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Local News, Practical News & Dogs

Dear All

Time to take a break from the politics of SEND Crisis and SEND Action – let’s just concentrate on local news and practical news…

1. Proud Dad's viral video celebrates special needs schools - C5 News

2. SCCC – more dates

3. Twitch – What parents need to know

4. Sensory Needs Seminar (autism)

5. #happyinschool project

6. NFIS & SP School Attendance Difficulties Survey 2019

7. - Note on SEND Partnership Boards

8. Richmond SEND Partnership Board

9. Kingston SEND Partnership Board

10. - Note on Parent Panel / Consortium

11. Richmond Parent Panel

12. Kingston Parent Consortium

13. - Note on Parent Carer Forums (PCFs)

14. Amendment to the Mental Capacity Act becomes Law

15. Specificity in an EHCP – a new popular blog

16. Free Eye Tests

17. Woman who video bombed a Live TV interview…

18. Birthday choices for Service Dogs

1 Proud Dad's viral video celebrates special needs schools - C5 News

A while back SENDspeak circulated the link to Our Little Dreams; the proud Dad and film maker tells me this boosted the viewing of the film early on. It’s now standing at over 20,000 viewings!

Channel 5 News picked up on this…

“A father who had to take his son out of mainstream education has made a video showing how special, a special needs school can be.

Nick Raggett made the 'Our Little Dreams' video to celebrate all the things children like his son Max can do, rather than focus on what they find difficult.”

And… the Headteacher for Clarendon is John Kipps is not Kippin (!).

The news item is 2.23 mins

Here is the 6 minute film again:

2 SCCC – more dates

The relatively new SCCC (SEND Carers Coffee and Chat) peer support group in Barnes continues to go from strength to strength. Here are details of their forthcoming meetings:

Monday 1st July from 9.30am

SCCC will be joined by Ashley Whittaker from Achieving for Children to discuss the 3 year SEND Futures Plan for Richmond – also the Family Matters people from Ruils will be there too ( )

Monday 15th July from 9.30am

The Richmond National Autistic Society will be meeting in Barnes.

Venue details:

Castelnau Community Centre, 7 Stillingfleet Road, SW13 9AQ

Facebook page here:

Parking can be difficult before 11am, but you can buy a residents’ permit from the reception desk (approx. £1.40)

3 Twitch – What parents need to know

NOS = National Online Safety

“Twitch is a gaming-focussed live-streaming service, owned by Amazon, where you can watch others play games live and listen to commentary as they play. It has 15 million daily active users and more than three million people live broadcast video game streams and other content on Twitch, with channels dedicated to just about every popular video game imaginable – both modern and retro. There are also shows that feature gaming competitions, professional tournaments, game-related chat and news. Plus, numerous non-gaming channels covering everything from cookery and music to art and travel. But Twitch is not just about watching other people’s shows – anyone can broadcast their own gaming action.”

4 Sensory Needs Seminar (autism)

This family seminar is for parents of children up to the age of 12 with autism, or on a pathway to a diagnosis.

Monday 1st July - 9.30am to 2.30pm

Grand Avenue Primary School, Surbiton, KT5 9HU

“The seminar will help families to:

· consider the different sensory systems and how they work together

· examine how sensory information may be processed differently

· discuss how children with autism may have different sensory experiences

· share strategies and approaches to help with sensory needs.

Families can book up to two places on the ‘Sensory Needs’ seminar for £10 each which includes a full resource pack of useful information, advice and support guidelines.”

Please contact Jane Pidduck for more information and an application form:


T: 020 8399 5344

5 #happyinschool project

“The #happyinschool project devised by autism advocate, author and poet Suzy Rowland, is running sessions in Surbiton. Join our informal parent/carer sessions, discussing the issues around autism and ADHD at school. The 'play' session on June 12 will be looking at:

• learning through play

• play as a diagnostic tool

• friendships aren't a given

• bullying

• supporting your child's play & friendships at school

To book your space either use the link below or email . We look forward to seeing you!

If you can’t make the session on June 12, the workshops will continue until July 10.”

6 NFIS & SP School Attendance Difficulties Survey 2019

NFIS = Not Fine In School SP = Square Peg

“This is a follow-up to our first School Attendance Survey held in May 2018. The information we collected then has been extremely useful as an indication of the issues and difficulties families are experiencing.

Not Fine in School & Square Peg are currently Crowd Funding in the hope of arranging legal action to trigger a Judicial Review of DfE statutory guidance and policies relating to school attendance.

This Survey is open to all families experiencing School Attendance Difficulties, we hope as many people as possible will complete the survey so that it has maximum impact and significance.

