The Information, Advice and Support Programme (IASP or IAS Programme)

JUNE 2019 - update

From the feedback gathered, an Independent Consultant put together a report to group the information into themes and make recommendations of what we ought to consider when putting together our operational plan for 2019-2020. The only parameters given were to ensure that any recommendations were in line with the statutory remit of a SENDIAS Service.

Below is her report, and the SENDIAS Annual Report 2018-19 (IASP special edition), which responds to your feedback and the recommendations that are given in the report.

JANUARY 2019 - update

The survey is now closed, thank you to all those that have responded.

We have asked an independent consultant to gather all this feedback and write a report to give us recommendations of what we ought to be considering as part of our operational plans for the next 2 years. We hope to publish this report and our response to the recommendations so you know that you have been listened to, and your feedback will be part of shaping out vision and developments for the service over the next couple of years.

Thank you, Heather McIntosh Team Manager, SENDIAS

NOVEMBER 2018 - update


Thank you to all that came down to see us at our two drop in events this week. We appreciated your time, support and feedback.

If you were unable to come to these events, don’t worry! You can complete our online survey to give your feedback on what we have been doing as a service, and let us know what else you think we ought to consider.


OCTOBER 2018 - update

Find out more details about the upcoming SENDIAS drop in events, where you will have the opportunity to give us your feedback here


The Information, Advice and Support Programme (IASP) - Background

From 31st July 2018, Government funding for Independent Support Services ceased. This was a time limited programme that provided additional support to young people and parent carers whilst statements were transferred to EHCPs. In West Sussex this was provided by Amaze. Amaze is continuing to run a series of other projects including the Compass Card West Sussex. This funding will not impact their other projects.

In January 2018, the Department for Education decided that from April 2018, a greater share of Government resources should be made available, in every local area in England, to a wider range of families who have children and young people with SEND. The contract for this new programme was awarded to the Council for Disabled Children and is called the Information Advice and Support Programme (IASP). This programme is being delivered in partnership with Contact (for families with disabled children) and IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice).

What is the IASP?

The IAS Programme started in June 2018 with the aim of ensuring that in every local authority area, children and young people with SEND have access to information and impartial advice and support services which meet a set of minimum standards based on statutory requirements. These services will provide a wide range of information advice and support covering SEND issues, across education, health and social care directly to parent carers, children and young people via telephone, electronically, website and face to face. The Programme also aims to ensure families who have children and young people with SEND, have access to a national Freephone service and access to online information, advice and support.

Additional support will be available to current SENDIAS Services to help them adjust to their wider remit a) through an extensive programme of training for staff and volunteers, which will include three levels of IPSEA legal adviser SEND training, and b) through additional funding for eligible IAS Services to support local authorities in running and commissioning compliant and innovative services.

What is Happening In West Sussex?

West Sussex SENDIAS was eligible to apply for additional funding to help its SENDIAS transition to the new IASP remit and secured the contract, along with the additional monies in July 2018.
There are two main tasks that SENDIAS Services must complete as part of the IASP contract:

1) Conduct a detailed self-review exercise of the IAS service to establish how the service is delivering its responsibilities as required by the Children and Families Act 2014 and SEN Code of Practice 2015.

2) Develop a two year service-led IAS service operational plan to seek compliance and service improvements benchmarked against the new minimum standards.

To complete these tasks, I (as SENDIAS Team Manager) am working in partnership with Lara Roberts - Independent Chair of the SEND Steering Group, and West Sussex Parent Carer Forum (WSPCF) representative, to lead the co-ordination of the self-review and agree the final two year plan for the SENDIAS service. We are ably assisted in this process by key partners who are members of the SENDIAS Steering Group.

We want to make sure that our operational plans reflect what our service user requires from an SEND Information, Advice and Support Service. We are therefore inviting all stakeholders to give feedback about the service. For more information on this, please read our briefing here