• SEND speak

Your Voices, News & Young People’s Voices too

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

Dear All

Goodness me – it feels like Survey / Consultation / Feedback / Research is on the top of everyone’s Christmas list!

So, this issue is largely an edit together of all consultations, with the theme being, make your Voice Heard and that includes young people too (see item 6)

But SENDspeak is topped and tailed with some jollier links. 😊 And, of course, there’s national news (see item 2)

1. #wouldntchangeathing 2018

2. DfE announcement – 16th December

3. Consultations 3a Kingston & Richmond - Consultations

3b Consultations - on the Local Offer website

3c Consultation on Kingston's SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22

3d SEND Transport in Richmond: building independence (consultation)

4. Survey on a new Parent/Carer Forum (PCF) – both boroughs!

5. SEND Inquiry

6. Research training for people with disabilities

7. SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) – for young people

8. Leisure and Social Activities – your feedback please

9. Kingston Council’s permanent Chief Executive - Ian Thomas

10. CAMHS Transformation Plans

11. Christmas Tips

12. Cooking

13. Another voice: So do autistic people even have a sense of humour?

14. Cerebra - Guides for Parents

1 #wouldntchangeathing 2018 All I Want for Christmas

Six million people have watched this video in just three days… just in case you’re not one of them….

“Here it is! The Christmas video in collaboration with @thismorning and a guest appearance by none other than @michaelbuble. Huge thanks to both for the support. #downsyndromeawareness #wouldntchangeathing

2 DfE announcement – 16th December

Why do these announcements get made on a Sunday??

“Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced an additional £350 million to support children with complex needs and disabilities.”

From Special Needs Jungle (SNJ) – edits from their commentary

“…The surprise cash includes £100 million capital investment to provide more specialist places in mainstream schools, alongside new special schools and colleges.

The DfE says local authorities will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years, on top of, “...the £6 billion already provided for the high needs budget this year, to provide much needed support for children and young people with complex SEND”.

The funding to pay for additional teaching and other support, breaks down as:

· An additional £125million of high needs funding for 2018/19

· £125million of high needs funding for 2019/20.

All LAs in England are included except the Isles of Scilly and City of London, presumably because they have tiny numbers of children, let alone children with SEND.”

SNJ’s view

“So immediately, 150 local authorities will share £125m to cover the last three months of this financial year until the end of March. It’ll help to staunch the bleeding and will slightly reduce the High Needs Block deficit that almost all LAs are continuing to rack up. It might help a few of them avoid total meltdown - but it’s not enough to make a game-changing difference.”

Here is the link for the full article:

3a Kingston & Richmond - Consultations

It’s marked that with the new administration in each Council there are more distinct voices coming from each borough.

This is great for Kingston parent/carers as they have appeared quieter than Richmond parent/carers. There are many reasons for this, from the shape of each borough (Kingston is long and thin, divided by the A3. Richmond is rounder, divided by a river), to the differing services, children’s centres and support groups in each borough.


Achieving for Children (AfC) are commissioned by each borough to provide children’s services, which means they are working with two distinct boroughs that are geographically close (let’s not think about Windsor and Maidenhead for now!!).

In practice, this may mean 1 Local Offer manager who provides separate support for each borough. This may well extend to AfC’s directors (1 director and 2 masters).

Where you see a consultation for Richmond, or Kingston, be sure that you will see one from the other borough soon after.

3b Consultations - on the Local Offer website “From March 2018 we will using this Hub to collect and present information about Achieving for Children SEND Consultations. This is also where we will post links to live consultations.”

A while ago, this Richmond facing consultation appeared: “SEND Transformation/SEND Futures in Kingston and Richmond”

Here is the Kingston facing consultation:

3c Consultation on Kingston's SEND Transformation Plan: 2019/20 to 2021/22

“The [Kingston] Council is facing huge financial pressures, and in these times it's more important than ever that your voices are heard. We would be grateful for your help in shaping the future of SEND services in Kingston.

We are asking you for your views on a number of specific proposals contained within the plan.

We will also be holding some drop-in events for parents and carers to speak to representatives of the Council and Achieving for Children.*

Thursday 10th January - 7.30pm to 9pm

Richard Mayo Centre, Kingston United Reformed Church, Eden Street, Kingston, KT1 1HZ

Thursday 17th January - 10.30am to 12 noon

King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton, KT5 9AL

Friday 18th January - 2pm to 3.30 pm

King Charles Centre, Hollyfield Road, Surbiton, KT5 9AL

This consultation will close at midnight on 20th January 2019.

*if none of the dates above suit you, please contact Achieving for Children via the Local Offer. I understand that AfC have offered to visit local groups at a time to suit them if needed.

3d SEND Transport in Richmond: building independence (consultation)

Now a consultation for Richmond. As above, keep checking on the Local Offer for the Kingston version of this consultation which will appear under the Kingston pages.

“We are consulting on the future of home to school/college transport for eligible children and young people with a special educational need or disability (SEND).

Over the last few years, the number of children and young people with SEND in Richmond who are eligible for help from the Council to get to and from school or college has grown significantly.This has happened at a time when councils across the country are facing severe financial challenges across all of their services.”

4 Survey on a new Parent/Carer Forum (PCF) – both boroughs!

Last weekend, there was notice of a survey to come. You may have received a letter or have seen notification via Facebook or Twitter. If not, please read the following and take time to answer the simple 8 question survey:

“This is a survey to gather feedback and interest in a new Parent Carer Forum for Richmond and Kingston.”

