2:07 pm, Friday, 12th March 2021

Weekly SEND Parent/Carer Update

Be social and build confidence

Pete Fuller from Gravity Red spoke about their befriending for young people service.

Befriending is all about building a friendship with someone you can trust to spend time with or take you out somewhere fun.

This helps to raise the self-esteem of children and young people with additional needs, allowing them to be more independent and access activities they like and enjoy.

Some young people enjoy going to the cinema, cooking, swimming, going out for food, laying and watching sports, arts and crafts. shopping or playing video games and board games.
What do you like?

All members of staff are subject to our safer recruitment processes which require them to submit two references, complete an enhanced DBS check, as well as undertake an interview and induction and safeguarding training.

Visit the Gravity Red website to find out more.

Read some of these great quotes about how Gravity Red has helped local young people.

“I’m not as angry as I used to be.  Just going out with my Befriender has helped.”

– Young Person

“Befriending has helped build up my confidence, helped me to leave the house more and lesson my anxiety. Befriending is a bit of time where you can destress.  I very much enjoyed my time, the project is amazing!”

– Young Person

“I feel that my Grandson has benefited greatly from his time with the Befriending Project.  It has improved his life skills; he now mixes better with peers; and he has experienced a lot of different sports and outings.  As a grandparent, we would not have been able to do all of these things.  Our Grandson’s befriender was absolutely the best – a match made in heaven.”

– Grandparent

“‘J’ is much more confident and self-aware – and talks about things more openly.”

– Befriender


Lateral flow testing is being rolled out to school staff and pupils.

Read the latest National COVID guidance and local guidance.

Read this Department for Education post on returning to school on 8 March.

Follow the Department for Education on social media for back-to-school updates.

Contact Jennifer.steel@nelincs.gov.uk if you have a query about school exclusions.

Attendance at school by children with an EHCP was 77.6% locally. National figures have not been announced yet but can be found on the Gov.uk website.


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.

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.

Compass GO

Compass is a charity organisation that provides mild to moderate emotional and mental wellbeing support for young people including workshops and training with staff and students.  Compass GO work with all education settings in North East Lincolnshire from 1 April, 2021.  This includes working directly with children and young people in groups and 1:1, as well as providing some crucial information, advice, and guidance to school staff too.

Transitioning back into education might be easy for some children and families and more difficult for others. Find out more about what Compass are doing in your child’s school.


Home to school transport from 8 March.

With the full re-opening of schools from Monday, 8 March. All home to school transport arrangements will revert to their pre-lockdown arrangements, that is, as they were at the end of term in December 2020. This means that:

  • If your child has not attended since December or
  • they have been attending but travelling on a different school run this term, they will return to their December 2020 arrangement, unless you have been advised otherwise.

If any of the below apply please let the education transport team know by emailing schooltransport@nelincs.gov.uk or phoning 01472 326291 (option 2) – please leave a message if necessary.

  • Your child will not be returning to school from 8 March
  • Your child will be returning to school but you wish to make your own transport arrangements and claim expenses (mileage only)
  • You have been making your own transport arrangements this term and wish to continue in this way

It is not the responsibility of education transport providers or staff to take children’s temperatures before getting on the transport. Parents/carers must ensure that children or young people do not board home to school transport if they, or a member of their household, has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or has tested positive for coronavirus. They must isolate for the required period and not attend or travel to school until completion of the isolation period.

Where a person in a child’s class/bubble test positive, all members of that child’s class/school bubble will be required to isolate for the required number of days in accordance with school/Government guidelines.

If a child or young person develops symptoms whilst at school or their place of education, they will be sent home. They must not travel on home to school transport. The school or place of education should contact the parent or carer who should make arrangements for the child or young person’s journey home.

The feasibility of transporting children within their class/school bubble was investigated during the early stages of the first lockdown period (March 2020) but it was determined and agreed that logistically this would not be possible even for the very small numbers that were travelling at the time.  Subsequent advice from Public Health and Government guidance deemed that as dedicated home to school transport arrangements carry the same group of children or young people on a regular basis, they do not mix with the general public on those journeys, which helps limit the number of other people with whom they come into contact and in effect therefore the children are within their own transport bubble on the journeys to/from school.

