NW SEND Regional Network Newsletter April 2021  


NW SEND Regional Network Newsletter

April 2021

The network is keen to provide support for children, families and practitioners. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries you may have. If you would like to be added to the newsletter circulation list just send an email to the address below.

Dr Cathy Hamer

NW SEND Regional Network co-ordinator

Email: [email protected]  Mob: 0778 357 7284



North West regional network events


SEND Flexible Purchasing Phase 2 Provider events


17.5.21 11am – 1pm Greater Manchester

18.5.21 2 – 4pm Liverpool City Region (Merseyside)

19.5.21 1 – 3pm North

21.5.21 10am – 12noon South


Cheshire East Council in conjunction with Placements North West created the North West Flexible Purchasing System (FPS) for SEND to provide North West local authorities with a secure quality checked route for placing 0 – 25 year old learners with SEND into appropriate settings that deliver the outcomes that they aspire to.

Phase 1 of the FPS went live on 1.3.21. Planning for the launch of Phase 2 of the project is now taking place. This will include placements for Learners aged 16 and 25 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and require support in ~General Further Education, Specialist Colleges and work-based providers.

The provision must be able to meet the needs and outcomes described in the Learner’s EHCP and have a clear focus on preparing for adulthood.

The FPS will support the North West local authorities to purchase SEND services from the Supplier through a Call Off Contract comprising an Individual Placement Agreement or Block Contract subject to the terms and conditions of the FPS.

Providers are invited to attend one of the four sessions to work together to work from this every early stage to shape the scope, specification and timeline for the development of the 16+ elements of the purchasing system. Providers are invited to come together from across the sector to collaborate and share good practice with a view to supporting our young people to reach their full potential.

Who should attend?

Providers of 16+ education settings including:

  • FE Colleges
  • Non-Maintained schools with Sixth forms
  • Independent with post 16 or 19 provision
  • Work based providers

Local authority colleagues are welcome to attend and participate.

Providers are invited to attend the event for the area that is the most relevant for their setting but are welcome to sign up for other sessions if the times are more suitable.

To reserve a place on this seminar please contact [email protected]

specifying which session you would like to attend and including the names and emails of attendees.


Early years / SEND partnership 

The following events are part of the Early Years SEND partnership project. The seminars are based on the findings of 9 case studies that were carried out in PVI settings in December 2020 and January 2021 in 9 different LAs.

A summary report (www.nasen.org.uk/resources/summary-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings) identified 5 common themes that were strengths in all the settings and we have called these the ‘Golden Threads of Effective Practice for SEND in PVI Settings.’ These are the staff team, parent partnership, the identification of SEN, the provision for SEND and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be three 2-hour seminars, each repeated once, on the dates below. It is anticipated that they will be useful for Early Years SENCOs and managers and all PVI practitioners in developing effective practice for SEND to meet the needs of children with SEND.

The dates and booking links are as follows:

Tuesday 11th May 10.00am-12.00pm – Thread 1 https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-staff-team-0


Wednesday 12th May 10.00am-12.00pm – Thread 1 https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-staff-team


Tuesday 18th May 3.00pm-5.00pm – Threads 2 and 3https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-parent-partnership-and-identification


Wednesday 19th May 10.00am-12.00pm – Threads 2 and 3 https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-parent-partnership-and-0


Thursday 20th May 2.00pm-4.00pm – Threads 4 and 5 https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-provision-children-send-and-covid


Monday 24th May 10.00am-12.00pm – Threads 4 and 5 https://nasen.org.uk/events/5-golden-threads-effective-practice-send-pvi-settings-provision-children-send-and-covid-0


These seminars are going to be a mixture of listening to the presentation, discussion and sharing of ideas with colleagues from across the country and self-reflection of practice in the delegates’ own settings.


