• SEND speak

Good News! & Things to Do

Dear All

A collection of SEND /COVID-19 news and also some things to do that are both mainstream and potentially suitable for all…

As before, if you really want to keep up-to-date minute-by-minute, then subscribing to your favourite support group’s Twitter account is often the way to go.

1. Good News!

2. COVID-19 Information and Guidance

3. SENDIASS during lockdown

4. Council for Disabled Children (CDC) with the DfE - FAQ

5. NAS: Tips for autistic people and families

6. 150 Sensory Learning Ideas

7. One summary of local activities

8. TAG Youth Club – live chat today (5pm – 6pm)

9. Polka Theatre

10. #ENOLegoChallenge

11. ‘I Love Animals with Makaton’

12. Edinburgh Zoo webcams

13. The New Forest ‘live’, 9am daily

14. Create an Insect A&E (free resource)

15. Grayson’s Art Club – from 16th April

16. 16 ‘Do remember they can’t cancel the spring’

1 Good News!

Amendment to Government Guidance for SEND - 8th April 2020

This is Good News – especially for those that need somewhere very quiet to exercise, or who need a lot of activity breaks! Police are stopping people, so I recommend taking a diagnosis letter (if the SEND is invisible to most) and keep these links on your phone – just in case…

“Government guidance changed to permit people with specific health needs to exercise outside more than once a day and to travel to do so where necessary

In particular, the guidance has been changed to provide that:

‘You can leave your home for medical need. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so. This could, for example, include where individuals with learning disabilities or autism require specific exercise in an open space two or three times each day - ideally in line with a care plan agreed with a medical professional.’ “

The Guardian, 14th April:

“UK coronavirus rules relaxed for people with autism and learning disabilities. Policy updated after lawyers challenge ‘discriminatory’ lockdown measures.

People with learning disabilities or autism can leave the house for exercise more than once a day and can travel outside of their local area under current lockdown measures, the government has said.”

2 COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Richmond Community Hub

Whilst this comes from Richmond CVS, most of the information is useful for all – including individual funding sources. However, the local (Richmond) funding sources and helpline are for residents of Richmond borough only.

“Richmond's local Community Hub has been launched which includes a telephone helpline. If you, or someone you know, needs advice during the current crisis, call 020 8871 6555.

We are working with the Council and local organisations to form a safe and co-ordinated approach to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help develop local plans, organisations are urged to complete a brief online survey to identify and assess key priorities.

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis with information that we hope will be useful to both organisations and individuals.”

This is a cut & paste from the page and does not include live links. Please click the link above to get to the page (with live links)

Coronavirus Guidance - Mar 2020 - our brief guide to sources of information and guidance to inform your decision-making.

NHS Guidance - information on symptoms and how to reduce the risk for yourself and others.

Richmond Council - information and advice for residents, businesses and organisations.

Achieving for Children Local Offer - for updates on services for families with young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

UK Government Response - including risk levels, NHS information and guidance on self-isolation and social distancing.

Health Service Journal - access their accurate and ongoing information on the Coronavirus for free.

Advice in community languages - Doctors of the World have shared advice, based on the government’s updated advice and health information, for patients in 20 languages.

Carers UK- information and links to advice and support for carers (but also useful for any individual).

Wellbeing Tips from Mind - including managing your mental health and practical tips for working from home and self-isolation.

Resource for Individuals - our guide on local and national funding and resources for individuals, including profession-specific support.”

Link included here:

3 SENDIASS during lockdown

SENDIASS = SEND Information & Advice Support Services

“Starting next Wednesday (15 April) Richmond and Kingston SENDIASS will be offering a number of skype meetings during the week to allow parents, carers and young people the opportunity to seek support, connect and share ideas during the current situation”

More information here:

4 Council for Disabled Children (CDC) with the DfE - FAQ

SEND support during the Coronavirus pandemic

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) includes input from the Department for Education (DfE) – an unusual extension, representing the unusual nature of this time.

“Further to the recent launch of our CDC Questions email please click here to download the first in the series of weekly CDC FAQs.”

How does the FAQ work?

This FAQ shares questions sent into the email inbox.

“Each week the questions received are collated and shared with the Department for Education (DfE) as well as colleagues with specific areas of expertise within CDC.

Each FAQ includes questions received before Wednesday lunch time of the week in which it is published.

