We strive to improve our service. We need to know what you think.

The aim of this policy is to provide all service users with ways to communicate their views about our service.
We welcome complaints, constructive criticism, comments and compliments because they help us identify what we do well and where we need to improve.

You can tell us by:

  • Emailing us at SENDpartnership@halton.gov.uk
  • Telephoning us on 0151 511 7733
  • Writing to us at, Halton SEND Partnership, Information advice and support service, Brookvale Childrens Centre, Woodhatch Road Runcorn, WA7 6BJ
  • Completing evaluation forms at training events
  • Completing feedback surveys when you receive them
  • Giving us feedback when a worker has worked with you
  • A face to face appointment.
  • If you indicate that you want a reply we will gladly respond.

Procedures

  • If you wish to make a comment or compliment about a member of staff or the service that you have received it would be best to contact the Halton SEND Partnership Officer.
  • If you wish to make a complaint about a member of staff or the service you have received please see the stepped procedure below.
  • Step One: We hope that most things that you are concerned about can be resolved quite easily by discussing them with the HSPO (Halton SEND Partnership Officer) at the earliest opportunity.
  • Step Two: If you are not happy that the matter is resolved you should contact the Divisional Manager (Inclusion 0-25)
  • Step Three: If you are not happy that the matter is resolved or you are not satisfied with the response from the Divisional Manager you should contact the Operational Director, Learning and Achievement.

Complaints, comments and compliments about another service.

There are different routes for expressing your views about an educational setting, the Local Authority, NHS, etc. The first step would be to discuss your intention with your SEND Partnership Officer. They will inform you of the appropriate channel and may support you with the process. Complaints, constructive criticism, comments and compliments are ways in which the quality of any service is maintained and developed.

The role of the Halton SEND Partnership service is to ensure that parents/carers and young people have access to confidential and impartial information, advice and support so they can make informed decisions about their own/child’s special educational needs. This is achieved by working in partnership with young people and parents/carers, providing information, services and training, working with relevant agencies and ensuring parents’ views influence local policy and practice.

What impartiality means to us?

It is important that Halton SEND Partnership (HSP) act impartially because:

  • Our interest is in the needs of the parent/carer or young person who is contacting us; we will listen to the needs of the young person or parent/carer and offer advice and support based on their situation. Advice provided will be factual based upon guidance and legislation.
  • It is not in the interest of the HSP to bias one perspective or the other as there is no vested interest in the outcome of any enquires
  • HSP will not make decisions for young people or parents, or require them to take action that they do not want to take; they will provide information so that young people and parents/carers can make their own, informed decisions.

How will impartiality be maintained?

When working with young people and parents/carers we will ensure impartiality by:

  • Following initial contact with the service a copy of this impartiality policy will be sent out.
  • It is not the role of HSP to advocate on behalf of the Local Authority or to take sides. The role of HSP will be explained to the effect that the HSP will advise young people and parents/carers of their rights and to support young people and parents/carers to participate in their own/ their child’s education in an informed way.
  • Parents and young people will not be forced or coerced into taking action; advice will be given and parents/ carers young people will decide whether they wish to follow up on the advice given.  Parents/carers and young people will be encouraged to speak for themselves and ensure their views are heard.
  • The HSP will not pass judgment on young people or parent/carers views, and will not offer personal opinions but provide information and advice based on guidance and legislation.
  • If there is any conflict of interest this will be declared and steps taken to remove any potential issues.

How will the HSP maintain impartiality when dealing with Local Authorities, education settings or any other agency?

  • The role and remit of the HSP is communicated with all agencies and is also accessible on the service website.
  • These services do not influence the advice provided by the HSP and cannot direct the advice or information provided by HSP staff.
  • HSP do not implement or undertake the role of LA’s or act on behalf of any other service.

Review

  • The impartiality policy will be published on the services public website: www.haltonparentpartnership.co.uk
  • Every parent/ carer or young person that contacts the service will be sent a copy of the policy.
  • The policy will be issued within the Children & Enterprise directorate and to schools via the school e-bulletin.
  • The policy is reviewed annually through the Halton SEND Partnership steering group.
  • If at any time it is recommended that an amendment is required, this will be taken forward to the next steering group meeting – which are held once a term.

Contact details:      Halton SEND Partnership IASS

c/o Brookvale Children’s Centre

Woodhatch road

Runcorn

WA7 6BJ

Telephone: 0151 511 7733

Publication of this policy: Oct 16

Review scheduled: Oct 17

This policy was drawn up in consultation with:

  • Halton SEND Partnership, information advice and support service steering group

Information Advice and Support services are confidential services for young people and all parents/carers of children with special educational needs. Any information shared with the service is in confidence and is therefore protected under Common Law and the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Data Protection Principles specify that personal data must be:

  1. Processed fairly and lawfully.
  2. Obtained for specified and lawful purposes
  3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive
  4. Accurate and up to date
  5. Not kept any longer than necessary
  6. Processed in accordance with the ‘data subjects’ (the individuals) rights
  7. Securely kept
  8. Not transferred to any other country without adequate protection in situ.