Other events


23.4.21 Preventing suicide in children and young people

Preventing suicide in young people & children – edpsy.org.uk


26.4.21 Gender Identity and Autism Workshop



27.4.21 Supporting Disadvantaged Families: Building Better Futures and Improving Social Mobility

Supporting Disadvantaged Families: Building Better Futures and Improving Social Mobility – Government Events

27.4.21 Reflecting and learning from criminal behaviour

Reflecting & learning from criminal behaviour – edpsy.org.uk


29.4.21 Sensory processing awareness – classroom strategies

Sensory processing awareness – classroom strategies – edpsy.org.uk


29.4.21 9.30 – 1 Restorative Parenting Recovery Programme

Halliwell Homes: Restorative Parenting Recovery Programme CPD Tickets, Thu 29 Apr 2021 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

29 & 30.4.21 MCA & DoLS for Managers
29 & 30 April 2021 (10.00am – 12.30pm)

30.4.21 How are schools coping with the impact of Covid-19: lessons for the re-opening of schools?

To join this SEN policy research forum seminar please contact Becky Hardwood at [email protected]

13.5.21 Emotional wellbeing: Severe and profound learning disabilities and PMLD

Emotional Wellbeing: Severe and Profound Learning Disabilities and PMLD Tickets, Thu 13 May 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite


19.5.21 Children’s safeguarding: Learning from inquiries, serious case reviews and inspections

Children’s Safeguarding: Learning from inquiries, serious case reviews and inspections – edpsy.org.uk


20.5.21 & 21.5.21 International Conference – Advancing dyslexia and dyscalculia, British Dyslexia Association.



26.5.21 Coaching for resilience

Coaching for resilience – edpsy.org.uk


27.5.21 Childhood neglect: Approaches to understanding, assessment and interventions

Childhood neglect: Approaches to understanding, assessment and interventions – edpsy.org.uk


8.6.21 The Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF)

The Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF) – edpsy.org.uk


8.6.21 Behavioural Therapy for TICS Institute: Non-clinical behavioural therapy workshops for teachers and parents

Behavioural Therapy for Tics Institute: Non-clinician behavioural therapy workshops for teachers and parents – edpsy.org.uk


9.6.21 CAMHS National Summit 2021: Transforming mental health services for children & young adults

CAMHS National Summit 2021: Transforming mental health services for children & young adults – edpsy.org.uk


16.6.21 The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Conference 2021

Hear the latest updates on SEND policy and funding in the wake of Covid-19.

Also hear a breadth of best practice case studies from LAs and schools, from co-ordinating a cross-agency response and providing mental health support, to practical implementations for the classroom in both primary and secondary schools.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Conference 2021 – Government Events





New resource – Deploying Specialists in Mainstream Settings to Improve Outcomes for Learner with SEND

The Sea View Trust and East Lancashire Inclusion Partnership, supported by Blackpool Research School, undertook research to provide an in-depth understanding of the effective deployment of specialists in mainstream settings. The aim being to increase awareness amongst school leaders of the wider range of support available to schools to enrich their provision at the whole school (universal) and Special Educational Needs (SEN) support levels.

This project was intended to support wider Department for Education aims to improve early intervention and to enable Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators to support school and Multi-Academy Trust leaders in making decisions about their investment in specialist provision.

Deploying Specialists in Mainstream Settings to Improve Outcomes for Learners with SEND | SendGateway Free sign in required.

You can also view the accompanying webinar Webinar: Deploying Specialists in Mainstream Settings to Improve Outcomes for Learners with SEND | SendGateway



Groups must have at least one person with a disability and live in one of the following areas: Appleby, Brough, Kirkby Stephen, Orton, Tebay, Askham, Bampton, Barton, Patterdale, Shap, Yanwath, Ambleside, Burton-in-Kendal, Grasmere, Grayrigg, Kentmere, Kendal, Windermere, Kirkby Lonsdale.

Other dates for families not from this area are available here Bendrigg Trust (cinolla.com)

Each day available is for one group which can be up to a maximum of 12 people from 2 households. At least one member of your group (adult or children) will have a disability.

