Terms of Reference

Introduction

Gloucestershire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) formally known as Gloucestershire Parent Partnership Service is a specialist service offering impartial, confidential information, advice and support on matters around SEND.

The service works in partnership with parents and young people, the Local Authority, educational settings and other key agencies working with children and young people up to the age of 25.

SENDIASS staff are independently trained in SEND law and practice. Areas covered by the service include educational law (with regards to SEN) and disability, health and social care legislation. The SEND legal training is validated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

The Service operates a substantial casework service at all stages of the SEN Code of Practice; this includes attending meetings and negotiating outcomes.  The strength of the service is its ‘partnership’ approach with a wide range of agencies, the impartial nature of the service role and the knowledge that exists within the team.

The Service operates at ‘arm’s length’ from other Local Authority Services.

 

Service Aims

The aim of the service is to ensure parents, carers and young people have access to timely, accurate and impartial information as well as advice and support. This enables parents, carers and young people to take an informed and active role in the decision making process.

The service works to limit misunderstandings and secure true partnership working arrangements between parents, carers, young people, schools, the Local Authority and other services, ensuring that the views of parents, carers and young people are listened to.

 

Main Functions of the Steering Group

The Steering Group will ensure that Gloucestershire SENDIASS delivers a high quality ‘arm’s length’ service that is responsive to local needs, taking into account best practice, both locally and nationally. Meetings will be held three times a year.

The primary functions of the Steering Group are to:

  • discuss key issues and developments that are relevant to the Gloucestershire  SENDIASS work
  • receive reports from the manager of the Gloucestershire SENDIASS
  • receive parental and young people feedback regarding SEN education
  • monitor the Service performance against the national DfE Quality Standards 2014 and national benchmarking of IAS services
  • monitor the independence of the service  in line with expectations in the SEN Code of Practice and the IAS Quality Standards
  • monitor the performance of the Gloucestershire SENDIASS in relation to changes in services for children and young people
  • meet with representatives of the Local Authority to communicate areas of concern and influence local policy and practice
  • raise awareness of and promote the activities of the Gloucestershire SENDIASS in the wider community
  • To promote the interest and concerns of Gloucestershire SENDIASS
  • Identify ways of supporting and developing Gloucestershire SENDIASS

 

Gloucestershire SENDIASS will:

  • arrange a venue and refreshments
  • circulate an agenda and supporting papers to Steering Group members prior to meetings
  • circulate minutes of the meetings to all members
  • endeavour to work with the Steering Group to recruit and retain a representative membership on the Steering Group.
  • make arrangements for the fair and open nomination process for the appointment of the Steering Group Chair
  • update on matters arising nationally from the Information, Advice and Support Service Network (IASSN) on issues concerning local and national policies

 

Membership

SENDIASS’ remit has widened and has moved towards delivering SEND advice related to the law around education, health and social care. It is critical that the Steering Group will comprise representation from key stakeholders and will include; statutory services (health, social care, and education), the voluntary sector; young people and parents with Special Educational Needs, with a maximum membership of fifteen people.

Members can be selected to represent key stakeholders groups and are chosen on their ability to make an effective contribution and their willingness to be active in promoting the interests of the Gloucestershire SENDIASS.

Members may be invited to volunteer to work on specific task agreed by the Steering Group.

 

Members

Parents, Parent Forums, Young people, Education, Health, Social Care, Connexions, voluntary sector and other agencies working with parents/carers, children and young people

The Steering Group will meet termly at venues to be decided.  Travel costs can be paid, by agreement with SENDIASS.

The Terms of Reference have been approved by the SENDIASS Gloucestershire Steering Group.