Westminster’s Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) is a statutory service which provides free, confidential, impartial advice, guidance and support to parents of children with special educational needs and children and young people aged 0-25.

The IASS aims to promote good working relationships between children, young people, parents, education settings and the Local Authority (Council), whilst seeking to empower them to play an active and informed role in their child’s education. 

We can support parents, carers, children and young people in a number of ways. We provide a range of flexible services which include training, access to Independent Supporter services, referral to other statutory and voluntary agencies, access to local support groups, telephone support and face to face meetings.

What can the service offer you?

  • Someone impartial to talk to in confidence

  • Advice about getting extra support from your nursery, school or college

  • Information and advice about requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment and Plan

  • Help and support around converting Statements of SEN to an EHC Plan

  • Independent Supporter service

  • Help and support with appeals to the SEND Tribunal

  • Information about support groups and services in your area

  • The Local Offer

  • Personal Budgets

  • SEND Schools exclusions

  • Information about SEND transport and assistance

  • Help to fill in forms

  • Someone to help you put forward your views

  • Someone to attend meetings with you

We will:

  • Aim to respond to your enquiry within two working days

  • Help you to express your views and resolve issues

  • Assist with paperwork

  • Maintain information provided on a secure and confidential database

  • Provide telephone advice and information

  • Meet with you, if required

  • Attend meetings with you, if needed

  • Maintain confidentiality, in accordance with local safeguarding procedures

We will not:

  • Contact other people on your behalf without your prior consent

  • Pass your information on to other organisations without your agreement

  • Make decisions on your behalf

  • Attend meetings or provide reports in your absence

Independent Support Service:

You can also access Independent Support Service throught the IASS Westminster. An Independent Supporter is someone who has been appointed, supported and supervised by a local service provider or the Information, Advice and Support Service. They have accredited training provided by the Council for Disabled Children before offering impartial information and support to families and young people.

How can an Independent Supporter help me?

An Independent Supporter can support you at any stage of the EHC planning process, such as:

  • Explaining the EHC Assessment and how an EHC plan is developed 

  • Explaining who does what and when

  • Helping you to recognise the difference between goals, aspirations and outcomes

  • Help you to navigate the Local Offer found on the local authority website

  • Ensuring you have all the information you need to make a decision e.g. how to request a personal budget, how to choose a school or setting

  • Providing impartial information and support for you to be confident to express your views

  • Being a point of contact throughout the EHC Assessment, with your Key Worker if you  wish

In addition, they can:

  • Make sure you have all the information you need for the EHC Assessment

  • Help to produce your One Page Profile (Section A of the EHC Draft Plan/EHC Plan)

  • Help you prepare for and support you at meetings during the planning process

  • Translate any jargon

  • Review the proposed EHC plan with you

  • Signpost to further advice and support such as the IASS Westminster

 

To access Independent Support Service, please contact us.

IASS Westminster Policies:

Westminster Information Advice Support  offer a free onfidential and impartial service. You can read more about the policies here.