Impartiality policy for parents and carers

Basic Principles

At SSIASS, we understand that you need to know that:

  • We are an ‘arm’s length’ service which acts independently to other services
  • We are based in an accessible building, and are situated away from the Special Educational Needs Service of the Local Authority (LA), the Clinical Commissioning Group, schools and other SEND agencies
  • The information we give you will be correct, unbiased and can include all your available choices
  • The information and advice we provide to you will help you to decide for yourself what is important to you and what is important for you
  • The support we offer you will help you to deal more confidently with the people who work with you
  • You can speak to us, or write to us, or email us in complete confidence (see our Confidentiality Policy).

How do we show that we are ‘impartial’?

  • SSIASS offers an ‘arm’s length’ service working to national Quality Standards approved by the Department for Education.
    • Arm’s length means that we are able to act and are seen to act, independently, impartially and confidentially with no unnecessary influence or control from the local authority, the local clinical commissioning group or any other organisation or individual
    • Impartial means that we are not biased towards or influenced by any particular party, point of view or policy, including local authorities, schools, education ideologies and campaigns.  We do not give priority to any particular impairment, disability or special educational need over another
    • Information, Advice and Support that we offer is based on the Law and the SEND Code of Practice. We provide unbiased information and advice about the Local Authority’s policies and procedures.
  • We have our own identity with our own logo and style which is separate from other Local Authority services
  • Our service is separate from all other Local Authority functions
  • We are located in a Surrey Building separate from other Local Authority Special Educational Needs teams
  • We have our own confidential email address and telephone line which can only be seen by our team
  • We have a steering group which checks our work.  Members of our steering group represent parents and carers, young people’s voices, early years and educational settings, the Local Authority and whenever possible the Clinical Commissioning Group
  • We regularly ask the people who use our service for their views about how our service is performing and how it should develop in the future.  We use this information to help us check the quality of the service we provide and how it might be improved in the future
  • All our staff members have completed legal and other training and are able to offer accurate and up-to-date information and advice which reflects law and the SEND Code of Practice.