The independent parental supporter can be a relative, a friend or a member of a voluntary support group willing to offer parents advice on special needs.

Alternatively they may be specially trained and nominated by the parent partnership service to provide information, advice and support for the parents of special needs children.

They are independent of the local authority and can offer help to parents whose children are being assessed for a statement of educational needs.

They may help parents with writing their comments, understanding reports, writing letters and attending meetings. The LEA should identify the independent parental supporter when sending the parents a final copy of the statement.

See also Parent partnership service.