• SEND speak

PCNAs, CYPwDLD, Dates for your Diary & TAG

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear All

Every week, I think there won’t be enough information or news to include in a SENDspeak. Every week, I am wrong… on the upside, there should be something for everyone!

· 1 Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)

· 2 from the CYPwDLD

· 2a SEND Transport and SEND Transformation

· 2b Some points on the SEND Transport

· 2c Moor Lane Respite Centre

· 3 What makes a Legal Consultation?

· 4 The SEND Inquiry

· 5 Update on review of therapy provision in Kingston and Richmond

· 6 Council for Disabled Children (CDC) Winter Digest

· 7 Disability Access Fund (DAF) – for Early Years (pre-school)

· 8 Dates for Your Diary

· 9 Phase Transfer booklets (preparing for admission to secondary school)

· 10 An Employers Guide to Supported Employment (NDTi)

1 Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)

The PCNA is one of my bug bears… it’s there to support parents and carers, but it’s also underpinned by the principle of ‘The Right to an Ordinary Life’.

The PCNA is there to help signpost, possibly provide additional support and certainly to recognise parent/carers needs. In an ideal world, the collected data from PCNAs would inform commissioning of services.

“Your entitlement to a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA)

Parents and carers have a stand-alone right to assessments and services under the Children and Families Act 2014. This is called a Parent Carer Needs Assessment (PCNA). Very simply, a PCNA is about parents and carer's needs - assessing what parents and carers need to enable them to carry on caring. It is your chance to consider your role as a carer and what help you may need to support you, to maintain your own health, as well as balancing your caring role with other aspects of your life, such as work and family.”

Please note; a PCNA is available for all parents to request. However, all parents of children/young people with SEND automatically qualify for a PCNA as we are vulnerable families.

Where can I find the PCNA?

The current PCNA form is undergoing a revision. Parents (from both Kingston and Richmond) are welcome to offer comment and query. You can find the draft PCNA here (pages 17 to 23 of the Agenda Reports Pack):

Please send your comments to Geraldine Burgess at Achieving for Children:

Where can I learn more about all Carers Assessments? There are a number of different assessments… and it some appear to overlap (and may well do). Cerebra publish some excellent guides for parents. Here is their fact sheet on this topic (there are further links on this page):

2 More from the CYPwDLD

CYPwDLD = Children & Young People with Disabilities & Learning Difficultions partnership forum)

This meeting covered a lot last Tuesday. There is no equivalent meeting in Kingston, but as the children’s services are provided by the Achieving for Children (AfC) in both boroughs – there is plenty of overlap.

Last week, the CYPwDLD included questions on the composition of a Parent Panel (a working title, and it was observed that this title came across as quite starchy). One of the questions regarding the parent panel was ‘should the CYPwDLD continue?’. That’s something for the CYPwDLD members to debate. Although my sense is there is value to the CYPwDLD; it gives an opportunity to learn and question various SEND related services. The value is on both sides; both from the members and AfC who receive direct feedback and often questions they hadn’t thought of themselves. It does help however to read all the paperwork (although this time it amounted to 108 pages, plus two supplementary documents!! – 80 pages were annex’s).

With regard to a Parent Panel for Kingston, this is under discussion.

2a SEND Transport and SEND Transformation

These are two separate proposals, for each policy, one for each borough. The CYPwDLD can only discuss in detail the Richmond proposals. Having checked this, I can report that Kingston has draft plans going through the decision-making processes; and Richmond's is in development (see below). They will be different programmes for each borough with a different focus based on local needs.

2b Some points on the SEND Transport

The meeting discussed the proposed SEND Transport Policy – you can read it here, it is the Supplementary Agenda pack:

· This draft policy went to the Scrutiny panel before the Consultation was complete. AfC apologised for this. My understanding is that there is still the possibility to make changes following the consultation, and before it goes to Cabinet.

· This prompted me to explore what made a legal consultation; more on this below.

· Services for our families are often commissioned in silos (separately, where departments don’t always make the connections that we, as service users, do).