No identifying/personal details are required, and the survey will close at 10am on 12th June 2019”

7 Note on SEND Partnership Boards There is one of these in Kingston, and another in Richmond. Given that Achieving for Children (AfC) provide the statutory children’s services for both boroughs, there is a lot of parallel working. Hence, the coverage here of both boroughs.

The ‘full range of partners’, for both Kingston and Richmond Boards, include:

· the relevant Director for Children’s Services

· the MD for AfC (Achieving for Children)

· AfC’s Director of Education Services

· the MD for Richmond & Kingston’s CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group)

· the Children’s Health Commissioner

· the relevant lead Councillors

· either the relevant Council Chief Executive or their Deputy

· representatives from Schools

· representatives from the voluntary sector

· and, in Richmond, parent representatives

8 Richmond SEND Partnership Board

Below is the formal communication on the progress of this board. In short, the Board are committed to the task of doing things better and have sensibly decided to break it into manageable, achievable chunks.

“Our [second] meeting in May demonstrated the commitment of the full range of partners to working together to prioritise and improve our services for children and young people with SEND, and the headlines of our discussion were as follows:

· Young People's voices and the issues they want us to prioritise summarised by:

o Inform us!

o Involve us!

o Help us prepare for adult life.

· Working towards a better shared understanding of the local needs and outcomes for children and young people across the borough - we need to get better at using the data that is collected by different agencies; the feedback from family members; and the findings of quality audits and assurance activity.

· We agreed that as well as driving the SEND Futures Plan and ensuring it has positive impacts, we would set a small number of key priorities and we discussed what those should be with drawing upon the feedback we have gathered from families over the past year and the knowledge and experience of partners on the Board. The themes of our discussion on priorities were:

o Improved information for families - both in understanding a complex system and finding access to the right support at the right time;

o Improved processes - reducing delays, improving the collaborative way in which we want all our services to work, more transparent decision making;

o Better local provision - in particular for those with ASD and SEMH needs;

o Better transition into adulthood “

James Thomas, Chair & Director of Children's Services

9 Kingston SEND Partnership Board

The Kingston Board has also had two meetings, with the last meeting being in March (as I understand it). The attendees are similar and include the Kingston Director of Children’s Services, the Health Commissioners and so forth (see item 8 above). To my knowledge, there is no public formal communication from this Board.

Thus far, no parents have attended the Kingston Board as the Kingston Parent Consortium is still forming…

10 Note on Parent Panel / Consortium

In the absence of a Department for Education (DfE) funded Parent Carer Forums (PCF), both councils have aggregated a group of parents; the invitations were sent to all parent/carers of a child/young person with an EHCP. Update follows.

11 Richmond Parent Panel

This panel of up to 27 parents has met twice, with a third date due to be confirmed soon. Various members of this panel have contributed to the Richmond SEND Partnership Board and the planning for the two-borough SEND Futures Conference.

12 Kingston Parent Consortium

The consortium had two ‘first meetings’ in May; 22 parent/carers expressed an interest and a total of 15 attended.

Their second meetings are:

Wednesday 10th July

1.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 8.30pm

If you would like to attend either of these meetings, please contact Karen Lowry at

13 Note on Parent Carer Forums (PCFs)

The Department for Education PCFs are still work in progress for both Kingston and Richmond. There is thought, and perhaps discussion, being given to asking the Parent Panel and Parent Consortium to consider taking an additional role as the PCF for each borough.

14 Amendment to the Mental Capacity Act becomes law

In the discrete world of SEND, children have many different vulnerabilities; some more able to understand than others. The measure of mental capacity supports their dignity and right to make decisions.

“On 16th May 2019 the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act gained Royal Assent, following a contested journey through Parliament. The Act provides an update on the 2005 Mental Capacity Act, a piece of legislation which sets out what should happen when a person lacks capacity to make one or more decisions for themselves.

The Act will introduce the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS), which is a new model to safeguard and protect individuals who lack capacity and may be deprived of their liberty during their care.”

15 Specificity in an EHCP – a new popular blog

“This is blog for professional people really, but it will also help parents understand why provision must be written specifically in an EHCP.”

“…you wouldn't say "Johnny needs access to a wheelchair" you would say "Johnny needs to have his wheelchair available all of the time".

16 Free Eye Tests

Spotted an advert for this in my local optician whilst collecting my new glasses…

“You may qualify for a free NHS-funded eye test at home if you are unable to visit an optician unaccompanied due to physical or mental disability”


…and the phone number for free NHS eye tests:

T: 0800 731 0041

17 Woman who Video Bombed A Live TV Interview – Served as A Jetstar Flight Attendant

“A young woman with Down syndrome, who became an Internet Sensation after she video bombed a live TV interview, has served as a hostess for a domestic Jetstar flight last month.” 1.46 mins

18 Birthday choices for Service Dogs

Even service dogs should have their voice heard… (30 seconds)

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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