What do IAS services do?

IAS Services have a duty to provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. They are statutory services which means there has to be one in every local authority.

They are free, impartial and confidential services.

From the 1st September 2014 what were known as Parent Partnership Services (PPS) in every local authority evolved into Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Services. Each IAS Service should provide support similar to that of a PPS, although the type of support, and who is entitled to receive it, has been significantly expanded.

Local authorities must arrange for children with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, and their parents, and young people with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, to be provided with information and advice about matters relating to their SEN or disabilities, including matters relating to health and social care.

SEND Code of Practice 2014, DfE

Information Advice and Support Services – Key Points

  • They are statutory services that provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents.
  • They are required to be impartial, accessible and free.
  • Parents, children and young people should be involved in the design of their local IAS Service.
  • 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
  • The standards expected of IAS Services can be found in the IASS Network Quality Standards
  • IAS Services differ greatly from authority to authority, with variation in size, capacity and resources.

What kind of things should they provide?

  • IAS on subjects including local policy and practice, the Local Offer, personalisation, Personal Budgets, the law on SEN and disability, health and social care.
  • IAS through the EHC assessment and planning process.
  • A phone helpline.
  • Confidential and impartial IAS to young people (16+) on their own, if requested.
  • Individual casework, representation and support in preparing for and attending meetings.
  • Help in filling in forms and writing letters/reports.
  • Support on exclusions
  • Support in resolving disagreements, including mediation and tribunals.
  • Signposting to local or national sources of advice, information and support.
  • Links to local parent support groups and forums.
  • Training 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