If you live in Lancashire you can get information, advice and support around special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from the Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Team.
There is also a range of other organisations who provide free information, advice and support such as helplines, email, face-to-face support, legal advice and tribunal representation.
The service is free, impartial, and confidential. It can help you to gather, understand and interpret information and apply it to your own situation.
We can provide information around the following areas in relation to SEND:
We can also support to families in:
Young people aged 16-25 can access the service independently from their parents.
We may offer one to one support by telephone, email or meetings depending on your circumstances.
To access the service please fill in our referral form and one of our officers will contact you within 7 working days.
For general information about SEND or to find out if the service can help you contact:
Tel: 0300 123 6706
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
The IAS Team was previously the SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) and the Child and Family Support Team. You may also have heard of the Parent Partnership Service which SENDIASS replaced in 2014.
Advocacy focus - provide advocacy services in Lancashire and can help you be your own advocate.
The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) - independent advice around education for parents/carers of children aged 5-16 in state schools in England.
Carers UK - a charity set up to help people who care for family and friends in the UK.
The Children’s Society in Lancashire - advocacy for young people who are approaching 18 years and undergoing an assessment to access support from adult services. You can ask your social worker or carer or contact the service on:
Civil Legal Advice (CLA) – you might be able to get free and confidential advice from CLA as part of legal aid. This includes advice on education law matters, SEN, discrimination and judicial review (for example for children not receiving education or unlawful exclusions).
Contact – supports families with disabled children with advice and information to get the right support. Brings families together to support each other, and helps families to campaign, volunteer, and fundraise. In addition, offers face-to-face support, workshops and training in some regions.
Down's Syndrome Association - information, support and advice related to Down’s syndrome. Includes education, health, social care, benefits and housing.
IPSEA - Independent Parental Special Education Advice, a charity that offers legal advice, support and training to ensure children and young people with SEND access the right education. They also offer tribunal representation.
National Autistic Society - a charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. They provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism. Includes education, health, social care, benefits, housing and transition support (school to adult life).
National Deaf Children's Society - information and support for deaf children and young people and families. They can provide advice and support on a range of issues including benefits, education, technology, health, social care, discrimination and communication. They provide face-to-face support and tribunal representation.
Sense - for deafblind individuals or their family members and supporters. Information and advice on a range of issues, such as health, social care, benefits and education. They also offer support around communication, your legal rights and entitlements, Sense services and technology.
SOS SEN - A national charity aiming to empower parents and carers of children and young people with SEN and disabilities to access the help they are entitled to, particularly in the education system. They offer face-to-face support, tribunal representation and parent workshops.