A picture of our SIASS staff standing together against an office wall. Manager Laura is in front, with blonde hair and glasses, followed by caseworker Hollie with brown hair and glasses, followed by caseworker Vicky with brown hair, followed by caseworker Sammi with blonde hair and glasses.

SIASS Newsletter June 2023

Our SIASS Team

We are excited to announce that we have successfully recruited 2 new SIASS caseworkers, who started their training with us in May 2023. Our new staff are now independently responding to information & advice enquiries through our helpline (with background support of our experienced caseworkers), so our response times for new enquiries have now returned to their normal 3 working days (or less).

Meet the Team

Laura has managed the service full time for 2 1/2 years. She has a background in psychology and charity management and is a mum of kids with SEND.

Vicky has worked as a SIASS caseworker for over 2 years. She works 35 hours/week. Vicky has a background in education and is a mum of kids with SEND.

Sammi works 30 hours/week and was previously a SIASS volunteer. She has completed her IPSEA level 2 legal training and has a background in human rights and customer care. She is also a mum with a child with SEND.

Hollie works 18 hours/week. She has completed her IPSEA level 2 legal training, and comes to us with a background as an Early Years SENCO. She is also a mum with a child with SEND.

Your Feedback Matters

Once per quarter the SIASS Manager sends out a reminder to all who have engaged with the service over the previous 3 months to fill out the SIASS Feedback Survey based on their most recent experience with the service. Additionally, you may be invited to complete the feedback survey at the conclusion of a piece of casework. These survey responses are completely anonymous and are used to demonstrate to local government, Council for Disabled Children, and the Department for Education to measure how we are doing at meeting standard expectations for IAS services, to support requests for increased funding, to inform our strategic planning, and to give you an opportunity to let us know how we are doing and to make suggestions about how to improve the IAS service in Sutton.

We’re really proud that we improved in every single category over the year before (aside from how easy is was to get ahold of us, which is now a key strategic goal for us this business year).

We really value your feedback and are looking to not only improve our overall scores, but also to increase the number of responses we receive over the year. Of 344 total families we supported last year, we received 44 responses to our feedback survey (13%). The next survey request will go out the end of June, please take a few minutes to share your responses with us so that your voice can inform our service development.

SIASS Steering Group seeks additional parent/carer representatives

SIASS steering group seeks up to 3 new parent/carer representatives to start September 2023. The steering group meets virtually every other month to hear the latest updates from SIASS and to give crucial feedback and problem solving on strategic planning and delivery of the service. While the steering group is comprised of various key stakeholders from across the borough, our goal is to always have at least half of the steering group made up of parent/carer representatives.

We are currently seeking up to 3 parent/carer representatives, particularly those with primary/early years aged children with SEND (our current parent reps have children in secondary school);

The key ask for this role would active participation at virtual meetings (held every other month).

Please submit a written expression of interest with a brief description of yourself and why you want to be considered for the role of parent/carer representative (no more than 2 paragraphs) to laura.haupt@siass.co.uk by the 15th of September 2023. Steering group will meet at the end of September and review expressions of interest and vote on (if necessary) up to 3 representatives.

Upcoming Events

In Person Advice Surgery: Monday, August 21st, 10am-2pm @ Cantium House, SM6 0DZ

Get ready for the new school year! Join SIASS caseworkers in a private room at the Cognus Office at 1st Floor of Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington SM60DZ to ask questions and talk through your concerns about the upcoming school year. To book a 30 minute time slot, email laura.haupt@siass.co.uk. Feel free to bring your child or young person along to share their views. SIASS staff are all mums of kids with SEN, and we’d love to chat with your kids if they feel up to visiting (or have them colour or play in the room while we chat)!

Mediation and Appeals Workshop: Monday, 25th of September 12-2pm @Cantium House

SIASS is here to help you understand and exercise your legal rights, this includes the right to mediation and to appeal to the SEND Tribunal when you disagree with a decision that’s been made by the Local Authority.

Join us in the Creative Room on the first floor of Cantium House (SM60DZ) from 12-2pm on the 25th of September for a SEND Tribunal masterclass for parent/carers.

Topics to be covered include:

  • When do you have the legal right to appeal?
  • What’s Mediation & what can you expect?
  • What are the different types of appeals and what do you need to prove in each kind of case?
  • How to write up your grounds of appeal?
  • What evidence you should gather?
  • How long does this process take?
  • What should happen after a Tribunal decision is made?

Booking is essential, email laura.haupt@siass.co.uk to book your place.

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