Impartiality Policy Full


  • Plymouth Information Advice and Support Service (PIAS) is the SENDIASS service for Plymouth.
  • We provide impartial information, advice and support to children and young people (up to the age of 25) and their parents so that they can make informed decisions about their child’s special educational needs.
  • In all our work we will seek to ensure that information, advice and support given to parents, carers, and children, young people and to professional workers is impartial.


  • The Children and Families Act 2014 says that local authorities must provide information, advice and support about special educational needs, disability, health and social care for children, young people and parents.
  • The Code of practice says the information, advice and support should be impartial and provided at arm’s length from the Local authority and Clinical Commissioning groups.
  • The national set of Minimum Standards for IASS “The IASS provides advocacy support for individual children, young people, and parents that empowers them to express their views and wishes and helps them to understand and exercise their rights in matters including exclusion, complaints, SEND processes, and SEND appeals.”
  • The ultimate aim of PIAS is to support the best educational outcomes for Children with SEN and disabilities and our role is to support parents, children and young people in securing this.

What Impartiality means to us

  • Impartiality means that the information advice and support that we offer is based firmly in the law and the SEND code of practice.
  • Definition of Impartiality “Not taking sides, not favouring one point of view over another because of preconceived ideas or beliefs, and ensuring that all available facts, truths, opinions and perceptions are being shared openly.’
  • We do not take sides, favour one point of view over another because of preconceived ideas or beliefs, and ensure that all available facts, truths, opinions and perceptions are being shared openly.
  • We seek to resolve any conflict between the views of the school, the Local Authority or the parent, rather than to promote any of them.
  • We do not act as advocate for any individual parent or act to represent an individual parent’s views. We support best practice in information exchange and will support individual parents/Children and Young people to ensure their views are understood by others and vice versa – on occasion this may include conveying a parent’s/child/young person’s view, at their request, where they feel unable to do so.

Our impartiality practice

  • We inform parents, children/young people of our impartiality
  • We discuss confidentiality with parents/children and young people and agree which information can be shared with others.
  • We are aware that our own personal factors may have an impact on our impartiality and we will use training and supervision to monitor standards and encourage reflective practice.
  • We avoid over identification between a parents situation or dilemma and our own personal experience or viewpoint.
  • All staff and volunteers are trained in the impartiality policy and monitored as part of the supervision process.
  • Feedback is asked for at the end of each involvement and has a specific question regarding our impartiality. This feedback is monitored and any issues raised through this will be explored with the PIAS team.

We will

  • Provide children, young people with SEND and their parents /carer’s information, advice support to help them make informed decisions.
  • Provide factual information and advice, based on guidance and legislation.
  • Empower parents, children and young peoples to express their views. 
  • Not take sides with any party.

Working practice of Challenge

  • We will provide information and support for parents and young people in challenging schools and LA SEND policy and practice when it is outside current legislation or guidance.
  • If a parent, young person or professional is unhappy with any aspect of our service, including our impartiality, they may make a complaint through our complaints procedure.

Relationship with the Local Authority

  • We are managed as an ‘in house’ service but maintain our impartiality by having someone sufficiently independent of the Local Authority (LA) to line manage the service but also have a close enough relationship to contribute to local policy and practice.
  • We are based at the Jan Cutting Healthy Living Centre, have a standalone website, social media platform and service identity.
  • We attend strategic SEND meetings and will share data and themes to further develop Plymouths SEND offer.

Monitoring Impartiality

  • Our impartiality Policy will be monitored annually by the Service User Advisory Group.
  • Our policies are published on our website and will be kept up to date.

Date: July 2022
Review date: July 2023