• SEND speak

Money, Summer, News & Cats (or is it rocket science?)

Dear All

And welcome to all the new subscribers over the past two to three weeks… 😊

1. Have your say and shape the future of Kingston

2. deadline 14th July – improving SEND in Richmond

3. Kingston Free School Bid

4. CYPwDLD Forum - what's useful to me?

5. Summer activities & funding

6. Health Swap App

7. Autism Helpsheets

8. Chatterpack - A Sense of School Belonging

9. New stats on SEND from the DfE

10. Artist-led workshops at Tate Britain

11. BSL for Stormzy at Glastonbury

12. Social Work, Cats and Rocket Science

1 Have your say and shape the future of Kingston

“The future of our borough is being planned now - be part of the conversation. Book your place and join one of our workshops happening this month.

What is this all about?

This consultation sets out the challenges we face and asks for your thoughts on how we could tackle them to ensure our borough continues to thrive up to 2041.”

This is not SEND specific, however if our voices are not included, then they may not be heard. As well as an online survey, there are four events from today until 25th July.

2 deadline 14th July – improving SEND in Richmond

“We would like to hear views about our draft Plan, which sets out how Richmond Council, Achieving for Children and the Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group will improve SEND services over the next three years.”

The Consultation and Plan

The online consultation (7 short questions, with links to background reading). The survey starts with bullet points of data that the reader may find helpful.


· The Draft Plan

· An easy-read version of the Consultation

· An easy-read version of the Draft Plan

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 14th July 2019.

3 Kingston Free School Bid

The Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust bid for Kingston’s new Autism Specific Free School

“By 2021 it is expected that there will be over 1,000 children and young people needing spaces at schools with special educational support across Kingston and Richmond. We want to meet this need and enter the competition to run a high-quality, evidence based, autism-specific school in Kingston.

Register your interest for the engagement workshop [at Express CIC] by emailing Natasha Hawley at

18th July 2019 from 10.00am

Express CIC, 452 Ewell Road, Surbiton, KT6 7EL

You can find more details about the bid, the workshop and an online survey here:

4 CYPwDLD Forum – what’s useful to me?

This forum is unique to Richmond, however the presentations by Achieving for Children (AfC) often pertain to both Kingston and Richmond.

“The Children and Young People with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties Partnership Forum brings together representatives of organisations providing services for children and young people with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The agenda for the Children and Young People with Disabilities and Learning Difficulties Forum on 15th July has been published, and can be viewed on the following link:”


Within the agenda reports pack in the link above, you can find three of the workshop’s presentations from the SEND Futures event:

Working together to make Richmond and Kingston disability friendly and inclusive boroughs

Whilst the slides for the above are not included, the discussion document informed the presentation.

Therapies workshops

“We need your help today…….

• To ensure that we are focusing on the right areas to improve our local therapies offer

• To make sure that the new therapies offer will improve outcomes for our CYP with SEND”

Transitions to Adulthood: 16-25, Vocational Pathways and Adult Services

“The workshop will provide participants with an overview of the range of vocational pathways leading to employment that are available locally including Apprenticeships, Traineeships, supported Internships and Vocational Education.”

5 Summer activities & funding In alphabetical order…

Not an exhaustive list, but a starter for ten really – plus a couple of links on funding and other information sources. If there is anything you think is missing and/or is worth a mention, just reply to this e-mail!

Please also look to the Local Offer events pages:

AccessAble Guides

“AccessAble is here to take the chance out of going out. To give you the detailed information you need to work out if a place is going to be accessible to you. Our Detailed Access Guides tell you all about a venue's access. They are 100% facts, figures and photographs.”

AccessAble Richmond

“Your Accessibility Guide to Richmond upon Thames is now live! Covering over 200 venues, detailing everything from parking & hearing loops to walking distances & accessible toilets. Essential info for visitors and residents.”

Accessible London “London continues to improve its accessibility provisions. Here you can read about London hotels, attractions, public transport and more”

Action Attainment

”Kayaking, Paddleboards Cycling and Ball Sports - in the summer holidays we arrange sessions for young people and their families to have fun, build friendships and expand their involvement in community sport.”

Activity Station

“Activity Station organises fun and exciting activities for people with disabilities in the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames and beyond.”

AfC Short Breaks

This link will give you details of the various types of short breaks, and funding, available via Achieving for Children (AfC). Contact details are at the bottom of the page.

“Short breaks provide disabled children and young people with fun, enjoyment and a chance to be with friends while their parents and carers get a break from caring. They come in many different forms, ranging from an overnight stay in a residential centre or a carer’s home to attending a youth club, leisure centre or getting involved in a sports activity.”

Albany Outdoors

“Albany Outdoors Aiming High Club for 12 - 18 yr olds is part of the Short Breaks offer in Kingston and Richmond. It is free to attend and get wonderful feedback and reviews from those that have attended.” (from AfC Twitter)

Challengers “Challengers have been awarded the tender to deliver a playscheme and a youth scheme in the Kingston and Richmond area for the next 3 years. For both Saturdays and school holidays. The schemes will be free of charge for children and young people in Kingston and Richmond. To make bookings please call 01483 230 939. “

Charities and Grants to support families

“This is a list of organisations that offer grants or funding that can be used towards short breaks, equipment and other things. If you have any suggestions to add, please let the Local Offer know.”


“Dramatize aims to break barriers within mainstream theatre, we strongly believe theatre should be accessible to all”

Family Information Service (FIS)

“The FIS offer a telephone and web service, providing information for parents, parents to be, carers and professionals to help support children up to their 20th birthday or 25th birthday if a child has a disability.”

