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The News, Support & why They are Us

Dear All


August has been and gone – now we’re back to school or college (is that good, or bad?) and looking forward to cooler days.


And of course, welcome to new subscribers! A reminder that SENDspeak is written by me, as a parent, it’s completely voluntarily and it’s free to subscribe; and contributions are welcomed.


1 Saturday 14th Sept: TAG Local Offer & Transition Fair

2 TAG Shortlisted

3 National News from the world of Education & SEND

3a New education secretary shows ‘unusual empathy’ for TAs

3b Will the SEND Inquiry report be drowned in the maelstrom of Brexit?

3c £14 billion


4 Ofsted introduces its new education inspection framework (EIF)


5 Local SEND News

5a A Visit to Clarendon School

5b SEND Partnership Board Communication (Richmond)


6 ‘They’ are ‘Us’

6a Here I Am: Understand Me

6b “She is stubborn, she is defiant, and she just keeps going.”

6c “I don’t have ADHD when I`m out in the woods.”

6d "This is such an amazing opportunity for children like my daughter”

6e “He’s like a very good friend, but like a different species”


7 Back to school, back to work, back to college

7a IPSEA

7b Subject Access Requests

7c A Guide to Supporting a Child Who is Struggling to Attend School

7d Express CIC

7e Social Skills for SEND from Family Matters

7f How attachment theory helps behaviour


8 Woodlands animals with @singinghands

9 5 accessible days out and activities across the UK

10 Paws in Tents

11 Looking ahead to autumn…



1 Saturday 14th Sept: TAG Local Offer & Transition Fair

“If you are or you care for a young person aged up to 25 with a disability or additional needs, come and find out more about what’s available locally. The event has a focus on transition to adulthood support and services.

Saturday 14 September 2019, between 1 o’clock and 4 o’clock

Grey Court School, Ham Street, Ham, TW10 7HN

This drop-in event will be your opportunity to meet local providers and learn about their services. Stall holders include education, day services, supported living, support groups, sport and leisure activities. Refreshments will be available throughout the event.”

More details here: https://kr.afcinfo.org.uk/local_offer/events/30026-tag-local-offer-and-transition-fair?date=2019-09-14



2 TAG Shortlisting…

And… Congratulation to TAG who have been shortlisted in the Children and Young People’s Charity of the Year category in the ‘Children & Young People Now Awards 2019’. 😊

https://www.cypnowawards.com/shortlist



3 National News from the world of Education & SEND

The last issue of SENDspeak covered education funding and SEND; this was when Boris was very new to the job.


We all know Brexit is overshadowing all government activity; and putting SENDspeak together feels like looking for crumbs of good news relating to SEND and funding. That said, let’s be focussed and I’d like to begin this with a reminder of this extract from Michael Rosen’s letter to the then Education Secretary (Damien Hinds) at the end of July:


“Let me put it this way: children with special educational needs are not a separate category. They aren’t a problem. They’re not an extra-terrestrial event we have to make allowances for. They are not even a “they”. They are us.”

(full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/jul/23/damian-hinds-special-needs-funding-crisis-michael-rosen?CMP=share_btn_tw )


3a New education secretary shows ‘unusual empathy’ for TAs

TES, 29th August 2019

“Gavin Williamson, whose wife is a teaching assistant, is 'very sympathetic' to the role, says union leader Geoff Barton, general secretary of Association of School and College Leaders, who was one of the union leaders who met Mr Williamson in Westminster this morning, said: “He has an empathy around the role of teaching assistants which is unusual and very welcome.

“One of the concerns I raised were that people in the department didn't understand the significance of TAs who can often cut through to young people in the way a teacher sometimes can’t, and he was very, very sympathetic to that because his wife, who used to be a teacher, is now a TA.”

https://www.tes.com/news/new-education-secretary-shows-unusual-empathy-tas


3b Will the SEND Inquiry report be drowned in the maelstrom of Brexit?

Special Needs Jungle, 30th August 2019

Update: SNJ… “wrote this post yesterday in the wake of the leak of Government schools funding. This evening, Boris Johnson has made the announcement official - more than was expected for schools at £14 billion -- and for SEND £700 million.”

“The total is enough, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) to restore school spending to pre-austerity levels, although a 10-year period of no net growth in school spending per pupil, is still a "significant squeeze on school budgets when considered in historical terms." I’ll have more of this later - but it doesn’t change the thrust of the post about what a mess we’re still in with SEND. And there is no more information about the SEND figure than just that.”

https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/send-inquiry-report-drowned-maelstrom-brexit


3c £14 billion

The Independent, 31st August 2019

“Boris Johnson pledges £14bn boost to schools over three years after ‘funding crisis’ warnings

Headteacher unions have urged ‘caution’ until details are set out in spending review

Schools in England are set to be given a long-awaited cash boost after Boris Johnson has pledged to invest more than £14bn into the sector over the next three years.

