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SEND Newsletter: Issue 2

Dear Parent and Carers,

Welcome to the second edition of the Herefordshire SEND newsletter.  This is co-produced by Herefordshire Council, Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire and Herefordshire Integrated Care System.  This is one of the ways we are 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.

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 Kelly, by email: localoffer@herefordshire.gov.uk

- SEND Summit - Save the Date!
- Herefordshire Council Consultation on the proposal to close Westfield Special School Sixth Form
- Co-production Week - SEND Strategy
- Hereford Community Farm – Summer SEND Family Fun Days
- Aspire Youth Club - Hereford
- Sensory Equipment Loan
- SENDIASS free workshops and sessions
- Herefordshire's Short Breaks Allowance Scheme for Disabled Children
- Health information for Educational Settings and Early Years Providers
- Disability Access Funds for 3 and 4 year olds
- Parent Carer Voice Steering Group
- Health Participation Project, "My Health, My Say"
- Speak to your Learning Disability Partnership Board
- Consultation on SEND LA Inspection
- SEND Review Consultation still open!
- Understanding Your Child



SEND Summit - Save the Date!

Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council are pleased to announce the return of our in-person, co-produced SEND Summit.  Plans are being drawn up for a range of seminars including the Graduated Approach, Short Breaks, WEST (Wellbeing and Emotional Support Teams) in schools, the Local Offer and more.  There will also be a number of local providers at the event sharing what they do and how they can support children and young people with SEND.  So, save the date – Thursday 29 September 2022, and look out for more information coming soon!

Herefordshire Council Consultation on the proposal to close Westfield Special School Sixth

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Westfield Special School sixth form closure consultation.  We apologise that this process has taken some time but this is due to the importance of the decision and its impact on the local community.

After consideration of all the responses to the consultation, Herefordshire Council proposes that Westfield School Sixth Form in Leominster remains open.  You can read the full response to the consultation on the proposal on the Herefordshire Council website.



Co-production Week - SEND Strategy

On Monday 4 July, the SEND Strategy Group finally got to meet in person after Covid restrictions and guidance have been updated. This was in celebration of Co-production week which ran from 4 – 8 July.  The SEND Strategy group meets to discuss relevant issues involving many departments that look after children and young people with SEND.  This includes Heads of Departments in the Local Authority, Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICS, Wye Valley Trust, Parent Carer Voice, Healthwatch and SENDIASS.



Hereford Community Farm – Summer SEND Family Fun Days

Hereford Community Farm are running more of their ever popular SEND Family Fun Days this summer on Wednesday 27 July, Wednesday 10 August and Wednesday 17 August, from 11am to 2pm.

You can meet the friendly animals, try out some crafts and activities or just 'chill out' in the Bell Tent and orchard – it is a very relaxed and inclusive environment where you can choose what you would like to do.  You’ll need to bring your own lunch and dress suitably for the weather and being in an outdoor environment.  Hereford Community Farm is wheelchair accessible but please do contact them directly if you have particular access requirements you would like to discuss.

Numbers are limited so please pre-book. Email: herefordcommunityfarm@gmail.com or call Julie on 07971 423817. Visit their Facebook page to see some of the activities in action.



Aspire Youth Club - Hereford

If you are aged 14 or over, Aspire Youth Club can help you to have a great social life!  Aspire Youth Club in Hereford offers young people with SEND a range of social activities including arts and crafts, cooking, playing pool, cinema, bowling and trampolining to name a few.  You might go out in a small group or with your buddy.  There are currently spaces for more young people and existing members are excited to welcome some new faces.

Aspire Youth Club meet every Thursday from 5pm – 7pm  and enjoys days out and other activities throughout the year. Activities can be paid for privately, using a Direct Payment or short break funding from Herefordshire Council. If you’re interested in joining Aspire Youth Club, contact Clancy Radley by email clancy.radley@aspireliving.org.uk or call 07725 619839 to find out more.



Sensory Equipment Loan

National Autistic Society Herefordshire have a selection of items that can be loaned for a short period of time to see if your child or young person find using them beneficial before purchasing them for yourself.  NAS ask for a deposit which is refundable if the item is returned in good condition.  Please get in touch if you would like more information by email herefordshire.branch@nas.org.uk or call 01432 340072.






SENDIASS are running FREE face to face workshops and online information sessions for parents/carers in Herefordshire in September. All sessions will be delivered by Sally, the HW SENDIASS Training and Development Officer and will be interactive, enabling participants to ask questions throughout the sessions. 

Book onto "Who are SENDIASS and how can they support me? Online Information Session".

