SEND Information Advice and Support Service - SENDIASS (Local Offer)

Family with young children

Name change

The SEND Partnership name has been changed to SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).

SENDIASS provide:

  • Impartial advice and information about Special Educational Needs
  • Help for parents, children and young people to navigate through the Special Educational Needs process
  • Help for parents about their rights to make sure the educational needs of their child are met
  • Help for parents to work with schools, education, children’s services, health and other professionals
  • Information for parents about other support services and organisations
  • Help for parents to resolve disagreements

Contact: 0300 365 1020 or email (The service is available all year during office hours Mon - Fri and a 24 hour answering service is available. Please leave your name, number and a brief message and a member of the team will get back to you within the next 2 working days).

Confidentiality and Impartiality

Confidentiality and impartiality

The service offered by the SEND Information Advice and Support Service is impartial.  All parties involved in discussions will be treated equally and given access to factual information to inform the decision making process.  You can find our Impartiality Policy in the column on the left of this page under the 'useful documents' heading.

All information provided by parents/carers to the SEND Information Advice and Support Service is treated confidentially.  You can find our Confidentiality and Data Protection Policies in the column on the left of this page under the 'useful documents' heading.

Local Offer information

Local Offer 

Every local authority must publish a Local Offer. The Local Offer tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.In Peterborough this offer is called the Peterborough SEND Information Hub (Local Offer).

What is the Local Offer?

The Local Offer tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also tells you about training, employment and Independent living for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Who is it for? 

The Local Offer is for:

  • Children and young people with SEND
  • Their parents and carers
  • Practitioners and professionals

The Local Offer should:

  • Make it easier to find out what you need to know
  • Give you information about what is available
  • Tell you where you can get further information 
  • Make services more responsive to local needs

How do I get involved as a young person?

Children and young people who want to be more involved in developing and reviewing the Local Offer can contact Peterborough City Council by emailing

The local authority must publish what children, young people and parents tell them about the Local Offer. It must also say clearly what it will do about the comments it has received.

We also have lots of information in an easy format for young people with learning disabilities. Visit the Easy Read pages to find out more.

Where can I get further information, advice or support?

0300 365 1020

Sand Martin House Bittern Way Fletton Quays Peterborough PE2 8TY

SEN Support in Mainstream Schools

SEN Support

Every child with special educational needs should have SEN support. This means help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to other children of the same age.

What is SEN Support?

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.

Every school must publish a SEN information report about the SEN provision the school makes on their own website. You can also find it on the Local Offer.

You can also ask your child’s teacher or the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for information on the SEN provision made by the school.

What is the SEN Information Report?

The SEN information report sets out what support early years settings, schools and colleges make for all children and young people with SEN or disabilities, including:

  • A special learning programme for your child
  • Extra help from a teacher or a learning support assistant
  • Making or changing materials and equipment
  • Working with your child in class or at break and keeping records
  • Helping your child to take part in the class activities
  • Making sure your child has understood things by encouraging them to ask questions and to try something they find difficult
  • Helping other children work with your child, or play with them at break time
  • Supporting your child with physical or personal care, such as eating, getting around school safely, toileting or dressing

Who decides what SEN support my child has?

The school should decide if your child needs SEN support. The school should talk to you and your child about this. If a young person is 16 or older the school should involve them directly. Sometimes you may be the first to be aware that your child has some special educational needs. If you think your child may need SEN support you should talk to your child’s teacher or to the SENCo. If you are not happy about the support your child has you can ask to talk to the SENCo or headteacher.

You can also find out more contacting the SEND Information Advice and Support Service.

When your child is identified with SEN, the school should use a graduated approach based on four steps. These are Assess, Plan, Do and Review.


Teaching staff should work with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator to assess your child’s needs, so that they give the right support. They should involve you in this and, where possible, seek your child’s views.

Sometimes schools will seek advice from a specialist teacher or a health professional. They should talk to you about this first.


If the school decides that your child needs SEN support it must tell you. The school should talk with you about the outcomes that will be set, what help will be provided and agree a date for progress to be reviewed.


