Blackburn with Darwen
Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND)
Information, Advice & Support Service (IASS)


(formerly Parent Partnership Service) 

Community CVS provides information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents/Carers. Our services are impartial, accessible and free.

SENDIASS is committed to providing a flexible and supportive service, giving parents/carers, children/young people 0-25, schools and professionals the opportunity of working together to meet the special educational needs and disability of the individual pupil. The Service also provides advice and support relating to the admissions process and school exclusions.

The Service can offer you:

  • Confidential and impartial information, advice and support to parents/carers/children and young people (16+)
  • Information about Blackburn with Darwen’s Local Offer
  • Information, advice and support on subjects including local policy and practice, personalisation, personal budgets, preparation for adulthood, the law on SEN and Disability, Health and Social Care.
  • Information, advice and support throughout the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessment process. Also information, advice and support on transferring existing Statements, IPRAs to Education, Health & Care Plan
  • Information, advice and support about additional SEN support in school.
  • Individual casework
  • Support in preparing for and attending meetings.
  • Help in filling in forms and writing letters/reports.
  • Support in resolving disagreements, including disagreement resolution, mediation and tribunals.
  • Information, advice & support relating to school transitions and exclusions
  • Signposting to other local or national sources of advice, information and support.
  • Links to local parent support groups and forums.
  • Information on the role of Independent Supporters (IS) and how to access this support (read below)

Independent Support Programme – Independent Supporters IS

The role of the Independent Supporter is to support parents/carers/children & young people through the assessment process and the development of EHC plans. Support will be based on the individual needs of the child/young person and their family.
For further information and access to independent support please contact either SENDIASS (contact details below) &/or Barnardos – email or telephone 01772 629470.

How to make a Referral

Primarily the service operates a ‘self-referral’ process. However, on occasions it may be considered appropriate for a professional to make contact with the service on behalf of the parent/carer or young person. The service will act upon such requests only on the full understanding that consent has been given.

Alternative Formats

If you require information in another format, please contact the service.

Your views matter:

SENDIASS will listen to parents/carers, (via Parent/Carer Forum & Parents in Partnership Steering Group), children/young people, professionals and schools, to gather ideas opinions and views. The information will be passed on to Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Services and other agencies to ensure their voice is heard.

The Service operates to the standards of confidentiality and impartiality set out in its policies, which are in the process of being updated/checked and will uploaded at a later date.

Contact details

Blackburn with Darwen Information, Special Education needs & Disability Information, Advice & Support Service, SENDIASS, Community CVS, Boulevard Centre, Cathedral Quarter, 45 Railway Road, Blackburn BB1 1EZ Tel 01254 503049 Email:

It may not always be possible to speak with a member of the team due to outside office appointments etc. However, there is an answer machine so that messages may be left at any time.

For further information about IAS Services contact the Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN)

Information & impartiality policies

Information leaflets

You can also download information on SEND from the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) on the SEND reforms. The information has been produced by CDC in partnership with the Department for Education. The series of fact sheets, films and posters are designed to help parents/carers, children and young people understand some of the key themes of the new reforms including EHC plans, Post-16 support, the Local Offer and making decisions.

Useful websites:

  • Code of Practice 2014
  • Special Educational Needs & Disability – A guide for Parents
  • Implementing a new 0 to 25 special needs system: advice for local authorities and health partners
  • 16-25 high-needs funding arrangements: additional information
  • Supported internships
  • School: guide to 0 to 25 SEND Code of Practice
  • Further education: guide to the 0 to 25 SEND Code of Practice
  • Social Care: guide to the 0 to 25 SEND Code of Practice
  • Transition to the new 0 to 25 special educational needs and disability system
  • Home to school travel and transport guidance
  • Mental health and behaviour in schools
  • Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions
  • School Admissions Code & Regulations 2012
  • School Admission Appeals Code 2012
  • – Preparing for Adulthood. The Department for Education has commissioned a two year programme called Preparing for Adulthood that will provide knowledge and support to local authorities and their partners, including families and young people, so they can ensure that disabled young people achieve paid work, independent living, good health and community inclusion as they move into adulthood