SEND Newsletter: Issue 1
Dear Parent and Carers,
Welcome to the first edition of the Herefordshire SEND newsletter. This is co-produced by Herefordshire Council, Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire and Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. This is one of the ways we will be working to improve communication with and between families. This newsletter aims to provide easy access to key information and updates for families of children and young people with SEND, as well as an opportunity to hear from each other about experiences.
We know that at the time we are publishing this, families and services are under greater than ever pressure and the more we can work together to improve this situation, the better it will be for all.
Please give us feedback on this newsletter so that we can make it work for you and find out what articles or information you would like to see in future editions. You can send your suggestions about the newsletter to the editor, Emma Lodge, by email: email@example.com
- New Video - What is the Local Offer?
-SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time
- Increases in demand for the SEN Assessment Team – parent phone line
- 3Degreez Allstarz – Defuze SEN Classes
- SENDIASS, the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service
- Herefordshire’s Learning Disability Partnership Board
- Autism West Midlands – FREE Webinars for Parents and Carers
- National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) – Parent Carer Survey on the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper
New Video - What is the Local Offer?
We are delighted to share with you a new video we have produced which explains what the SEND Local Offer is and how it can help you and your family. The video shows the full range of information available on the Local Offer and Talk Community directory. It also shares how parent carers can get involved in co-producing the Local Offer. You can watch the short video here.
SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time
On 29 March 2022, the government published a green paper on the future of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) system and is undertaking a public consultation on the green paper’s proposals.
There are resources available to help you understand the proposals on GOV.UK, including:
- A British Sign Language (BSL) version of the green paper
- An easy-read version of the green paper summary
- A guide to help children and young people with SEND or those in alternative provision
Have your say on the proposals by completing the consultation here. The consultation closes on 22 July 2022.
Increases in demand for the SEN Assessment Team – parent phone line
The SEN Assessment Team has experienced a 40% increase in demand for new referrals for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments over the past 12 months. This level of demand could not have been predicted. This has coincided with the team having two members of staff on maternity leave and two other members of staff have had long-term absence. The team only has six EHC Plan Officers in total. This level of staffing instability has had a knock-on impact on the other members of the team, who already had very high caseloads. We have been able to replace some of these staff but it takes time for people to be trained. We are also seeking additional resource to meet the ever-growing demand for future years.
In the short term, we recognise that this situation has resulted in the team being significantly behind with their work and, in particular, it has not been possible to meet the usual phase transfer deadlines in many cases. These are the EHC Plans that need updating for children and young people transferring from Y6 to Y7, Y11 to post-16 education or Y14 for those continuing with their education. In order to process the work as quickly as we can, the team have not been able to provide individual updates to parents in the way they would usually seek to. The individual members of the team are extremely hard-working and would not wish to find themselves in this situation. We apologise for the delays and, in some cases, a lack of communication. We recognise that waiting and not knowing is likely to be difficult for families, although we are confident that the actual educational placements you are seeking for your child will not be impacted by the delay in issuing the updated EHC Plans.
In order to offer a route of communication to the team, we are setting up an information phone line in order that you are able to speak to someone. From now until the end of June only, in the first instance, please contact your EHCP Case Officer as they are dealing with your case. If the case officer is not able to reply to you within 5 working days or you get a message to say they are not in work, please contact 01432 260431 or e-mail _SENteamdiary@herefordshire.gov.uk (please note the underscore as the first character in the e-mail address).
Parent Carer Voice is led by a steering group who work alongside the Local Authority and Health Partnerships (ICS). The aim is to ensure that children and young people up to the age of 25 with special needs and / or disabilities are having all of their needs met.
The voice of parents is key to PCV’s success. The more voices that are heard, the better understanding we have as a community. By holding regular coffee mornings, parent carers come together to discuss any concerns or worries they may have. Come along to our coffee morning where we can provide support and your share experiences and views in a safe space.
To stay up to date with latest news and coffee morning dates join our mailing list found on the PCVH website. If you would like to come and be a parent representative or a PCVH committee member, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
3Degreez Allstarz – Defuze SEN
3Degreez Allstarz Defuze classes offer children with SEND the chance to express themselves to music whilst developing agility, balance and coordination.
Running every Wednesday in term time from 17:05 to 17:45, Defuze sessions include use of the fit-wheel (multi-purpose trampoline), tumble air track, crash mats, balance equipment, balance beams, pom-poms, ribbons and more.
With high staff to child ratios, children can use cartwheel and handstand aids to develop specific skills. Staff carefully assess each child’s skills and provide tailored support to help them develop from their starting point and make progress, whilst having lots of fun. There are optional performance opportunities available for children who want to showcase their skills.
If this sounds like something your child would enjoy, taster sessions are available for all classes – contact Ruth on 07792 254217 or find 3Degreez on Facebook and Instagram to book your first session. You can also email email@example.com and visit the website www.3degreezallstarz.com to find out more.
SENDIASS are the SEND Information, Advice and Support Service covering Herefordshire and Worcestershire. At HW SENDIASS there is a dedicated team of advisors offering legally based and easily accessible information, advice and support on matters relating to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). SENDIASS support children and young people with SEND and their families. The service is free, impartial, and confidential.
Advice line: 01432 260955
Keep an eye out for our ‘Spotlight on Social Opportunities’ Facebook posts where every month a local social or recreational opportunity available to children and young people with SEND in Herefordshire is featured.
Young Persons Advisor
In Herefordshire there is a Young Persons Advisor, Sammy Powell. Sammy’s role is to work directly with young people aged 14-25.
Sammy can support young people by:
- Helping them to prepare for annual reviews
- Helping them to prepare for meetings
- explain reports
- providing advice around the education, health and care needs assessment process
- providing careers guidance and support in thinking about aspirations and preparing for adulthood.
Training for Parent/Carers
SENDIASS offer free training to local education, health and social care professionals, children, young people, and parents/ carers to increase knowledge of SEND law, guidance, local policy and participation.
SENDIASS are now running face to face workshops and online information sessions for parents/carers. You can see details of these sessions and browse all available dates on the Training Workshops webpage.
For regular SEND updates sign up to the SENDIASS mailing list
Herefordshire’s Learning Disability Partnership Board
Do you ever wish someone would just listen to you? Well, Herefordshire's Learning Disability Partnership Board wants to hear what you have to say. They will listen to you, then act and tell you what they’ve done. They will only use your contact details to send you these surveys and tell you what actions they take as a result of your feedback.
This month's survey is about where you live and the skills you need and the way you wish to learn them - it should take 5-10 minutes and it will be open until mid-June. https://tinyurl.com/wilatsin
Autism West Midlands – FREE Webinars for Parents and Carers
Autism West Midlands have a number of free online sessions aimed at parents and carers with children and young people with autism. Visit the Autism West Midlands website to find out more and to register for your free place.
Virtual Dads Support Group
This is an opportunity for dads to meet online, share ideas, celebrate their children’s achievement’s and offer support to each other with a member of Autism West Midlands present.
Free online ‘Zoom’ Session on Thursday evenings.
Autism and Anxiety
Online training for parents/carers of autistic children aged up to 18 or children waiting to be assessed. The workshops are on Thursday 16 and Thursday 23 June (both sessions must be attended).
Follow Autism West Midlands online to see the latest updates.
National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) – Parent Carer Survey on the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper
The National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) have launched their parent carer survey on the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper. The responses from the survey will be used to inform the NNPCF’s response to the SEND and AP Green Paper consultation.
They would like survey responses from as many parent carers as possible to ensure that their views are heard. You can complete the survey here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/J63QX22