SEND and You: Our service and how we help
Who are we?
SEND and You provides the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset.
SEND and You SENDIASS provides information, advice and support (IAS) to children and young people with any type of special educational need and/or disability (SEND) and their parents and carers that is
Free • Confidential and • Impartial
What do we do?
Our goals at SEND and You are to
Provide information, advice, support and training • Work together • Promote participation • Enable Decision-making.
Children & Young People
Children and young people with SEND can use our service independently to ensure their views are shared, they understand educational processes and can contribute to decisions about their future.
Parents & Carers
Parents and carers with parental responsibility can use SEND and You’ service to understand their own and their children and young people with SEND’s rights, as well as processes and policies.
They can also use our service to support them with practical guidance and support in voicing their views.
Professionals are able to use the information advice and support on offer to build on their own knowledge and understanding.
They can also enable children and young people, as well as parents and carers to access the SENDIASS.
Professionals can contact SEND and You for training and information sessions on SEND across education, health and social care related to education or training.
Professionals can also work with SEND and You by supporting their own service users to access SEND and You’s website, where they can find resources and our contact form and help service users who need additional support to fill out the contact form on our website.
We encourage Professionals to work in partnership with SEND and You to support children and young people with special educational needs, and their families, in enabling children and young people with SEND to reach good outcomes in education and training.
How we can help
- Offer impartial and confidential information, advice and support (IAS) to enable our service users to make their OWN decisions and choices.
- Discuss topics related to education which can cover education (learning), health, and social care. Give IAS about general support for pupils with SEND (diagnosed or undiagnosed) expected to be available in educational settings.
- Enable our service users to be more confident and clearer when communicating with professionals (across education, health and social care).
- Offer IAS about factual information that may impact on CYP with SEND for example, local policy and practice, the Local Offer, personalisation, Personal Budgets, the law on SEN and disability, health and social care.
- Help CYP, families and partners we work with understand statutory SEND processes, for example, EHC assessment and planning, timescales, how to check draft plans, understanding what to do when unhappy with a draft EHCP, how naming a school works and parental preference.
- Signpost – Provide information about local links for parent carer forums and voluntary groups.
- Work individually with service users in preparing for and attending meetings. For example, helping them prepare for a meeting and consider ways of expressing their views in a meeting.
- Work in groups with service users to inform and equip them in a practical way about SEND topics. For example, delivering a workshop on a topic like SEND in School or working through a practical exercise like explaining my young person’s SEND.
- Offer training sessions on the law relating to SEN and disability as it applies to education, health and social care. This training can be provided to early years settings, schools, colleges, statutory and voluntary agencies.
- Support service users within the remit of our service delivery and make access arrangements for them, for example, using the translation service on our website. We also offer accessible information through Easy Reads , browsealoud, a web-based text service and videos.
How we cannot help
- Offer information, advice or support on issues that are not linked to SEND, for example, financial matters like benefits, Disability Living Allowance, carers’ allowance.
- Offer a counselling service – enquiries must be based around a question related to SEND, with a clear starting point.
- Deliver emergency support or interventions for service users – this is for the three local authorities to have in place.
- Offer to automatically complete paperwork on behalf of service users – we use our discretion based on the individual needs of the service user on a case-by-case basis.
- Complete forms or support service users to complete forms that address issues not related to SEND.
- Allocate a named ‘support worker’ within the IAS Team.
- Automatically check EHCPs for service users unless there is an access need on the part of the service user or it is necessary as part of a process that we are supporting with.
- Spend a disproportionate amount of time re-addressing an enquiry that has already been addressed by another member of the IAS team.
- Act as an intermediary between the service user and other professionals unless we are supporting a service user with their own access arrangements (disabilities, learning difficulties, health needs).
Our Service Users
Quotes from our Service Users:
“Not only was the service very professional and quick but all people I spoke to were very friendly and empathetic and knowledgeable”
“I can’t say enough how amazing the team at SP were. They get it. They understand and this meant so much and they made me feel like this would be resolved.”
“Don’t know how I’d have got through the EHCP process without this amazing, kind and knowledgeable team.”
“I had barriers everywhere in school. No one helped until someone told me about you. As soon as I contacted you the help has been fantastic.”
“It’s a very valuable service for parents navigating the SEND system.”
The Local Authority
SEND and You SENDIAS Service is monitored by each of the local authorities which commission it; Education and Social Care both contribute to the LA funding. We are also monitored by the CCG as SAY is jointly commissioned with the CCG. The local authorities and CCG monitor the service to ensure that we are offering the service that we publicise. They also ensure that we are meeting the Minimum Standards for SENDIAS Services.
By supporting good partnership working, we will encourage service-users and professionals to work more closely together, in
the interests of children and young people with SEND. The Information, Advice and Support we give is independent and impartial in line with the Minimum Standards for SENDIAS Services.
We offer impartial and confidential information, advice and support (IAS) to enable our service users to make their OWN
decisions and choices.
“1.5 The IASS is, and is seen by service users to be, an arm’s length, confidential, dedicated and easily identifiable service, separate from the Local Authority, Clinical Commissioning Group and/or host organisation.” – Quote from the Minimum Standards
How are we funded?
SAY is mainly funded through service level agreements with local authorities and the CCG. We do also have some funding
streams from other sources to enhance our remit. For example, until the end of March 2022, we have some funding from the
Council for Disabled Children.
This is the same for all SENDIAS Services across the country. SAY SENDIAS Service is jointly commissioned, which means that the money that we receive from the local authority comes from Education, Health and Social Care. The money that we receive must be used to ensure that we provide the services that we promote and that we meet the Minimum Standards. The local authority does not control our budget.
How are we trained?
All of the staff at SAY who work with families are trained to IPSEA Level 3. IPSEA Level 3 law training is advanced level training, designed for professionals advising or supporting families of children and young people with SEND. The role of the SENDIAS Service is to provide independent and impartial advice.
At times this may mean giving advice/information which service users do not necessarily agree with. We try our very best to make sure information is legally and factually correct. As a whole, our team has a wide range of experience, including specialist knowledge of each of the three local authorities.
What do we advise on?
SAY will discuss and give advice on topics related to education which can cover education (learning), health, and social care.
We cover impartial information, advice and support (IAS) on the full range of education, health and social care as defined in
the SEND Code of Practice.
Our service covers all aspects of special educational needs and disabilities, from promoting inclusion to social care and health concerns, appeals, complaints and exclusions where SEND may be identified.
Examples of the range of information that we cover are:
- Concerns from the earliest stages of getting help SEN Support from early years to post-19
- Statutory work, which may lead to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and beyond
- Ways of accessing services to support education
- Signposting to other services
- Disagreement resolution
We will always give IAS about general support for pupils with SEND (diagnosed or undiagnosed) expected to be available in
How can I access the service?
Our dedicated Information, Advice & Support (IAS) line is open from 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
If the line is busy, you can leave a message on our answer phone, which is also available outside of hours. It is easy to contact us through email or via the contact form on our website if you find that our phone lines are busy. Incoming emails are monitored all day and you will still hear back from us as quickly as possible.
If you leave a message, we will do our best to call you back within the next two working days. We return all calls in the order that they were made, but please bear in mind that during particularly busy times, this may take us longer. Whilst we often give ongoing support, we can’t guarantee that you will be helped by the same advisor each time.
The SENDIASS is not an emergency service. If a service user has an emergency, we use our protocols for addressing this during our standard office hours.
SEND and You Youtube Video