NW SEND Regional Network Newsletter
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
Early years/SEND partnership events
Healthy parent carer programme North West
This course starts on 1st June 7.30 – 9.30pm and is completely free.
Are you the parent carer of a child or young person with SEND in the North West?
Would you like to improve your health and wellbeing for free?
Join CDC and Contact’s new 6 week Health Parent Carers course to learn how you can make small steps to feel happier, healthier and more resilient.
This course is developed and run by parent carers who understand the highs and lows of caring for a disabled child or young person. The programme is based on 8 small steps that anyone can take to improve their health and wellbeing.
Through the workshops you will be able to:
- Get to know, share and learn from other parent carers
- Make time to reflect on your own health and wellbeing
- Become more confident and resilient
- Make your own personal plan for realistic, positive changes you can make in your life
- Look after yourself to be the best that you can be for (your child)
10.6.21 9 – 4.30 Transforming Transition – Turning Theory into Practice.
Meeting the needs of all young people with long term conditions.
This the 5th annual national transition conference WWW.10stepstransition.org.uk
The event will be held via live stream on Microsoft Teams. To book a place go to
When you have booked a place add your ticket to your outlook diary as the link to access the live event on the day is below:
23.6.21 Regional Impact Network, Youth Focus NW
Theme: Participatory research
22.5.21 – 2.6.21 Sensory Festival – Working back to happiness
The Sensory Festival will create a wealth of sensory ideas and strategies to spark joy in learning and to bring happiness and playfulness to the classroom/learning environment for learners with complex needs, autism and SEND.
26.5.21 Coaching for resilience
27.5.21 Childhood neglect: Approaches to understanding, assessment and interventions
4.6.21 9.30 – 10.30 Strengthening the circle
Strengthening the Circle is an evidence-based programme designed to strengthen the skills and confidence of multi-agency, non-specialist staff in supporting emotional resilience.
8.6.21 The Safeguarding Children Assessment and Analysis Framework (SAAF)
8.6.21 Behavioural Therapy for TICS Institute: Non-clinical behavioural therapy workshops for teachers and parents
8 – 10.6.21 Rage against the commissioning machine
This 3 day NDTi online event questions the complexity of the places and systems we live and work in and queries its merit when supporting and enabling people to live good community lives.
8 – 12.6.21 Inclusion Europe – Europe in Action 2021
The theme of the conference is SKILLS. How to get the skills of the people with intellectual disabilities in use in working life and society? The theme includes employment and support for employment as well as the development of day services towards person-centred support to community inclusion
9.6.21 CAMHS National Summit 2021: Transforming mental health services for children & young adults
15 – 16.6.21 Understanding and supporting autistic people
This introductory course builds your knowledge of autism and how to support autistic children and adults
15 & 29.6.21 How to use a communication book
Explore how to develop and use a communication book, who it is suitable for and how to make it.
This course is over two sessions which will provide an appraisal of vocabulary to make a communication book exploring the principles behind Ace Centre’s ‘Developing and Using a Communication Book’.
Session 1: 15th June 21 (1.30pm – 4.30pm) Interactive webinar exploring when you might introduce a personalised communication book, different ways to organise language, and different methods of retrieval. The session will focus on Ace Centre’s Developing and Using a Communication Book and how to identify and select appropriate vocabulary.
Session 2: 29th June 21 (1.30pm – 4.30pm) Interactive webinar utilising Boardmaker 7 to create a personalised communication book.
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.
16.6.21 4 – 5pm Exploring young people’s accounts of using violence and abuse towards parents: causes, contexts and motivations
You are invited to the above webinar. Please reserve your place via the Eventbrite link: https://victoria-baker.eventbrite.co.uk
17.6.21 Motor Activities Training Programme Workshop MATP® for people with PMLD/Complex needs
17 & 18.6.21 SEND conference Follow up discussion workshop on 23.6.21
22 – 23.6.21 Autism and continence
This course will focus on the common toileting difficulties in autistic children
28.6.21 – 2.7.21 Venue to Virtual – The Disabled Living Collective
View equipment, products and services for all ages
29 – 30.6.21 The SEND Summit: Policy reform and effective practice
This online event, organised by Children & Young People Now, is for practitioners and leaders right across the system of SEND support – in all schools, local authorities, the voluntary sector and health care.
5.7.21 Gender Identify and Autism workshop: How can we support our young people?
This is a repeat as a result of high demand.
6.7.21 Making Participation Work – A practitioners’ conference
This conference will bring together participation, co-production and engagement practitioners and strategic managers to discuss how SEND youth voice and engagement plays a role in developing quality local area provision.