The full letter is here:

The survey closes on 14th January

5 SEND Inquiry

Written evidence is still being accepted for this inquiry

Follow the link and… “Use the form below to send a written submission to the Education Committee's inquiry on Special educational needs and disabilities.”

“The Education Committee undertook pre-legislative scrutiny of the Children and Families Bill and published its report in 2012. The Committee is now considering the impact and implementation of part three of the Children and Families Act 2014.

If you wish to submit written evidence, please ensure it covers these Terms of Reference:

· Assessment of and support for children and young people with SEND

· The transition from statements of special educational needs and Learning Disability Assessments to Education, Health and Care Plans

· The level and distribution of funding for SEND provision

· The roles of and co-operation between education, health and social care sectors

· Provision for 19-25-year olds including support for independent living; transition to adult services; and access to education, apprenticeships and work

Written evidence is still being accepted for this inquiry.”

6 Research training for people with disabilities

Learning how to do research

Do you have a young person with learning disabilities that would like to take part in research programmes? Irene Tuffrey-Wijne of Kingston University is running a FREE 8 week course for young people who fit this profile. The course starts on 30th April 2019, the website and contact information is below.


8 Tuesday afternoons (2.00-4.00pm)

First lesson: 30 April 2019

Last lesson: 18 June 2019


St George’s University in Tooting, South London

What will you learn on this course?

· What research is

· Why people do research

· How people do research

· How you can help with research

· You will get a chance to practice doing research.

We have 10 free places available.

The course is paid for by the National Institute for Health Research (part of the NHS), because they want more people with learning disabilities to be involved in research.

How to apply

The course leaders will decide who gets a place. To help us decide:

· Tell us why you want to do the course.

· Tell us anything else about your life that you think we’d be interested in.

· You can do this in a letter, email, video, in person, or in whatever way you find easiest.

· You can ask someone to help you.

· We want to tell you more about the course. Get in touch and ask us!

Contact Irene Tuffrey-Wijne

T: 020 8725 0116 (leave a message and remember to say your phone number)



Post: Kingston & St George’s University, 6th floor Hunter Wing, Cranmer Terrace, SW17 0RE

7 SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) – for young people

SENDIASS Services are there for:

· Young people (aged 25 or under) who are disabled or need extra help with learning

· Children who are disabled or need extra help with learning

· Parents or carers of those children and young people

Services can give information, advice and support on:

· Schools, college or training

· Getting the right healthcare

· Getting the right support at home, school or in the workplace

8 Leisure and Social Activities – your feedback please

Karen Lowry at the Local Offer website is compiling this list to make it easier to find activities in the local area by putting them all in one place. This is a work in progress!

Please let Karen know of any activities or opportunities that could be added or any corrections to the page if you find something that is not quite right.

You can use the feedback faces or email with more detail.

All contributions/suggestions gratefully received. Here is the page:

9 Kingston Council’s permanent Chief Executive - Ian Thomas

Monday, 10 December 2018

Ian Thomas is being recommended to Full Council tomorrow [11 December], as Kingston’s permanent Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr Thomas has more than 30 years local government experience and has held senior leadership positions at Derbyshire County and Trafford Metropolitan councils. His reputation for transforming Rotherham Council’s troubled children’s service earned him the top job at Lewisham Council where he has continued to demonstrate his ability to unite communities and form strategic partnerships.

10 CAMHS Transformation Plans

CAMHS = Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services

These plans are the result of a five-year programme of additional funding. There’s never going to be enough – but it’s still better funded than adult services.

Doreen Redwood has recently taken on the role of lead commissioner for children’s health services across both Kingston and Richmond (previously Doreen was responsible for Richmond only). Doreen works for the CCG = Clinical Commissioning Group and has a proven record of seeking family’s views in the commissioning of services.

The Plans:


And the easy read version

Richmond (click the Reports tab)

And the executive summary

11 Christmas Tips

The National Autistic Society and Special Needs Jungle have both complied lists and resources for families and professionals over the holiday season.

Special Needs Jungle

The 12 “Dos” of Christmas for special needs parents

The National Autistic Society

“With your help we have compiled a list of tips for the festive period. In addition, we have also created downloadable PDF top tip guides for autistic adults, parents, grandparents and family and professionals. The tips are intended to provide general guidance and will not be suitable for everyone. Key to preparing for a successful Christmas is to make sure the autistic person is central to all planning

12 Cooking

People with learning disabilities are making YouTube videos to help tackle obesity as part of a pioneering new project from the disability charity United Response

13 Another voice: So do autistic people even have a sense of humour?

This is an article (see link below). Kate’s quote covers it nicely….

Kate Fox has had her own comedy programme, The Price of Happiness, on Radio 4. Kate says: "When certain psychologists say things like: 'Autistic people are not funny or don't have a sense of humour' - apart from the fact that it displays that they haven't spent any time in the company of autistic people - who personally seem to me to be the funniest people around - they're also ignoring the fact that the very condition of being autistic in a non-autistic world is funny. It's full of humour. It's full of incongruity and that's brilliant."

14 Cerebra - Guides for Parents

This is the closest I could get to a gift for parent/carers! The Cerebra Guides are helpful for all, regardless of your child or young person’s difficulties. Follow the link below to see the A-Z list (from Accessing Public Services, to Pain, to Sleep).

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

With best wishes, Romany




Data Protection Notice on Cookies:  This site uses cookies; they capture how many 'visits' each page of this website receives. That's it. We'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies as you use this website.

© 2018 SENDspeak. Proudly created with