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Independent Support

What is an Independent Supporter?

An Independent Supporter is a trained volunteer who works with parents, carers and young people (age 16-25). They can support you through the transfer review process. This is when a statement of special needs gets converted to an Education, Health and Care Plan. A supporter can also help if you have asked for a needs assessment for your child.

Why do we have Independent Supporters?

The law around children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities changed.

From 1 September 2014 a new Code of Practice for Children and Young People took effect. As part of the changes Education, Health and Care Plans will replace:

  • statements of special educational needs
  • learning difficulty assessments

The new plan is a single legal document that details all your child's needs.

The government has provided funding to to provide the role of Independent Support nationwide.

What will an Independent Supporter do?

  • explain the process of a transfer review or needs assessment
  • help you to consider your views, wishes and feelings
  • help you to voice, record and share your aspirations for your child’s future
  • provide you with information about personal budgets. We'll also help you to navigate the Rotherham SEND Local Offer
  • provide support at the Transfer Review meeting if requested
  • help you to understand the draft EHC plan and support you to discuss this with the local authority
  • signpost you to other services who can offer you further information, advice and support

See the Rotherham SEND Local Offer

How long will an Independent Supporter work with me?

A supporter can help you during the transfer review process. This should take no longer than 14 weeks.

If you have asked for a needs assessment, a supporter can work with you to the end of this process. This could either be up to 6 or 20 weeks.

Your supporter can also discuss other services that offer impartial information, advice and support.

Catherine IS


Trained Independent Supporter

Joanne IS


Trained Independent Supporter

Marie IS


Trained Independent Supporter

Make a referral

Once agreed, the information given to us on a referral will be passed to a fully trained supporter to work with you.

Make a referral

We can also refer you to an independent service called Core Assets. They also provide Independent Support to parents, carers and young people. You can contact Core Assets yourself if you prefer.

Call Core Assets on 0800 028 8455

Core Assets

Be a supporter

We recruit and train supporters, making sure that you are kept up to date with special educational needs policy and procedures to offer effective advice and support.

Ask about volunteering

The Council for Disabled Children manages the national Independent Support programme.

Council for Disabled Children

© 2018 Rotherham SENDIASS

Unless otherwise stated.