• SEND speak

Law, Help & TAG

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Dear All

I have been writing these SENDspeak's for just over two years now... I still enjoy doing it and am appreciative of the positive response they receive. It is, however, time for a bit of a spring (autumn?) clean of the SENDspeak website, so over the next few weeks I'll be removing some of the older, more localised, issues and pdf files.

Meanwhile, hope you find this issue informative and useful…

1 SEND Newslflash – Chief Public Health Nurse

2 Virtual SEND COVID-19 sessions

3 Adolescent Mental Health Care and the Law

4 World Mental Health Day

5 Helping Yourself #1

6 Helping Yourself #2

7 Challenging Behaviour Foundation – free online support

8 Contact’s 1-2-1 advice and emotional support service

9 What is it like to be a child, teenager or young adult during a global pandemic?

10 TAG - Help us shape the next 3 years!

11 Introduction of T Levels

12 Survey: Does your child have all their SEND provision back? What’s your family’s experience been this term?

13 Weasel Words in EHCPs

14 @allontheboard

1 SEND Newslflash – Chief Public Health Nurse

Department for Education, 7th October 2020

“Dear colleague,

Please find attached, for your information, a joint letter from Viv Bennett, Chief Public Health Nurse at Public Health England, and Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England to Directors of Nursing about winter planning to support children and families. The letter advises that professionals supporting children and families with SEND should not be redeployed to other services and should be supported to provide services to the most vulnerable families.


Special educational needs and disability division Department for Education”

You can read the letter here:

You can join the SEN Implementation mailing list by e-mailing them:

2 Virtual SEND COVID-19 sessions with Barrister Steve Broach, from the Seashell Trust

Having seen Steve’s presentations in the past, these will be hugely valuable – essentially a full legal workshop!

“Our recent webinars with SEND Barrister, Steve Broach, are now available to view on the Seashell YouTube channel Film projector

“Hope these videos will be a useful resource for disabled young people and families wanting to understand their rights. The first focuses on legal issues for disabled children, the second in young people“ Steve Broach

1 Click below for the session held on 9th September 2020 (focuses on children age 0-17): 2 hrs 10 mins

2 Click below for the session held on 16th September 2020 (young people age 18-25): 2 hrs 13 mins

The Seashell Trust

More information on Cheshire based Seashell Trust is here: “Seashell Trust is a national charity supporting children and young adults with complex learning disabilities and additional communication needs from across the UK. We provide education and care, from 2 – 25 years, at our outstanding school and college and through our short breaks services”

3 Adolescent Mental Health Care and the Law

by Camilla Parker, Legal Action Group, published 12th October 2020

This book is launched today with a seminar. The price of the book is frightening for the individual buyer (£50), so perhaps persuade your local library to invest in a copy?!

“Legal Action Group virtual launch of new Adolescent Mental Health Care and the Law book from Camilla Parker - an essential contribution to the knowledge base in the area. Camilla highlighting that the majority of under 18s are admitted to hospital for mental disorder ‘informally’, ie not under the Mental Health Act. Vital that professionals know how to assess capacity / competence, understand limits of parental responsibility etc”


About the book

“The law relating to the mental health care of children and young people aged under 18 (‘adolescents’) is renowned for its complexity.

This is unsurprising given that in relation to admission to hospital and treatment for mental disorder, it raises issues of uncertainty such as the limits of the decision-making powers as between parents and their children and the developing law on deprivation of liberty.

More widely, the provision of mental health services for this age group involves a range of differing agencies and engages a raft of legislation, case-law, regulations, codes of practice and policy guidance across the differing fields of law: mental health, mental capacity, community care, family and children’s rights.”

More information here:

4 World Mental Health Day

…was yesterday (11th October), however the resources and help don’t evaporate overnight!

“World Mental Health Day 2020 is the most important one yet.

This year has been a tough one for us all. The months of lockdown and loss have had a huge impact on our mental health.

According to our research, with over 16,000 people, we know that more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown. We know that many have developed new mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and, for some of us, existing mental health problems have gotten worse.

There are lots of different ways to get help and support for your mental health. Why not do one thing today and start with one of these options.

· Join Side by Side, our online peer support community

· Visit our Information and Support pages

· Call our Infoline

· Download our calendar with ideas for different things you can do each day for better mental health

You can reach the resources above (and more) through this link:

5 Helping Yourself #1

Children’s mental health

There are links to other support organisations and resources within the NHS page below.

“The past few months have been hard on everyone, particularly children and young people.

The NHS has lots of practical advice and support at

The information includes how to have a conversation with your child, how to build healthy routines, and support for back to school.”

6 Helping Yourself #2

Achieving for Children’s “Emotional Health Service Resource Hub - contains online self help resources video workshops, helplines, online counselling and information leaflets. We hope they will help children, young people and their families with their emotional wellbeing.”

7 Challenging Behaviour Foundation – free online support “The charity for people with severe learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges.”

The CBF is offering free online support for family carers from your own homes via video call during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The first chat reinforced the huge impact such experiences can have on families. Two family carers share their heart-breaking & life-affirming stories. Just having access to experts & the ear of people who’ve experienced similar situations clearly meant a great deal….”