Rail Card

Read the disabled persons rail card information.

  • 1/3 off rail travel for you and a friend.
  • Average annual savings of up to £115
  • Just £20 for 1 year or £54 for 3 years
  • For people with a disability that meets the eligibility criteria

Read information relating to North East Lincolnshire Council’s Concessionary bus pass.
In response to the latest national lockdown restrictions, our bus pass issuing sites have changed their renewal process.

  • Centre4, Grimsby – New and replacement bus passes will continue on an appointment-only basis. To book an appointment, call 01472 236688.
  • Residents who are unable to attend Centre4 can renew their bus pass by calling the council’s contact centre on 01472 313131. The Council’s contact centre will take all details required for the renewal and the new pass will be posted out to applicants.
  • When applying for a new bus pass, you must remember to bring proof of address and most recent proof of eligibility.

NELC offer a disabled person’s companion bus pass subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. The pass allows any one companion to travel with the disabled person. The statutory minimum travel times apply to the disabled persons companion pass – free local bus travel from 09:30am to 23:00pm, Monday to Friday and free travel all day weekends and bank holidays.

Blue Badges

The Blue Badge scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you have major difficulty walking because of permanent or serious condition, or if you are terminally ill and have been issued with a DS1500 form.

A hidden disability would mean that you experience considerable difficulty whilst walking, which may include very considerable psychological distress.​ Or you may be at risk of serious harm when walking, or when walking pose a risk of serious harm to any other person.

​They are the main points people need to consider when applying with a hidden disability

and then supply as much supporting info as possible such as medical records EHCP etc.

Email: blue.badge@nelincs.gov.uk
Telephone: 01472 313131
Opening times: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, except bank holidays

Some things mean you automatically qualify for a Blue Badge.
If you are over 2 years old and:

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.
Email: nelincs@barnardos.org.uk

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:

  1. Accept the place you have been given and go on the waiting lists for the other school you would like.
  2. Download the appeals form from the Local Authority School admission appeal page- external site .
    • 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- external site  for ideas on what to include.
  3. ‘Submit the appeals form, by the due deadlines, to the admissions authority- details are on the appeals form’.
  4. 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.

Useful contacts

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


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.

North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation (NELPPF)

NELPFF are supporting parents with the correct information about children with SEND and the rules about face coverings.

Follow the North East Lincolnshire Parents Participation forum on Facebook.
See NELPPF on the Local Offer.

Email: nelppf@gmail.com
Telephone: 07583 474892


The SEN Team have ordered clear face masks for staff who work with children with communication difficulties and hearing loss.

Read the Gov.uk guidance on face coverings in education
Read information about face masks and autism.

During lockdown NE Lincs SEND team have continued to make wellbeing and education calls to families of children and young people with an EHCP. Families have responded very positively, and we have been able to offer information, advice, guidance and support to a number of parents/carers.

Take a look at some of the feedback we have received.

“You were the first person to ring to ask how we’re getting on. I was grateful to receive the call and for the information provided.”

“Thank you, I think the authority is doing brilliantly making calls for children with SEN.”

“Dad was very happy with the call, so nice to know someone cares.”

Should parents wish to contact us and request an EHCP wellbeing and education contact call please email Siobhan.Hardy@nelincs.gov.uk or call 01472 325950.


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.

Cast your vote!

What style of image do you want for our SEND News posts?

Do you have a favourite? Can you think of something better?

Tell us which you like in the comments on the social media.

What’s new on the Local Offer?

There’s lots changing to the Local Offer every week.

  • Based on some feedback from local children and young people we’ve add the SENDIASS Children and Young People’s page under ‘Education’.
  • Watch Stephen Fry talk about the #TurnontheSubtitles campaign to turn screen time into reading time. It may double your child’s literacy. 
  • New training is available

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.

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 sen@nelincs.gov.uk.