The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to provide information advice and support (IAS) about special educational needs (SEN), disability, health and social care for children, young people and parents.
The SEND Code of Practice says:
Local authorities must arrange for children with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, and their parents, and young people with SEN or disabilities for whom they are responsible, to be provided with information and advice about matters relating to their SEN or disabilities, including matters relating to health and social care. This must include information, advice and support on the take-up and management of Personal Budgets. In addition, in carrying out their duties under Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities must have regard to the importance of providing children and their parents and young people with the information and support necessary to participate in decisions. (2.1)
This means that every local authority should provide a free and confidential service that is easy to access in order to help children, parents and young people take part in decisions that affect their lives. In Redbridge this service is provided by Redbridge Information, Advice and Support Service (RIASS)
Nationally “Information, Advice and Support Services” (IASS) are overseen by a local steering group (SG) to ensure that the service is impartial and at arm’s length to the local authority (LA). This is fundamental for the service to be able to operate in accordance with current legislation and ensure it reflects local needs and is ambitious regarding future developments.
In Redbridge the steering group is made up of at least 3 parents, a young person (YP) and a number of professionals from a range of settings including schools and education services, voluntary sector organisations, young people’s services, social care and health. All SG members have an equal voice and role in decision-making.
The steering group meets a minimum of 3 times a year, during term time.
Each meeting lasts approximately two hours and sometimes documents will be emailed in advance for familiarisation and occasionally feedback.
The purpose of the Redbridge IAS Service (RIASS) Steering Group is to ensure that the service operates impartially and at “arm’s length” from the Local Authority & CCG in the provision of information, advice and support to children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers in Redbridge, in accordance with:
The RIASS steering group is ultimately accountable to children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers across Redbridge to ensure that confidential and accurate information, advice and support is delivered in a timely manner. RIASS will champion the rights, views and experiences of children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers, and ensure these shape commissioning intentions and service delivery.
The outcomes of the RIASS steering group meetings will be shared with the Redbridge SEND Partnership Board, whose role includes but is not limited to:
Throughout the year Steering Group vacancies may arise. If you would like to register your interest in becoming a member please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org