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Cheshire West and Chester Information Advice and Support Service

Our service helps parents and carers, children and young people who have difficulties with learning, and or a disability from birth to 25 years and their parents and carers. 

We offer a confidential service which gives parents, children and young people impartial advice and information to make informed decisions. 

To use our service a parent must think that their child has Special Educational Needs but you do not need a professional to agree or to have any kind of Statement, Education, Health and Care Plan or diagnosis

What we help with...

  • We listen and encourage you to be confident in expressing your views.
  • We lead the Clever Champions Group which is a group of young people from special schools and a resource provision who meet regularly to give their views on various topics.
  • We have trained staff and volunteers that can help you complete forms, sit in on meetings and help keep track of what’s happening.   If you are interested in becoming a volunteer to the service or would like to know more information please contact us.
  • We provide Information Advice and Support on the Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment and planning process.
  • Confidential and impartial Information Advice and Support to young people (16+) on their own, if requested
  • We provide information advice on local policy and practice
  • We can give you advice and information relating to personalisation and personal budgets.
  • We can provide information on SEN Law and Disability, Health and Social Care through independently trained staff and we can help families to understand, interpret and apply information to their own situation.
  • We can provide support in resolving disagreements, including mediation and tribunals.

 To read what parents, carers have said about our service click here.

We also work with the parent carer forum, the local authority and a range of other organisations and charities to ensure that young people and parents' views are represented. 

The Local Offer is a requirement to provide what is expected to be available locally for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).  The Local Offer will include, information, services and activities.  If you have feedback about the Local offer, have any difficulty finding any service, activity or information or require any further information please contact our service.

Who to contact

0300 123 7001

Where to go

Council Offices
4 Civic Way
Ellesmere Port
CH65 0BE

Time / Date Details

Session Information
Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm and Friday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. Our answer phone is on outside of our opening times.
Parent carers can also visit the Contact helpline via their website at for information or call the free helpline on 0808 808 3555 between 9:30 am -5:00 pm Monday to Friday, or by email at

Other Details


Age Ranges
Children and young people - 0 - 25 Years
and their parents
Areas Covered
All Areas Of Cheshire West And Chester
Referral Details


Referral criteria
Referral criteria
Self Referral
Other notes

Access and Delivery of the Service - Access and service delivery, by telephone, e-mail and face to face. 

Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Transition to adulthood 14 +
Pre and Post Birth < 0 - 2 years
Secondary 11 - 16 years
Early Years 2 - 5 years
Primary 4 - 11 years


