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Hot Dates, Transport & National News

Dear All

Hot dates…. well, dates for this week and some closing dates for the end of the month.

Another hot date might be that the government plans to publish the outcome of the Education Committee’s SEND Inquiry by the end of this month.

1. NAS Richmond with SENDIASS & Capella

2. Express’ Comedy Night

3. A DfE rundown + Your chance to ask questions

4. “A setback at the High Court, but parents’ SEND Action goes on”

5. CDC Questions – give it a go!

6. You & Yours – Special Educational Needs special

7. Home to school travel and transport (U16)

8. Tunnel free tube map

9. Available from 7th October: hidden disability sunflower lanyards

10. Managing Anxiety in children with SEND

11. SEND Keep in Touch - highlights

12. Wouldn’t Change a Thing

13. Life at school with an eyesight condition

14. Wheelchair protest

1 NAS Richmond with SENDIASS & Capella

“This time, we are delighted to welcome both Jonathan Rourke from Kids SENDIASS and Lynn Majakas, the Head Teacher Designate, from Capella House School.

Friday 18th October - 10.00am to 12.00pm

The Crossway Centre. 306, Richmond Road, East Twickenham. TW1 2PD

From 10.00am until 11.00am, Jonathan will be talking about EHCPs, and in particular about how to get the right one. After this, Lynn will talk to us about Capella House School (a new specialist school for pupils with speech, language and communication needs in Twickenham).”

T: 07810 505982



2 Express’ Comedy Night

Last few tickets available! Join Express for a great night of comedy for a great cause; full line up in the link below.

Friday 18th October - Doors 7.30pm Show 8.00pm

The Cornerhouse, Surbiton

Express is a 'not for profit' community organisation, supporting autistic people and their families.



3 A DfE rundown + Your chance to ask questions

DfE = Department for Education

This short article is from the ever thorough Special Needs Jungle (SNJ). The first half give a rundown of all the current inquiries and reviews (with the links that take you to the pages so that you can contribute). Then a chance to ask questions via SNJ.

Tania Tirraoro for Special Needs Jungle, 3rd October 2019

It’s back! Put your burning questions about SEND to the Department for Education. But first, a reminder of everything that’s up in the air as it’s more than a little confusing.

Follow the link below – and then at the end…

Submit your question to the Department for Education SEND team

“Okay, it's time. Now, I know it’s tempting to go mad and write a book, or a horror story, about your experiences in relation to what you want to ask, because you have so much to say. If you have the energy of course. But we need succinct questions that you REALLY want the DfE to answer (and that is possible for them to answer, so think carefully how you phrase it). When we receive your questions we have to categorise them into the ten most popular, so please help us do this by adding up to two questions that are clear and to the point.”

***Closing date is this Friday18th October 2019***

4 “A setback at the High Court, but parents’ SEND Action goes on”

Tania Tirraoro for Special Needs Jungle, October 7th 2019

You may recall that earlier this year 3 parents too the government to Judicial Review for their failure to fund SEND properly. The ruling was made last Monday 7th October; sadly not in their favour (I think very few feel that SEND, and indeed the SEND Reforms, have been funded properly). However, that’s not the end. Here is SNJ’s summary:

And further discussion here:

“The DfE wants to stop LAs filling SEND funding gaps”

Special Needs Jungle, October 14th 2019

…”the founder of SEND Action, Gillian Doherty, writes on SNJ of the shocking irony in how a key claim in the Government's case about council funding responsibilities is about to be choked off - by the Government itself.”

5 CDC Questions – give it a go!

This is an annual survey from the CDC (Council for Disabled Children); and its to help them set their priorities. Like all these things (and there are a lot of them sometimes), your voice will only be heard IF you take part. The CDC are generally ‘good eggs’ that are well respected and listened to by the government.

So, if you can, please take part… I did the survey, and it was only 13 questions, most of them multiple choice.

“The Children and Families Act came into force in September 2014, heralding the biggest reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in a generation.

At the time, our Director Dame Christine Lenehan said changes would take another generation to embed.

As we reach the Act’s fifth anniversary, we want to hear your views in our annual survey on the experiences, successes and challenges, and get your feedback on future priorities for SEND.”

6 You & Yours – Special Educational Needs special

11th October 2019

You & Yours is BBC Radio 4’s consumer affairs programme; last week, they opened with a SEND special.

The article on SEND begins at just 58 seconds in and continues to 9.20 minutes in - with the familiar voice of Eleanor Wright from SOSSEN closing the article.

