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SEND Information, Advice and Support Service

9 October 2018

The Essex SEND IAS Service (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

We offer information, advice and support to:

  • children and young people (up to 25 years) with SEND
  • parents and carers of children with SEND
  • practitioners (who might support children, young people or parents to access our service)

Referrals can be made by a parent/carer/child/young person themselves or anyone who has their permission.

For more information on our service, including our work with children and young people, please see out Local Offer page.

How we can help

The SEND IAS Service can help by:

  • listening to your concerns and explaining what options are available
  • explaining how education settings can support children and young people with special educational needs/a disability
  • giving you information about what the law is and what your choices are, to help you make your own decisions
  • supporting you when required at meetings and helping you to get your views across
  • finding voluntary groups and other agencies that can also support you, with the help of the Essex Local Offer
  • guiding you through the Education, Health and Care Needs assessment process
  • supporting you in discussions with education settings and the local authority where a child or young person is at risk of exclusion or has been excluded
  • advise you on processes for resolving disagreements, appeals processes and means of redress
  • consulting parents, children and young people and ensuring your views influence the development of local policy and practice for children and young people with special educational needs and disability

How the service is accessed

Please note we are a direct referral service only. Referrals can only be received from parents/carers, children or young people themselves, or someone who has their permission to contact us on their behalf.

Call the helpline on 0333 013 8913 or complete the SENDIASS Parent/Carers Contact Form. Alternatively, you can send us an email or a text on 0786 000 3010.

Mediation and independent support

Families InFocus (Essex) is an independent, parent-led charity providing a range of support to families of children with disabilities and special needs across Essex.

Global Mediation offers independent SEN mediation service for disagreements between parents and the local authority or school. Call Global on 0800 064 4488 or email: