14:43, Friday, 19th March 2021
SEND weekly parent/carer update
This is the SEND weekly parent/carer update for 15-21 March.
We would like to say a huge thank you to the many parents and carers who have asked to receive our weekly parent/carer SEND Newsletter.
If you know someone who would like to receive the weekly update please contact Lauren Thompson, Local Offer Engagement Coordinator and Communications Officer at email@example.com.
We would also like to thank the amazing 107 parents/carers who responded to our January – March Annual SEND Survey. This is a big increase from last year and reflects the growing participation of local parents and carers of children with SEND.
Your willingness to share your feedback is really helping us shape SEND services in our Local Area and without your comments, feedback and suggestions we would not be able to move things forward. Without your engagement, we would not know the things that are important to you, what needs to change and how to improve.
Since November 2020, our SEND Services team now receive on average 400% more contacts asking for support.
These come directly from parent/carers themselves or from parent/carer groups.
This enables us to directly effect change and provide information, advice and guidance specific to individual cases. Thank you for trusting us to work with you.
Keep an eye out for the Annual SEND Survey results in the next two weeks which includes the highs and lows you have told us about and most importantly the actions we will take to improve the things you have told us need improving.
How are you feeling? What it’s like to be a parent/carer for a child with SEND
This week at our SEND parent/carers meeting there was a lot of appreciation for mums who care for their children with SEND. Often this is at the same time as caring for other children, family members, and obligations like work.
“Mum’s, I don’t know how you do it! You do a brilliant job. You have to wear so many different hats.”
This comment was shared by a local dad who has a daughter with profound and multiple SEND.
Other parents said to remind yourself: “You are doing all you can.”
There was also feedback about brothers and sisters of children with SEND. They may help care for their siblings or take care of household tasks. They often share the time and attention of their parents/carers.
Many thanks to the parent/carers who take part in our weekly meeting. Your insights are invaluable and each contribution you make is followed up and communicated to the SEND Executive board and NE Lincs CCG/LA leadership team. We feel privileged that you share your stories with us.
Supporting a child with additional needs can be so rewarding and so hard.
This week Sharon Westerman from the Carers Support Centre spoke to SENCOs at NE Lincs SENCo forum about the challenge’s parents/carers face and how SENCos can support families by signposting to NE Lincs Carers Centre who offer a range of assistance for parents/carers of children with SEND.
You can find out more information from their website. The Carers Support Centre can offer support, training, counselling, and other therapies to parents.
It has support and social groups for young carers.
Kooth is a safe, free, anonymous online counselling and emotional support platform for young people. There are live events, online forums, peer support and more.
Young Minds covers lots of common things young people deal with. It can be a good place to start to help them develop healthy behaviours with others and within themselves.
Older children and young people can start to work proactively and independently to handle challenges for themselves and develop insight into how other people may be feeling.
Rainbow Room in NELincs
This week members of our SEN Team visited children and staff at the Rainbow Room at Western Primary School, a LA maintained school.
The Rainbow Room is a specialist provision for children with SEND within a mainstream setting.
It gives local children the specialist support they require while being able to integrate with children, staff, and the curriculum in a mainstreams setting.
This is often viewed as best practice.
We caught up with them to see the positive impact the Rainbow Room has had.
Read the full story about the Rainbow Room on the Local Offer, SEND stories page.
Lateral flow testing
Lateral flow testing kits can be picked up from Duchess St. car park, supplied by schools, or ordered online. Feedback from parents has been that their tests have come quickly in the post.
If a child has had a positive lateral flow test within a school setting or an official lateral flow testing site they need to self-isolate and don’t need to have confirmed with PCR test.
If have positive lateral flow at home with home testing kit they need to have PCR test to double check. If the PCR testing kit comes back negative they can go to school.
Read the Gov.uk information on lateral flow testing.
Read information and guidance for parents and carers of children attending early years settings, schools and colleges during COVID-19 including:
- Essential information for the spring term
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
- Clubs and out-of-school settings
- Home schooling and remote education
- Support for children and young people
Shielding guidance is being paused from 1 April for clinically extremely vulnerable people.
Teen Life Autism Programme
Teen Life Programme is a virtual delivery programme for parents/carers of young people aged 10 to 16 years on the autism spectrum.
What is the Teen Life Programme?
Teen Life is a programme for parents and carers of young people on the autism spectrum aged 10-16. The programme includes information on understanding autism in teenagers and covers a range of topics that are relevant to this age group. This is a version of the programme that will be delivered online.
Topics covered include understanding autism in teenagers, women and girls, self-esteem, spending time with other people, stress and anxiety, behaviour, puberty, independence skills, education strategies and planning for the future.
Find out more and make contact to sign up.
Creative Connections Competition
The Creative Connections Competition is open from 1- 31 March this year.
Creative Connections is a competition organised locally by young people from Youth Action group for young people as part of a Young Advisors lottery funded project. The theme is ‘reducing loneliness and isolation through creating connections’ and is open to young people aged 11-25.
They can share their perspective on the theme through creative writing, artwork, photography and digital options such as podcasts.
Entry forms will be available from 1 March on our Your Voice page as the competition opens and entries need to be in by 31 March, 2021.
