About IASS

IASS stands for Information Advice and Support service. Bracknell Forest IAS service provides free, impartial and confidential information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs / disability and their parents in a confidential setting so that they can make informed decisions.

Information

We provide information in different ways, including on this website, see our resources, easy read resources and legislation and guidance pages. We provide information on a range of topics such as:

– Support for children and young people with SEND at early years setting, schools and colleges
– Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans
– EHC needs assessments
– Annual reviews of EHC plans
– Moving to Bracknell Forest with an EHC plan
– Exclusions
– Home to school Transport
– Supporting medical difficulties in school
– Social care assessments
– Considering a change of school
– Making a complaint
– Making an appeal

If you cannot find the information you are looking for or would like to talk it through, please get in touch.

Advice

Sometimes reading through information is not enough. You may want help to direct you to the relevant information, to make sense of it and to apply it to your own situation. You may just want to talk through your concerns with someone and have someone listen carefully to you and explain your options.

We call this advice and we offer this through email, on the telephone, Teams meetings or occasionally face to face.

Support

You may want someone to support you on a one-to-one basis, if your case is more complicated, or if you find it difficult to communicate for example. Bracknell Forest IASS may be able to provide one-to-one support to help you to express your views on paper or in meetings with schools, the local authority or if you are appealing a local authority decision.

Our Children and Young person officer can help children and young people to express their views by helping them to put them in writing or if required supporting them to participate in meetings.

Our aim is to empower you, with the relevant information and advice, to be fully involved in decisions about your education or your child’s education.

How Bracknell Forest IASS works and how we are different from other advice services

How we work:

We are legally trained in the SEND framework including, the Children and Families Act, SEND Code of Practice and other key pieces of legislation and guidance.  We have over 20 years’ experience in working in this area between the four of us and are fully compliant with IASS DofE endorsed minimum standards, which can be read here.

We are a free service and there is large demand on the service so we will not always be immediately available or able to attend all meetings.  If we cannot attend a meeting with you, we are often able to talk to you beforehand to help you to prepare for the meeting and talk to you afterwards to discuss any outstanding issues. We also have volunteer peer mentors who we have trained and they may be able to attend meetings in our absence (for more about our volunteers please click here. We aim to respond to enquires within 48 hours. We will aim to work flexibly with you, depending on your needs and circumstances.

We are employed by the Local Authority but are trained by the Council for Disabled Children (via Ipsea).  We are run at arm’s length from the Local Authority and Integrated Care Boards and are managed separately from the SEN team and other decision makers.  We are impartial and are not able to tell you what to do but can provide information, advice and support to enable you to make an informed decision. We aim to empower you, rather than take over your case and talk on your behalf.  We are a confidential service and please do see our impartiality and confidentiality policies here.

Service users provide very positive feedback about our impartiality / confidential and level of service in general.  Full evaluation responses can be read in our annual reports here.

Other Advice services

Should you wish, you can use other advice services or a solicitor.  Please do bear in mind that we will not be able to continue working with you if you decide to do this.   If you are considering other services we would encourage you to ensure that you are employing someone who is suitably qualified and experienced.  You may find the following two links useful:

Council For Disabled Children: Parents/Carers looking for support. Click here to view.

Special Needs Jungle: Getting help with EHCPs. Click here to view.

An Introduction to the Information, Advice & Support Service

IASS Video for Parents

IASS Video for Children & Young People