If you have submitted a question but cannot see the response below your question is either awaiting feedback from DfE or will be featured in next week’s FAQ.

We may edit some of the questions to allow us to include as many as possible in each weeks FAQ and to protect individual’s privacy so your questions may appear slightly differently than your original emails.

Where questions are on similar themes or have similar answers, we may group the questions together.”

Guidance and Resources

“In addition to this FAQ, we have gathered a list of resources and guidance about Coronavirus related support for disabled children, young people and their families and the practitioners working with them across Education, Health, Social Care and the VCS which you can access here:”

5 NAS: Tips for autistic people and families

“This unprecedented period of change and disruption is difficult for many autistic people and families. The NAS has created some tips that they hope will help you during this time of uncertainty. Remember its not forever and there are lots of things you can do that may make things easier.”

6 150 Sensory Learning Ideas

“There are many options for home learning packs and ideas for children who can access worksheets and online teaching resources. Sensory learners need sensory learning ideas. Preferably simple and free ones. This list of 150 (ish) ideas should give you some ideas to try at home, EYFS settings and classrooms. You may also like our post on Scavenger hunts for children at home.”

7 One summary of local activities

The best regular summary of activities that I see is from NAS Richmond; their newsletters include both local and wider activities suitable for children and young people with SEND.

To subscribe to their newsletter, or to ask for back issues of their e-news, please e-mail:

8 TAG Youth Club – live chat today (5pm – 6pm)


“Don't forget we have our live chat today between 5 and 6pm. We have Zumba, quiz, game and chat. We are going to try a first; virtual musical chairs! You need 3 chairs

To join in, download the zoom app and then contact us for the meeting ID and password. E-mail:

9 Polka Theatre

Over the coming weeks, Polka will be sharing stories, activities and recordings from some of the most loved books they have adapted for the stage in recent years.

Polka Theatre also have activity packs and online workshops, for families and teachers to inspire creativity and exploration with children. To view what's on offer, please click Visit Polka online.

(with thanks to NAS Richmond for this info)

10 #ENOLegoChallenge

English National Opera (ENO) announced that if it can’t use actors and musicians in its productions, it will use Lego figures instead; scenes from past productions have been recreated by opera lovers and posted on Twitter with the hashtag #ENOLegoChallenge

English National Opera

@E_N_O April 9th

#ENOLegoChallenge 👉 recreate a scene from your favourite ENO production using LEGO and we'll share the best ones 🙌

11 ‘I Love Animals with Makaton’

“It’s Week 2 of #LockDownLearning with Singing Hands. Today we have a #Makaton signed story - I Love Animals by Flora McDonnell. Join in as our main character describes all the animals & what she loves about them. A great story for practising your farmyard animal signs

Happy signing!

The Makaton Charity”

12 Edinburgh Zoo webcams

More than just pandas! Webcams for Pandas, Penguins, Tigers and Koala.

Scroll down the page to pick up the screen …can’t say the occupants are always visible!

There is a serious message to this. Because the zoo is closed, there is no income from visitors and so the zoo is asking for donations to help feed their animals.

13 The New Forest ‘live’, 9am daily

…with Chris Packham and Megan McGovern. Both are naturalists and broadcasters; Chris is also known for being Aspergers.

If wildlife is your child or young persons thing, Chris and Megan broadcast live every morning via Facebook, there is often a special guest.

Chris and Megan’ broadcast interrupts the otherwise all-day webcam from an Osprey’s nest in Poole Harbour.

You can sign up to be notified when they are broadcasting by turning on ‘live notifications’ on this Facebook page:

14 Create an Insect A&E (free resource)

“Help Butterfly Conservation and Bumblebee Conservation Trust end the insect crisis. Join Channel 5’s Dr Amir Khan's mission to create an Insect A&E in your garden - become a Nature Doctor today.

Download your FREE plant guide with quick and easy tips to create your own Insect A&E”

15 Grayson’s Art Club – from 16th April “Grayson Perry, one of Britain's leading artists, brings the nation together through art, making new works and hosting masterclasses set to unleash our collective creativity during lockdown

Episode 1

Grayson encourages viewers to use isolation to produce visual representations of these unique times. Once the crisis is over, he will curate an exhibition featuring some of these works.”

16 ‘Do remember they can’t cancel the spring’

Just love this… a truly positive message.

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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