Date: Tuesday 13 September 2022

Time: 6.30pm-7.30pm

Location: Online

This online information session is aimed at parent carers in Herefordshire and Worcestershire who have a child/ young person with an additional need and/or a disability. It will provide you with information about the Special Educational Needs Disability Information, Advice and Support Service and how we can support you.

The session will discuss:

  • Who are SENDIASS?
  • What services do SENDIASS offer?
  • How to contact SENDIASS

You will receive joining instructions via email the day before the event.

Book onto "SEN Support and the Graduated Approach in Schools"

Date: Thursday 15 September 2022

Time: 10.30am-12.30pm

Location: Hereford Town Hall

This workshop is aimed at parent carers in Herefordshire who have a child or young person that may require additional support whilst at a mainstream school.

The workshop will discuss:

  • What is SEN?
  • The role of the SENCO
  • The Graduated Response to SEN
  • How to prepare for an effective meeting
  • Useful resources

Book onto "What does a good Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) look like?"

Date: Thursday 29 September 2022

Time: 10.30am-12.30pm

Location: Hereford Town Hall

This workshop is aimed at parent carers in Herefordshire who are currently going through the EHC assessment process or who have a draft EHC plan. It may also be useful to those attending Annual Reviews and looking to update and amend the plan.

The workshop will discuss:

  • What is an Education Health & Care Plan?
  • What content should an Education Health & Care Plan have?
  • How to request amendments to the plan
  • Useful Resources

For regular SEND updates sign up to the SENDIASS mailing list by competing the form on the Worcestershire Council website.



Herefordshire’s Short Breaks Allowance Scheme for Disabled Children

Herefordshire Council's targeted short breaks allowance scheme is for children with special educational needs and disabilities who require extra support to take part in leisure activities.

Families can apply for up to £375 a year to help them benefit from short break activities for their child:

  • If your child is on tariff D or E (found in EHC plan), they will qualify for a targeted short break allowance
  • If your child is on a different tariff, you can still apply under ‘special circumstances’
  • The money must be used enable your child to access activities whilst giving you a break from your caring role.


Funding can be spent on a wide range of things including:

  • Leisure activities dependent on your child’s interests such as swimming lessons, soft play sessions, cinema/ theatre, youth clubs/ leisure clubs, sensory activities etc.
  • Group activities and play sessions with other children
  • Payment to a carer who is accompanying the child to do an activity/ have a day out
  • If your child needs specialist equipment in order to take part in leisure activities, this will be acceptable.


Funding cannot be used for costs that any parent would pay for their child, regardless of their disability, such as:

  • Activities, days out or holidays for the family
  • Hire of holiday accommodation / caravans / camp site
  • Transport (Petrol, Taxis, Trains) and parking costs for your child to attend activities and return home
  • Incidental costs such as meals & refreshments
  • Siblings and/or friends to join them in the activities
  • Payments to close relatives who live in the same household.
  • Items, goods or services that do not provide activities for the named child and a break for you as a parent/carer such as:
    • Clothing
    • Groceries
    • Utility Bills, TV licence, Council Tax
    • Deliveries and takeaway food
    • Mobile phone repair & bills/top up
    • Subscriptions for household services (i.e. streaming services such as Amazon/ Netflix etc.)
  • Funding should not be used for resources in the home such as play/sensory equipment, IT equipment, computer games, garden play items or gym equipment.

To find out more, go to www.herefordshire.gov.uk/shortbreaks or contact the Short Breaks Team on 01432 260123.

Health Information for Educational Settings and Early Years Providers

Due to data protection and privacy guidelines, healthcare professionals such as your GP, paediatrician or health visitor do not routinely share information about your child’s health with their educational setting.  Sometimes this information may help your child’s educational setting to plan for their provision and ensure they receive the support they require. If you feel your child has a health condition that may impact on their ability to access their educational or early years setting, you can choose to share this information directly with them if you wish.  Please contact your local provider in confidence to discuss any health needs your child may have and work together to plan how to meet their needs.  If you’re not sure whether your child’s health needs might impact on their learning, you can ask your health visitor, GP or paediatrician for advice.



Disability Access Fund for 3 and 4 year olds

Did you know that you can nominate your childcare provider to receive £800 of Disability Access Funding (DAF) each year? This funding is available for early years providers in Herefordshire to support children with disabilities or special educational needs. It aids access to early years places by supporting providers to make reasonable adjustments to their settings.

