5:29 pm, Tuesday, 21st November 2023

NE Lincs SEND and Inclusion Newsletter- 27 November 2023

We are relaunching the SEND and Inclusion Newsletter.

This newsletter will be emailed out to all school SENCo’s on a regular basis. It include important updates, training and events for professionals, information that you can use to help parent carers and more.

If you have anything that you would like including in the newsletter please contact sendlocaloffer@nelincs.gov.uk.

SEND evaluation days

A huge thank-you to all of the settings who have confirmed their dates, completed the pre day information requests and completed the day itself.

The days are receiving some really positive feedback from colleagues across the borough and are finding the experience collaborative, positive and productive! Please don’t forget to include your SEND Governor and relevant Trust leaders in the day.  We know that due to scheduling this isn’t always possible, but they are vital stakeholders in the leadership of SEND.

If you do have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Vicky Birkwood who is leading on this part of the Delivering Better Value in SEND project.

Vicky has done an exceptional job co-ordinating the launch of this, visiting settings to deliver folders, meeting with SENCos and providing telephone and email support to school staff where needed.

We are currently busy planning the first action planning day in December, to ensure that it is equally as valuable and enables you all to start to see the emerging themes across our settings.

From experience the role of the SENCO can often be a lonely one, and knowing that you are not alone and there are similar challenges is usually of great reassurance!  If you do need anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at Victoria.birkwood@nelincs.gov.uk

SENCo Forum, April 22– Save the date!

The next SENCo Forum will be held on Monday 22 April 2024.

Please save the date in your calendars ahead of your formal invite.

The forum will include important updates, guest speakers, and a networking session with other local services.

Vicky Birkwood, Project Lead, Education & Inclusion, North East Lincolnshire Council is now coordinating these forums.

Phone: 07772214135 | victoria.birkwood@nelincs.gov.uk

SENCO forum for autumn term:

Due to the time demands of the SEND evaluations this term, the Local Authority will not be facilitating a SENCO forum. Vicky Birkwood will taking on the organisation of these moving forwards, to ensure that they link in to the insights gathered through the SEND evaluations.  Whilst we know this is an important networking event for SEND leaders, the LA want to ensure that the most relevant speakers, workshops and stall holders are relevant to the gaps we identify as we move forwards.  Clare Linfitt, Vicky and Rebecca Taylor will be planning both the spring and summer term dates in the second half of this term, and starting to use the insight data from cohort A to influence the programme.  Please look out for the events being advertised both via the newsletter and our Local Offer next half term. If you do want to be involved with either sharing good practise, or suggesting an organisation or ideas for the forum, please email Vicky on the address above.

Neurodiversity Champions network:

Due to the demands on schools regarding the evaluation days, and limited attendance at the network meeting in September, the team have also taken the decision to defer next half term’s meeting to enable SENCos to focus on the evaluation day activity. This will be relaunched in the Spring term after Christmas, so again please look out for details being communicated.

Year 6 transition annual reviews

A reminder that all year 6 transition reviews will need to be completed by the end of the autumn term please. 

There is a large volume of requests coming forward for specialist provision from year 7.  These will not necessarily all be fulfilled, and it is vital that we receive any of these requests before Christmas.  The Local Authority will be meeting with special school heads in early January to confirm suitable education places.  Many thanks for your support with this.   

Educational Psychology service and Specialist advisory teachers

For the second half of the autumn term, the two teams will be mainly focused on the statutory work involved when an Education Health and Care Plan Request comes into the Local Authority. However, the SATs will be able to start picking up some school-based work for 2.5 days per week from this week. There is an acknowledgement that this has an impact on schools endeavouring to support children pre request for assessment and the Local Authority can only advise that leaders look to their Trusts for any specialist capacity that the Trust may already employ, or seeking other providers locally of the services required.  

Some of you might already know, but one of our valued specialist advisory teachers, Jane Razagui, leaves us at the end of November to begin her retirement. Jane has been a dedicated and valued member of our team, and she will be greatly missed by colleagues here, schools and families. I know you will join us in wishing Jane all the very best for her retirement.