Day activities will run from 9.30am – 4.30pm and could include a selection of activities, such as canoeing, cycling, sensory room, archery, zip wire, orienteering, sensory swing and tube slide. Activity availability depends of a number of factors so not all activities may be available on each day. After booking one of the team will be in touch to discuss your individual requirements and suitable activities. More information is available here Bendrigg Trust (cinolla.com)



Liverpool Hope University is launching an exciting new art competition – with some unique prizes to be won. Both young and old are being invited to submit a work of art which represents that person’s hopes and dreams for the future, as well as what makes them truly happy – in order to spread some cheer as the nation emerges from the grips of a pandemic.

The competition is open to all, with age categories beginning in the 3-7 year old age range.

There’s a host of prizes available in each age category, from craft supplies to art kits, while winners will also be invited to Hope’s famous Creative Campus to spend a day attending a unique and one-off artists’ workshop.

Dione Roye, a student at Hope and member of the Community Engagement Team, says: “The past twelve months have been unprecedented for us all.

“But as we begin to emerge from the pandemic with renewed optimism, we hope this competition is an opportunity to showcase the city’s creative energy and positivity in the face of adversity.

“Whether it’s a painting, drawing or using materials like clay or textiles, get creative to tell us what really makes you happy, and reveal your hopes and dreams for the future.”

To enter, simply email [email protected] and you’ll be sent an information pack with further instructions.

Closing date for entries is May 1st 2021, 5pm, while winners will be announced on June 1st.

All entrants, no matter where they place, will receive a certificate. And judging will be completed by an independent panel of experts.

The Community Engagement Team itself is committed to coordinating, co-producing and supporting a wide variety of community-based projects – whether it’s a charity fundraiser or an initiative or event in the city where volunteers are needed.

And another key part of the group’s remit is in creating opportunities for people to connect, share skills, find friendships and gain support.

For further information email [email protected]




A guide to contextual safeguarding: Identify risk from extra-familial harm

Children & Young People Now (mae-communications.co.uk)



Calibre Audio is a national charity that provides a free audiobook service for anyone with a disability that makes reading print difficult. The charity has over 3,000 audiobooks specifically for children and young people, including Key Stage 1-4, GCSE and A-Level texts to assist with studies. As well as providing a useful and free way to access school texts, the service is a fantastic tool for children to escape and unwind with unlimited borrowing.

Autism progress tracking tool

Free DfE-commissioned autism progress tracking tool for education professionals – Autism Education Trust


Guides to improve children’s health

These guides explain how hearingeye and dental checks are done, how to access them and how to prepare and support your child. They have been co-produced with parent carers.


New EarlyYears SEND Resources: Seven pieces to build the resilience jigsaw nasen have created a set of new resources for the Resilience Development Pack. These standalone materials have been developed to support parents and practitioners to get the most from using the original pack. They are quick, handy one-page resources that provide top tips for parents, a weekly diary with a completed example, a daily planner and more about the 7 C’s for developing the resilience jigsaw.

New EY SEND RESOURCES: Seven pieces to build the resilience jigsaw | Nasen



Free resources and links to useful information

Neurodiversity free resources and links to useful information (doitprofiler.com)


Understanding and supporting neurodiversity: Support strategies for parents and carers

The strategies presented in this booklet provide a starting point for helping to support children and young people with a range of learning differences.

Microsoft Word – Support strategies for all parents and carers_250118 copy.docx (bdadyslexia.org.uk)


The autism resource suite

Free log in required to access

The Autism Resource Suite | SendGateway


The Autism Workroom

The Autism Workroom (thinkific.com)




AREA SEND inspections

Revisits to areas with a written statement of action will start from April 2021. Full inspection will resume from June 2021.

Area SEND inspections to restart – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


The Making Participation Work programme, jointly delivered by the Council for Disabled Children and KIDS and funded by the Department for Education, have published a termly update of the work they have been undertaking to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

The update also provides information on what the Making Participation Work programme can offer you.

The update is available at MPW Newsletter_Spring Term 2021.pdf – Google Drive


Special educational needs in England: January 2022

Information from the school census on pupils with special educational needs (SEN) and SEN provision in schools.

Special educational needs in England: January 2022 – National statistics announcement – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Vulnerable children and young people survey

Summary of local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on children’s social care

Vulnerable children and young people survey – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


2021 Child health profiles

Profiles providing an overview of child health and wellbeing for each local authority in England.

