3:19 pm, Tuesday, 26th January 2021

Weekly SEND Newsletter update.W/C Jan 18

What’s new?

New content!

The first new thing you will notice is a change to the newsletter!

If you have signed up for email updates you will receive a snapshot of the updates to your inbox and a link to the whole update here; uploaded each week to the news page of the Local Offer.

Local Offer launch

The SEND Local Offer officially launched on Monday, 25 January. Why not use your settings to set it as your homepage or favourite it on your browser to revisit? It is your first port of call for SEND updates, links to services and support.

You may have seen the Local Offer launched and featured on social media like North East Lincolnshire Council, @NELCouncil, Families First Information Service, @FamiliesFirstNEL, your local young person’s brand @iCan_nel Instagram, @Lincs2 for education, training and employent, or @livewellnel for health and wellbeing.

Have your say!

Visit the annual SEND Survey to tell us what you think of our local services in the SEND Annual Survey. It only takes about five minutes. Every year is different so please share your views.

I am a parent or carer
I am a child or young person

We need more children and young people to do the survey. It only takes a few minutes.
You can chose to give us a snapshot or tell us everything. What you say might not only benefit you but other SEND people in our area.

You can also find these on the SEND Local Offer, ‘Have your say’ section.

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. Hours Monday-Thursday, 8.30am- 4.30pm. Friday 8:30am- 4pm. Leave a message and we’ll get back to you within three days.
Email: nelincs@barnardos.org.uk

A parent asked SENDIASS, “Has there been a change in the SENAG process?”
There is no change to the SENAG process. Everything is in line with the SEN code of practice.

“My child performed better at home when they had my one to one support.”

Even in a Special School it’s not best for the child to have an adult with them at all times. There may be a transition period while the child adjusts to their new normal and learns independently in the school environment. If parents are worried their child is not performing well at school we urge them to speak to the school about their concerns and ask for a copy of their ‘My Plan’.

“There has been more of a delay to see an Educational Psychologist (EP).”

The team always strive to see children and young people as soon as possible. Due to COVID restrictions, seeing children who may or may not be in their educational setting, and coordinating with schools who may not want visitors so they can keep their school COVID safe, makes EP assessments more difficult.

Making assessments of children at the moment who may or may not be in setting, as well as schools that may prefer not to have visitors due to COVID makes EP assessments difficult.

Overall the Department for Education is pleased with the team for the improvement and consistency of EHCP’s issues within a 20 week timescale.

The team are continuing to call parents to see how they are doing and proactively ensure that the right provision is being made. Parents happy to hear from the team. An example of the way they are helping is to develop strategies with the parents for dealing with the challenging behaviour.  

One parent praised local services for the quick response to her concerns that her child was not happy or learning well at school after the transition back and moving him to a nurture and life-skills type class where he is thriving.

Home learning during COVID

If your child is finding it difficult to keep up with the work to take a step back. Take a realistic look at what they can and cannot do. If they are getting frustrated or disheartened that they are not getting enough done it will be counterproductive. If this is the case putting down the pencil may sometimes be ok.

The BBC shared these tips for parents from experts:

  • Do what you can. You don’t have to become a teacher. You are a parent and what your child needs most is what parents give best – love and support.
  • Provide a structure to the day – this does not need to be a strict timetable. And for younger children, keep the afternoons free for more fun activities, craft, cooking, PE.
  • If you can, set up a small workstation for your child. Headphones could help for online lessons.
  • If you have a Playstation or Xbox, but not an extra computer, both Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom can be accessed via the consoles.
  • Talking and reading don’t need devices – and both are vital skills.
  • Practise the basics, like multiplication tables, playing with money, or imaginative role-play.

See the BBC Lockdown Learning school materials on TV, iPlayer and online.

See the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to make sure they are staying positive and taking a nurturing attitude to their wellbeing while home learning.
Kooth offers free, safe, anonymous counselling and mental health/wellbeing tools for 11-19 year olds including live forums and safe discussion groups. It is paid for by the Council so please encourage them to take advantage of it.
Young Minds– For young people but also has tips for parents like how to speak to your child
There are lots more self-help tools for teens.
Anna Freud has wellbeing tools for children or various ages and parents and carers to help their family and themselves.

For adults:
Mind . @mindnel . 01472 349991
24/7 mental health 01472 256256. Option 3 to go straight to the COVID line. COVID has brought new pressures on us all, the help is there.
Wellbeing Service- Lifestyle support- 01472 325500


These places offer free printing. If you need work from home materials.
DDM Estate Agents
Holiday’s by design
North East Lincolnshire Council- send to sen@nelincs.gov.uk and arrange a time slot to pick them up

The Educational Psychology Team

The Community Educational Psychology Service Advice Line for parents and carers offers advice regarding COVID related difficulties. Call 01472 323308.


If you are struggling or are worried your child’s health needs are not met in school please email Sarah Harding, the Designated Clinical Officer for SEND at designatedclinicalofficer@nelincs.gov.uk.
Video appointments are continuing. Training with health professionals to familiarise them with the new EHCP Hub and process is continuing.

The Educational Team for Hearing and Vision (ETHV)

ETHV are a joint service who support children and young people who have hearing aids or those whose vision cannot be corrected by wearing glasses.

Throughout last year we have continued to support those with vision and hearing loss to make sure they can still access their education either at home or in school. Staff have worked hard to find new ways to make sure lessons and support continue for schools, families, and children.
We’ve made welfare calls to families to make sure everything is working well for them and have appreciated the positive feedback we have had from these. Like many other services we have made use of Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp to offer remote support from preschool onwards and visit settings when we have been able to.

Families have really risen to the challenge of supporting their child to learn new skills and use new equipment in the home. As well as additional information on the local offer we have sent lockdown activity sheets and ideas out to families and settings. Accessing online learning is a real challenge with either a hearing or vision loss and there continues to be lots of ‘thinking outside the box’ as new challenges arise.

We will continue to offer this support during these times and look forward to being able to see everyone more often again soon. Find practical guides on the ETHV page.

SEND Outreach

The SEND Outreach Team have worked throughout COVID to provide continuing support for children/young people with Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities.

Support includes:

  • For all children young people on their caseload, staff have met with each schools SENCO, Teaching staff, parents, and young people (wherever possible)
  • Throughout the terms they have continued to take new referrals without any break in service
  • Staff are also currently involved in welfare calls to provide “a listening ear” and offer support, advice and signposting where necessary

If you feel your child needs extra support in school because of difficulties with communication and interaction, social and emotional difficulties, or physical disabilities you can speak to your child’s school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who can make a referral to the SEND Outreach Team.

North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation (NELPFF)

Follow the North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation forum on Facebook. NELPFF

Attendance at school by children with an EHCP was 38.6% nationally, and 52.9% locally.

Schools and other parents rely on each other to use their discretion as to whether their child really needs to be in school. For example, frontline and key workers often depend on places at school.

Useful Numbers

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
NELPPF offers guidance and support for families of children and young people aged 0-25 years with SEND. Their General Advice Line is: 07583474892


Parents/carers are aware that at this anxious time some families have reported struggles with mental health and sought support for the overuse of alcohol.
Alcohol change UK offers COVID tips on alcohol and mental health.
We Are With You provides support for drugs and alcohol. You can also get in touch if you are worried about someone else’s drinking or drug use. Chat online or call- 01472 806890. Local charges apply. They also have information on their Facebook, @wearewithyoucharity.

COVID and schools

Read the latest COVID guidance on Gov.uk and local guidance on North East Lincolnshire Council’s website.

All NE Lincs educational setting are working with our Public Health team to communicate information regarding new or suspected cases of COVID and the local position is being carefully monitored.

Local Authority Education Link Officers contact settings regularly during the week to offer support or guidance. If parents/carers have any questions about COVID and their child’s education, they can email school@nelincs.gov.uk and an education officer will directly respond to your communication. Emails can be sent at any time and will be responded to between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday.

If you have questions about SEND we are always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to email sen@nelincs.gov.uk. We always try to make sure that children and parents/ carers voices are heard.

Up next!

1. You can be a part of the Local Offer! Share your story as a child or young person with SEND or as a family on our ‘Celebrating our children and young people‘ section! Email lauren.thompson2@nelincs.gov.uk to take part.
2. Coproduction! The Local Offer is coproduced with SEND children and young people and their parents/carers.
We’ve had some great ideas so far like more video content, and simpler content. Check back to see the plans come alive online. In the meantime, why not give your feedback on the Local Offer feedback form?

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 in the weekly meetings, you are most welcome and can contact clare.linfitt@nelincs.gov.uk for more information.

An accessible version of this newsletter can be found on the Local Offer news page. 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 sen@nelincs.gov.uk.