Your child’s class or subject teacher is usually responsible for the work that is done with your child, and should work closely with any teaching assistants or specialist staff involved.

The school should tell you who is responsible for the support your child receives. All those who work with your child should be made aware of their needs and support agreed.


The school should review your child’s progress, and the difference that the help your child has been given has made, on the date agreed in the plan.

You and your child should be involved in the review and in planning the next step. Sometimes it helps to involve other professionals in further assessment or to support planning the next steps.

If your child has not made reasonable progress it will be important to agree with the school what should happen next.

You and the school can look at the Local Offer to see what support is available that could help achieve your child’s outcomes.

Funding for SEN Support in Mainstream Schools


This information is about funding for special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools. This includes academies and free schools.

What is SEN funding for?

Schools should use some of their budget to buy resources and make provision for children who need additional help. Schools can decide how to spend this money. This is called ‘delegated funding’.

For example, children with SEN might need:

  • Some changes to the curriculum
  • Special equipment or teaching materials
  • The use of additional information technology 
  • Small group work
  • Support in the classroom
  • A base to work in or have quiet time

Funding for SEN is from three elements:

Element 1 - The basic entitlement

This is the basic amount funded to the school for each pupil and varies between primary and secondary schools.

Element 2 - Additional needs funding

Part of the overall school budget is classified as the ‘notional SEN’ budget. It is from this budget that mainstream schools and academies are required to put in place support for all children with SEN and to contribute the first £6,000. This is equivalent to approximately 11.8 hours teaching assistant time per week.

Element 3 

Top up funding

Where the cost of additional support is more than £6,000, the local authority will provide funding. The level of need is agreed by the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Panel and funding is provided to the school for that pupil.

Although academies receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency, the top-up funding is still the responsibility of the local authority.

You can ask your school how it uses its SEN budget to support your child. The local authority also publishes a Local Offer that explains what type of resources this money might be spent on.

Who manages the school’s SEN resources? 

School governors are responsible for the school’s policy on SEN and how the resources are used. The headteacher and the SENCO ensure that the policy is put into practice.

The SENCO organises support for individual children, but every teacher is responsible for making sure that your child’s special educational needs are met in the classroom.

The SEN Information Report on the school’s website tells you more about the arrangements for SEN support and how to contact the SENCO.

How can I find out what support and resources my child is getting?  

The first step is to talk with your child’s teacher or the SENCO. This may be at a parents’ evening, a support plan meeting or a review. You can ask for a written copy of any support plan in place for your child.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan it should set out the support and resources that are provided.

Impartial Advice and Support

What is impartial information advice and support? 

The Children and Families Act 2014 says local authorities must provide information, advice and support, to children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers, about special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and health and social care.

This means that every local authority should provide a service that is free, easy to access and confidential and that can help children, parents and young people take part in decisions that affect their lives. How information, advice and support related to SEND can be accessed and how it is resourced must be available online on the Local Offer.

In Peterborough City Council this service is provided by the SEND Information Advice and Support Service, who support children and young people with SEND and their parents/carers.

What do we mean when we say we are impartial?

The SEND Information Advice and Support Service provide unbiased information and advice about the local authority’s policies and procedures and about the policy and practice in local schools and other settings.

They do not give priority to any particular impairment, disability or special educational need, nor do they campaign for any particular approach to education. By being impartial they aim to help parents, children and young people have clear, accurate and relevant information that will help them take part in decisions about their lives.

How do they know that they are impartial?

It is very easy to be biased. Everyone has opinions about most things! Sometimes people can be biased without even realising it. That is why they really value your opinion about the information, advice and support they offer. They want you to tell them if you think they are not impartial. To help them check that they are impartial they routinely ask those who use their service to say whether they think they have been biased one way or another.

At SEND Information Advice and Support Service  they follow a national set of Minimum Standards for services providing impartial information, advice and support developed by the Network of Information, Advice and Support Services.

This helps them to monitor the effectiveness of their service they provide and ensure that it is ‘at arm’s length’ from the local authority. By this they mean that they act, and are seen to act, separately and impartially, with no undue influence or control from either the local authority or the Clinical Commissioning Group. they also publish an Annual Report that includes information on what people tell them about their service.

