4:35 pm, Monday, 10th January 2022
Education and Inclusion Newsletter
Happy New Year to you all and I hope that the break proved a restful and enjoyable one.
Please find within this newsletter several updates about SEND and Inclusion. Officers across education, health and social care continue to work diligently in areas of transformation across SEND services as well as providing support to schools and families on a day to day basis too.
EHCP – requests for assessment update
I shared with you last half term, some of the steps we have taken to support our Educational Psychology team who have seen a significant increase in the amount of statutory work they are being required to undertake, due to the rise of requests for EHCPs.
From the feedback received from education settings this half term, the Local Authority do recognise that there is a financial impact on settings who are putting in place provision to support children and young people and carrying the burden of a prolonged wait for an EHCP to be agreed. I did communicate with you that any new EHCPs issued up until 31st December that were delayed due to educational psychology assessments, would be backdated to the 20 week assessment date. Payments are currently being calculated and will be made in February. If you haven’t received one and feel that you should, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and we can look into this for you.
In order for the team to be able to address the backlog of amendments and very high number of new EHCP’s the SEN Team will need to focus completely on their statutory duties at this time and ask for your patience in responding to emails within 5 working days. They will only be able to attend phase transfer reviews and mediation meetings this term and will be available on their duty days to discuss any concerns.
Requesting changes to EHCP
We have seen a number of requests coming through following annual reviews being held in settings for changes. Many of these include a change to one or more of the following; setting type, increase in banding, change of primary need. Each request is discussed at panel and the suggested amendments and supporting evidence are all considered before a decision is made. More often than not last term, requests of this nature were heard at panel and deferred back to the education setting for further evidence to be provided, as the amendments being recommended remained reflective of the current setting, need, or banding.
Please ensure that when you are identifying that there is a significant change to an EHCP, that there is evidence to support this This could be:
- Educational Psychology report
- SPOT tool
- Updated cognitive assessment
- Specialist reports from OT, SALT
Decision making in recent weeks is increasingly being delayed due to there being no evidence submitted or available to support the recommendation. This causes frustrations for all involved in the process and can delay a child receiving the right level of support from the most appropriate setting. If information is incomplete, it can hinder the consultation process and cause re-consultation which all take time.
In addition to this, please ensure that consultation responses are lawful and comply with the SEND Code of Practice. The briefing sheet circulated last year is re-attached for your reference.
Over the next couple of weeks, a short electronic survey will be sent out to the SENCO mailing list seeking feedback on your experience of the hub so far.
We welcome your feedback, to help us continue to improve the training offer, and how we use it as a Local Authority.
There are three sections to the survey; general use, Requests for assessment and Annual Reviews.
A reminder that where you are experiencing an issues, please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org the team will be able to pick it up and provide help and support.
Don’t forget that the SEND Local Offer page also has some useful self-help materials and a frequently asked questions section.
This is reviewed each term to ensure that any common themes are available for all users to see.
Specialist Advisory service
From this half term, the specialist advisory service have refreshed their Working Practice Guidelines, supported by the SEND Code of Practice. These are:
- All schools and academies will continue to have a named link advisory teacher for contact.
- All schools and academies will be offered a short planning meeting to arrange reviews. However, if you need to get in touch with us, please don’t hesitate.
- All meetings with schools and academies will be held on Microsoft Teams, where possible.
- Where a referral is submitted for Cognition and Learning or Speech, Language and Communication needs, the SAS criteria determines that the CYP should be working at least 2 years below their current year group ( and 3 years below, for secondary pupils). It is therefore, extremely important that accurate attainment data is submitted on the referral form.
- Support will only be available for CYP with EHCPs at key transition points or for those with particularly complex needs (such as non-verbal children with ASD or pupils at risk of non-attendance at school.) However, where additional support is needed at other times, a referral will be considered through Triage.
- The team will usually undertake one cycle of Assess, Plan, Do, Review, with recommendations for schools and parents to continue, following the review.
- The need for formal assessment will be considered on a case by case basis. However, service involvement will usually be in the form of classroom observations, in conjunction with teacher and parent consultations.
- Where appropriate, training in the form of capacity building will be offered around the needs of the child or young person, post observation and assessment. In addition, a training package has been offered to schools through Microsoft Teams.
Autism in Schools project
Congratulations to our 10 schools who will be working with us on the Autism in Schools project this academic year:
- Weelsby Academy
- Littelcoates Academy
- Ormiston Maritime Academy
- Queen Mary Infants School
- Signhills Infant Academy
- St Josephs Academy
- Woodlands Academy
- Wybers Wood Academy
- Havelock Academy
- Bursar Academy
Many of the schools have already taken up the first training offer, happening over the next term.
Support with the Graduated Response
Whole School SEND Consortium have recently published a teacher handbook, which outlines the roles and responsibilities of each class teacher in supporting children with SEND, as well as providing a wealth of practical strategies for classroom implementation. The document is free to download from the link below, but you do need to register with the site first which is also free.
Banding review update
A huge thank-you to all of you who joined a listening event, or submitted response to the survey last half term when we sought feedback on the current system that is in place for allocation of high needs funding for children with EHCPs.
The feedback has now been collated and is attached tot his e-mail for your reference. We are currently seeking representatives from Primary and secondary settings to join a task and finish group to use the feedback to make further recommendations to go forwards to Schools Forum.
If you would like to be part of this group, please let me know email@example.com
Teacher of the deaf bursary opportunities
The University of Manchester are currently offering bursaries for those qualified teachers who may be interested in training to become teachers of the deaf.
This is an exciting opportunity for your education setting, or Multi-Academy Trust to develop expertise in this area.
Kooth National Webinar Offer
Please see the flyer below which provides details about Kooth’s National Webinar offer for professionals working with 18 – 25 year olds.
Kooth will be running two information webinars for you to discover more about Kooth and Qwell services and gain resources to support you when signposting young people to these services.
You can register for the sessions using the link: Kooth Webinar for professionals 18-25 and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Senior Kooth Engagement teamn firstname.lastname@example.org.
The webinars will be delivered via MS Teams and the dates and times for these are as follows:
- Tuesday, 18 January 2022 at 11am – 12pm
- Wednesday, 26 January 2022 at 3pm – 4pm
Dates for your diary
Preparing for Adulthood Preventing young people with SEN/D becoming NEET
Date: 24 January, 2022- 9.30am-12.30pm
There is a raft of webinars hosted by whole School SEND on a range of topics that are all free to attend.
The sessions are aimed at different audiences, including leadership teams, teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs – please check each individual session for the target audience.
Webinar themes for this term include, preparation for adulthood, Inclusion in mainstream schools for Early Carer Teachers, a 3 part new to SENCO role series and many more. Please follow the link for full details and how to register.