For Professionals

How can I refer a child, young person or parent to an IAS Service?

IAS Services are self referral services – although other professionals can play a role in supporting children, young people or parents to do this. You can find all the contact details of local services here.  

Back to Top

Are IAS Services part of the local authority?

As statutory services (ones that have to be provided by law) IAS Services are all funded by their local authority. However they are all also expected to be at 'arms length' of the local authority and they should all provide impartial information, advice and support to children, young people and parents.

Some IAS Services (about 30%) are based outside of the LA, mostly with local charities or organisations. Some are based in the LA, but in their own buildings, while others may share offices with other LA services such as schools, children's centres or support services. Having the same address as the local authority does not mean that they will not be able to provide an impartial service. However, if you have concerns about your IAS Service the best thing to do is to phone them and ask how they make sure that their service is impartial. 

Guidelines on good practice in the provision of impartial IAS Services can be found here:

Quality Standards for Services Providing Impartial Information, Advice and Support

All IAS Services have access to high quality, independent legal training accredited by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Back to Top

What does the IASS Network do?

The Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASS Network) provides training and support to local Information Advice and Support (IAS) Services across England. The IASS Network was previously known as the National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN), who undertook a similar role with local Parent Partnership Services. The IASS Network is funded to provide this support by the Department for Education (DfE). As a network to service providers we do not provide any direct support and advice to children, young people or parents. You can find out more about our work by clicking here.

Back to Top

I work with children with SEND and would like to link in with my local IAS Service, how can I do this?

IAS Services are expected to have good local knowledge of services relevant to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. They are also expected to signpost onto local services when appropriate. If you would like to discuss working in partnership with your local service please contact them directly.

Back to Top

Are IAS Services the same as Parent Partnerships Services (PPS)?

Not exactly. IAS Services have taken over from Parent Partnership as the main provider of IAS to parents in a local authority. However, unlike PPS, IAS Services also provide IAS directly to children and young people, and are expected to cover social care and health information, as well as education.

Back to Top

What is the difference between IAS Services and Independent Supporters?

IAS Services are statutory services who are expected to provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. They are expected to 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. For more information see What do IAS Services Do?, the IASS Network Quality Standards and Chapter 2 of the SEND Code of Practice.

Independent Support is a national government initiative launched in January 2014 designed to help parents and young people navigate through the Education, Health and Care (EHC) planning process. The programme will provide Independent Supporters in each local area as an additional resource for a time limited period to work directly with young people and the parents of children being assessed for an EHC plan. You can find more information about Independent Support here.

Back to Top

Do IAS Services provide training?

IAS Services can provide training to local professionals on matters related to SEND. Please contact your local service to discuss training needs/requests further.

Back to Top