What information, advice and support do they offer? 

They offer accurate, up to date and impartial resources and information about the law on special educational needs and disability. This covers:

  • Education, health and social care
  • National and local policy
  • The Local Offer
  • Your rights and choices
  • Your opportunities to participate
  • Where you can find help and advice
  • How you can access this support

They provide information in many ways, for example through the Local Offer, publications, training events and conferences.

Sometimes information alone is not enough 

You may want help to gather information, make sense of it and apply it to your own situation. They call this ‘advice’ and they offer this service by email, on the telephone, face to face and through work with groups or in training.

They can also offer more intensive support if you need it. This can include helping with letters, attending meetings with you, or supporting you in discussions with the local authority, school or other setting.

When they are not able to help, they will do their best to tell you about or put you in touch with other groups or organisations that can help. They call this ‘signposting’.

Is the service confidential?

YES! they will not share your information with anyone unless you tell them they can. The only exception to this would be because they have a specific concern about a child’s safety.

They will often work with parents and children or young people together. Sometimes they will work with them separately. When they do this the same confidentiality rules apply.

Personal Budgets

What is a personal budget?

A Personal Budget for SEN is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care.

Who can have a Personal Budget? 

Parents of a child with an EHC plan, or a young person who has an EHC plan, can ask for a Personal Budget. You can also ask for a Personal Budget if your child has been assessed as needing an EHC plan, but this has not yet been finalised.

However you do not have to have a Personal Budget. You can view Peterborough City Council’s policy on Personal Budgets on the Local Offer Money and benefits web page 

A young person with an EHC plan can ask for their own Personal Budget after the end of the school year in which they become 16. Sometimes the local authority may not agree to a Personal Budget. If that happens the local authority should tell you why.

Who manages the Personal Budget?

Parents or the young person must always be involved in planning the Personal Budget. Sometimes the local authority, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for the parents or young person. This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget.

Sometimes the parents or the young person may manage all or part of the Personal Budget themselves. The money to do this will come from a Direct Payment.

Sometimes someone else will manage the Personal Budget for the parents or young person. This is called a Third Party Arrangement. Sometimes the parent or young person will have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements.

What can a Personal Budget be used for?   

A Personal Budget can be used only on the support set out in an EHC plan. This can include funding for the special educational, health and social care support that will help to achieve the outcomes set out in the Plan.

You can find out what can be included in a Personal Budget in the Local Offer.

You can also ask SEND Partnership Service for more information about this.

What is the difference between a Personal Budget and a Direct Payment? 

A Personal Budget shows you what money there is to make some of the provision specified in an EHC plan, and who provides it. The parent or young person does not actually manage the funds directly.

With a Direct Payment, the parent or young person is given the money for some services and manages the funds themselves. The parent or young person is responsible for buying the service and paying for it. A Personal Budget can include a Direct Payment if it is agreed that this is the best way to manage part of the Personal Budget.

Direct payments can be used for special educational provision only if the school or college agree. It is also possible to have a Third Party Arrangement to manage a Direct Payment.

How much will I get if I have Direct Payments?

How much you get will depend on what has been set out in the EHC plan. So it will vary from one person to another.

If the local authority has agreed to make a Direct Payment it must be enough to pay for the service or services specified in the EHC plan.

Are there other kinds of Personal Budgets?

Yes – some people have had Personal Budgets for health provision (a Personal Health Budget) and for social care provision (e.g. Fair Access to Short Breaks).

They may have managed some or all of the provision using a Direct Payment.

But this is the first time that Personal Budgets have become available for SEN provision.

Confidentiality Policy


Information held by the SEND Information Advice and Support Service, both paper and data records are confidential. They are held separately from the Local Authority and can only be accessed by SEND Information Advice and Support Service staff.

Information about parents, children and young people should not be passed from the Local Authority or the school or the SEND Information Advice and Support Service or to any other voluntary organisations or parent support groups unless parents or children/young people know and agree to this in advance.

