6:44 pm, Thursday, 17th December 2020

Parent/Carer SEND Newsletter 02 December 2020

This week in NE Lincs

In NE Lincs this week the Combined Primary and Secondary Attendance is 85.8% compared with 87.4% nationally.


If you do have any questions about Education, Health and Care Plans please do email SEN@nelincs.gov.uk or contact our Lead EHCP co-ordinator Nikki Lambert by phone on 01472 323041.

Children Disability Service

Liz Pickett, Team Manager and Rebecca Howlett, Assistant Team Manager at the Children’s Disability Service joined this week’s meeting. They are both new into post and they will be looking to work closely with NELPPF, SENDIASS and any other parent/carers who are interested to co-produce services.


SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs Disability Information Advice Support Service) provides
free impartial information, advice and support to disabled children and young people aged 0-
25, and those with SEN, through their parents and carers.

Young people aged 16+ can have support in their own right. Our service is open Monday to Thursday 8.30am until 4.30pm and Friday 8am – 4pm. We are working remotely at the moment but we will answer your call within 3 days if you leave a message or you can email us on nelincs@barnardos.org.uk, or you can also follow us on Facebook.

Question – SENDIASS raised a query around risk assessments for children and young people with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Answer – Following the partial closure of educational and childcare settings from 20 March 2020, the DfE asked Local Authorities to consider the needs of all children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan and to carry out a risk assessment.

These risk assessments may also prove useful over the autumn term 2020 to help identify any additional support that children and young people with EHC plans need in order to make a successful return to full-time education. We know that they help reassure pupils, families, and staff that it is safe for the pupil to be welcomed back to their setting. Risk assessments may also prove useful in the event that:

  • children and young people have to self-isolate
  • there is a local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The LA have contacted schools and settings to remind them about risk assessments for children with an EHCP, particularly for those shielding and those in/out of education due to bubbles closing. These risk assessments are not statutory or necessary for every pupil.

The SEND Outreach Team and the Key Stage Team are still available offering support to those pupils/schools who require it. Any questions about risk assessments please contact clare.linfitt@nelincs.gov.uk.

Question – Registering on the new EHC Hub. At the point of generating the QR code it is essential that it is the parents’ phone that is used to scan as it will be that number which the unique code is sent to whenever a parent needs to access the Hub going forward. Could this information be part of the instructions sent out in the first email to parents?

Answer – Absolutely yes. The EHCP Hub is having this information added to the welcome e-mail and at the point of completing registration. In addition, as part of the implementation of the EHCP Hub, there are two virtual sessions through Teams.

SEN@nelincs.gov.uk for parents, carers and families to see how annual reviews will be conducted moving forwards. See below for further information on the EHCP Hub.


Work is ongoing to transfer all EHCP onto the new EHC Hub. Pupils from five of our specialist settings have had their plans successfully transferred. The Local Authority is sending a letter out via e-mail or post to parents/carers confirming when their child’s plan has been transferred. For those children attending mainstream schools, this process will start in the new year. SENCOs are currently receiving training on how to use the new system to conduct annual reviews. There are sessions for parents, carers and families available in January which will be held via Teams. Registration is through Eventbrite and the links are below:

Thursday 14 January 10am to 11:30am

Friday 29 January 10 to 11:30am


NELPPF is a collective voice for parents and carer’s in North East Lincolnshire, offering guidance
and support for families of children and young people aged 0-25 years with SEND. Their
General Advice Line is: 07583474892.

Parents from NELPPF have asked about EHCP annual review paperwork. They have requested that we remind schools and settings that all paperwork to be shared at annual reviews needs to be sent to parent/carers well in advance of (no later than two weeks before) the meeting.

Parents have also asked if health outcomes are being reviewed or only education outcomes. DCO Sarah Harding has reassured NELPPF that yes health outcomes should be reviewed and if any families or educational settings are having difficulties in this area to contact her at designatedclinicalofficer@nelincs.gov.uk.

Free School Meals

Work is underway to ensure those in receipt of Free School Meals receive a food shopping voucher for the Christmas break. More news to follow in the coming weeks.

Local Offer

The updated Local Offer is still in draft, but work is continuing to launch the new website. There is a lot of information already on there for parents/carers particularly around Money and Benefits that may be useful.

