• SEND speak

Kingston parents, #SENDcrisis, Post-16 & a bit of Good News!

Dear All

This issue of SENDspeak starts with news of the Kingston Parent Consortium. The national SEND Crisis takes items 2–6, and then onto Post-16 news items. There is Good News at the end.

There is no shortage of news and events locally, so another SENDspeak will follow mid-week’ish (which I hope is better than a 12-page SENDspeak today!!).

And Thank You to those individuals and organisations who send items to include in SENDspeak; these make for a much richer newsletter.

Some Context Later this year, the Government will carry out its spending review, which will decide on where the Government spends public money over the next few years. Hence there is a lot of attention on SEND and Education – unsurprisingly!

1. Update - Kingston Parent Consortium

2. Secret Life of Us Campaign – Health & Social Care funding shortfall

3. SEND National Crisis: Marching for our disabled children’s future

4. SEND Inquiry last Wednesday 24th April – 10am

5. SEND Crisis March – 30th May (London)

6. Demand Action for SEND Funding

7. TAG Transition & Local Offer Fair – 14th September

8. DfE consultation launched on post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below

9. DfE SEND Newsletter – April 2019

10. DfE Guidance on RSE: What it means for pupils with SEND

11. Language guide challenges care system jargon

12. Greta Thunberg teaches us about autism as much as climate change

13. La Casa de Carlota,

14. from 21&Co

1 Update - Kingston Parent Consortium

You can read the letter from Cllr Diane White on the Local Offer, here:

Information has gone out to invite Kingston parents to meetings on:

Tuesday 21st May - 7pm to 8.30pm

Thursday 23rd May - 10.30am to 12noon

both are at the King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton, KT5 9AL

More news to follow in the next SENDspeak.

2 Secret Life of Us Campaign – Health & Social Care funding shortfall

Deadline Sunday 28th April 2019 “We would like to ask those with parental responsibility for disabled children and young people (from birth to the age of 25) to tell us about the impact that caring for their child has had on them and their families.

The results from this survey will help the Disabled Children's Partnership to make the case to Government to invest in services to support families with disabled children needs through our Secret Life of Us campaign.”

3 SEND National Crisis: Marching for our disabled children’s future

Special Needs Jungle - 11th April 2019 “We’ve written many posts here on SNJ about the funding crisis. Renata and I also joined the NEU organised event at the back end of last year. And as the days tick down toward the Government’s long-awaited spending review, it’s more important than ever to show how you feel.

Today on SNJ we’re hearing from the two SEND parents who are masterminding coordinated marches and rallies across the country on May 30th this year.”

4 SEND Inquiry last Wednesday 24th April – 10am

The evidence came from Ofsted, CQC, Inspector and SEN advocates. The verbatim report from this session is not available yet, but Twitter provides a (somewhat disappointing) summary:

“Parents talk to each other too much, others are happy & only really want a morris minor Ed not rolls royce. IPSEA came on and turned all that on its head basically saying LA's are unlawful. Also some discussion around more legislation rather than enforcing what's already there.”

"Ofsted inspectors are all SEND experts & their knowledge is not a reason for north/south divide. Ofsted doesn't inspect legality of LA's. Many LA's are doing what they can with what they have-that is what they're inspected on plus good LA's have excellent coproduction in place.”

“Ofsted/CQC pathetic hand-wringing vapid platitudes followed by incisive eloquent @IPSEAcharity @Simpson_millar. I think that about covers it.”

And a short video of the IPSEA evidence (IPSEA = Independent Parent Special Educational Advice):

“On Wednesday we heard from representatives from @Ofstednews @CareQualityComm, @IPSEAcharity, @Simpson_millar and @LGOmbudsman as part of our #SENDInquiry. In the clip below Alison Fiddy from @IPSEAcharity talks about #SEND tribunals.”

5 SEND Crisis March – 30th May (London) “There are planned marches across the UK on 30th May to raise awareness of failings to those with SEND, their families and education providers who are expected to provide an appropriate education on continuous budget cuts.

We would like to invite parents, carers, young people, families, school staff and anyone else who supports this to take part in the London March.

Petition to be handed in at 12noon to 10 Downing Street and walk to rally at Parliament Square at 13.00 with guest speakers.”

How to attend:

I’ve volunteered as a steward and if you’d like to attend, or get in contact with the organisers, follow this Facebook link:

London March – speakers include:

Dr Carrie Grant – Broadcaster, Vocal Coach and Campaigner Tania Tirraoro – Founder and CEO of Special Needs Jungle

Anna Kennedy OBE – UK Autism Ambassador Dean Beadle, Autistic Speaker Kevin Courtenay – General Secretary of NEU (National Education Union)

Emma Parker – Teacher and SEND Parent …and more.

