• SEND speak

SEND Crisis roundup, Growing Up & Singing

Dear All

This week, the first half of SENDspeak is coverage of the SEND Crisis march.

A frequent theme in the feedback to SENDspeak is that the content and circulation means that (pan-disability) parent/carers don’t feel alone.

So many of us get so wrapped up in our own SEND world, we forget that we are not alone. Well, we’re not alone and the march shows that our voices are getting louder. (and see the singing at the end 😊 )

1. SEND Crisis march

a. From the BBC… (article and video 1min)

b. From TES… (article and video)

c. From the Leeds March (article)

d. From RTU News (video 4.39 mins)

e. From Special Needs Jungle (compilation of tweets and photos)

2. Next up... @SEND_Action

3. SEND Futures Conference - 27th June – Kingston & Richmond

4. Give it back

5. “Social Media, Mental Health and Resilience – How to be Prepared!”

6. Post-16 Maze – 7th June at 9.30am

7. 💖 Love Life: resources for young people with learning disabilities

8. The Autism Show

9. Could you help other parent/carers?

10. Singing Hands – Summer Show

11. Wow! more singing…

12. Sky News Loos

1 SEND Crisis march

On Thursday 30th May 1000’s pf parents and young people marched in 28 locations across the country to highlight the SEND Funding crisis.

Unsurprisingly there has been a lot of coverage; national, local and on social media. Below are just some examples.

And if you’d like to keep directly up to date, the SEND Crisis people operate via a closed group on Facebook - just search it and ask to join. These are…

Nationally, the group is called: SEND National Crisis March

and for London:

SEND National Crisis London Group

1a From the BBC… (article and video 1min)

“Disabled children and their families have taken to the streets today to demand action on "the national crisis" in special needs funding.

Send National Crisis campaigners delivered a 13,000-signature petition to Downing Street ahead of a rally in Parliament Square.”

1b From TES… (article and video 1min)

“Research published earlier this year revealed that funding for children with the most severe SEND has been cut by 17 per cent per pupil over the past four years.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, which was supporting the event, said: “Teachers want their schools and classrooms to be inclusive as they can be. But they come up against a situation where you have children with extra needs but you don’t have the resources to meet their needs.” “

1c From the Leeds March (article) "Today, Living Life to the Fullest researcher Professor Katherine Runswick-Cole spoke at one of 28 marches across the country organised by parents campaigning for better support for children with “SEND” in schools. We share her speech below.”

And extracted from the speech (which is succinct and worth reading)…

“Our message is this: Our children have a right to an education, and this is a human right. When you talk about our children’s special needs, you should be talking about their rights, and rights are not optional.”

1d From RTU News (video 4.39 mins)

“…you’ve got Parents, Teachers, Councillors, Local Government all saying the same message; it’s the Government’s fault.”

“We learn a lot about Henry VIII, but not how to read a payslip.”

1e From Special Needs Jungle (compilation of tweets and photos)

“What a day it was! On Thursday 30th May 2019, up and down the country, parents, children, young people, professionals and even a smattering of politicians showed up in their thousands to demand the government moves to end the #SENDCrisis.

It was an amazing feat for many parents to get to the various locations with their children, some in wheelchairs. But the sun shone and spirits were as high as voices chanted slogans to end the cuts to SEND. But not just cuts - we need a sea change so that all professionals take the Children and Families Act to heart and abide by the law.”

2 Next up... @SEND_Action

Next up is SEND Action’s crowd funded Judicial Review (JR) of central government; whereby they will be challenging Governments funding policy. This takes place on 26th & 27th June.

SEND Action mostly operate through Twitter and you can be sure it will be buzzing over those two days! Here is the poster:

3 SEND Futures Conference - 27th June – Kingston & Richmond

This Conference is very close to capacity and so bookings are closed. If you would like to attend and have not yet registered, please e-mail Julia Hunt.

Julia is compiling a reserve list and will squeeze as many as possible. Please email Julia asap.


As well as headline speakers from both Councils and the Department for Education, there are also workshops on the day. Confirmed are:

Natalie Packer (Educational Consultancy specialises in training, support and advice on SEN)

and the Rotherham Parent Carer Forum (PCF) are running workshops on Parent Carer Forums Catherine Ratcliffe, who has been working with Richmond and Kingston parents on setting up new local PCFs, also set up Rotherham PCF.

