What you can expect from Norfolk SENDIASS

Every Norfolk child and young person (age 0-25) with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and their parents and carers, are entitled to receive information, advice and support from Norfolk SENDIASS which is provided:

  •           Free of charge
  •           Confidentially
  •           Impartially and
  •           At arm’s length of the Local Authority and other statutory organisations.

Being impartial and at arm’s length means that we don’t take sides, please see our impartiality policy for further information. The advice we give is based on what the law says, not local policies and procedures.

The main purpose of the service is to support parents/carers, children and young people to understand their rights and empower them to have their views and wishes heard.


  • We accept self-referrals from parent/carers of children and young people with SEND and directly from young people.
  • With written consent professionals can make a referral to SENDIASS on behalf of the parent/carer or young person.
  • Other services can also contact us for general advice around SEND legislation and processes.

Referrals to our service are easy, you can:

What we offer:

  • Information, advice, and support will be provided via telephone through booked appointments with the Helpline Advisor. The service will offer adjustments to this if necessary, such as video calls and the use of translators. There is no limit to the number appointments a child, young person or parent/carer can have.
  • Monthly advice clinics will take place in different parts of the County to offer pre-booked face to face appointments with an advisor to review SEND paperwork only.
  • Professionals can contact us for general information and advice via our Professional Referral Form on the website, calling us on 01603 704070 or email norfolksendiass@norfolk.gov.uk.
  • Young people aged 11-25 have the opportunity to join our Norfolk SEND Youth Forum which meets monthly online and regularly face to face to share their experiences and work together to improve services for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • Information booklets and a wide range of resources are available on our website. You can read theses in different languages via our website translation service.  You can request these in other formats by contacting us on 01603 704070 or emailing us on norfolksendiass@norfolk.gov.uk.
  • We have a social media offer including Facebook, Instagram and X (Twitter) where you can access SENDIASS updates, news, information and articles.
  • You can sign up via our website to receive our monthly e-newsletter, SENDIASS Spotlight for parents/carers and professionals.  Keeping you up to date with what is going on in SENDIASS, news, information and articles.
  • We offer training to parent/carers, young people and professionals on a variety of topics based on SEND Law.  You can find out more and book via our website.
  • We attend outreach throughout the County.  Requests to attend outreach events can be made by emailing us at norfolksendiass@norfolk.gov.uk.  You can keep up to date with what we are attending via our newsletter, social media and website.
  • Casework which may include advocacy and representation in certain circumstances.

Please let Norfolk SENDIASS know if you are in receipt of information, support or advice from another SEND advocate or legal professional such as a solicitor. If you are then regrettably Norfolk SENDIASS is unable to support you with casework. This is to avoid the potential for conflicting advice and to ensure that casework is provided to other families that are not receiving further support.

What is casework support:

Casework support means that an SENDIASS Advisor or an Engagement and Advice Worker will do some direct work with a child, young person or parent/carer to help them have their views and wishes heard and help to try and resolve any difficulties. This might involve attending meetings or supporting with filling in/understanding paperwork for example.

In some circumstances a parent/carer or young person will be offered advocacy or representation. 

Advocacy means:

Support from another person to help you express your views and wishes and help you understand and exercise your rights.  If a parent/carer or young person is unable to express their views and wishes and exercise their rights we can offer advocacy to them.   

Norfolk SENDIASS does not fulfil the role of statutory advocates.  Norfolk SENDIASS does not provide legal advocacy as provided by a lawyer.

Representation means:

If a parent/carer or young person is unable to due, to their own special educational needs, access advocacy through Norfolk SENDIASS and need a higher level of support we can offer representation for appeals, mediation and CETR’s.

Not every parent/carer or young person will be offered advocacy or representation.  This will be on a case-by-case basis and determined by the Norfolk SENDIASS Manager and/or the Senior SENDIAS Advisor.

Who may be offered casework support:

  1. Children and young people aged up to 25 with special educational needs or disabilities who approach the service directly.
  2. Parents/carers who require additional support due to needs of their own.

The case will be closed:

  1. When the agreed outcomes are achieved.
  2. If the child, young person or parent/carer decide they no longer wish to have support from us.
  3. If the child, young person or parent/carer is using another service to access information, advice and support around the same issue(s). 

What happens if help is needed again:

If a child, young person or parent/carer needs information, advice and support from the service again then they can self-refer by booking an appointment with our Helpline Advisor via the website or contacting us on 01603 704070.

What we DO NOT do:

  • Offer counselling, enquiries must be related to SEND.
  • Deliver emergency support and intervention.
  • Spend disproportionate amount of time readdressing an enquiry that has already been addressed by our service.
  • Hold power over Local Authority or school policies, practices or procedures.
  • Make promises
  • Give our opinion


Norfolk SENDIASS is not an emergency service.