The role of Halton SEND Partnership, Information Advice and Support Service

….is to ensure that young people and parents/carers have access to confidential and impartial information, advice and support so they can make informed decisions about their own/ their child’s special educational needs. This is achieved by working in partnership with young people and parents, providing information, services and training, working with relevant agencies and ensuring that young peoples and parents’ views influence local policy and practice.

Sharing information

  • The Local Authority’s agreement that information held by the service is confidential is a demonstration to its commitment to ‘arm’s length’ management of the service (SEN Code of Practice 2015, 2:5)
  • Your personal contact details are kept only with permission and stored on a secure database in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Referrals to the Halton SEND Partnership service by anyone other than the young person, parent/carer are only made if they have given permission for this to happen.
  • The service will take care that any information given to them must be kept in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • Personal details will not be passed onto or sought from other agencies. If this needs to occur expressed consent from young people and parents/carers must be received.  The service will not contact anyone involved with the family without asking the young person or parent/carer first.
  • The service will only disclose information to other agencies without consent if there is information that leads us to believe that a child is at risk. In these circumstances we have a legal obligation to pass on concerns in line with safeguarding procedures.

Referrals

  • Any details discussed on contact with the service will not be divulged further. The details will be kept in confidence between the young person or parent/carer and the SEND partnership staff.
  • Referrals received from others than young people and parents/carers will only be accepted with the consent of the young person or parents/carers. Only basic information will be sought i.e. contact details, reason for the referral and child’s name and school. Contact will then be made by the SEND Partnership where it will be confirmed that the young person or parents/carers wish the involvement of the service.
  • In some few situations whereby details of the request for support needs to be discussed consent will be sought. Information discussed will be limited to the details needed to resolve the situation.  Parents / young people will be informed that discussions will take place and of the outcome.

 Ensuring the effectiveness of the policy

  • All staff have been informed of the policy and must adhere to it in their practice.
  • On first contact with the service Parents/Carers and young people will be sent a copy of this policy in a welcome pack, posted to the home address.
  • Parents/Carers and Young people will be informed why and how their information is held and advised that they do not have to share their personal details if they do not wish to do so.
  • The confidentiality policy will be published on the service public website – www.haltonparentpartnership.co.uk.
  • The policy will be issued within the Children & Enterprise directorate and to schools via the school e-bulletin.
  • The policy is reviewed annually through the steering group; membership includes parents and young people.
  • If at any time it is recommended that an amendment is required, this will be taken forward to the next steering group meeting – which are held once a term.

Contact details:

Halton SEND Partnership, Information advice and support Service

c/o Brookvale Children’s Centre

Woodhatch Road

Runcorn

WA7 6BJ

Telephone: 0151 511 7733

Review

Publication of this policy: October 2016

Review scheduled:  October 2017

 This policy was drawn up in consultation with:

  • Halton SEND Partnership Steering group
  • Keeping what you say private
  • When you talk to us we will not tell other people what you said. We will keep it private.
  • Sometimes we may think it is a good idea to talk to other people about what you tell us, like your parents, teachers or doctors.
  • We will always ask you if this is ok first. You can say yes or no.
  • There are a few times when we will have to tell someone else what you said:
    • We sometimes tell our managers so they can check that we are doing a good job.
    • We will write information about our meetings on our computers.
    • Only people we work with will see this information.
    • We will also have to tell someone if we are worried that someone is being hurt or might be hurt. If this happens, then we will talk to you about it first.

Statement

Halton SEND partnership Information, advice and support service (IASS) seeks to create a culture where people of all backgrounds and experience feel appreciated and valued. It is committed to achieving equality of opportunity in its service delivery. All service users will be treated fairly and without discrimination. Discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, transgender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age or any other unjustifiable reason will not be tolerated.

Legislative Context

The Equality Act 2010 strengthens and brings together into one Act all previous legislation around Equality and Diversity. The Act also introduces the concept of ‘protected’ characteristics and all have equal rights and protection from discrimination under legislation, regardless of: –  Age, Gender, Disability, Faith/religion, Race/ethnicity, Sexual orientation, Pregnancy/maternity, Gender reassignment, Marital/civil partnership status.

In Halton two further vulnerable groups have been identified: Carers, Socio – economic disadvantage

Equality and Diversity Context in Halton

The following link gives leads to a range of features of the demographic and other Census information about Halton:

Vision

Halton SEND Partnership IASS share and support Halton Borough Council’s (HBC’s) vision:

The Council’s vision is simply to do all within our power to create, promote and sustain an equal society and an environment that fosters positive interactive relationships where people are treated with respect, dignity and fairness.

In pursuit of this vision we have adopted the following aspirational definition of equality based upon the idea of equal life chances1

An equal society protects and promotes equal, real freedom and opportunity to live in the way people value and would choose, so that everyone can flourish. It recognises people’s different needs, situations and goals and removes the barriers that limit what people can do and can be’.

(Extract from HBC Single equality scheme 2016 – 2019)

Review

Publication of this policy: November 2016

Review scheduled:  November 2018