SENDIASS Annual Team Report – 2023

SENDIASS are the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information and Advice & Support Service for Worcestershire and fufils the statutory duty of the Local Authority to make arrangements for a service to meet the minimum standards outlined in Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2015 Chapter 2 ‘Impartial Information, Advice and Support’.

The Service supports parents/carers of children and children and young people themselves between the ages of 0-25 in the following areas:

  • Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Information and support on SEND for example explanation of the terminology used and step by step-by-step guidance to SEND approaches such as the EHCP assessment process
  • Non-Curriculum Issues – Any school issue not related to the curriculum, such as bullying and complaints
  • Health – providing information, advice and support on health issues relating to SEND or disabilities
  • Social Care – Information, advice and support on social care issues relating to SEND or disabilities
  • Training Workshops to local education, health and social care professionals, children, young people and parents to increase knowledge of SEND law, guidance, local policy, issues and participation.

Steering Group member, Hazel Shaw, attends the SENDIASS Steering Group meetings on behalf of FiP, alongside numerous other stakeholders and the county commissioners. At the March Steering Group meeting, the SENDIASS 2023 Annual Team Report was reviewed. FiP raised the following observations:

  • Demand for SENDIASS’s services continues to be outstripped by supply – especially where parent carers are looking for face-to-face support at meetings.
  • Data about the volume of ‘EHCP’ enquiries needs to be more granular. This will enable better themes to be identified and reported to Worcestershire Children First to be addressed.
  • 169 parent carers were trained during 2023, averaging 3 a week. The reach and impact of the training officer could be massively scaled through an online training programme delivered across the day and for working parents, in the evening.
  • 121 professionals were training during 2023, but nearly half of bookings were a ‘no show’. This non-attendance is using up resources that could otherwise be afforded to unpaid parent carers.

As the strategic, consultative, and collaborative body within Worcestershire representing families of children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities, the FiP Steering Group are due to meet with SENDIASS next month to strengthen our working relationship, empowering both organisations to amplify the collective voice of all Worcestershire parent carers.