To be eligible for DAF, your child must be in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and be receiving Nursery Education Funding (NEF) at a childcare provider in Herefordshire. The funding is paid once per year to one childcare provider nominated by the parent. It is then up to the childcare provider to decide how the DAF is spent however it cannot be used to fund additional hours. Once funding for the year is paid, it will not be reclaimed even if the child leaves the setting.

To find out more and apply for DAF, please visit the Disability Access Fund page on the Herefordshire Council website.



Parent Carer Voice Steering Group

Parent Carer Voice is led by a Steering Group of parents in Herefordshire who are working alongside the Local Authority and Health partnerships (ICS) to ensure that the needs of Children and Young People up to the age of 25 years with Additional and Special Educational Needs are being met.

Steering Group Contacts:

Call now: 01432 340072
Address: Parent Carer Voice, Fred Bulmer Centre, Wall Street, Hereford, HR4 9HP
Mailbox: admin@pcvherefordshire.com
Website: www.pcvh.co.uk






Health Participation Project "My Health, My Say"

Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) have commissioned Action for Children to find out how children, young people and their families engage in conversations regarding their wellbeing and health needs.

They aim to: 

  • Find out how people share their views
    Hear about the ways that children and young people 0-18 (25 with SEND) and their families share their views about health and wellbeing services in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
  • Understand their lived experiences
    Explore what went well and what could have been even better about their involvement in health and wellbeing services.
  • Learn how people communicate with decision makers
    Find out how children, young people and their families like to interact with decision makers and commissioners, and communicate what's important to them.
  • Explore what good participation looks like
    Understand how children, young people and their families like to interact with decision makers and commissioners, and communicate what's important to them.

Parents, carers, children and young people can complete the survey on the Action for Children website.

To find out more, email Sue Mustill via sue.mustill@actionforchildren.org.uk

Speak to your Learning Disability Partnership Board

Healthwatch Herefordshire, an independent organisation, is helping Herefordshire Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB) to gather more views about services. They hope you will consider taking part in a couple of very short surveys.

The following two short polls are open through the summer months with a deadline at the end of August.  People can take part in both or choose one that applies.  One is about volunteering – what volunteering would you like to be available? The second poll asks how active you are.

That’s it! Both very short – under 5 minutes. They would love to hear from you.

What I do during the day - Volunteering survey

Being Healthy and Safe - Exercise

You Said – We Did

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on ‘Health and the food we eat’ – your answers can be seen on the Herefordshire Council website.  The survey results showed that lots of people with a Learning Disability would like to improve their health by eating better and being more active.  Many depend on carers and support workers who also struggle to look after their health by eating well and exercising.  As a result we have decided to arrange a course where people with a Learning Disability and their Support Workers can work together to look at ways to improve their health, lose weight if needed, and exercise more and in addition to other ways like improving sleep or mental health.

If there is interest we will arrange and trial a programme with support, expertise and delivery from local health and fitness services.  Your experience will help not just you but others in the future.

Want to try it? Express an interest through our smart survey form.



Consultation on SEND LA Inspection

Ofsted and the CQC are consulting on a new approach to area SEND inspections and would like feedback from children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers.  They are proposing a new inspection framework that puts more focus on the impact that a local area partnership is having on the lives of children and young people with SEND and not just how local areas are meeting their statutory obligations.

The new inspection framework includes the following proposals:

  • focusing not just on whether statutory obligations have been met but on the impact that a local area partnership’s SEND arrangements has on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people
  • strengthening accountability and driving continuous improvement by introducing:
  • an ongoing cycle of inspections, which includes full inspections, monitoring visits and annual engagement meetings
  • 3 inspection outcomes, which provide clearer information about how an area is performing, what needs to improve and who is accountable
  • an expectation that all areas produce and publish a strategic plan for SEND, which is updated following inspection
  • gathering more evidence directly from children and young people and their families, ensuring that their views and experiences are central to our inspections
  • looking more closely at arrangements for children and young people in alternative provision
  • including social care inspectors in our inspection teams, so that we can gain a more holistic view of the impact

You can give your feedback on the proposals until 11 September 2022, on the UK Government website

SEND Review Consultation still open!

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:

Have your say on the proposals by completing the consultation on the Department of Education website. The consultation closes on 22 July 2022.

Understanding Your Child

Parenting is a delight but can be very hard at times!  That’s why the Solihull Approach have a selection of FREE courses for every parent/carer in Herefordshire.  There’s a course for every stage of parenting and they really are fantastic.

  • Understanding your pregnancy
  • Understanding your baby
  • Understanding your child (with additional needs)
  • Understanding your teenager

Take advantage of this pre-paid, locally funded offer - simply visit www.inourplace.co.uk, create an account and use the access code: APPLEHERE