The announcement comes after education unions and grassroots campaigners have warned of a worsening “funding crisis” which has left schools starved of resources and forced to make staff cuts.

After years of campaigning for adequate funding for cash-strapped schools, the prime minister has promised a £2.6bn rise for 2020-21, £4.8bn for 2021-22 and £7.1bn for 2022-23.

An extra £700m will also be allocated for children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) from 2020 amid concerns these pupils have been left without suitable provision.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/school-funding-boris-johnson-spending-review-chancellor-javid-a9085686.html



4 Ofsted introduces its new education inspection framework (EIF).

Gov.uk, 20th August 2019

“Following a consultation, we will inspect using our new education inspection framework (EIF) from September 2019.”

The… “Inspection will focus on the real substance of education, the curriculum. Inspectors will spend less time looking at test data, and more time looking at what is taught and how it is taught. They will consider how a nursery, school, college or other education provider achieves its results.

We want to make sure that good results flow from teaching a broad, rich curriculum and reflect real learning, not just intensive preparation for a test.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ofsted-is-changing-how-it-inspects-schools



5 Local SEND News…


5a A Visit to Clarendon School

2.16 video from Richmond Council, linked to their Demand Action for SEND Funding campaign…

“There are 3,500 children and young people attending schools in Richmond upon Thames with special educational needs. A further 1,360 children and young people in the borough require Education Health and Care Plans. We checked in with Clarendon School to find out how they are supporting children and families in the borough.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMIPZxwZsCk&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1GiH0xsQcnHzHIKZXXEo-HvxwZU1Oh6eA42Qny_Bk911YqXKf4cj6nwKU


5b SEND Partnership Board Communication (Richmond)

Notes from the third meeting of the Richmond SEND Partnership Board:

“We continue to see really good commitment from all partners to the Board and our shared commitment to improving services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There were three parent representatives and one young person representative at the Board meeting – all made a big contribution.

The Board next meets in September and will have a particular focus upon health provision.”

https://kr.afcinfo.org.uk/local_offer/blog_articles/2416-send-partnership-board-communication-third-meeting-of-the-send-partnership-board-in-july



6 ‘They’ are ‘Us’

Borrowing Michael Rosen’s words (see item 3 above), let’s hear from us…


6a Here I Am: Understand Me

from Mencap, published on 20 Oct 2016

1 minute exactly

Laura, from Richmond Mencap, writes on Twitter “I constantly come back to this incredible video of DJ Casey Rochelle.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6i97xnZCfU&feature=youtu.be


6b “She is stubborn, she is defiant, and she just keeps going.” 2 minutes

“An 11-year-old actress who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy has starred in a major BBC One drama. Jevonne Parsons, from Portsmouth, starred in MotherFatherSon alongside Hollywood legend Richard Gere earlier this year.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-49178834/bbc-drama-star-jevonne-parsons-who-has-cerebral-palsy-wants-more-roles


6c “I don’t have ADHD when I`m out in the woods.”

David, aged 14

I so wish this existed, in this way, when my youngest was a child; many more local schools are now including this approach within their curriculum.

“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.

The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.”

https://www.forestschoolassociation.org/history-of-forest-school


6d "This is such an amazing opportunity for children like my daughter”

New horse a big hit with Riding for the Disabled

Samson the horse has become a big hit with children and young adult riders at the Riding for the Disabled Centre at Park Lane Stables, thanks to funding from Richmond Council.

https://www.richmond.gov.uk/council/news/press_office/older_news/press_releases_august_2019/new_horse_big_hit_with_riding_for_the_disabled


6e “He’s like a very good friend, but like a different species”

Puppy helps boy from Eastleigh cope with autism

2 minutes

“When Jethro's condition disrupted events at Christmas, his family took a different approach to helping him cope. In came a golden retriever called Jesse that is now helping Jethro, 9, when he is anxious or stressed.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-49497247/puppy-helps-boy-from-eastleigh-cope-with-autism



7 Back to school, back to work, back to college

A short summary of just some of the support that available


7a IPSEA

"Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are entitled to support with their education. Follow the links below to find out more and to access our free resources - if you can’t find the answer to your question, please visit our services page and consider booking an appointment to speak with one of our legally trained volunteers."

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Pages/Category/get-support

No school?

"We have been contacted by a number of parents because, as the start of the new school year approaches, their children with SEND are without a school to attend. This is an extremely worrying situation to be in and we are very concerned that some of our most vulnerable learners are left in limbo, whilst their peers without additional needs are preparing for the return to school. We’ve produced this guidance to help parents and carers who are in this situation."