Rated 4.986666666666666 out of 5
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great advice
this is an excellent service to find out information
Rural Support
Thank you, Thank you for providing specific Information Officers to cover Rural Cheshire.
Local Offer
The Local Offer has developed and grown and now provides an excellent information service – a one - stop - shop! There was information that I couldn’t find and I e-mailed the service who were very helpful in helping me get the information I needed.    
Fantastic for Advice and Guidance
The Information, Advice and Support Service has been able to offer advice and guidance to myself as a professional, enabling me to help the families I work with understand local services/processes and signpost them to the appropriate professionals and services.  
Good for me
I used this service and found it was very helpful they told me a lot of things I didn't know, entitiments etc.. It gave me confidence to talk to the school about their Special Educational Needs Information Report.
Information Advice and Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership)
I am so impressed with this service. The paid staff and volunteers I spoke to are really knowledgeable on all issues relating to education and legislation relating to this and gave me good solid advice.  They suggested strategies and areas to think about I had not even considered to help me prepare for my meeting with school. A volunteer had numerous chats with me and my husband to help us draft an agenda to make sure we focused on what we wanted and even attended the meeting with us, making comprehensive notes and checking we were happy we understood what had been discussed and agreed upon. We thought it was going to be a challenging meeting as had touched upon some subjects previously with a negative response from school.  Am not sure if it was the presence of Information, Advice and Support Service but school did a u turn and agreed to all our requests.  After the meeting the volunteer took time to check out how we thought it had gone and again went through a couple of areas we were unsure of.  They are now supporting us through the process of writing an EHC plan, throughout all my involvement with this team they have shown a genuine interest in my son and I truly feel they are actively working in partnership with me. This service is a really helpful resource for anyone who is questioning the education of their child - it is flexible, friendly and approachable and confidential. Well worth a phone call.  We are so glad we contacted them.
Making the Education, Health and Care Plan process clear
This service has provided superb support which is ongoing, to help me to prepare an application for assessment of my son for an Education Health and Care Plan.  We currently having discussions and Information Advice and Support Service has been supporting me all the way.  
Excellent help and guidance
Contacted the service in the summer whilst awaiting Education, Health and Care Plan.  Staff member gave excellent help and guidance about what should be in the draft plan, so additional outcomes were included.  
Invaluable help given-IAS
 With the presence of a very well informed, supportive and very genuine individual from this team at a review meeting I was able to voice my opinions and concerns amongst lots of professionals. Before the meeting the representative from the IAS team talked me through the process and helped me focus my views. During the meeting I felt more confident and was able to speak up as a parent.  This service has been invauable to my family. Most importantly it has given the parents of a child with additional needs the support and confidence to be heard in an environment and situation that can sometimes be daunting and difficult.
I contacted the Information, Advice and Support Service as I was getting confused by a very complex and messy muddle up between school, education support departments and doctors. The staff member was able to provide a lot of clarity and help me plan how to move forward. I am very grateful.
Great Service
This service offers invaluable support to parents of SEN children, I have used the service on a number of occasions and have found the staff to be knowledgable, helpful and understanding.
Information Given
Without your support don't know what we would do.  All the information you have given has helped so much.
Gained confidence
Given me information and gained my confidence in the process of mediation which allowed me to have a voice.
Information, Advice and Support
Feel as if somebody is there, relative who has had support before recommended.  I feel relieved now.
An enourmous difference
The service advised me that I could ask for letters of support form GP and previous social workers etc..  It also really helped having someone with me at the meeting.
Information, Advice and Support
The service provided me with more information and a better explanation.  Full support felt now in all areas.
Information, Advice and Support
In every way positive.  Informative and supported emotionally.  Made me feel confident and also keep the meetings very relevant.
More confident
Certainly feel more confident.  Very appreciative of the new knowledge about how to get help.
Information, Advice and Support
I feel bit more confident to approach people.
Knowledge of staff invaluable
I had no idea how to begin writing 'our story'; the support and knowledge of your staff has been invaluable.  Also the empathy and advice about all issues relating to my son's school refusal.  Parent Carer Forum meetings are brilliant for information and contacts.
Information, Advice and Support
Made a world of difference
Information, Advice and Support
Staff member was very, very helpful at putting things into place to help my child.
Information, Advice and Support
Before I contacted the Information, Advice and Support Service I had no clue of how to manage my concern but now I am more aware of how the system works.
Great Support
Very knowledgeable about legality's a great support, highly valued.
Information, Advice and Support
Enlightened me with information I wouldn't have had otherwise
Fantastic because no-one else has given me the amount of information you have, no-one else called back.
More confident
Given me a way forward and I feel more confident.
Information, Advice and Support
You've help me know what's happening and answered all my questions.
Information, Advice and Support
The service has made a massive difference - I feel I can cope now.
Information, Advice and Support
I feel more knowledgeable and more empowered but more worried aobut the overall agenda!
Information, Advice and Support
I now know what to do to go forward with my concerns.
Massive difference
Massive difference you've explained thing eloquently.  It's given me my power back.
Help with Education, Health and Care Plan
Given help with writing 'Our Story' and advice with the Education, Heath and Care Plan meeting. 
Information, Advice and Support Service
I feel i've got something concrete to work with now. 
Information, Advice and Support
Feel extremely confident, in approaching schools and supported to be able to get the right education for my son.
Information, Advice and Support
Gave me a confidence boost - really really good.
Amazing support
Thank you so much!  I rang a couple of weeks ago, with many questions, looking desperately for some support and information regarding the help that children with SEN are entitled to have at a mainstream school, and what parents can ask from the school when the child has been granted with funding to be supported at the setting.   Staff member who I spoke to was able to provide all the answers I needed.  They were very professional and supportive, at all times that and had the knowledge and charisma to support us.  I can only say that in a moment when I was feeling so frustrated and confused I received the key information and an amazing support.  And I know that I can phone them again if I need further support or information.  Thank you so much!
Fabulous service and wonderful people
The Information Advice and Support Service have been incredibly supportive throughout our struggle to secure an EHCP for our child. The level of bureaucracy and barriers that exist within the LA SEN provision,  due to (a) lack of funding and (b) standard responses to what are individual and unique circumstances,  make this process so difficult and stressful, but the information and advice service have been superb. Without the support of this service, I think that we would have given up and withdrawn our child from the education system, but the staff members have been fabulous in the advice and support that they offer. Parents need this service if they are to navigate the local offer, and the only improvement that can be made is to put more resources behind it and make parents more aware of the support available.
Information Advice and Support
Support has been knowledgeable, informative, reasoned and calm.  We have expert input which has given us greater confidence in our ability to present a reasoned case. 
Greater Clarity
I feel motivated to research what I need and have greater clarity. 
Information, Advice and Support Service
I know whats available now, no-one one told me before.  
Knowledgeable and Supportive
Understanding, clear and concise explanation of things, good knowledge, kind and supportive.  Thank you.
Gold Star
A gold star - I don't feel i'm doing it alone 
Excellent service and extremely informative.  Their parent carer forum has been very informative.
Information Advice and Support
Been great could not fault the service 
Invaluable because of the experience and knowledge 
Have really helped me to focus and reline the relevant points.  Knowledge and emotional support has been amazing. 
I have my confidence back
From a very desperate staring point I can now understand a lot better and have my confidence back, you were wonderful. 
I now feel confident and have information I didn't have before. 
More confident
I feel more confident and don't feel i've done something wrong.  I feel emotionally a lot better and have a way forward.  Thank you for spending so much time on the phone. 
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