parent/carer, child or young person themselves or anyone who has their permission.

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

SENDIAS video still

The SEND IAS Service can help by:

  • explaining how education settings can support children and young people with special educational needs/a disability
  • listening to your concerns and explaining what options are available
  • explaining your rights in relation to SEN and disability
  • supporting you to prepare for Way Forward meetings with the Local Authority
  • supporting you to prepare for meetings and visits to schools and education settings. We have created an example meeting planner to help you.
  • working in partnership with schools and the local authority to develop positive relationships
  • establishing links with voluntary organisations and support groups
  • guiding you through the Education, Health and Care Needs assessment process or putting you in touch with an independent supporter
  • including you in discussions with schools and the local authority should your child be excluded
  • assist in navigating the Essex Local Offer website and identifying relevant agencies
  • making sure your views influence the development of local policy and practice for children and young people with SEND
  • building up your confidence to share your views

When we work with you and/or your son or daughter, it is really important that your views, thoughts and feelings are heard and are put at the centre of the discussions that you are be involved in. Click on the video below to listen to a mum and her daughter talking with one of the SEND IAS workers about this person centred approach.

See video here

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

Independent Support

Independent Support is delivered by iSEssex and by Families InFocus (Essex).

How the service is accessed

Please note 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 or complete the SENDIASS Parent/Carers Contact Form
(Please note: the helpline is manned term-time only, 9am-4pm)
Text: 07860 003010

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.

Hours of operation

The service operates Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm
The helpline is manned term-time only, 9.00am-4.00pm.

Operational locations

  • Essex


County Hall
Market Road