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/news/back-to-school


7b Subject Access Requests

Whilst we’re thinking about the law, here’s how to get a copy of the information Achieving for Children holds about you and yours:

“The Data Protection Act 2018 gives individuals the right to be told what personal information an organisation holds about them and, unless an exemption applies, to receive a copy of that information. Individuals can obtain copies of their own personal information by submitting a Subject Access Request.”

https://www.achievingforchildren.org.uk/subject-access-requests


7c A Guide to Supporting a Child Who is Struggling to Attend School

Picked up from Express CIC’s newsletter:

https://itmustbemum.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/a-guide-to-supporting-a-child-who-is-struggling-to-attend-school-2017.pdf


7d Express CIC

Express CIC have set their dates for their support and activity groups. Find out more on their website:

Activities: http://www.expresscic.org.uk/groups.html

Support: http://www.expresscic.org.uk/support.html


They are also…

“…delighted to be able to again bring back SEN Advice Sessions at Express with Ed Davey MP please do scroll down for more details and to book one of the sessions.

Special Educational Needs (SEN) Advice Sessions with Ed Davey MP.”

Friday 6th September - 11am to 1pm

Express CIC, 452 Ewell Road, Tolworth

Places are limited so please email info@expresscic.org.uk to book asap.

NB: Whilst these advice sessions are for all SEN issues. You must live in the Kingston & Surbiton constituency.


7e Social Skills for SEND from Family Matters

“The workshop is for parents and will be run by Annaliese Boucher from SEN Talk. The session will cover a range of strategies that help to build social interaction skills, emotional resilience and confidence in children with additional needs, such as communication, turn taking/sharing and the benefits of interest-led play”

Tuesday 24th September - 10.30am to 12.30pm

Disability Action & Advice Centre, 4 Waldegrave Road, Teddington, TW11 8HT

You can book a place (free of charge) here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/social-skills-for-send-workshop-tickets-65169119591


7f How attachment theory helps behaviour

An article, rather than a support group – but seems to tie in with this section:

“When children exhibit extreme behaviour, sanctions – and, eventually, exclusion – are usually the response from schools. But when this primary teacher implemented an attachment-informed approach in a bid to help one of her pupils, she found huge success.”

https://www.tes.com/magazine/article/how-attachment-theory-helps-behaviour



8 Woodlands animals with @singinghands

More from Singing Hands, a 2-minute video via Twitter, should you be out for a walk in the woods….

“ NEW #makaton topic video - #woodland #animals - how many of these have you spotted in your local park or woodland? 🌱🌿🦌🐭🦊🦡🐿🦔🌳🐾 #vocabulary #communication #signing #wetalkmakaton

https://twitter.com/singinghands/status/1166694793726107649



9 5 accessible days out and activities across the UK

AccessAble, 28th August 2019

“Our list of 5 accessible days out and activities is here to help you be prepared. Whether you need step-free access, ramps and lifts; a hearing loop and staff trained in sign language; information in Braille, large print or audio formats; or simply need to know the distance from the car park to the entrance of a building, or what the lighting and noise levels will be like – we’ve got it covered.”

https://www.accessable.co.uk/articles/5-accessible-days-out-and-activities-across-the-uk



10 Paws in Tents

This links back to item 6e above:

“Paws in Tents is an affordable camping holiday where young people with any additional needs can learn how to train their own dog to help support them which helps to improve independence and safety. At camp, children and their families are able to learn to teach their dogs physical assistance tasks such as picking up dropped items, emotional and autism support tasks such as deep pressure therapy and medical alerts to seizures, hypoglycaemia and other medical states which pose a risk to the young person.

On top of the supportive dog training workshops we have loads of other fun and empowering activities for the young people to do

Our next camp is from the 26th till the 29th of October 2019 and is held at Park Farm Camping in Dereham, Norfolk.”

https://kr.afcinfo.org.uk/local_offer/events/30432-paws-in-tents?date=2019-10-26



11 Looking ahead to autumn…

Chessington Garden Centre have some SEND specific sessions at the Halloween and Christmas activities.

With thanks to the Barnes based SEND Carers Coffee and Chat for spotting these: https://www.facebook.com/SENDccc


Spooky Zoo

“Returning for another consecutive year, our even more popular 'Spooky Zoo' offers each visitor a unique chance to get up close and personal with the creepy and fantastic array of reptiles on display. Snakes, crocodiles & lizards will all be on show and you will get the chance to handle the creatures. The bravest of our zookeeper guests will be able to get close enough for that photo opportunity, just need to make sure you have all your fingers and toes afterwards...”

https://www.chessingtongardencentre.co.uk/activity/details/act-sendzoo/spooky-zoo-send-session


Santa's Christmas Wonderland 2019

“We are making it even easier for everyone to enjoy a Christmas Wonderland Experience this year with our designated SEND Sessions. We will be turning down bright lights and loud noises to create a calmer atmosphere for everyone. During these sessions please do speak to staff members if there is anything which can be done to give you any assistance.”

https://www.chessingtongardencentre.co.uk/activity/details/act-wonders/santas-christmas-wonderland-2019-send-session



If you have any questions at all, please ask and I'll do my best to find an answer.


With best wishes, Romany

E: info@sendspeak.org

W: www.sendspeak.org





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