“Share your “right here, right now” concern about challenging behaviour with a small group including a trained family carer & a volunteer expert. For more information and to apply to join email us at:

Follow this link:

8 Contact’s 1-2-1 advice and emotional support service

“Contact's new 1-2-1 listening ear service, which offers in-depth emotional support and practical help, has been gratefully received by families up and down the country. We’re delighted to report that 100 per cent of parents who’ve used the service would recommend it to others. We are usually able to offer last minute appointments if you’re in need – and it’s really easy to book!”

One parent said: "Thank you so much for your time this evening. It has honestly made such a difference to have someone listen and be able to talk about everything without being judged or worrying that I am going on about it too much! Thank you for the support and for reminding me what I know!"

9 What is it like to be a child, teenager or young adult during a global pandemic?

£10 reward for helping

The National Children’s Bureau are looking for children and young people with SEND to take part in this (reward is a £10 voucher for each 30 minute phone call) “Opportunity to be part of a study with a leading children’s charity. Monthly chats with a researcher about how life is going and how it has been impacted by the pandemic. Receive a £10 shopping voucher for each monthly 30-minute chat you have with an NCB researcher.

Would you like to make your voice heard about what it is like to be a child, teenager or young adult during a global pandemic?

· How did lockdown make you feel?

· What do you think about going back to school or college?

· What would you do if you were Prime Minister?

We are recruiting children and young people from age 11 to 18 years old (Or 25 if you have a Special Education Need/s).”

You can find out more here:

10 TAG - Help us shape the next 3 years!

TAG does amazing work in Kingston & Richmond – they’ve just introduced Parkour to their club! This survey is for both Young People and their Parent/Carers.

“TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People is a registered charity that provides children and young people with a safe and well equipped environment in which it delivers a programme of personal, social and educational opportunities to young people with disabilities or additional needs. TAG has grown immensely since it became a charity in 2016, and we are currently planning for the next three years. We want you to help us develop our activities/services and offer them to more children and young people.

During the past year, there have been lots of changes at TAG. For example:

· The number of children and young people enjoying our activities has grown

· The amount of money that we raise to provide activities has increased

· As a result of the COVID pandemic the way that children, young people and families benefit from TAG is different

TAG is a charity and decisions about what happens at TAG are made by a group of people called “trustees”. Giles our Chief Executive, Ashley our Chair and the trustees would like to hear about what you all think about TAG including:

· Your understanding of our charity and what it does

· What you think are the things about TAG that are good and not so good

· How you think we could make TAG even better

To help us with this we would like as many people as possible to fill out a survey. You can access the survey by using this link:

If you would like a paper copy please tell us and we will send you one.

The survey is open between Wednesday 7 and Wednesday 21 October.

We would also like to invite you to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of TAG. This will be on Tuesday 3 November at 7pm. The meeting will be on Zoom and we will send you an invitation soon. At the meeting we will be able to tell you about the results of the survey, and also about the plans that we have for TAG in the coming year and beyond.

Giles Hobart

Lead Youth Worker

11 Introduction of T Levels

Department for Education, updated 4th September 2020

I don’t know how the T Levels work with and for those with SEND – hopefully they do! Students need to be academically able, so this is something that may support those who want real life experience alongside the classroom.

“T Levels are new courses which follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A levels. These 2-year courses, which launched September 2020, have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work, further training or study.

T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 315 hours (approximately 45 days).”

12 Survey: Does your child have all their SEND provision back? What’s your family’s experience been this term?

Special Needs Jungle, September 16, 2020

“Government guidance for the autumn school and college term 2020 is "everyone in". Only, that's not the reality for many children and young people with SEND. As we've already covered here for those with complex disabilities, schools are confused over guidance, unable to afford the relevant PPE or left without staff who have the right training. So their answer is, to tell those children they have to stay at home.

And it's not just the medically complex. We've been hearing stories that disabled children are being told they can't return full time or only come part-time because they can't social distance, or because their teaching assistant isn't available, or they have a staff shortage. Or the child can't get there because transport isn't available for some reason. Some parents feel they have no option but to home educate.

One thing is for sure - this is only happening to children with SEND.”

Take Special Needs Jungle’s survey here:

13 Weasel Words in EHCPs

SOS!SEN and SEND Essentials

To make use of the link below, you will need to register with SOS!SEN webinar manager; on this site you will find their webinars and books. Weasel Words in under the Books tab.

“SOS!SON have teamed up with SEND Essentials to put together’Weasel Words’ – terms commonly used in EHCPs which have a negative impact on its effectiveness. Better terms to use are also included! It is possible to purchase here for a £2.50 donation:”

14 @allontheboard

Spotted on the SEND Parent Power facebook page (thank you). The link to their page is here: and they’re open for business again!

The link to @allontheboard facebook page is here:

The article below is a couple of years old but is the most recent I could find. I’ve seen these boards, and you may have done so as well. Many of the boards are poems, others are information or even congratulations. It is a simple idea – it makes a difference – and covers so many different ideas…

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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