• SEND speak

Action, Reminders, Eyes & The Arts

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

Dear All

No shortage of reminders for the New Year’s consultations and events this month. The last few items touch on our senses and the Arts.

Also, a New Year’s reminder that SENDspeak is written independently of any group, it is provided voluntarily and receives no funding whatsoever. Recipients of SENDspeak have all subscribed and can unsubscribe at any time. 😊

1. SEND Family Action

2. Director(s) of Children’s Services (DCS) – Richmond and Kingston

3. Consultations (lots)- on the Local Offer website

3a Survey seeking views for a new Parent Carer Forum for Richmond and Kingston

3b Consultation on Kingston's SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22

3c SEND Transport in Richmond: building independence

3d Kingston upon Thames Children's Centres Consultation

4. Health – Calling Kingston Parent/Carers

5. SEN Coffee morning - Richmond Preparing for Adulthood team

6. The Post-16 Maze - is your pathway smooth?

7. Help required: ADHD Richmond & Kingston

8. A Last Leg rant

9. Simon Berry Optometrist

10. “This wish of this deaf 12-year-old could be coming true...

11. Music

12. The Greatest Dancer

1 SEND Family Action

The article below was published just before Christmas in the Local Government bulletin. We know there is a national crisis in the funding of SEND – and can witness how alarm is growing by the increased national coverage.

For me, this is probably the most productive of these campaigns – they are taking to task Central Government – the source of the problem. And while we’re talking about this, let’s remember that the pressure on the budgets are not Demand led (as is often written), but is Needs led; children’s Needs dictate the demand (not parents making demands).

Parents launch legal challenge over SEND cuts

“A group of parents have launched a High Court legal challenge against the government over its lack of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) funding. The families, from North Yorkshire, East Sussex and Birmingham, who have formed the group SEND Family Action, raised funds through an online crowdfunding campaign and have now been granted legal aid to bring the challenge. While SEND cuts are being challenged locally across the country, this is believed to be the first time parents have taken direct action against the government.”

You can read more about SEND Family Action here:

And here:

And follow their Twitter feed here:


“It’s official. We have now issued legal proceedings against the Secretary of State for Education and Chancellor for underfunding of SEND. Thank you to all our amazing supporters for helping us to take this unprecedented action. #BBCSEND

11:50 PM - 18 Dec 2018

2 Director(s) of Children’s Services (DCS) – Richmond and Kingston

When putting SENDspeak together, I check various sources. One of these being the Latest News on the Local Offer pages. Here is today’s latest news…

published by Ian Dodds - Managing Director Achieving for Children

“James Thomas has been appointed as the interim Director of Children’s Services (DCS) for Richmond. James has a wealth of experience as a DCS having previously held the role in Tameside and Newham; prior to that he was the Director of Family Services in Westminster.

James starts today (7 January) and will work alongside Pauline Maddison, the interim DCS for Kingston, to jointly lead our integrated early help, education, health and social care services.”

3 Consultations (lots)- on the Local Offer website

Whilst the holidays are over, there are lots of consultations still open – but closing soon. Here is a reminder of the many consultations still open…

3a Survey seeking views for a new Parent Carer Forum for Richmond and Kingston

Closing date is 14th January

The full letter is here:

3b Consultation on Kingston's SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22 Closing date 20th January and drop in sessions starting next week

3c SEND Transport in Richmond: building independence

Closing date 27th January

3d Kingston upon Thames Children's Centres Consultation

Closing date 1 February and group discussions starting next week.

4 Health – Calling Kingston Parent/Carers Organiser: SENDspeak

Do you have a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)? Would you like to discuss your experiences of the health services near you?

Come and meet the Lead Children’s Health Commissioner and talk about what could work better (and what works well).

Doreen Redwood has recently taken on responsibility for Children's Health Commissioning for Kingston CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group). She is therefore now responsible for both Richmond and Kingston children’s health commissioning. Early indications are that Kingston families need to have their own voices heard as a distinct group.

This is an introductory meeting for parents and carers of children and young people with SEND resident in the borough of Kingston. There are no promises, just the beginnings of working together.

Wednesday 16th January 2019 - 9.30am for 10am start Old Malden Children's Centre

100 Lawrence Avenue, New Malden, KT3 5NB

Please rsvp to to book your place.

5 SEN Coffee morning – Richmond Preparing for Adulthood team Organiser: Achieving for Children

“This is our 2nd coffee morning event for the Preparing for Adulthood Team; these will be held termly to give families in Richmond and Kingston an opportunity to meet the team.”

Wednesday 16th January - 9.30am to 11.30am

York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 3AA

Please register your attendance at the coffee morning using the Eventbrite link below.

6 The Post-16 Maze - is your pathway smooth?

Organiser: new group of Post-16 Parents (Richmond based)

“We have set up a Parents Supporting Parents” group for those of us with young people with SEND who are in the complex world of post 16 (over age 16). We anticipate a broad range of topics for discussion such as social care and respite; education and training; benefit entitlements and access to a social life. We hope to share information, signpost each other, lend an ear and offer support by having monthly coffee and cake sessions.

We are kicking off with three Friday morning dates, all are 9.30 to 11.30am

Friday 18th January

Friday 8th February

Friday 15th March

Hosted by Me Too and Co. at The Crossway, 306 Richmond Road, Twickenham, TW1 2PD. No need to book and all very welcome!”

7 Help required: ADHD Richmond & Kingston

“…Amy-Lou has now stepped down as Chair of ADHD Richmond and Kingston. We are most grateful for all the work she has done for this support group particularly in the five months since Alastair passed away.

We are looking for a new person to lead us but additionally we need volunteers to help perform the many roles which Amy-Lou used to do including assistance at our seminars.

Would you be willing to consider becoming a volunteer for ADHD Richmond and Kingston?

Our first seminar of the year will take place on Thursday 10th January starting at 7pm.We will be finishing the talk at 8.30 pm and then plan to hold a meeting of potential volunteers where we can give an explanation of the roles which need to be filled in order for this Parent Support Group to continue. Please come along and see if there are any roles which you might be prepared to take on.

We would really appreciate your assistance in helping keeping this support group going. Without volunteers willing to give up their time it will not be able to continue.


ADHD Richmond & Kingston Management Committee” E:


8 A Last Leg rant

There is strong language in this clip (4.14minutes) – but the point is clear and seems to relate to Item 1 above. So often, people who do not have to go through the assessment, or take their child to them, just don’t understand how ridiculous and even demeaning the assessments are.

9 Simon Berry Optometrist

This optometrist works with many young people with learning disabilities* and has created a new system for those anxious about eye tests (*one in ten have eye problems and 40% need glasses). The system being tested in optometrist around the country… in Durham, its already available.

“We were featured on Look North last night. As usual, William was a star! Hopefully this will spread the word about the launch of the Visual Fixation System.” Look North coverage - 2.46 minutes

10 “This wish of this deaf 12-year-old could be coming true...

“Schoolboy Daniel Jillings has been campaigning for British Sign Language to be made a GCSE so that more children will be able to sign and interact with one another.”

1 minute

11 Music The latest blog from Starlight Mckenzie on a truth that the seemingly not-so-vital curriculum subjects are vital. Music is everything to my youngest son. Without it... I don't know where he would be (he's hardly been to any school). Schools are tasked to concentrate on Maths & English, but the Arts fill our souls.

12 The Greatest Dancer

There is a possibility you may have missed this young man with Downs Syndrome on The Greatest Dancer, so if you have take a look here: 2.30 minutes

If you have any questions at all, please ask and I'll do my best to find an answer.

With best wishes, Romany




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