SEND Newsletter: Issue 7
Dear Parent and Carers,
Welcome to the seventh edition of the Herefordshire SEND newsletter. This newsletter is co-produced by Herefordshire Council, Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire and Herefordshire Integrated Care System (ICS). This newsletter aims to provide easy access to key information and updates for families of children and young people with SEND.
Please give us feedback on this newsletter so that we can make it work for you and hear what articles or information you would like to see in future. You can send your suggestions about the newsletter to the editor, Emma Kelly, by email: email@example.com
Local Offer Updates – You Said, We Did
The Local Offer focus group have developed a new landing page for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND, to help improve navigation and improve content. There is a new Preparing for Adulthood section as well as a host of information for school age children. An updated list of organisations that can offer advice and support is also included along with lots of general information about SEND.
We are continuing to work on improving what’s already on the Local Offer, adding new content and enhancing pages with video clips, diagrams and images to make the information as accessible and useful as possible. The next area we will be working on together is a new ‘Health and Wellbeing’ section which will include information about universal and specialist health services, signposting to referral pathways and links to organisations that can support positive wellbeing for your child or young person with SEND. Keep checking back on the Local Offer to see the new content.
Our Local Offer focus group including parent carers, SENCOs, SENDIASS, health and council colleagues meet regularly to review content and navigation to ensure it works well for all who use it. If you would like to be involved in shaping the SEND Local Offer site, please get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Carer Voice Herefordshire
Unfortunately the Herefordshire SEND Summit planned for 18th May had to be cancelled due to a low uptake of places. We will reschedule the event for late September so please look out for the new date soon. There will be a variety of local providers at the event along with some great speakers who will share lots of information and support for children and young people with SEND in Herefordshire.
PCV’s Latest Newsletter
Have you read PCV’s latest newsletter? The May edition can be found here, with the following articles:
- Herefordshire SEND Local Offer
- Children's Help and Advice Team (CHAT) Herefordshire
- Hereford Bikeright Cycle Skills review
- The Courtyard relaxed screening review
- NHS Key Worker Service
- Early Years Information Booklet
- Transport update
- ...and more!
Follow PCV Herefordshire on Facebook or visit their website to keep up to date with their latest newsletter, consultations and events. You can also read more about their work and how you can get involved. To get in touch, email email@example.com
Dedicated SEND Sessions at JumpInGym, Halo Hereford Leisure Centre
Have you tried the new dedicated SEND sessions at Jump In Gym soft play at Hereford Leisure Centre yet? Every Thursday from 1.30pm – 2.30pm, the Jump In Gym is reserved especially for children and young people with SEND so that they can enjoy a quieter session with capped numbers, a dark den with sensory equipment available to use during the session, music switched off and reduced lighting if required.
There are accessible parking spaces right outside, baby changing facilities and a café on site. You can book in advance or turn up on the day and pay as you go each week – no regular commitment is required to secure your space.
If you would like to visit Jump In Gym with your child before the session or talk to someone with any questions you might have, please call the centre on 01432 842075.
Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service: Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA)
When the Educational Psychology Service identified a sudden increase in the numbers of children unable to attend school because of anxiety following the Covid19 pandemic, they decided to do something about it. They carried out extensive research into Emotionally Based School Avoidance (EBSA). EBSA can be used to describe the refusal of young people to attend school for long periods of time based on emotional factors. EBSA is not a mental health difficulty but rather a combination of lots of different factors. There are a range of different reasons a young person does not want to attend school. The combination of factors differs for each individual and there is no single cause.
Following the research and understanding of best practice, Herefordshire Educational Psychology Service developed guidance for Herefordshire’s primary and secondary schools and delivered a number of training sessions to staff working closely with children and young people experiencing EBSA. Over 80 schools and 30 Early Help staff attended training events, and working particularly with Early Help, 8 pupils took part in a pilot project. We are delighted to report that 6 of these young people now attend school every week. The learning from the pilot means that the guidance and training can be improved and the service is looking to expand the project to 20 pupils.
Herefordshire Short Breaks Updates
Did you know you can use your Targeted Short Breaks Allowance to pay for leisure activities that your child or young person attends without you (their parent / carer), enabling you to have a short break whilst they have fun, socialise and / or learn a new skill? This can include swimming, bowling, cinema, soft play, horse riding, ice skating etc. You can also pay a carer to accompany your child or young person to participate.
Find out more about what you can spend the allowance on in the one page overview: Targeted Short Breaks Allowance Guidance
Short Breaks Social Care Assessment
You can self-refer for a social care assessment to determine whether your child or young person is eligible for a short break. The assessment process has recently changed so that you can have a short breaks assessment without the need for a full social care assessment, making the process quicker and easier for families. To find out more, click on the council’s Disabled Children’s Social Care page.