2021 Child health profiles – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)



Managing challenging behaviour in early years settings

(41) Managing challenging behaviour in early years settings – YouTube



Children’s exploratory drawings

The Children’s Exploratory Drawings | University of Southampton Educational Psychology research blog (soton.ac.uk)


The education of children in children’s homes

Ofsted’s Yvette Stanley explores new analysis on where children in children’s homes are educated.

The education of children in children’s homes




Identifying pupils with special educational needs and disabilities

A new study from the Education Policy Institute (EPI), funded by the Nuffield Foundation, highlights significant inconsistencies in how children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England are identified and supported. Read the full report here



‘Happier in his own clothes’: Post-pandemic possibilities for education for children with special educational needs and disabilities; Perspectives from parent carers, University of Sussex

This research examined the perspectives of parent carers of children with SEND and their experiences of their children returning to school in September 2020 and undertaking home-learning during the January/February 2021 lockdown. While celebrating the achievements of schools in supporting children with SEND back into school last September and improving the quality and provision of home learning during the second lockdown, the report also exposes some of the significant limitations in the education system – not least in meeting the fundamental needs of children with SEND, but also in enabling them to flourish and achieve. Some children did thrive during lockdown without the stress and anxiety of school and the pressure of social interaction but many did not. ‘Happier in his own clothes’ was a comment made by a parent about one of the positives of lockdown in not having to wear school uniform, but it is also used as a metaphor here for how school could be for children with SEND – and indeed all children if we can seize this opportunity to learn from lockdown. There are recommendations, based on the learning from the positive and negative experiences of the last year, for a more reflexive and recalibrated school system which works better for all children – especially those with SEND.

file.php (sussex.ac.uk)


Low birthweight IVF babies

The cognitive development from childhood to adolescence of low birthweight children born after medically assisted reproduction—a UK longitudinal cohort study. A new study led by researchers at University College London (UCL) finds that children conceived through medically assisted reproduction who are born small do just as well in cognitive tests during childhood and adolescence as naturally conceived children who are born a normal weight. The new research, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, is one of the first studies to examine the links between medically assisted reproduction (MAR), birth weight and cognitive development. You can read the paper here Published 10 March:

Being born small doesn’t tend to disadvantage IVF babies’ cognitive development | Institute of Education – UCL – University College London


Inequalities in responses to school closures over the course of the first COID-19 lockdown.

A new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies documents how the learning experiences of children evolved throughout the first national lockdown.

WP202104-Inequalities-in-responses-to-school-closures-over-the-course-of-the-first-COVID-19-lockdown.pdf (ifs.org.uk)


How schools can support teenage literacy

Jessica Powell talks to TES about the literacy challenges many teenagers face and what all teachers, not just those in English departments, could be doing to help.

How schools can support teenage literacy | Tes News


The Digital Divide

Over a third of parents have children with no exclusive use of a device from home – new research from Teach First on the digital divide and long-term consequences of the part year’s disrupted learning.

Over a third of parents have children with no exclusive use of a device to work from home | Teach First


Education reopening and catch up-support across the UK.

This Education Policy Institute report compares the catch up plans of the four UK nations, and examines how they previously approached the reopening of schools.

Education reopening and catch-up support across the UK – Education Policy Institute (epi.org.uk)


Review of Research about the Effects of Inclusive Education: A Summary

This review by Peter Gray, Brahm Norwich & Rob Webster is available to download from the SEN Policy Research Forum website at https://senpolicyresearchforum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Review-of-inclusion-effects-research-final-Feb-21-.pdf






Delivering Quality Annual Reviews

This package of online training has been developed as part of the Delivering Better Outcomes Together programme, funded by the Department for Education and delivered in partnership by the Council for Disabled Children, NDTi and Mott Macdonald.

This is a freely available, self-guided course. It is aimed at adults with a role to play in the Annual Review process such as senior leaders, parent carers, practitioners, SEN teams and education teams.

The course will help you understand the importance of a person centred Annual Review process and meeting the legal requirements, roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders and will provide the perspective of children, young people and parent carers.