Speech and Language

We wanted to say a massive thanks to you and your staff for all of your support to children and young people with speech and language needs and to update you on a number of issues.

As you are no doubt aware, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of children with Education Health Care plans and a high number of these plans include access to Speech and Language Therapy support.  We currently have one Speech and Language Therapist Emily Mens (who I am sure you all know) who is contracted by the Local Authority to deliver Speech and Language Therapy support to children with EHC plans.

From December 2023, Emily Mens is leaving this role and there will be a vacancy. We want to reassure you that this post has already gone out to advert. However, nationally there is a shortage of Speech and Language Therapists and recruitment is difficult which means there may be a vacancy for a number of months. 

We will continue to offer a limited number of sessions through use of a Locum Speech and Language Therapist which will be by video consultation for those children who are most likely to benefit from ongoing input and/or have the highest need. We will not be able to provide face to face appointments at this time. Please be patient with us and I know you have a wealth of information and advice already provided by Emily for these young people, so continue to work through this.

We will of course update you as soon as we have any news.

Autism assessments

The first 30 assessments are now successfully underway, with the second 30 assessments being identified.  This is a huge piece of work that NEL families have been fortunate enough to benefit from the additional one off investment to reduce the waiting time, and ensure that more of our children can receive the ‘right support at the right time’.

SENCO CPD Opportunity

What: SEND Law for SENCO’s – IPSEA
This one day training, designed specifically for SENCos, provides an overview of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) legal framework, and will equip you with the knowledge required to overcome the challenges of your role. Please note, some of the content of this training is less relevant for SENCos in wholly independent schools. 

Delivered by a member of IPSEA’s legal team, the training day covers the following topics:

  • The SEN legal framework
  • Statutory duties on schools
  • Statutory duties on local authorities
  • Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments
  • EHC plans
  • Naming a school or college in an EHC plan
  • Annual reviews

By the end of the training, attendees will have a sound understanding of the framework of SEND law and will be better able to secure the special educational provision that their pupils require and the funding to go with it.

When: courses are delivered online via Zoom. The Zoom link for the training will be emailed to delegates 48 hours before the course begins.

All courses are 10:00-16:00 and resources are provided on the day.

Course dates:

  • SEND law for SENCOs, 10:00 – 16:00
    • Tuesday 20 February 2024
    • Tuesday 11 June 2024
    • Thursday 7 November 2024
  • SEND Law & Young People (Post 16 only)
    • Tuesday 16 April 2024

Further dates will be available in 2025 if required.

Cost: one funded place per school/academy (usually £149) for the school SENCO.
Additional places can be purchased by schools at £149 each.

How to book: please email sendtraining@nelincs.gov.uk with your preferred date, name and school setting.

Other training and events

SMART Target Writing and other training | Eventbrite

NELC SEND Local Offer | Disability benefits training for professionals – NELC SEND Local Offer (nelincs.gov.uk)

NELC SEND Local Offer | SEND Employment Forum Wednesday 29 November – NELC SEND Local Offer (nelincs.gov.uk)

PSHE Network – PRIMARY Tickets, Wed 10 Jan 2024 at 15:45 | Eventbrite

The Early Years Inclusion Fund is designed to support settings with resourcing solutions to support a graduated response to meet the needs of children in their setting.

TermClosing date for requestsDecision panel dateFeedback to settings  
Spring30 November 202312 December 2023W/B 18 December 2023
Summer8 March 202420 March 2024W/B 25 March 2024

Find more information on the Early Years Inclusion Fund application and process at NELC SEND Local Offer | Early years – NELC SEND Local Offer (nelincs.gov.uk).

NELC SEND Local Offer | Early Years Network Meeting Spring Term – NELC SEND Local Offer (nelincs.gov.uk)

If you have questions about SEND we are always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to email sen@nelincs.gov.uk.