Please register for the conference at this Eventbrite link. Registration closes on 22nd June 2021.
14.7.21 1 – 5pm on-line CDC National event
The agenda is yet to be confirmed, but the focus of this conference will be on the upcoming publication of the SEND Review.
This event is aimed at
- SEND leads
- DSCOs, DCOs, DMOs
- Parent Carer Forum regional representatives
Priority will be given to these roles. If you are not in one of these roles please contac [email protected] to be added to the waiting list.
You can sign-up here. The password is National1.
If you have any suggestions for workshops, or any questions about the event in general, please email Marie at [email protected]
8 & 9.10.21 TES SEN Show
This year, the show’s overarching theme is neurodiversity and the social model of disability.
Through a rich mix of panel discussions, workshops and CPD seminars, you’ll discover how accommodating neurodiverse cohorts improves outcomes for all learners, especially those with SEND. See all the special features.
25 – 28.10.21 ADOS2 Administration and Coding
The course takes place over 4 days for Modules 1 to 4, on Zoom. Trainees will become familiar with the administration and coding of each of these modules through watching and coding videos of the ADOS, and through discussion with highly experience trainers. Trainees will also have the opportunity to practice various tasks, and explore the materials and toys provided with the ADOS-2 kit. ADOS-2 is the latest revision of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and has been adapted to anticipate the changes to the diagnostic definitions of DSM-5 . The ADOS is the most widely used observational assessment in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, for both clinical and research purposes.
9.11.21 Autism on-line conference – a hands on approach
18th National conference, Key topics:
The Pattern Seekers: How Autism drives Invention.
Autism in Police Custody: Keeping the noise down!
How to Tango to Two Different Beats – Navigating Relationships when your Partner and Children are on the autistic spectrum.
Autism in Women and Girls
What would Young People with Autism Like us to do Differently?
Autism and ADHA
SHARING LEARNING AND PRACTICE ACROSS THE NORTH WEST
School is difficult project
Andy is a 24 year old man and the founder of Spectrum Gaming, an online community for autistic young people under the age of 18. Spectrum Gaming was launched on 1st June 2020 as a result of the pandemic and is now an official charity. They have a community of over 2,000 young people who have all taken part in their events and communities.
One common theme in their community is difficulty attending school. A lot of their members are out of education and others really struggle with school-based anxiety. After recognising this theme, their young people wanted to make sure education settings know why education is difficult for them and what can be done to change this, so together they launched the ‘School is Difficult’ project: Info | School is Difficult
They are gathering the views of SEND young people, parents/carers, neurodivergent adults and professionals on the good and bad of the education system, with the aim of creating resources and a report with recommendations on what can be done to make the education system work for these young people who are often failed.
Andy has asked if you could do one of two things:
- Share this project in your network – the more responses, the bigger the impact the project will have.
- If you can take the time to share any similar pieces of work or insight you have into this topic, it would be massively appreciated.
Andy Smith, Founder of Spectrum Gaming.
Have your say – Children and Young People’s participation in Educational Psychology recruitment
Manchester University, Salford, Bury and Tameside Educational Psychology Services and Tameside Youth Council are working together to try and involve children and young people in the process of recruiting trainees and employing qualified Educational Psychologists.
They believe that if children and young people help them in recruiting trainees and employing qualified Educational Psychologists they will make better psychologists in the North West.
Tameside Youth Council have developed a survey which asks children and young people about their thoughts and ideas for recruiting trainees and employing qualified Educational Psychologists.
They would be really grateful if practitioners could share this survey with children and young people who may be are interested in being involved in shaping this recruitment process.
Updated DfE guidance for SEND and Specialist Settings
Following the Prime Minister’s statement regarding the further easing of lockdown restrictions from the 17May, the Department has updated the SEND and specialist settings – additional operational guidance: Covid-19.
This guidance should be read alongside the main pieces of guidance for schools and post-16:Schools Covid-19 operational guidance and Further education Covid-19 operational guidance,which have also been updated to reflect the upcoming changes.
Looked after children and young people should be considered ‘one of their own’ by carers, in order to help them to reach their full potential, new NICE draft guidelines say.
The draft guideline recommends that the looked-after person is surrounded by a care network consisting of positive relationships supported by genuine caring – where carers treat the looked-after person as ‘one of their own’. Supporting continuity of relationships with social workers, considering programmes to support mentoring relationships, and providing funding to enable contact with friends are also recommended.
