• SEND speak

Christmas, Capella, SEND Crisis & Lego

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear All

A last short issue before Christmas (unless there’s big news!); recommend the video in item 1 below.

SENDspeak now reaches near 300 recipients, of which 240 are families of children/young people. Thank you for the very positive feedback and all the best for the holiday season!

1. Working in a special school…

2. Capella House – Consultation for Richmond & Kingston families

3. Governors wanted!

4. The SEND Crisis

5. Reminder – research training for young people

6. A Mencap ambassador...

7. A Lego Christmas tree

1 Working in a special school…

What can I say…? I had the pleasure of seeing the pupils at Clarendon Primary Centre give their Christmas performance this morning. It was fabulous and full of good humour! If you’ve ever thought about life in a special school… watch this video (4 mins) – the children also loved it (something about the grown-ups on their playground cycles…??).

“Clarendon Primary and Secondary staff come together to wish you all a very merry Christmas! (In all the excitement, our sign for 'all' is going the wrong way... but our continuity is on point!) Merry Christmas and enjoy!!”

2 Capella House – Consultation for Richmond & Kingston families

“Capella House is a new special school proposed to open in September 2019 and is part of the Auriga Academy Trust. The school, based in Twickenham, will offer places to 72 pupils aged 4 - 19 who have speech, language and communication difficulties and are within the average cognitive ability range.

Why is a new special school needed?

There is an increase in the number of children who have speech, language and communication needs who require specialist provision. Currently, there are no special schools in Richmond or Kingston who meet the needs of these children within the average cognitive ability range; they have to travel further afield. These children and their families deserve a specialist educational setting within the local community.”

You can complete this questionnaire online by going to

The public consultation dates will be:

Friday 11th January 2019, 5.00pm to 7.00pm (presentation at 6pm)

Monday 14th January, 6.00pm to 8pm (presentation at 7pm)

Where: Capella House Secondary Centre, Egerton Road, Twickenham TW2 7SL

What will Capella House School offer?

“Capella House School will offer a specialist language-focussed environment with a collaborative, class-based approach to the delivery of speech and language therapy. It will provide specialist teaching, speech & language and occupational therapies. Class sizes will be small and will enable learners to focus on a differentiated curriculum, including aspects of the national curriculum, designed to support their individual needs. All pupils will work towards nationally recognised accreditations including GCSEs, BTECs and vocational courses.“

3 Governors wanted!

Whilst you’re reading about Capella House (above), this new special school will be based In Twickenham, and will serve both Richmond and Kingston boroughs. A new school needs governorship. Might you be interested? If so, please contact Lynn Majakas on:

4 The SEND Crisis

Lots to cover here… this is recognised as a national funding crisis. There are limited funds and over, and over, representatives are going to central government to say as much. Over the weekend, the Department for Education (DfE) announced more funding. Special Needs Jungle have covered this in some depth:

This morning, breakfast television gave over most of their morning to SEND. If there is a more permanent link, I’ll share this next time - for now, this link expires at 09.14 on Thursday 20th December 2018…

This Twitter feed from 21andCo may be more permanent:

In November, TES provided this article on the shortfall in funding:

Locally, in Richmond, a group of 14 (currently anonymous) parents have set up Richmond SEND Crisis. Their website is here:

5 Reminder – research training for young people

Learning how to do research

Do you have a young person with learning disabilities that would like to take part in research programmes? Irene Tuffrey-Wijne of Kingston University is running a FREE 8 week course for young people who fit this profile. The course starts on 30th April 2019, the website and contact information is below.

Contact Irene Tuffrey-Wijne

T: 020 8725 0116 (leave a message and remember to say your phone number)



Post: Kingston & St George’s University, 6th floor Hunter Wing, Cranmer Terrace, SW17 0RE

6 A Mencap ambassador…

Sarah Gordy's speech about overcoming doubt as an actress with Down Syndrome… (1.38 mins)

7 A Lego Christmas tree

Love a bit of Lego…

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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