· Eleanor Wright (SOSSEN) made an excellent point during the meeting, and later tweeted this. I reproduce it here, with Eleanor’s permission:

“Well, some interesting reactions when I pointed out that, though there isn't a stat duty to provide transport to 16-19s, if they don't & the YP [young person] can't get to education they will be in breach of stat duty to secure special educational provision.”

2c Moor Lane Respite Centre

Let’s finish this with something positive! This project looks really positive and the project lead (Henry Kilpin) spoke with genuine enthusiasm and pleasure. More here (pages 99 to 108 of the reports pack):

and here:

3 What makes a Legal Consultation? From what I can find out there is no set consultation process; but there are a lot of general guidelines and examples of best practice. Evidence based feedback on this topic would be very welcome!

Government Consultation Principles - 19 March 2018

These consultation principles are for Government – whether that be Local or Central Government. Below are the subheadings, follow the link below for more detail.

A. Consultations should be clear and concise

B. Consultations should have a purpose

C. Consultations should be informative

D. Consultations are only part of a process of engagement

E. Consultations should last for a proportionate amount of time

F. Consultations should be targeted

G. Consultations should take account of the groups being consulted

H. Consultations should be agreed before publication

I. Consultation should facilitate scrutiny

J. Government responses to consultations should be published in a

K. timely fashion

L. Consultation exercises should not generally be launched during local

M. or national election periods.

Ten Rules for Legal Consultations 4th December 2015

This, from the law firm Mills & Reeve is well written and concise (with thanks to the Local Offer for this link). The hightlights are below, with some of the descriptive text. Full details in the link:

1. Consult when your proposals are at a formative stage

2. Mind your language!

Decisions by public bodies have been struck down by the courts simply for the use of language that gives an appearance to the public that a decision had already been taken and the consultation was a sham.

3. Set out what you are proposing; what the options are; and why these changes are needed

4. Be up front about the reasons for a proposed change

5. Think about how long the consultation will last

6. Take the responses into account before making a final decision

7. There is no set form for a consultation

How to conduct one is a decision for the public body. The courts have approved consultations that involve responses on paper or electronically, public meetings and even citizens juries. What matters is whether the consultation is fairly conducted.

8. You can consult on a single option

9. You can reach a final decision that was not one of the options put forward for consultation

But remember two points. First, there must be good reason for such a change of approach – usually it will be based on information discovered as part of the consultation. Secondly, if the final decision departs very substantially from the initial options, it may be necessary to undertake a second consultation.

10. Be careful of making promises!

And this from Steve Broach’s Rights in Reality blog:

Duty to consult – Supreme Court sets down what fairness require

29th October 2014

4 The SEND Inquiry

The homepage for the Inquiry is here, and all publications may be found here:

Reminder… People (that’s all of us, parents and professionals alike) can still submit written evidence using the link immediately above.

5 Update on review of therapy provision in Kingston and Richmond

“The detailed needs analysis of all therapies across Kingston and Richmond is being completed. It is anticipated that remaining work will be finished by the end of February, with the report shared at that point. The review includes current and future provision for speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy for children and young people with education health and care plans in specialist resource provisions, academy special schools and mainstream schools in the boroughs. There is consideration too of the needs within our SEN Support cohort”

For more information, follow this link to the Local Offer:

6 Council for Disabled Children (CDC) Winter Digest

If you are new to the CDC – here is their website:

Their Winter Digest can be downloaded here:

Contents include:

· CDC's conference on getting relationship and sex education right for students with SEND

· NHS England's latest news

· The Information, Advice & Support Programme explained

· Case law updates from Steve Broach

· News, blogs, reports and resources from across the SEND sector

7 Disability Access Fund (DAF) – for Early Years (pre-school)

The responsibility to identify eligible families belongs to the pre-school setting (this is where the funding goes). However, as parents, it’s always good to know what support may be available for us or our networks.

“The Disability Access Fund (DAF) is a new measure which aids access to Early Years places by, for example, supporting providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with building capacity.


Three and four-year olds will be eligible for the DAF if they meet the following criteria:

· the child is in receipt of child Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and;

· the child receives Free Entitlement for 3 and 4 year-old funding.

Please note that four-year olds in primary school reception classes are not eligible for DAF funding.

Early years settings are ultimately responsible for identifying eligible children and settings are encouraged to speak to parents in order to find out who is eligible for the DAF.