4 Give it back new campaign from the Disabled Children's Partnership

“The Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) is asking the Government to give back the £434 million shortfall in funding for social care for disabled children and their families. Parent carer, Vickey has written to the Chancellor asking him to Give it Back.”

You can add your name to the letter via the l ink below; they need 5000 signatures, and as of today are just over 2100.

5 “Social Media, Mental Health and Resilience – How to be Prepared!”

This is from Homestart, who provide support for families of under 5’s. Homestart are not SEND specific, but nonetheless, this is an important topic.

“In this talk Dr Kathy Weston will help parents be prepared for their children using social media, by explaining what is going on in the world of children and young people who are using and enjoying social media. She will discuss the positives as well as the risks associated with this form of media.”

Thursday 6th June – 7.30pm to 9.30pm

Hampton Prep School, Gloucester Road (between 55 & 55a), Hampton TW12 2UQ

£10 per ticket (including light refreshments), either on the door, or here:

For more information, please contact Claire Leonard at Home-Start Richmond, Kingston & Hounslow on 020 8487 8500.

6 Post-16 Maze – 7th June at 9.30am

From the Post-16 Maze parents - not a formal group, rather a ‘hang out, chat and share’…

“Our next post 16 support group is this Friday, 7th June at 9.30am - again kindly hosted by Skylarks (formerly Me Too and Co).

As Summer is on its way, we thought a discussion to share ideas on summer activities, schemes, funding and solutions would be helpful. Parents talking to parents about what works and what doesn’t to keep our young people happy and busy over the summer. “

Almost certainly, other topics will also come up

7 💖 Love Life: resources for young people with learning disabilities

from NSPCC Learning

“The films and supporting resources are aimed at young people aged 11 to 25 to help them learn strategies for staying safe as they grow up and gain independence.

They enable adults to start conversations with young people about:

· feelings

· privacy and boundaries

· friendship

· different kinds of love

· online safety

Young people with a variety of different needs helped us develop resources that are flexible and adaptable.”

8 The Autism Show

“If you’re looking for information and direction pre or post diagnosis, are facing daily challenges, or approaching significant transition points, then The Autism Show can help you.

At the show, you can pick and choose from over 100 hours of talks, clinics and workshops, plus hundreds of specialist products and services.

Once inside the event, all content is free to access and CPD certified for professionals.

Book your tickets today and save 20% off the door price!”

9 Could you help other parent/carers?

Outreach SEND Practitioner – job opportunity

“We are currently recruiting for a SENDIASS practitioner to support the services outreach to communities who do not access the service where our support might be needed. The role is advertised here:

NB: there are currently a couple of errors on the web page… The job is not based in Croydon, but at Moor Lane, Chessington.

Closing date is 10th June to allow people to complete over the weekend. It’s a fixed term role initially to March 2020 as funding is only guaranteed to that point at present.”

10 Singing Hands – Summer Show

“Singing Hands are back for their Summer Spectacular on Saturday 8th June – an afternoon show full of seasonal Summer fun! As always Suzanne and Tracy will be joined by the signing choir from Clarendon and they’ll be performing a wide range of rhymes, action songs and pop hits to cover all ages. There will be an opportunity for a meet-and-greet after the show and free pictures with Singing Hands in the photo booth.”

“Singing Hands have also booked a MOBILOO Changing Places facility onsite for those of you who require accessible changing. If you require a wheelchair accessible seat, please call the Box Office on 020 8783 4418 (limited number available).”

Saturday 8th June - 2.30pm (Doors open 2.00pm).

Hammond Theatre, Hanworth Rd, Hampton TW12 3HD

Duration: 60 minutes

Tickets between £12.50 and £8, from:

11 Wow! more singing…

Picked this up from the Singing Hands Twitter feed ( @singinghands ) Resonated with me because my youngest son is covering this song for his Grade 8 vocals (btw – he hasn’t been in education for 4 years)

Kodi ‘lives, breathes and dreams’ music’. See him come alive with music - singing begins 2.30pmins in. And… Kodi has an amazing 48.1K Twitter followers!

12 Sky News Loos

Something else from Twitter and OK, so a totally loopy thing to end with, but it made me smile…

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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