FOCUS: THE IMPACT OF COVID
No End in Sight
The third survey report on the impact of Covid on disabled children and families find that in spite of lockdown restrictions easing, disabled children and their families continue to experience severe levels of social isolation with:
- More than half of families unable to access therapies vital for their disability, such as occupational, speech and language and physical therapist.
- 60% experiencing delays and challenges with accessing the health service appointments they needs, such as routine check-ups, treatments and operations
- 65% parents indicating that they may have possible or probable depression, with the mental wellbeing of parents significantly lower than the general population.
Happier in his own clothes: Post-pandemic possibilities for education for children with SEND
‘Happier in his own clothes’ was a comment made about one of the positives of lockdown in not having to wear school uniform. It is also used as a metaphor for how school could be for children with SEND and indeed all children if the opportunity to learn from lockdown is seized.
The impact of COVID-19 – A year in the life of families raising disabled and seriously ill young children. Family Fund, April 2021
Three quarters of families (75%) report the overall support available to them has decreased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic
Three quarters of families (76%) report their overall financial situation has got worse as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
Four in five families (79%) report their overall health and wellbeing has got worse since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic
Two in five families (42%) believe it will take more than a year before their lives return to normal
Lonely Lockdown: Life for siblings of disabled children in the UK
Sibs has published findings from a survey of parents to understand how the needs of siblings of disabled children were affected by lockdown. A survery of 640 parents found that:
81% said their sibling child’s mental health had worsened
43% of siblings were providing more care in lockdown
40% of young siblings were feeling isolated and missing support from family and friends.
Forgotten. Left Behind. Overlooked: the experiences of young people with SEND and their educational transitions during the Voci-19 pandemic in 2020.
The All-Party Parliamentary group for SEND have issued their report into the impact of the pandemic. Key findings include:
- A need for a parliamentary review to assess the impact upon young people with SEND to ensure support reaches the most vulnerable
- New and additional funding should be made available to aid Covid-19 recovery for young people with SEND
- Specific funding for Educational, Health and Care plans to address the backlog
- A review of EHC plans to simplify the process of application and assessment.
‘Forgotten. Left Behind. Overlooked.’ APPG report on experiences of young people with SEND | Nasen
Education Recovery and Resilience in England – Phase 1
This Education Policy Institute report includes sections on:
The impact of learning loss on earnings and the economy
A review of the evidence
An education resilience and recovery plan
This independent analysis is the first study to model the impact of lost learning and set out a series of fully costed, evidence-based, proposals for government. It shows that significant investment will be required to deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation that “no child is left behind”.
RESEARCH AND REPORTS
This new study by Ofsted was carried out before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Around 1.4 million pupils in English schools have an identified special educational need (SEN). These range from the most severe to comparatively minor. Identified numbers have increased for the fourth consecutive year, from 14.4% of all pupils in 2016 to 15.5% in 2020. Many of these pupils are in mainstream primary and secondary schools. Research suggests that there are varying interpretations and practices across professionals, schools and local authorities in both SEN identification and provision.
Although recent reports by Ofsted and others have highlighted some strengths in the special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) system, there are also significant weaknesses. These include:
- gaps in external provision and training
- lack of coordination between services
- lack of accountability
- weak co-production
This study was developed to explore how the needs of children and young people are met in mainstream schools and how approaches vary between providers.
The key findings are as follows:
- Schools often took a pupil-centred approach when identifying needs and planning provision, but staff did not always know the pupils well enough to do this.
- Pupils with SEND regularly spent time out of class working with teaching assistants (TAs), but there were some concerns about social exclusion and over-reliance on a single adult.
- Occasionally, schools were teaching a curriculum to pupils that was not properly sequenced or well matched to their needs.
- Collaboration between practitioners and families supported schools in meeting pupils’ needs more effectively.
- Mechanisms for co-production with parents and carers were often in place but implementation was not always meaningful. This is likely to impact how far schools can tailor provision to children’s needs.
- School SENCos were essential for mediating provision but experienced a range of challenges in carrying out their role.
- Schools employed a range of tailored strategies to meet pupils’ needs, sometimes supported by multi-agency services.
- Local authorities had strong ambitions for multi-agency collaboration, but this did not always translate into improved practice and positive experiences for schools and families.
- Some pupils received support from external services, but not always to the extent they need.
- This research raises questions about what ‘success’ looks like in terms of supporting children with SEND in mainstream schools.
In releasing the report, Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director for education, said: “Many children and young people with SEND have found it harder to engage with remote education during the pandemic, so getting the support right for these pupils is more important than ever.”