HOP (Holiday Opportunities Programme)

“We are holding a three-week scheme from Monday 29th July through to Friday 16th August (excluding weekends). The activities are day and evening trips, activities, and social events that are suitable for a range of abilities. The scheme is aimed at young adults (18-30ish) with learning disabilities, social communication conditions, ADHD and additional needs.”

Bookings by Friday 12th July. Please contact Richard Ferriday on 020 8744 1923 or

More information on their website:

Knots Arts

“We love running one off holiday projects for children and young people. This page is designed to show what we’ve been up to and to tell you all about new, exciting projects that are coming up!”

Marble Hill Playcentres - Inclusive Play Project

“Running every Saturday morning throughout the year, the Inclusive Play Project offers children with disabilities or additional needs time to explore the Adventure Playground with their families. No bookings are required, and the sessions are completely free. For young people up to the age of 15.”

Our Barn

“At Our Barn we run community-based activities providing learning, life skills and social interaction for young people aged between 16 to 25 with learning disabilities or autism.”

RawMinds at the Wellcome Collection

This is fully accessible, and free (see third link for access information)

“RawMinds is a group of young people aged 14 to 19 who meet at weekends, evenings and in the school holidays to explore ideas about science and art. Each new group takes on a fresh creative challenge together to produce original and inspiring work.”

“Are you 14 to 19 years old? Looking for free activities at weekends, in the evenings and during the holidays?”

“We don’t want there to be any barriers to you coming to or enjoying Wellcome Collection.”

RHLT at The People Hive – adult workshops

“Here at RHLT we understand how important it is for people who have a learning disability to have a range of activities to take part in. In addition to the excellent varied activities programmes which are developed quarterly we have several groups that meet up weekly or monthly.”

Summer activities information can be found here:

RISE - sports and fusion dance

“RISE provides a varied programme of activities for people of all ages with special educational needs and disabilities.”

SEN Sessions at Snakes & Ladders

Snakes & Ladders, a soft play centre in Brentford, are trialling after hours SEND friendly sessions for children from 0 to 12 years old. Please follow the link below for rules and regulations.

Thursday 18th July - from 6pm to 8pm

Syon Park London Road Middlesex, Brentford TW8 8JF

“Adults £2.50 entry and children with DLA letter go FREE!

FREE ENTRY for Siblings/friends who are welcome to join.”

Details are in the bottom half of the pink box on the right, in the link below:

TAG Youth Club

“We are a youth club for disabled young people, who seek to provide a safe, stimulating and engaging environment for anyone with a disability to meet up with their friends, take part in fun activities and learn social and life skills.”

Yorda Adventures

Yorda is a not-for-profit community organisation that works with families in and around the borough of Kingston-upon-Thames. We pride ourselves in providing engaging and stimulating play projects for children and young people with severe learning disabilities.

6 Health Swap App

It strikes me that lots of people with learning difficulties could benefit from this app…

“New Health Swap app launches to improve digital skills and encourage positive lifestyle choices for people with Down’s syndrome.

Funded by a grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport the app has been designed to help people with Down’s syndrome improve their digital skills as well as to make more informed choices about healthy eating and exercise.”

7 Autism Helpsheets

“The Options Clinical Team have created a series of help sheets offering advice and guidance for parents and carers who look after children, young people and adults with autism. Read more by clicking the link below.”

8 Chatterpack - A Sense of School Belonging

Why it’s Important and 5 Golden Rules for Teachers

By Dr Tim Cockerill, Senior Educational Psychologist

The blog above comes from a free online newsletter called Chatterpack “…it’s all about

blogs, useful links and training events, for teachers, professionals, parents and young people.”

Subscribe here:

9 New stats on SEND from the DfE

A couple of articles from a couple of commentators…

IPSEA outlines concerns in response to latest statistics

“The Department for Education [DfE] has published the latest statistics in relation to statements of SEN and EHC Plans. The number of EHC plans has continued to increase – with the greatest increases seen in the cohorts of those aged 0-5 and 20-25 (two groups which the Children and Families Act 2014 (“CAFA 2014”) was intended to benefit).

The data has been broken down by local authority and shows that whilst some areas get all their assessments completed within the timescales, some areas are getting fewer than 2 in 100 plans issued within this time frame.”

All rise! SEND figures go up in 2019

By Tania Tirraoro for Special Needs Jungle

“For the third year running, the number of pupils with special educational needs (SEND) in schools has increased. In January 2019, the percentage rose to 14.9% from 14.6% of the total pupil population in 2018.

In January 2019, Department for Education figures show 3.1% (271,200) pupils of all pupils having an Education, Health and Care plan. (EHCP) Last year, the percentages stood at 2.9%. For those with SEN but no EHCP, the numbers stand at 1,047,200, or 11.9% of the total school population.”

10 Artist-led workshops at Tate Britain

“…for students from all special educational needs and disabilities settings and pupil referral units. Join our artist-led workshops for students from all Special Educational Needs and Disabilities settings and Pupil Referral Units.”

This is likely to be something that your school might subscribe (if not, ask…):

11 BSL for Stormzy at Glastonbury

NB: Some of the language is as you might expect for Grime (I don’t know if that’s signed!). 36 seconds “Only 4 British Sign Language interpreters in the UK are specialists in Grime. Tara Asher signed Stormzy’s Glasto set for deaf festival goers. She rehearsed each song for a day. This is joyous.”

12 Social Work, Cats and Rocket Science

Stories of Making a Difference in Social Work with Adults

“This book tells stories of just how powerful social work can be. At its heart are stories drawn from frontline practice, ranging from first interviews through to complex decision-making.

Along the way, we meet the social worker who assessed a cat (though for all the right reasons). We witness the cost of failing to protect the rights of adults, exemplified in the tragic death of Connor Sparrowhawk.

We also see the transformations that can happen when social workers really get it right - as in the case of Peter, whose love of balloons led them to feature in his care plan.”

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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