If parents, children and young people do not want their details passed to anyone else their wishes should be respected. The only exception to confidentiality is in the regard to information which leads us to believe a child/young person is at risk or likely risk of harm, where we have a legal obligation to pass on concerns under the Safeguarding Policy.

All parents, children and young people who contact the SEND Information Advice and Support Service are asked if they give consent to the SEND Information Advice and Support Service contacting other professionals or agencies regarding their query. They may choose to speak anonymously or withhold consent and then no records will be kept. Any statistical data that is used to monitor and audit the service will be anonymised to protect client confidentiality

Data Protection Policy

Data protection

All information about you and your child/young person has to be stored and used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. This says that information has to be:

  • fairly and lawfully processed
  • processed for limited purposes
  • adequate, relevant and not excessive
  • accurate
  • not kept longer than necessary
  • processed in accordance with your rights
  • kept secure
  • not transferred abroad without adequate protection

The information we keep is stored securely and is only accessible by the SEND Information Advice and Support Service. It is used to support you during your intervention with the service, so that repetition is not required and a full picture regarding your case can be formed and the most appropriate advice can be given.

The data is also used anonymously to build up a picture of the range of enquiries we receive and the difficulties families are facing and so used to improve the service.

This complies with Peterborough City Council’s Data Protection Policy.

Impartiality Policy

What is the Impartiality Policy?

The Role of the Peterborough SEND Information Advice and Support Service is to ensure parents, children and young people have access to impartial information, advice and support in matters relating to SEND, including matters relating to health and social care, as set out in the SEND Code of practice 2014. We do this by working in partnership with parents, children and young people and where relevant professional who work with those children and young people.

The SEND Information Advice and Support Service is an in-house ‘arms-length’ statutory service, which operates from the council offices but not within the SEND Team. All data is stored on password protected software and/or locked cabinets, only accessible by the SEND Information Advice and Support Service.

Impartiality means that the SEND Information Advice and Support Service will not take sides with anyone and will provide factual information and advice on SEND guidance and legislation. The SEND Information Advice and Support Service have no vested interest in the outcome of any case and will provide parents, children and young people with enough information so they can make their own decisions. The SEND Information Advice and Support Service takes part in negotiation and discussions with school and the Local Authority and in doing so puts forward the perspectives and wishes of the parents, children and young people.

SEND Information Advice and Support Service staff do not take part formally in Local Authority SEND decision making, however, they do attend the SEND panel to help ensure that the decision making process is consistent and transparent and takes account of the views of the parents and young people

SEND Tribunal videos

SEND Tribunal videos

Peterborough SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), along with other SENDIASS in the Eastern Region, have been working with Suffolk to produce videos for parents providing information and advice about appealing to SEND Tribunal. The first two series are now available.

Where any reference is made to Suffolk SENDIASS or departments you should refer to Peterborough SEND Information Advice and Support Service. Contact details are: 0300 365 1020 or email

The service is available all year during office hours Mon - Fri and a 24 hour answering service is available. Please leave your name, number and a brief message and a member of the team will get back to you within the next 2 working days.


Introduction to Information, Advice and Support Service
What is an Information, Advice and Support Service?
What must Information, Advice and Support Services do for children and young people with SEND and their families?
How must information, advice and support services be run to meet the minimum standards?
SEND Tribunal Appeal Form 35A Section 1
SEND Tribunal Appeal Form 35 Introduction

Related Advice

  1. Resolving disagreements about an Education Health and Care Plan (Local Offer)

Related Pages

  1. Local Offer Impartial Information Advice and Support
  2. Support, Advice and Information for Parent Carers and Carers (Local Offer)


  1. Data Protection Policy
  2. Confidentiality policy
  3. Impartiality Policy
  4. SEND Partnership Annual Report 2018 - 2019
  5. SEND Partnership Fact Sheet - Local Offer
  6. Fact Sheet - SEN Support in Mainstream Schools
  7. Fact Sheet - Funding for SEN Support in Mainstream Schools
  8. Fact Sheet - Impartial Advice and Support
  9. Fact Sheet - Personal Budgets

Related Services

  1. SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)


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