To complete the e-learning course please go to Delivering Quality Annual Reviews | Council for Disabled Children


Health Advice E-learning course

This training is aimed at adults with a role to play in the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) system in particular to giving health advice. The course will help you to understand the role of good advice in the plan. There are 3 levels and each one is for different audiences.

Level 1 is for Health colleagues who:

  • Are new to the world of SEND
  • May occasionally give advice for EHCPs

Level 2 is intended for Health colleagues who:

  • Regularly give advice for EHCPs
  • Already have a clear understanding of the purpose of an EHCP, from the child or young person’s perspective
  • Already have a clear understanding of the difference between aspirations, outcomes sought and SMART outcomes
  • Already have a clear understanding of the holistic nature of outcomes

Level 3 is intended for Health colleagues who:

  • Have a strategic role in the EHCP process
  • Have a role in quality assurance
  • Already have a good understanding of aspirations as the golden thread through the plan

To complete the e-learning course please go to Focus on Health Advice | Council for Disabled Children



Autism assessment survey

This online survey explores the support available to autistic people and their families before, during and after an autism assessment.
Researchers at the Centre for Applied Autism Research at the University of Bath have partnered with the Westminster Commission on Autism to explore the support available to autistic people and their families before, during and after an autism assessment.
If you, your child, or someone you know well, has had an autism assessment in the UK (whatever the outcome) we would really like to hear about your experience.
Every response to this survey is important, as it will help the researchers work out what elements of this topic are most important to the autistic community. The survey’s results will shape future research in terms of focus and recommendations to government.
Please click here to find out more and to access the online survey<https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fbathpsychology.eu.qualtrics.com%2Fjfe%2Fform%2FSV_aVkiz5t03vE5Hts&amp;data=04%7C01%7C%7C953f9e3389c94077118908d8fa867f69%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637534802860620447%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=z9wOo9sEwBz0TP5sUG9Ohb4ItsNilFQbSqia286AeSM%3D&amp;reserved=0>
If you would like any further information or have any questions please feel free to contact the team at [email protected].

National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) survey

The pandemic has created specific accessibility problems for those students who are D/deaf, blind, or visually impaired. Alongside the Thomas Pocklington Trust, NDCS have launched a survey looking at the experience of D/deaf, blind & visually impaired students because of Covid/ also the DSA experience. If you know any D/deaf, blind or VI university students it would be great if you could encourage them to take part here. Survey in BSL: https://cypteam.typeform.com/to/V2QxvVFs

Survey for those with screen readers: https://cypteam.typeform.com/to/ZtihtBOl


The Big Ask

Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England has launched ‘The Big Ask

the largest every consultation with children undertaken in England. The survey is live until 19th May and asks children across England to set out their priorities for improving childhood post-Covid.

The results from this survey will help the Children’s Commissioner identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve.

Children and young people can take part in the survey at thebigask.uk

If you are a teacher, or work with children and young people there are lots of resources to support you implementing the survey with them.




Autism newsletter:

Autism Newsletter (mailchi.mp)

Centre for Youth Impact news:

Centre for Youth Impact Newsletter: April 2021 (mailchi.mp)

Council for Disabled Children newsletter:

Your March newsletter is here! (mailchi.mp)


ICAN Communicate:

I CAN Communicate (mailchi.mp)

Kidz to Adultz magazine:

Kidz to Adultz Magazine Issue 11 by Disabled Living – Issuu


Making ourselves heard news

April Making Ourselves Heard Newsletter (mailchi.mp)

Making Participation Work news:



Mental health, Learning Disability and Autism bulletins:




NFER Assessment Digest:

Assessment Digest | March 2021 (nfer.ac.uk)


NFER Direct:

NFER Direct April 2021 (ddlnk.net)

Ofsted news:

Ofsted News – Issue 99 – March 2021 (mailchi.mp)

Teacher Bulletin

Teacher Bulletin: a roundup of the latest coronavirus advice and guidance (govdelivery.com)

Whole School SEND news Your Whole School SEND e-news (ddlnk.net)

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