What do we mean by impartial information, advice and support?

All councils should offer a free, easy to access, and confidential service and help children, parents and young people take part in decisions that affect their lives. In Tower Hamlets this service is provided by Parents Advice Centre and Family Information Service.

What do we mean when we say we are impartial?

The information, advice and support that we offer is not biased towards, or influenced by, any particular party, point of view or local policy.

We can give you information and advice about the council’s policies and procedures and about the policy and practice in local schools and other settings, and we will do this in an unbiased way.

We do not give priority to any particular impairment, disability or special educational need over another, nor do we campaign in favour of any particular approach to education.

By being impartial we aim to help parents, children and young people have clear, accurate and relevant information that will help them take part in making decisions about their lives.

How do we remain impartial?

It is very easy to be biased. Sometimes we can be biased without even realising it. That is why PAC and FIS really value your opinion about the information, advice and support we offer. We want you to tell us if you think we are not impartial and we will routinely ask people who use our service to say whether they think we have been biased one way or another. If you think we have, we will try and put it right.

At PAC we follow a national set of Quality Standards for services providing impartial information, advice and support that the Network of Information, Advice and Support Services developed. This helps us to monitor the effectiveness of the service we provide and ensure that it is ‘at arm’s length’ from the council. By this we mean that we are able to act, and be seen to act, separately and impartially, with no undue influence or control from either the council or the clinical commissioning group in the area we serve.

We also publish an annual report that includes information on what people have told us about the service.

What advice and support do we offer?

We offer advice by email, on the telephone, face to face and through work with groups or in training. We also try to offer more intensive support for those that need it. This can include helping with letters, attending a meeting with you or supporting you in discussions with the local authority, school or other setting.  We can provide a case worker, or an Independent Supporter.

When we are not able to help we will do our best to tell you about, or put you in touch with, other groups or organisations that can.

Is the service confidential?

Yes. We will not share your information with anyone else unless you tell us we can. The only exception to this would be because we have a specific concern about a child’s safety.

Our confidentiality policy is available on request

We will often work with parents and children or young people together. Sometimes we will work with them separately. When we do this the same confidentiality rules apply.

Where can I find out more?

You can read about impartial information, advice and support in the SEND Code of Practice, chapter 2.

Contact us

30 Greatorex St
E1 5NP

Parents Advice Centre

Tel: 020 7364 6489
Email: pac@towerhamlets.gov.uk