7 Home to school travel and transport (U16)

“We are seeking views on revised statutory guidance for local authorities on home to school travel and transport for children of compulsory school age.

Why We Are Consulting

The Department for Education is consulting on revised statutory guidance for local authorities on home to school travel and transport for children of compulsory school age (5-16). The guidance was last updated in 2014. There have been no changes to the law.

The revised guidance seeks to clarify local authorities’ statutory duties in relation to home to school travel and transport policy, in response to feedback from local authorities and other interested parties.

NB: The policy for transport to post-16 education and training is different from that of children of compulsory school age, and as such is not included within this consultation.”

***The consultation closes on 31st October 2019***

8 Tunnel free tube map

The Stylist, October 2nd 2019

“People with claustrophobia or other anxiety conditions, look this way… this TfL map makes tube travel so much easier for people with anxiety.”

And here is the map itself…

9 Available from 7th October: hidden disability sunflower lanyards

International Supermarket News, October 8th 2019

“Sainsbury’s and Argos have today announced the nationwide rollout of sunflower lanyards in all stores, to help enhance the shopping experience for customers with hidden disabilities. Following a successful trial earlier this year, the initiative offers shoppers the option to pick up a sunflower lanyard in store, which has been purposely designed to act as a discreet sign for store colleagues that they may need to provide a customer with additional support.

As the first retailer to trial the lanyards last year, Sainsbury’s and Argos hope to build on the success of the scheme, by providing reassurance to customers with hidden disabilities such as autism, dementia, visual or hearing impairment and anxiety.”

10 Managing Anxiety in children with SEND

Ruils’ Family Matters next workshop…

Tuesday 22nd October – 10.30am to 12.30pm

Disability Action & Advice Centre, 4 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, TW11 8HT

“This workshop will be led by Linda Campbell-Arthur, who has worked with parents of children with additional needs at RUILS for four years. She is a clinical psychologist by background and is the parent of a child with autism and learning difficulties. This workshop will cover the special challenges of anxiety in children with SEND, the hidden triggers and how to find them and strategies you can use at home and out-and-about. Linda will also highlight other therapeutic approaches and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.”

You can book a place (free of charge) here:

11 SEND Keep in Touch - highlights

Here are a couple of highlights from the SEND Keep in Touch newsletter – just a three of the articles... please use the link below to subscribe direct:

Or for more information email

Information relevant to Kingston and Richmond

Apply for up to £140 towards a social or leisure activity for your child. We are encouraging applications to the Activity Fund Don't miss out on your chance to claim some funding this year towards an activity of your child's choice.

Information relevant to Kingston and Richmond Transition to Adulthood Navigator - a guide for young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families

We need your help.

Working closely with our partners and across our own service is particularly important as young people transition into adulthood. We know that they and their families may need some help in finding their way around and into different services and understanding whether they are eligible as adults. We are producing a guide (currently called a Navigator) to help with this. We are asking parents, carers and young people to look at the guide and to let us have their comments and suggestions. If you would be interested in receiving a copy of the draft document with a view to providing comments by email or if you are a parent/carer who could attend a meeting on Friday, 8 November⋅11:30am – 1:00pm in Kingston please email:

Information relevant to Kingston and Richmond

Kingston SEND Parent Consortium and Richmond SEND Parent Panel

Notes of both of these parent representative groups are now available on the SEND Local Offer website.

Kingston SEND Parent Consortium

Richmond SEND Parent Panel

12 Wouldn’t Change a Thing

STV News today [1st October] spoke to some of those involved in the new Wouldn't Change a Thing book launched this week. "their ambition is for a book to find its way into the hands of everyone who needs it"

2.26 minutes

13 Life at school with an eyesight condition

This year, there was a lovely video with a young boy called Leo in Hampshire, but I haven’t been able to find it online; instead this from CBBC last year:

“World Sight Day is held each year, on the second Thursday of October, aiming to draw attention to the world's blind and partially sighted people.

Annabel has a condition called optic atrophy, which means she can't see very well. It means that Annabel might struggle to read the board in her classroom or do her homework. Watch as she explains how she uses a special camera, brail keyboard and crystals - that magnify writing - so that she can do her schoolwork.”

1.24 minutes

14 Wheelchair protest

This is a couple of years ago (2017), but haven’t seen it before and it made me smile…

Wheelchair protest in Portugal - each one has a note on back saying "Be right back" or "Just getting something".

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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