• SEND speak

Reminders, PCF & Tears of Pride - 9th Dec 2018

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear All

So… last week covered the huge amount of national news. This weekend, it’s a bit more local and aims to uncover the SEND Community for families who have just walked in to the world of SEND.

1 Reminders – and for those new to the world of SEND Having co-facilitated a number of parent workshops recently – to those ‘new’ to the discrete world of SEND – here’s a selection of helpful links that are maybe familiar to those of us who have been in this community for longer, and new to others. In no particular order…

1a Early Education Funding and 30 hours childcare offer

Some children are eligible for free childcare and early education from the term after their second birthday. This includes children who have an Education Health and Care plan or who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

1b Don’t miss out (at the GP)

“Do you have a learning disability or support someone who does? By adding your name to the learning disability register you can get better healthcare - and you could have a free Annual Health Check.”

1c Energise – activities for young people The groups are Energise for children aged between 5 - 8 years and Energise+ for children between 9 - 15 years old with Moderate and Severe Learning Disabilities.

1d Special Needs Jungle - commentary

Here is a description of what SNJ does, and the articles they published in December 2018.

“Parent-led information, resources and informed opinion about children and young people age 0-25”

Why consistency in parenting is vital, especially for children with challenging behaviours - December 7, 2018

The struggle in SEND hurts us all. It’s a sign of society gone wrong - December 5, 2018

My “control freak’s guide” for my disabled daughter’s dignity and care in hospital - December 3, 2018

1e Carers Rights and Entitlements Information Sheet

Caring can be very tough, and the struggle to access information and support can only add to a carer's anxiety. Richmond Carers Centre has produced a short guide with details of assessments and allowances to which unpaid carers may be entitled, plus sign-posting to local support organisations.

1f TAG Youth Club (two clubs, 8 to 15 and 15 ot 25)

Over the weekend, TAG were fundraising and packing bags in a local supermarket. I spoke to a bag-packing parent who said TAG is “…the best thing we has ever done.”

“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.”

1g The DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and Carers Allowance

The forms for this are awful! You can get help from the following organisations - you will need to book an appointment wherever you go. All these organisation offer support to parents from both Kingston and Richmond.

DLA/PIP clinics at Me too & Co on Friday mornings

"We are working in partnership with KIDS, a local charity. KIDS has the contract from the Local Authority [Achieving for Children] to provide the benefits advice service to support families of children and young people (up to 18 years) to complete the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independent Payment (PIP) application forms."


SENDIASS (SEND Information & Advice Support Services)

"We have a part-time Benefits Advisor who supports families of children and young people (up to 18 years) to complete Disability Living Allowance (DLA) applications and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)."

T: 020 8831 6179


Express CIC DLA and EHCP ​Support

"Express CIC offer Disability Living Allowance and Education, Health and Care Plan Support by appointment to families who have a child or young person on the Autistic spectrum. The appointment is to give specific 1:1 support time to help parent/carers through the process. Our volunteers are IPSEA SEND Advisor trained.”


2 Capella House Free [new special] School Consultation

I’d like to thank Alison at NAS Richmond ( ) for their translation of the Section 10 consultation - reproduced below:

“As you may already know, our [Richmond] Borough is in the process of developing more local school provision for children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Included in this development is Capella House, more details of which are given below. As part of this process, interested people are invited to take part in what is called a Section 10 consultation; and this includes a questionnaire plus two consultation meetings.

You can complete this questionnaire online by going to

The consultation dates will be:

Friday 11th January 2019, 5.00pm to 7.00pm (presentation at 6pm)

Monday 14th January, 6.00pm to 8pm (presentation at 7pm)

Where: Capella House Secondary Centre, Egerton Road, Twickenham TW2 7SL

For your information, here is the link to Capella House's proposed admissions policy:

What will Capella House School offer?

Capella House School will offer a specialist language-focussed environment with a collaborative, class-based approach to the delivery of speech and language therapy. It will provide specialist teaching, speech & language and occupational therapies. Class sizes will be small and will enable learners to focus on a differentiated curriculum, including aspects of the national curriculum, designed to support their individual needs. All pupils will work towards nationally recognised accreditations including GCSEs, BTECs and vocational courses. “

You can find the official release of the consultation here:

3 Survey coming on a new PCF (parent carer forum)

If you have been following this story via SENDspeak, this is the latest news…

Contact (who administer the grant on behalf of the Department of Education) for local Parent Carer Forums (PCF’s) are sending out a survey to all parents in Kingston and Richmond asking their preferences regarding the shape of a new forum. This is likely to appear on the Local Offer as a survey and, hopefully, will be sent as a letter and/or e-mail to ALL families of children and young people with SEND. More news to follow (when the links are live).

Details of what a PCF is, can be found here:

“A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of disabled children. Their aim is to make sure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families.”

4 Government announcement of an extension of the review of its autism strategy to cover children and young people

News Flash: 5th December

“Today, the Government announced an extension of the review of its autism strategy to cover children and young people, as well as adults. The review will inform the new joint adults and children autism strategy to be published in autumn 2019.

The review is looking at:

· joining up health, care and education services to address autistic children’s needs holistically

· developing diagnostic services to diagnose autism earlier, in line with clinical guidance

· improving the transition between children and adult services so that no young people miss out, and ending inappropriate reliance on inpatient hospital care

· improving understanding of autism and all its profiles, including recently identified forms such as pathological demand avoidance (PDA)

You can find further details here

Today, the Government is also responding to the report by the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism and the National Autistic Society - Autism and Education in England 2017. The Government response is attached.

Download Government Response (opens a pdf)”

6 The Daily Mood - flip chart with emoticons

Here is the link for the much-admired Flip Chart (at the parent workshops this week) 😊

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7 Tears of Pride

Stephen Unwin‏ @RoseUnwin

Asked at school to define the word normal’, Bea (10) drew a distinction between ‘normal’ and ‘usual’, pointing out that people with Learning Disabilities are ‘normal’, even if they’re not ‘usual’. Tears of pride.

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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