The NHS advise that the flu vaccine is safe and effective and helps to protect people at risk of flu and its complications. Routine flu vaccinations are continuing and are particularly important to for those who are at higher risk from coronavirus as they are also more likely to be at risk of problems from flu. Vaccination helps to reduce pressure on the NHS.

Eligibility for a FREE NHS flu vaccination has been extended this year. The flu vaccine is given to people who:

  • Are 50 and over (including those who will be 50 by 31 March 2021)
  • Have certain health conditions
  • Are pregnant
  • Are in long stay residential care
  • Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older of disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • Live with some who is at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list).
  • Front line health and social care workers
  • Children aged 2 or 3 years on 31 August 2020 – born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2018
  • All primary school children
  • All year 7 children
  • Children aged 2-17 years with long term health conditions
  • Home schooled children agreed 4 to 11 years

You can visit the NHS website for more information or contact you GP, Pharmacist or School Nurse for further information.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable

Many parents are very anxious about the changes to the clinically extremely vulnerable category and might still not want their child to attend school, it is important to work through these anxieties and give reassurance where possible.


  • Ask them to discuss it further with their Specialist Clinician or GP
  • Support the parent to understand how your school is operating during the pandemic (risk assessments, enhanced cleaning, PPE etc.)
  • Consider a phased approach to returning to school, shorter days, different start/finish times
  • Ask parents to advise which parts of the school day worries them, they might not understand break and lunch times
  • Liaise with the School Nurse or Designated Clinical Officer if they have an EHCP in place
  • Consider if there are any safeguarding concerns and liaise with Social Care/MASH if necessary

If parents and have any queries or have any health queries please email designatedclinicalofficer@nelincs.gov.uk.

COVID-19 Vaccine

A vaccine has now been approved, this will start to be rolled out, once we receive any updates these will be shared in these newsletters.

Celebrating festivals and occasions during the COVID-19 restrictions

The days are colder, the nights are longer and COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue. For
many of us, this time of year is a time for finding joy in the planning and celebrating of various
festivals and celebrations that bring families and friends together over the winter months.
Coping with the disappointment that you may not be able to mark an occasion in the usual way,
particularly events which have special meaning, can be challenging.

Foundation website offers a range of ideas on how to cope during this difficult time.

Useful numbers

Samaritans is available 24/7 for free on 116 123 (UK) and whatever you’re going through they’re here to face it with you.

Step Change is a charity that provides free, impartial debt advice over the phone. Call them on 0800 138 1111.

BEAT is the UK’s eating disorders charity. They have a helpline available 365 days of the year, 9am – 8pm Mon to Fri and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Call them on 0808 801 0677 (UK).

Talk to Frank provides free practical drug advice. You can call Talk to Frank’s helpline on 0300 123 6600 (UK) or text them on 82111 (UK), they’re available 24/7.

Drink Aware provides advice, information and support on drinking and alcohol misuse. They have a free, confidential helpline for anyone who is concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call them on 0300 123 1110 (UK) weekdays 9am to 8pm and weekends 11am to 4pm.

Celebrating Hanukkah during COVID

The Jewish holiday Hanukkah, celebrates the power of light and miracles The first night of
Hanukkah 2020 is December 10. Hanukah is one of the most exciting Jewish festivals for children.

Celebrated over eight days with nightly Menorah candle-lighting, eating fried potato latkes and
jam-filled doughnuts (or any other filling), playing Dreidel games and plenty of Chanukah Gelt
(money, or chocolate coins).

For children with special educational needs (SEN), particularly those with autism and sensory issues, such as SPD, Hanukkah may not be so exciting and could be rather stressful, due to the change in routine and the overwhelming sounds, smells and sights.

Help children with SEND celebrate this special Jewish festival during this COVID period.

‘Sensational tutors’ helps you prepare your children.

‘Real Simple’ helps you celebrate safely

‘Mom’ helps you keep traditions alive

‘Parents’ has some interesting ideas

Future meetings / Newsletters

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 you would like to be added to the weekly emailing list to receive these newsletters direct, please contact siobhan.hardy@nelincs.gov.uk

If anyone would like to be involved in the weekly meetings, you are most welcome and can contact clare.linfitt@nelincs.gov.uk for more information.