Sutton Information, Advice & Support Service (Sutton IAS service)

What we do

Sutton IAS Service, formerly Sutton Parent Partnership Service, provides confidential, impartial, information, advice and support to parents/carers, children and young people on special educational needs and disability (SEND). A young person is an individual over compulsory school age (16) and under 25.

Sutton IAS Service recognises that many children will access information, advice and support via their parents. However, some children and young people, particularly those over 16 years of age, may want to access this support separately from their parents and the service will provide this.

This information, advice and support covers SEN and disabilities, including matters relating to health and social care, including information on local policy and practice, the Local Offer and personal budgets.

All contact between parents and young people and Sutton IAS Service is treated as confidential unless they give the service permission to speak to other professionals or obtain information for them.
A service members have received accredited legal training in the law on SEN and disability, health and social care.

From September 2014 the service will also offer independent support.  This is a 2 year programme to provide additional support to young people and parents during the implementation of the SEND reforms.  It is independent as it is funded directly from central government rather than through the local authority.

We believe that children with SEN are most likely to achieve their full potential when parents, schools, the local authority and other professionals work together.

Our aim is to ensure that your voice is heard and that you are actively involved in any decisions. We do not tell you what to do or take decisions on your behalf.

How we work
The service
  • ensures that parents and young people understand their rights and responsibilities
  • gives impartial information about the options or courses of actions open to parents and young people
  • supports parents and young people in making their views known and ensures they are active partners in any decisions that affect them
  • will inform parents and young people about voluntary groups, associations or services that could be a further source of support.   This includes information relating to preparing for adulthood, housing support, careers advice and employment support
  • gives information on the local authority’s processes for resolving disagreements, its complaints procedures and means of redress
How we support schools
The service does not work directly with schools.  However, as members of SPPS have received legal training in education law, they are able to offer support and advice to school staff who are working in special educational needs.  Training is offered by SPPS to SENCOs.

How we support children and young people
The service
  • listens to young people and helps them to identify what information or support they need
  • ensures that young people understand the courses of action open to them so that they are able to make an informed decision
  • encourages young people to be confident and realistic in expressing their views
  • always tries to promote effective “joined up” working between young people, educational settings, the Local Authority, Health, other service providers and the voluntary sector
  • provides individual casework and representation for those who need it which includes support in attending meetings, contributing to assessments and reviews and participating in decisions about outcomes for the child or young person
How we support parents
The service
  • listens to parents and helps them to identify what information or support they need
  • ensures parents understand the courses of action open to them so that they are able to make informed decisions
  • encourages parents to be confident and realistic in expressing their views
  • always tries to promote effective “joined up” working between parents, educational settings, the Local Authority, health, other service providers and the voluntary sector
  • provides individual casework and representation for those who need it which includes support in attending meetings, contributing to assessments and reviews and participating in decisions about outcomes for the child or young person
  • offers support to parents in arranging or attending early disagreement resolution meetings 
  • will support parents in managing mediation, appeals to the First-Tier Tribunal (SEND) and in exclusions

How Sutton IAS Service is funded
The service is directly funded by the local authority.

Contact point
Telephone 020 8770 4541 or email spps@sutton.gov.uk

Please see here for the Sutton IAS Service leaflet.

Please see here for a guide to an Annual Review of an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

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