Sefton's Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) - Barnardo's

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Information, Advice and Support – Key Points

  • IAS services are a statutory service that provides information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents (who have children/young people 0-25 yrs).
  • IAS services are required to be impartial, accessible and free.
  • IAS staff are independently legally trained.
  • Confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents, children and young people (16+) on their own, if requested.
  • Information about Sefton’s Local Offer

Key working support such as:

  • Individual casework and informal advocacy.
  • Support in attending meetings, contributing to assessments and reviews.
  • Information, advice and support on subjects including local policy and practice, personalisation, personal budgets, preparation for adulthood, the law on SEN and Disability, Health and Social Care.
  • Participating in decisions about outcomes for the child or young person. Support and help through the statutory EHC plan process, from requesting an assessment of need through to the agreement of the EHC plan and any associated personal budget. Also, information about existing Special Educational Needs (SEN) Statements and review process.
  • Information, advice and support about Additional SEN Support.
  • Individual casework and representation.
  • Support in preparing for and attending meetings.
  • Help in filling in forms and writing letters/reports.
  • Help when things go wrong, including resolving disagreements and providing support to manage mediation, appeals, exclusions, and complaints on matters related to SEN.
  • Working separately and impartially with young people and their parents if they disagree about any support or about the contents of an EHC plan.
  • Support in preparing for SENDIST tribunals.
  • Signposting to other local or national sources of advice, information and support.
  • Links to local parent support groups and forums.
  • Contributing to strategic development of services by the Local Authority / CCG.
  • 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 Minimum Standards for IASS, An easy read version of the standards will be available shortly.

IAS support with information about Sefton’s Local Offer

  • The Local Offer provides clear and accessible information about the provision Sefton Council expects to be available locally for our children and young people from 0 to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disability (SEND).
  • The Local Offer helps you to understand what services you can expect from a range of local agencies, including your statutory entitlements, eligibility and referral criteria. The Local Offer also makes clear what is available from early years settings, schools (including Academies and Free Schools), colleges and other services including those from health and social care.

How to make a Referral

Parents and carers can self-refer into the service for support or any professional working with the family can refer in on their behalf of the parent or young person. The service will act upon such requests only on the full understanding that consent has been given by the parent or young person.

You can contact Sefton's Information, Advice and Support Service by emailing by visiting

We are an all year round service that works flexibly to suit the families that we support, we have flexible working patterns and work between the hours of 8.30am and 6pm.

IAS services are support by the IASS Network.

What does the IASS Network do?

  • Provides a range of information, advice and support to IAS Services.
  • Promotes the development and standards of IAS Services.
  • Provides training to IAS Services on relevant subjects including the law on SEN and disability, health and social care (with IPSEA).
  • Promotes service impartiality and arrangements that ensure IAS Services are operating at arm’s length from their local authority.
  • Provides a national picture of the work of IAS Services through the annual ‘Benchmarking’ report.
  • Promotes dialogue and collaboration between IAS Services and other partners.
  • Engages strategically with DfE on key issues arising for IAS Services.
  • Supports an e-forum for all IAS Services through which relevant information can be sent and discussed.
  • Works with the National Network of Parent Carer Forums to improve the working relationships between IAS Services and parent carer forums.
  • Facilitates the SEN Information Group - a network of organisations that provide direct advice and support to families of children with SEND.

The IASS Network is based at the Council for Disabled Children, which in turn sits with the National Children's Bureau

Please give us Feedback

Young People/Parent/Carer's, Please click here to provide us with feedback:

Professionals. Please click here to provide us with feedback:

Who to contact

Sefton's Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) - Barnardo's

Last Updated

Last updated: 15/11/2023


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