• SEND speak

Short Breaks, PCNAs and DCS’, News & to Christmas

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear All

Starting with short breaks for children, young people and their families for the next holiday season…

1. Challengers Registration Day – 2nd Dec. register your interest by 30th Nov.

2. Energise Holiday Groups – Christmas 2018

3. PCNA - your rights as a parent/carer

4. Take part: a new strategy for Autism (Kingston)

5. Two (2) x DCS – more news

6. TAG Youth Club Highly Commended in National Awards

7. Way 2 Work – changes to information on the Local Offer

8. Mental health and behaviour in schools

9. Off rolling – another name for exclusion?

10. I would talk 6000 thousand pounds

11. How to Check a Draft EHC Plan – from SOS!SEN

12. Dyslexia is My Superpower (most of the time)

13. Ten in the Bed - Makaton

14. Singing Hands – at Christmas

1 Challengers Registration Day – 2nd Dec. register your interest by 30th Nov.

Challengers play or youth scheme – any child who has any impairment, disability or ‘SEND’

“Achieving for Children are hosting a Registration Day to meet children and young people who live in Kingston and Richmond who would be interested in attending Challengers Play and Youth Schemes.

Next Challengers Kingston/Richmond Registration Day:

Sunday 2nd December – morning and afternoon sessions available, please specify

Whitton Youth Zone, Britannia xx, TW2 7JX

For more information and/or to book a place please visit the Challengers website or call us on 01483 230 930.”

You can also find the details on the Local Offer, here:

2 Energise Holiday Groups – Christmas 2018

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.

For more details of their Christmas activities, please follow the link below:

3 PCNA - your rights as a parent/carer

If you decide to apply for a PCNA, please do let know how you get on…

“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.

The law recognises that parents and carers needs are just as important as a child or young person’s. If a parent or carer’s needs are not met – how can they continue to care for their child or young person?”

4 Take part: a new strategy for Autism (Kingston)

“Help Kingston Council to develop a new vision and strategy for children, young people and adults who are on the autistic spectrum. Take part in workshops happening between 21st and 29th November. You can also take part in a short survey.”

5 Two (2) x DCS – more news

Pauline Maddison has been appointed as interim Director of Children's Services (DCS) in Kingston on a twelve-month contract. Ian Dodds (interim Chief Executive) will cover the Richmond DCS position until an appointment is made in the New Year.

The Councils believe there needs to be time to work out whether separate DCSs is the way forward or if it brings more challenges than it resolves.

You can read the official announcement on the Local Offer, here:

6 TAG Youth Club Highly Commended in National Awards

“TAG Youth Club for Disabled Young People aims to empower and optimise the potential of young people with disabilities. Youth workers deliver a range of programmes that encourage personal and social development.

TAG attended the UK Youth Showcase and Awards event in Central London on Tuesday 13 November. TAG was shortlisted in the UK Youth ‘Youth Organisation of the Year’ Award.

TAG sadly wasn’t crowned Youth Organisation of the Year, however received a Highly Commended certificate. This is a great achievement for a small charity and to be recognised on a national level is so rewarding for everyone involved.”


7 Way 2 Work – changes to information on the Local Offer

“Way 2 Work (W2W) Achieving for Children's ‘in house’ apprenticeship provider offering apprenticeship vacancies and full-time job opportunities for young people aged 16-24 with local employers. W2W’s main objective is to support vulnerable young people …”

Please note that different and other local apprenticeship vacancies are still on the Way 2 Work site. (not sure why…?)

8 Mental health and behaviour in schools

Published this year, November 2018, this guidance is 34 pages and includes mention of SEND on page 19: “3.24 Early intervention to address underlying causes of disruptive behaviour should

include an assessment of whether appropriate provision is in place to support any

SEN or disability that a pupil may have.”

It’s notable that schools are not obliged to have a mental health policy but are statutorily (legally) obliged to promote the welfare of their pupils. You can read the complete advice here: “This advice is for all school staff working to support children.”

9 Off rolling – another name for exclusion? 5Live Investigates - podcasts (49mins)

“Thousands of children with special educational needs are disappearing from education with ‘concerning’ consequences, Ofsted has told 5Live Investigates. Inspectors have admitted that when pupils are ‘off rolled’, they vanish from official records. ‘Off rolling’ is when schools put pressure on pupils to leave without permanently excluding them, in order to reach tough academic targets or save money. 5Live Investigates hears from the parents of children with conditions like autism who say their children are being forced out of schools and are having to be home schooled or taught in inadequate ‘alternative provision’ settings.”

10 I would talk 6000 thousand pounds

From the very well-informed and thoughtful Starlight Mackenzie…

“Increasingly I am hearing of schools prevented or delayed by Local Authorities from getting an Education, Health and Care Assessment for a child they believe needs one, by insisting any requests must be accompanied by:

a) a demonstration the school has already spent £6k on that child and;

b) documented evidence of the Assess, Plan. Do, Review (APDR) Cycle over a number of terms (the number of terms varies across Local Authorities).

c) a recent report from an Educational Psychologist

There is nothing wrong with producing any of this as part of a request for an EHC Assessment and it can provide good evidence. However, none of this is required by law and schools can and often do have enough evidence for the child to meet the legal threshold for an assessment without the above.”

11 How to Check a Draft EHC Plan – from SOS!SEN

Led by: Eleanor Wright - SOS!SEN coordinator and Solicitor. This workshop will be multi-borough and a there is a booking fee. Eleanor is a very experienced and highly regarded solicitor in the field of SEND.

Saturday 1st December – 10am to 1.30pm

East Molesey, Surrey

Workshop details:

· Legal Requirements & what evidence the LA should obtain.

· What evidence parents should submit.

· What should be in each section of an EHCP including outcomes.

· Timescales & what you need to know.

· Coping with unsuitable LA house-styles & dealing with important missing information

· Writing to the local authority about the draft and next steps.

· Q&A session re: draft EHC plans

£55.00 per person to include useful documentation and a sandwich lunch.”

For more information, please follow the link below:

12 Dyslexia is My Superpower (most of the time)

"In more than 100 interviews, children and young adults reveal their personal tips and tactics for honing the creative benefits of dyslexia, enabling them to thrive in school and beyond. Strategies include ways to develop confidence and self-belief."

13 Ten in the Bed - Makaton

This has appeared regularly on social media in the last week, if you’ve missed it… Rob Delaney reads and signs a Bedtime Story, with Makaton, about ten cuddly friends trying to go to bed. 4.44mins

14 Singing Hands – at Christmas

Suzanne and Tracy are Regional Makaton Tutors and Co-Founders of Singing Hands. They are also parents of disabled children (and they live locally) - their children are the inspiration for Singing Hands.

Makaton Signed Christmas Songs

Further down their home page, you can find a collection of songs taken from their two festive DVDs - Singing Hands "It's Christmas Cracker" and "It's a Christmas Cracker 2"

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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