The Information Advice and Support Programme is a national government initiative which will commence June 2018.  The programme is designed to ensure that, in every local authority area, children and young people with SEND and their parents have access to impartial information, advice and support covering SEND issues – including through a dedicated Freephone service.

To achieve this we will manage contracts with eligible service providers and Information, Advice and Support Services, whilst providing access to a national helpline and providing strategic support to help statutory services to evaluate, develop and improve upon their local service offer for children, young people and their parents. Further information on this process will be released shortly.

Led by a team at the Council for Disabled Children on behalf of the Department for Education, the programme will be delivered through a partnership arrangement that brings together the Information, Advice and Support Network, ‘Helpline’ run by Contact and the Independent Supportprogramme. The programme will also work with IPSEA as a core training provider.

Independent Support was always intended to be a time limited resource, supporting the transition from statements to EHCPs. The new Information Advice and Support programme will continue to fund IS agencies until 31 July 2018 and information, advice and support will continue to be provided by local SEND IASS and the national Contact helpline, which will in turn be supported by the Information Advice and Support Programme. From August 2018 onwards, parents, children and young people will continue to be able to access information, advice and support on statutory assessment and annual reviews from their local SEND IASS.

Further information about the programme will be released over the coming weeks. If you have any queries please email iasp@ncb.org.uk