The Entitlement

The settings of three and four-year olds eligible for the DAF will be entitled to receive a one-off payment of £615 per year. The DAF is not based on an hourly rate and is an additional entitlement.

What can providers use the DAF for?

The DAF is to help providers make reasonable adjustments to their settings to further support a child/children. This is to make the most of the opportunity which early education offers them.

It is up to the childcare provider to decide how they spend the DAF. Providers cannot use the funding to pay for additional hours.”

If you have any queries, please contact Karen Lowry at the Local Offer: T: 020 8547 6541 E:

8 Dates for Your Diary

SOS!SEN‎ Workshop - Annual reviews

Saturday 9 February 2019 - 9.30am to 1.30pm

SOS!SEN Office, 11a Creek Road, East Molesey, Surrey. KT8 9BE

This workshop concentrates on how to manage the annual review successfully. It will include the necessary preparation before the annual review from the school and the timescales involved, what should happen at the meeting, and what needs to happen after the annual review.

£55.00 per person to include useful documentation.



Express Autism Conference

This event is in the planning, please contact Express for more information and updates.

20th March 2019 Rose Theatre, Kingston upon Thames

Tw: @expresscic

T: 020 8390 4273


Local Information Morning

MeToo&Co, based in Twickenham, are hosting an information event for parents and carers new to the world of SEND. MeToo&Co provides activities and therapies for children with disabilities and additional needs.

Friday 8th March – 10am to 12noon The CrossWay Centre, 306 Richmond Road, East Twickenham

Children and Young People’s Participation Conference 2

This is the second of these conference for children and young people below the age of 25 with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

“It will bring together individuals and participation groups from around England to learn about why having a voice matters; to discuss experiences of participation and inspire each other to get involved in decision-making. The day is being planned with the help of young people, and a range of fun, accessible workshops will be held by different disabled children and young people’s organisations.”

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Coin Street Conference Centre, London

If you have any questions, please contact Will Carver-Grenside at

What is Participation?

"Participation is the process by which children and young people influence decision-making, which brings about change in them, others, their services and their communities"

From 21&Co (for families of children with Downs Syndrome)

21&Co’s Awareness week kicks off on 12th May with the Bushy Park sponsored walk and picnic with Singing Hands and ending with Park Lane Stables Open Day on 18th May. They are also organising an Information Day:

Monday 13th May – 10am to 3pm Langdon Down Centre, Teddington

More information in their newsletter:

Small Steps May Ball

Small Steps was founded in 1998 to provide specialist help and support to parents with physically disabled children. Small Steps is a free service and as a registered charity we do not receive any statutory funding. Small Steps is solely dependent on grants, donations and fundraising in order to operate. This is fundraising event:

Saturday 18th May 2019

Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club in Richmond upon Thames

For more information, please contact Small Steps via the events page on their website:

#SENDNationalCrisis - March in London

This group is run by parents of disabled young people. “Our aim is to tackle the failing SEND and EHCP process by linking with others in our situation.”

30th May 2019

A national event, with co-ordinated local events

“On 30th May 2019 #SEND families, friends, teachers and many other SEND supporters will be taking to the streets for the National #SENDCrisis March. There will be a series of co-ordinated local marches all over the UK.”

9 Phase Transfer booklets (preparing for admission secondary school)

These booklets are for parents and carers of children with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) in Year 5.

“Moving to a new school can be an anxious time for families, so this brochure aims to help guide you through the school admissions process for children with an EHCP as it is different to the usual admission process. All children with an EHCP have their phase transfer from primary school to secondary school dealt with by the special educational needs and disability (SEND) Team, who are here to help and support you through this important transition.”

10 An Employers Guide to Supported Employment (NDTi)

The NDTi (National Development Team for Inclusion) “are a social change organisation working to enable people at risk of exclusion, due to age or disability, to live the life they choose. We inspire and support policymakers, services and communities to make change happen - change that leads to better lives.”

Map below, the full report can be found here:

11 A Festive Proposal - The Undateables

Aaaaaaah 😊 2.26 minutes

12 TAG

TAG Youth Club… what they did last week. 22 seconds

Website here:

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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