The Petition:

“Here is our petition devised by our Admin Nadia Turki. Please continue to sign and share! We currently are over 8.000 signatures and 10.000 will ensure a response from parliament!”

6 Demand Action for SEND Funding Whilst we’re on this subject, here is a reminder of the campaign from Richmond Council. If you are reading this and resident In Kingston – just change the details in the pro-forma to suit (some respondents have done exactly this).

“There are 3,500 children and young people attending schools in Richmond upon Thames with special educational needs. A further 1,360 children and young people in the borough require Education Health and Care Plans.”

7 TAG Transition & Local Offer Fair – 14th September

If you have a child nearing the end of their statutory education (consider this to be from age 14 onwards), then save this date in your diary! This is for families and young people in both Kingston and Richmond boroughs.

TAG Youth Clubs are holding their Transition Fair on:

Saturday 14th September 1pm to 4pm Grey Court School, Ham Street, Ham, TW10 7HN

More details will be available soon… for now, note that the plan is for there to be over 50 stalls, plus talks and presentations. Please save the date! And keep an eye on this webpage:

8 DfE consultation launched on post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below

This article is extracted from the DfE SEND Newsletter (item 9 below). This links should all work, but if not, follow the link to the newsletter.

“The Government has launched a consultation on the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England (excluding A Levels and GCSEs). The intention of this review, alongside the development of T Levels, is to build a world-class technical education system. The review is an opportunity to develop a qualifications system where every student, including those with SEND, benefit from high quality qualifications that help them realise their talents and achieve their career ambitions.”

There are also two accompanying ad hoc statistical releases, which can be found here:

Students and qualifications at level 3 and below in England Non-GCSE qualifications in England: key stage 4 entries and absence and exclusions outcomes

The consultation closes on 10th June, and further details can be found here:”

Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

9 DfE SEND Newsletter – April 2019 Or… Department for Education (DfE) 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Alternative Provision and Attendance Unit (phew!)

In addition to the highlight given above, it’s good to see that more Educational Psychologists (EPs) are to be funded and trained…

“Welcome to the April 2019 edition of the 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), Alternative Provision and Attendance Unit Newsletter. In this Newsletter, we are focusing on:

· Regional Stakeholder Network – volunteers requested

· DfE consultation launched on post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below

· Multi-million pound fund to train more Educational Psychologists in schools

· Local Area SEND Inspection handbook update: ‘revisit programme’

· Relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education

· Realising the potential of technology in education

· Improving the home learning environment in early years


· Ethnic disproportionality in the identification of SEN in England

Development Opportunities and Resources

· New resources to support post-16 providers to improve design and delivery of study programmes for learners with SEND

· SENCO Forum

· Anti-bullying support for schools

· The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

· Autism Education Trust Resources

· Ambitious about Autism campaign

· Acquired Brain Injury: The hidden disability that teachers and SENCOs need to know about”

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) have the full newsletter on their site:

10 DfE Guidance on RSE: What it means for pupils with SEND

RSE = Relationship and Sex Education

“In anticipation of RSE becoming statutory in September 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) have clarified these key messages:

· RSE is for all pupils, including those with SEND and those in special schools, hospital schools and alternative provision.

· Schools have existing duties to provide access to high-quality teaching through a differentiated curriculum where necessary.

· The wording on a Right to withdraw has been clarified – as per the legal requirement, DfE are retaining the new proposed right, but have clarified how the decisions of head teachers should take into account SEND and how the decisions should be recorded.”

11 Language guide challenges care system jargon

"What are peers?", "What are neets?" and "Why do social workers call my home a placement?" are among the questions flagged by young people who helped produce a new publication that challenges jargon used in the care system.

12 Greta Thunberg teaches us about autism as much as climate change

Ian Birrell - Tuesday 23rd April

“The young environmental activist has shown that being different is a gift. But too many people with autism still face cruel treatment.”

Like Greta Thunberg, I am on the autism spectrum. She gives me hope

Charlie Hancock - Thursday 25th April

“The attacks on her from neurotypical critics are glib and spiteful. But they are a tribute to the power of her arguments”

13 La Casa de Carlota,

(this comes from paragraph 8 in the article/link from item 12 above)

“La casa de Carlota, a design firm in Barcelona, hires staff with Down’s Syndrome, autism and learning disabilities alongside other designers to utilise their unique approach to creativity.

Their way of thinking is not as rational and is different from mainstream logic. A way of understanding the world that is often forsaken. Consequently, this might be seen as a disadvantage for various professional sectors, however it represents a big opportunity in the creative world of ideas, design and innovation. This allows our team to have brand new ideas which come straight from new ways of seeing things.”

14 from 21&Co

Spotted on Facebook from

“The NHS have updated their page on Down’s syndrome. It is infinitely better than what was there before! It is a relief to see this positive change and even though there are still small misconceptions, the overall message conveyed is now upbeat, realistic and positive! Yay!”

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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