Special educational needs and disability (SEND) parent, children and young person partnership service

Independent Parental Supporters

We have 3 volunteer Independent Parental Supporters (IPS) in Central Bedfordshire who can offer free, confidential and impartial support.

Please ring the Parent Partnership Service to find out more 0300 300 8088.

An independent parental supporter can offer support and advice about special educational needs, and help with any paperwork or meetings you may have to attend.

What is an IPS?

An IPS is an Independent Parental Supporter who volunteers for Central Bedfordshire Parent Partnership Service.

These volunteers have a keen interest in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and give their time to help parents have their voice heard in meetings about their child.

Some have first hand experience of SEND with their own children or have worked with SEND children in school.

All have undergone substantial training, which is ongoing, and have been checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

How can an IPS help in a meeting?

A volunteer IPS will:

  • speak to the parent beforehand to explore the purpose of the meeting
  • listen and assist in a smooth path to a positive outcome for the child
  • enable the parent to have a voice
  • support a parent whilst remaining impartial
  • help the meeting retain a clear focus and direction
  • simplify and breakdown any jargon which may act as a barrier to effective communication
  • an IPS may take notes of agreed key actions which can be fed back to both parents and school
  • an IPS may spend a short time with the parent at the end to discuss outcomes

A volunteer IPS will not:

  • take sides
  • take over or speak on behalf of the parent
  • impose their own views or bias
  • scribe or take detailed minutes of the meeting


Please contact one of our Partnership Officers on 0300 300 8088 if you need to discuss anything further.

If you cannot get hold of us, please leave a message on the 24 hour answer phone. We aim to return calls within 2 working days.

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