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Manifestos, Christmas & Cartoons

Dear All

Let’s start with a cartoon, just to make remind us of where we are… (table of contents below)

1. The Manifestos…

2. Easy Read Manifestos - from the parties

3. Easy Read Manifestos - from United Response

4. The Last Leg on the manifestos

5. Guide to voting in the 2019 General Election

6. Making Politics Accessible #LoveYourVote

7. Special Needs Jungle #VoteSEND

8. The SEND Community Alliance: A Manifesto

9. ISPEA’s Manifesto

10. New Director of Children’s Services for Kingston & Richmond

11. Save the date - SEND Futures Conference 2020

12. Next Steps pack

13. Created by Parents

14. Project Understood

15. SCCC Meeting Dates (and Christmas party)

16. TAG needs volunteers for packing...

17. TAG – pre-Christmas swim

18. Another cartoon

1 The Manifestos…

The world of local and central government retreat into a silent world of purdah* for six weeks before a general election.

The Education Committee, who reported on the SEND Inquiry, tweeted: “Parliament has been dissolved and this account will not be active until after the General Election. Contact us at

Once they open again, we must hope and support that the recommendations from this report, become actions. Perhaps, when they come a-knocking for votes, make sure your local parliamentary candidates have paid attention to this report.

* Purdah is the pre-election period in the United Kingdom, specifically the time between the announcement of an election and the formation of the new elected government

For now, let’s see what everyone else is saying…

2 Easy Read Manifestos - from the parties

With thanks to Express CIC Facebook posts for these easy read manifestos. You can find Express CIC here:

Mencap “…called on the main political parties taking part in the general election 2019 on Thursday 12 December to provide easy read versions of their manifestos.”

These are the parties that have provided manifestos thus far:

Liberal Democrat Party

Green Party

Conservative Party

3 Easy Read Manifestos - from United Response

“United Response provides a range of support services for adults and young people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs or physical disabilities.

We have made easy read versions of the party manifestos for all the main parties in England. These say what each party would do if they win the election this December.”

Green Party 2019 Manifesto (5 pages)

Liberal Democrats 2019 Manifesto (11 pages)

Labour Party 2019 Manifesto (9 pages)

Conservative 2019 Manifesto (12 pages)

Brexit Party 2019 Manifesto (12 pages)

4 The Last Leg on the Manifestos

From 14.36 minutes to 15.36 minutes, the Last Leg give a brief round-up of disability promises in the manifestos…

5 Guide to voting in the 2019 General Election

From Mencap… “Take a look at our easy read guide to voting in the December 2019 General Election. We have produced this guide together with the Electoral Commission.”

6 Making Politics Accessible #LoveYourVote

From Dimensions, who… “In 1976, armed with a single phone in a rented office, Dimensions began supporting people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs out of institutions, helping them lead ordinary lives in their local communities.”

7 Special Needs Jungle #VoteSEND

“A poll of families who have a child or young person with SEND suggests that more than two million General Election votes are "up for grabs" among parents of disabled children. The survey indicated that Brexit is only the third most important issue for our families, as parents say they're more likely to #VoteSEND, i.e, to vote for the party that commits to the best support for disabled children.”

8 The SEND Community Alliance: A Manifesto

The SEND Community Alliance are a new campaigning group, led by the teams from Special Needs Jungle, SEND National Crisis and SEND Action.

This is… “our manifesto and we call on every political and political party to sign up to its principles to show them that they stand up for SEND. We support the recommendations of the Education Select Committee’s SEND Inquiry report and call for these to be implemented as a matter of urgency.”

9 ISPEA’s Manifesto

IPSEA – Independent Special Parental Education Advice

With the 2019 general election on the horizon IPSEA is releasing its manifesto. It's filled with asks highlighting key areas that need to be addressed by the next government to tackle the #SENDcrisis. Spread the word by sharing with your candidates. IPSEA is calling on the next government to make four commitments to improve the education of children and young people with SEND and ensure they receive the support they are legally entitled to.

10 New Director of Children’s Services for Kingston & Richmond

One wonders… Achieving for Children’s MD is now the DCS for two boroughs, will there be another MD, or perhaps another re-structure?

“Ian Dodds, our Managing Director [MD], has been appointed as the new joint Director of Children’s Services (DCS) for Kingston and Richmond Councils.

Ian has been the Managing Director of Achieving for Children since 2018. He is due to start as the DCS with the two local authorities in January 2020.

His appointment follows the interim arrangements of the last 12 months with individual Directors of Children’s Services (DCS) for each borough. The Councils agreed to return to the joint DCS model which fits with the Achieving for Children joint services delivery model.”

11 Save the date - SEND Futures Conference 2020

for Kingston & Richmond

“Planning will be starting for the 2020 conference which will be held at The Stoop in Twickenham on 30th June. We will be working with parents, carers and young people to design the day.”

If you want to make any suggestions or get in touch about the event you can do so by emailing

12 Next Steps pack

“The Next Steps Pack has just been updated and replaces previous versions of both the Next Steps and Opportunities Pack (which has now been discontinued).

The pack is aimed at young people in years 10 and 11, including information for young people who need extra support with their learning. It includes post 16 education and training options available locally - whether in learning or apprenticeships and provides links to find out more information.”

13 Created by Parents

A video, 8.43mins, sent in by one of the parents who attends the Post-16 Maze coffee mornings. As well as the video, there is lots of information on this website, most particularly about Home from Home care for young adults.

14 Project Understood

Video by Dan Lytwyn for the BBC - 2.10minutes 20th Nov 2019

“Project Understood aims to improve voice recognition software for users with Down's syndrome.

The programme is a partnership between the US technology company Google and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. But anyone with Down's syndrome can take part in Project Understood.”

15 SCCC Meeting Dates (and Christmas party)

The warm and friendly parents and carers at SEND Carers Coffee & Chat (SCCC) are meeting again in December, plus a Christmas get together!

Monday 2nd December – morning coffee

Friday 13th December – morning coffee

“All welcome to join us for our Christmas party at the Waterman’s Arms in Barnes! 🎄 Details below, please message for more info! “

Wednesday 18th December from 12noon

Please e-mail for more information:

16 TAG needs volunteers for packing...

“We need as many volunteers as possible next Saturday to help bag pack at Waitrose Twickenham. Time slots are:





Please let us know if you can help, your family and friends are welcome to volunteer as well.”

17 TAG – pre-Christmas swim

“We’re hiring Guildford Spectrum on Saturday 21 December between 6.30 and 8pm. This event is for the whole families and friends are welcome. Tickets are £5 per person.”

Please contact Giles at TAG for more information:

18 Another cartoon

Again, to remind us where we are…

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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