Norfolk SENDIASS provides free, confidential, impartial information and advice that helps children, young people, and their parent/carers to make informed decisions about their children or young person’s special educational needs.
This is achieved through working in partnership with parent/carers or the young person to promote independence and self-advocacy.
To ensure parents/carers, children and young people have confidence in Norfolk SENDIASS, it is important that our staff operate impartially.
The special educational needs and disability code of practice 2015 states that when designing information advice and support services Local Authority should consider the following principles:
- The information, advice and support should be impartial and provided at arm’s length from the local authority and the ICB (Integrated Care Board) previously known as the CCG.
- The information, advice and support offered should be free, accurate, confidential and in formats which are accessible and responsive to the needs of users.
What Impartiality means
"Not favouring any person or party more than another, but striving to be fair and unbiased, based on objective criteria rather than on the basis of bias or prejudice"
- We will not take sides with any party.
- We will provide information factually and advise based on relevant guidance and legislation.
- We will endeavour to provide children, young people and parents/carers with enough information and support so that they can make their own decisions, we will not tell children, young people or parents/carers what to do.
- We do not have any vested interests in the outcome of any decisions taken in relation to an individual child or family.
How we ensure Impartiality
Norfolk SENDIASS is commissioned by Norfolk County Council and Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB). We operate at “arm’s length” from these organisations as an independent and confidential service for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and or a disability and their parent/carers.
We have our own logo which is prominently displayed on our publications as well as a standalone website which is updated and maintained by SENDIASS staff.
The database we use is separate and the data kept on it is only operated and accessible by SENDIASS staff.
All Norfolk SENDIASS staff aspire to offer accurate and neutral advice to all service users, this includes parents/carers, children, young people, practitioners, and any other parties.
Achieving the best educational outcomes for children with SEN and disabilities is the ultimate aim of SENDIASS and our role is to support parents/carers, children and young people and professionals in securing this.
SENDIASS does not undertake Local Authority functions, or act on behalf of the Local Authority, educational settings or any other agency.
The Local Authority, education settings and other agencies will be informed of the impartial nature of the service.
How our staff operate
- Staff will provide information based on national guidance and legislation and will not offer their own individual opinions or alter information to reflect local policy.
- Staff respect parents/carers and young people’s decisions without making judgements, irrespective of their own views as individuals.
- Staff empower parents/carers, children and young people to speak for themselves and make their own decisions.
- Staff are well trained and able to support the partnership approach when attending meetings with parents and professionals, enabling everyone to have a voice. A wide range of literature from both local and national organisations is available along with that produced by SENDIASS.
All staff are aware of the Impartiality Policy. Staff are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any conflict of interest in relation to individual families, parent support groups, schools, nurseries, colleagues or other agencies.
Staff are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any personal or voluntary involvement in issues relating to education or SEN that might impact upon their work.
The policy will be shared with the Local Authority and other agencies so that they are aware of it and understand it and will be reviewed Annually.
Reviewed November 2023