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RIASS Redbridge
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Empowerment Model

RIASS provides information, advice and support to children and young people and their parent and carers who reside within the London Borough of Redbridge or that London Borough of Redbridge have a legal responsibility too.

How we work

RIASS is an impartial service and the information, advice and support is based firmly within the law and SEND Code of Practice and other relevant Acts and/or local authorities and schools practices and procedures.

We do not give priority to any impairment, disability, or special educational need, nor do we campaign for any approach to education.

RIASS provides the information, advice, and support in a variety of ways as stated in the Minimum Standards for SEND Information, Advice and Support Services and implements an Empowerment Model which enables children and young people (CYP) and their parents and carers to make their own decisions to achieve the best possible education and other outcomes needed.

The Code of Practice says that support should be available but also calls for services to “promote independence and self-advocacy for children, young people and parent/carers” Where RIASS is aware of the importance of delivering support to those who may require this, the ethos is to provide information and advice above support.  

RIASS is not a long-term support service. We provide information, advice, and support on the current situation of the referral. There is no limit on the returning to the service if further information, advice, and support is required and no limit on the number of areas of concern.

What do we mean by Advice?


Everything children, young people, parent/carers can access without contacting the service

Website and social media

Local Offer
Advice Help children, young people, parent/carers apply information to their own situation so that they can make an informed decision and act themselves



Tribunal Packs

Information and training sessions

Advice from an advisor via email or phone call
Support Helping customers to act Advisor appointment or attendance

RIASS has 10 days to respond to your referral and therefore as soon after the information, advice and support will be provided thereafter.

RIASS does not follow up once the information, advice and support is provided. This is left with the decision of the referrer on if they require further information, advice, and support. The service does not have access to education, health or local authority records and it would be left for the refer to provides these to the service.

As impartial service, RIASS can not arrange meetings with other professionals.

RIASS will:

  1. Ensure that CYP and their parent/carers will be made aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the CYPA 2014 in the context to which they contact RIASS via whatever means they contact the service e.g., email, helpline, website etc.
  2. Promote of the RIASS website and other sources of information such as RIASS documentation and Parent Information Sessions and if urgent information, advice, and support is required that RIASS can not provide, advise of other services who can deliver this such as IPSEA and Contact or local and national services.
  3. Provide telephone/email information and advice to enable access to the information needed to represent yourself. This can include RIASS reviewing documents on CYP and their parent/carers behalf either via email or hard copies and providing feedback and advice accordingly.
  4. Encourage the building of positive trusting relationships will promoted between CYP and their parents/carers and the professionals they are involved with.

Face-to-face support

RIASS will provide the information, advice, and support with face-to-face meetings when:

1. Parents may have additional needs of their own

2. Parents requiring support to write their contribution to the EHCP assessment.

3. Review meetings where:

  • the placement is at risk
  • it is a phased transfer and there is uncertainty re next placement
  • the child has multiple or complex needs and parents are struggling to engage support or necessary services
  • it is a complex situation at risk of going to SENDisT
  • following SENDisT decision there are on-going issues re implementation or delivery of the ruling.

4. Other situations as determined by and at the discretion of RIASS as warranting face to face support.

For all the above reasonings, a face-to-face meeting will be conducted online and only in exceptional circumstances will be in person

RIASS staff will be required to log the circumstances relating to such situations and should be prepared to justify their decision to the Steering Group.

Home visits

Will only be carried out if:

  1. The parent is housebound either due to:
  • their own needs
  • caring responsibilities for another
  • the child they are contacting you about is unable to leave the house and it would be unsafe for them to be left

    2. There is no other suitable alternative or accessible place to meet e.g. school, LBR building, coffee shop etc.

    3. An online meeting would not be appropriate of the situation.

Tribunal Attendance

RIASS are not legally qualified so we cannot act as your legal representative in hearings, but we can assist you to prepare for your hearing and support you to put forward your views and wishes during the hearing.  In situations where parents/young people choose to pay for private SEN legal / SEN advocacy support, it is RIASS policy that we will withdraw from your case, to avoid conflicting advice being given and so that we can prioritise parents and young people who most need our support.

RIASS can represent a young person or parent at a hearing and assist in the presentation of their case in accordance with rule 11(5) of The Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber) Rules 2008, as amended. Available at

RIASS staff will be required to log circumstances relating to such situation and should be prepared to justify their decision to the steering Group

Please refer to RIASS Tribunal Policy and Procedure for further information

The purpose of this is not to be obstructive or make life more difficult for parents but to improve efficiency of RIASS time and reduce the potential risks associated with lone working.

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