This week our SEND Education Team met with all the Special School Heads.
They were pleased that a lot of children with EHC Plans were already in school and reported no problems with the return to settings.
Attendance locally by children with an EHCP was 82.9%.
Mainstream schools continue to work hard to support and talk to children and young people with SEND and their families who are not in school because of anxiety or other emotions related to returning.
The EHCP Hub continues to be updated with children and young people’s plans.
All children in Secondary and Special Schools who have a plan are on the hub. Most of the Out of Area plans are on. Children attending our Primary schools and who are in receipt of a plan continue to be updated. The final group of students who are having their plans uploaded will be those in post-16 and will be done ready for September when they attend their setting, which may change over summer.
There are new training sessions for parents and carers to see a demonstration of the site and to learn how to use it for themselves.
Join an EHCP Hub demonstration to learn how to use the EHCP Hub.
All sessions are the same, so you only need to sign up for one.
Wednesday, 21 April, 1-2pm
Thursday, 22 April, 6-7pm
Friday, 30 April 9:30-10:30am
The link to all sessions and other training available relating to SEND is on the ‘Events’ page of the SEND Local Offer.
SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs Disability Information Advice Support Service)
SENDIASS provides free impartial information, advice and support to disabled children and young people aged 0-25, and those with SEN. Get in touch Monday-Thursday, 8.30am- 4.30pm. Friday 8:30am- 4pm. Leave a message and we’ll get back to you within three days.
SENDIASS has been receiving enquiries about school admission appeals.
If your child didn’t get a place at the school you wanted there is a standard appeals process.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), you cannot appeal through this process and procedures and deadlines are different. Parents/carers should contact the SEN Assessment and Review Team on (01472) 323166 or for more advice please contact SENDIASS.
If you decide to appeal, there are some basic steps to follow:
- Accept the place you have been given and go on the waiting lists for the other school you would like.
- Download the appeals form from the Local Authority School admission appeal page.
- State your reasons for appeal clearly and concisely.
- SENDIASS can support you with template letters to help you compose your appeal.
- See the Ace Education website for ideas on what to include.
- ‘Submit the appeals form, by the due deadlines, to the admissions authority- details are on the appeals form’.
- If you don’t receive confirmation that your appeal has been received follow up with the school or Local Authority.
This information on school admission appeals can also be found on the SEND Local Offer ‘Appeal or make a complaint‘ page.
online or call- 01472 806890. Local charges apply. They also have information on their Facebook, @wearewithyoucharity.
North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation (NELPPF)
NELPPF have been handling enquiries from parents who are new to the system and are looking for information.
They have also been providing information about the law and school exclusions.
Follow the North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation forum on Facebook, @NorthEastLincsParentParticipationForum.
Telephone: 07583 474892
Local SEND parent Facebook group
Would you like a space to share your experience and learn from other parents of children with SEND?
“I’m Lynnette, mother of two, and the files in my hand contain everything relating to my son and his ADHD.
“This range of information includes his EHCP, diagnosis, mainstream secondary behaviour log and communications between myself and school.
“Also in these files is school reports from his specialist independent school amongst other things.
“People who don’t have a child with special educational needs don’t understand the amount of paperwork you need to keep and other things like the evidence you need to apply for things such as a blue badge or disability living allowance.
“Having a child with special educational needs is hard work both physically and mentally.
“Not only because of the challenges you face with raising a child with SEND, but also because of the challenges and struggles of getting your child diagnosed.
“If you are struggling with any part of your journey, whether it be with school, applying for things or getting a diagnosis, please join our Facebook group where you can get support, advice and find contact details all in one place.”
The group welcome anyone wanting to stay up to date with local SEND information, advice and guidance, including teachers and other professionals.
The Sector Support ‘Community Service Fact Sheet’ has an extensive list of community support available for money, food, wellbeing, welfare and more.
See the Voluntary Sector Alliance COVID-19 updates page for more on financial support, health and wellbeing, local updates, COVID updates, community safety, volunteering and more.
• Report a concern online or call 01472 326292 (opt. 2)
• Support for those isolating without anyone to support them for supplies and more call the Council (01472) 313131
• Health – if you are struggling to manage your symptoms, call 111. If you are in urgent need of medical assistance, call 999
• Domestic Abuse (women and men). NEL Women’s Aid (01472) 575757, and Men’s Helpline, 0808 8010327
• Wellbeing– if you are struggling with your mental health, call (01472) 256256
• Carers’ Support Service (support for informal carers). Go online or call (01472) 242277
What’s new on the Local Offer?
There’s lots changing to the Local Offer every week.
- Contact- For families with disabled children has a guide for parents to help deal with bullying
- Autism Awareness Week is coming up next week. Check the Local Offer for stories, links to activities, local services and more
- Follow @FamiliesFirstNEL on Facebook to see the campaigns we support and get more local information for children aged 0-19
If you have questions about SEND we are always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org. We always try to make sure that children and parents/ carers voices are heard.
These Weekly SEND parent/carer newsletters are shared with teams within education, health and social care as well as parents/carers SENCOs, the DfE and local charities.
If parents/carers or young people over 16 do not have access to the internet or if they prefer to receive paper copies only please contact email@example.com.