Central Bedfordshire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service

Independent volunteers - SENDIASS

SENDIASS has 5 independent volunteers in Central Bedfordshire who can offer free, confidential and impartial support.

Please ring one of its independent volunteers to find out more on 0300 300 8088.

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

What is an independent volunteer?

An 'independent volunteer' is someone who volunteers for Central Bedfordshire Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).

These volunteers have a keen interest in special educational needs and disabilities; they 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 independent volunteer help in a meeting?

An independent volunteer 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 independent volunteer may take notes of agreed key actions which can be fed back to both parents and school
  • an independent volunteer may spend a short time with the parent at the end to discuss outcomes

An independent volunteer 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

Contact a volunteer

Please contact SENDIASS' independent volunteers on 0300 300 8088 if you need to discuss anything further.

If you cannot get hold of them, please leave a message on the 24 hour answer phone. The team aims to return calls within 2 working days.