Impartiality policy

Norfolk SEND Partnership (SENDIASS) provides free, confidential, impartial advice and helps children/young people and their parent/carers play an active and informed role in their education.

To ensure parents/carers, children and young people have confidence in Norfolk SEND Partnership (SENDIASS), it is important that our staff are able to operate impartially.

What Impartiality means

"not favouring any person or party more than another, but striving to be fair and unbiased, based on objective criteria rather than on the basis of bias or prejudice"

This means:

  • We will not take sides with any party
  • We will provide factual information and advice based on relevant guidance and legislation.
  • We will endeavour to provide children, young people and parents/carers with enough information and support so that they can make their own decisions, we will not tell children, young people or parents/carers what to do.
  • We do not have any vested interests in the outcome of any decisions taken in relation to an individual child or family.

How we ensure Impartiality

Norfolk SEND Partnership (SENDIASS) is commissioned by Norfolk County Council and Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. We operate at “arm’s length” from these organisations as an independent and confidential service for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and or a disability and their parent/carers.

We have our own logo which is prominently displayed on f our publications as well as a standalone website which is updated and maintained by SENDIASS staff.

The database we use is completely separate and the data kept on it is only accessible to SENDIASS staff.

All Norfolk SEND Partnership (SENDIASS) staff aspire to offer accurate and neutral advice to all service users, this includes parents/carers, children, young people, practitioners and any other parties.

Achieving the best educational outcomes for children with SEN and disabilities is the ultimate aim of SENDIASS and our role is to support parents/carers, children and young people in securing this.

SENDIASS does not undertake Local Authority functions, or act on behalf of the Local Authority, educational settings or any other agency.

The Local Authority, education settings and other agencies will be informed of the impartial nature of the service.

How our staff operate

  • Staff will provide information based on national guidance and legislation and will not offer their own individual opinions or alter information to reflect local policy.
  • Staff will respect parents/carers and young people’s decisions without making judgements, irrespective of their own views as individuals.
  • Staff will empower parents/carers, children and young people to speak for themselves and make their own decisions.
  • Staff will be well trained and able to support the partnership approach when attending meetings with parents and professionals, enabling everyone to have a voice. A wide range of literature from both local and national organisations is available along with that produced by SENDIASS.

Monitoring

All staff are aware of the Impartiality Policy. Staff are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any conflict of interest in relation to individual families; parent support groups, schools, nurseries, colleagues or other agencies.

Staff are required to inform the SENDIASS manager of any personal or voluntary involvement in issues relating to education or SEN that might impact upon their work.

The policy will be shared with the Local Authority and other agencies so that they are aware of it and understand it and will be reviewed Annually.