SEN Professionals

Information for professionals working with children with SEN, and their families.

From the 1st September 2014 Parent Partnership Services (PPS) in every local authority evolved into Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Services.

Each IAS Service provides support similar to that of a PPS, although the type of support, and who is entitled to receive it, has been significantly expanded.

What do we provide advice about?

We provide a broad range of factual and impartial information about SEN and disability including:

  • Local policy and practice

  • The Local Offer

  • Personalisation and Personal Budgets

  • Law on SEN and disability, health and social care, through suitably independently trained staff

  • Advice for children, young people and parents on gathering, understanding and interpreting information and applying it to their own situation

  • Information on the local authority’s processes for resolving disagreements, its complaints procedures and means of redress

  • 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

What is Independent Support?

Southampton Mencap have been contracted by Central Government to provide ‘Independent Support’ to children/young people with special educational needs (SEN) and their parents/carers in Southampton.

This support is being provided because of the changes to SEND law that have happened nationally. These changes aim to give children and young people with SEN and their parents/carers a greater say in the support they receive. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of Education, Health and Care Plans which will be replacing Statements of SEN.

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What training do Independent Supporters receive?

All of our Independent Supporters have completed comprehensive national training covering the legal aspects of the reforms, the role of an Independent Supporter and many other topics such as; personal budgets, annual reviews and preparing for adulthood. They all also have a broad range of skills and experience in working with children/young people with SEN/disabilities and their parents/carers.