Accessibility in Schools – new Herefordshire Council Accessibility Strategy
Herefordshire Council has recently updated its Accessibility Strategy which outlines how they are making sure that school throughout the county are accessible and how they are supporting schools to improve their accessibility.
The Equality Act 2010 says that all council-maintained schools and academies must make themselves increasingly accessible so children and young people with a disability can benefit as fully as possible from the facilities and learning opportunities available.
This means they must continually aim to:
- Improve the physical environment for disabled pupils
- Increase the time disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum
- Ensure disabled pupils have appropriate learning materials
You can now search for schools based on their accessibility rating, which rates schools against physical accessibility standards. This includes information about how accessible the building is, toilet facilities available, medical or therapy rooms on site and the emergency evacuation routes and procedures.
New dance sessions for children and young people with special educational needs / disabilities
Dolloway Dancers are introducing a new weekly class aimed specifically at children and young people with special educational needs / disabilities (SEND). Starting on Monday 5th June from 5pm to 6pm, sessions are especially paced to encourage participants to have fun, make new friends and enjoy dancing.
Classes will include fun pop music, disco dances, ribbons, pom poms, ribbons and maracas. There is no specific age for the group as sessions will be adapted to suit anyone that attends. Classes will be held at Northolme Community Centre in Belmont. To find out more and to discuss how your child / young person can be included to participate in the classes, please get in touch with Cindy on 07557 276849 who will be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire SENDIASS
Free Training for Parents/Carers
The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Special Educational Needs/Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) offer FREE training to local parents/carers to increase knowledge around Special Educational Needs/Disability (SEND).
Workshops currently available:
Workshops run monthly and all sessions are interactive, enabling participants to ask questions.
Find dates and book your place online using the links above or follow us at HW SENDIASS Training-Eventbrite.
If you have any questions about the workshops, please contact SENDIASSTraining@worcestershire.gov.uk for more information.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire SENDIASS are keen to ensure that the content and layout of their website www.hwsendiass.co.uk meets your needs. Their new website is currently under development, and they value your feedback in helping them to improve it. If you are able to, they would appreciate you taking the time to complete their HW SENDIASS website survey.
For free, impartial information, advice and support on matters relating to children and young people with SEND contact SENDIASS on 01432 260955 Monday-Wednesday 8.30am-4pm or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For regular Special Educational Needs/Disabilities (SEND) updates, sign up to the SENDIASS mailing list by clicking the sign-up link on their homepage www.hwsendiass.co.uk or follow them on social media:
Health Appointments - Reasonable Adjustments Care Plan
Did you know that you can request that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made for your child / young person when they attend health appointments? A reasonable adjustment is a small change your doctor or other health practitioner can make so that any health appointments or Annual Health Checks are easier for your child or young person. Some examples of reasonable adjustments are:
- Easy read documents
- Someone to explain things clearly using words you understand
- Physical support e.g. hoists for wheelchair users
- Pre-visit of the surgery before the appointment
- A longer appointment
Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System have a reasonable adjustments care plan you can use to write down what your child / young person needs when they attend health appointments. Click here to have a look at the plan and start thinking about the reasonable adjustments your child / young person needs when they attend appointments. Before their next appointment, get in touch with the surgery to discuss the reasonable adjustments plan and prepare for a smoother visit.
Speak to your Learning Disability Partnerships Board – an invitation to have your say on ‘Being a part of communities’.
This month's survey is about ‘What you do during the day’.
We are checking how you feel about accessing the same community activities as the rest of the community. We want to find out if you are able to make friends and connections and become more a part of the general community and feel confident taking part. If not, we would like to know what the barriers are so that the Learning Disability Partnership Board can look at ways to make it easier for you.
Please share with your networks and help people with learning disabilities fill out the surveys. Thank you.
Thank you for telling us your views on Changing Places. You told us about the importance of Changing Places and that there needs to be more and where you would like them to be. The Board is making sure your comments and evidence are available to people that will apply for funding in the future.
The presentations on previous surveys can be viewed on the Council Learning Disability Partnership Board site here: https://www.herefordshire.gov.uk/social-care-support/learning-disability-partnership-board
Autism and Anxiety – Online Webinar for Herefordshire Parent Carers
Autism West Midlands are running an online session for parent carers called ‘Autism and Anxiety’ which is now open for bookings. The session is on Monday 12th June from 9.30am - 11am. If you register for the session but can’t attend for any reason, you will be sent a recording to watch at a time convenient to you.
Please check back on the events page regularly as more workshops are added all the time. Click here to see all events. There is also an Autism West Midlands Facebook page where events are advertised as and when they become available for booking.