Supporting SEND – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Wood Review of Multi-agency Safeguarding Arrangements
The review sets out recommendations for making new multi-agency safeguarding arrangements for local areas more effective.
Safeguarding Partner are responsible for:
- the strategic oversight of all local safeguarding children policies in their area
- arrangements for child safeguarding practice reviews
- working with child death review partners on reviewing all child deaths in the area
Adolescent Disability, Post-17 destinations, and Early Socioeconomic Attainment: Initial evidence from next steps
Recent decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in the prevalence of adolescent disability. However, research on the life-course transitions and trajectories of disabled adolescents remains sparse. This working paper addresses the lack of longitudinal evidence surrounding school-to-work transitions of disabled young people in England.
Support gaps for children of the military on the move
Earlier this month the Naval Children’s Charity published new research conducted by Anglia Ruskin University on the issues faced by children of military families. The Impact of Military Life in the Service Child, examines a range of issues that affect service children, such as maintaining contact with parents serving away, the impact of frequent relocations on children’s education and health, and dealing with parental bereavement. The report draws out positive findings too, such as increased resilience and pride.
Ofsted has published updated guidance for inspecting how well local areas support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This guidance will be used from June onwards when full inspections of local areas that have not been inspected under the current area SEND inspection framework will recommence.
If you are a user of The Communication Trust website, this is to inform you that this is now fully operated and managed by I CAN. Several changes have taken place to The Communication Trust and The Communication Consortium since 2018. The long-standing annual funding from the Department for Education came to a close and I CAN, the host organisation since the inception of the Trust and Consortium, took responsibility for their management and administration.
The free resources and information that you had access to previously, can now be found on the main I CAN website at the following link: https://ican.org.uk/i-cans-talking-point/professionals/tct-resources/.
This includes the What Works database, access to the Speech, Language and Communication Framework (SLCF), CPD Short Course and Platform 3.
Challenging Behaviour Foundation
A key aim of the CBF is to make sure families get the practical information they need. The National Lottery Community Fund has enabled the Foundation to develop a new website as part of their 3 year ‘Getting it Right’ project. The new site is easier to access on phones and tablets, as well as laptops, and is more user-friendly.
Visit the new website at the same web address: www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk 3
The CBF aims to improve the life opportunities and quality of life for children, young people and adults with severe learning disabilities and their families. They do that by providing information, sharing video guides, offering telephone, email and casework support for family carers, and running workshops. The new website means they can offer families and professionals improved access to their information and resources and help make it easier for everyone to champion rights, raise awareness and promote and share best practice.
The new site includes new resources, including up-to-date information sheets and video clips filmed by family carers. Please browse www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk for news, opinion, information, resources, opportunities, and support.
Challenging behaviour foundation
National Literacy Trust
Have launched a new recovery area National Literacy Trust news
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
The IWF have launched a new prevention campaign. It it a self-generated child sexual abuse prevention campaign, backed by the Home Office following data highlighting 11 – 13 year old girls are increasingly at risk of grooming and coercion at the hands of online predators. The campaign encourages young people to ‘block, report and tell’ an adult they trust and aims to reduce the number of girsl sending self-generated images to offenders online. A suite of resources aimed at parents is available to raise awareness of the issue, encouraging them to learn more about their child’s online activity. The campaign will run for six weeks.
SEN2 annual data is available at the following links:
The main headlines and links to graphs for National and LA level
Further information on the data collected in summary
What do adolescents say about social media and well-being?
What is school like for you? Experiences of education during and after lockdown
An employers’ guide to employing people with a learning disability
A primary phase wellbeing curriculum
Each one of the six terms in a school year has a theme that is aligned with one or other of the New Economics Foundation’s (NEF’s Five Ways to Wellbeing: Exercise; Give to Others, Connect with Others; Challenge Yourself; and Embrace the Moment. One further theme has been added to make up the sixth term for the year. This theme is around Self-Care, which also featured strongly in the NEF’s (2008) analysis.
Each lesson, within any given term, focuses on developing one or other of the six core wellbeing skills outlined in a developmental version of the Acceptance & Commitment Therapy model; DNA-V (Hayes & Ciarrochi, 2015).
For anyone interested, you can sign up to access a free trial here: https://www.connect-pshe.org/sign-up. In the wake of COVID19, and in recognition that teachers and other educators are really keen to use this period for CPD opportunities, the authors have made the full online training available for free (three hours of video, plus several pause-points for activities and discussion). This is immediately accessible as soon as you sign up for the free trial, which also includes a sample of lesson plans and associated ppt slides, handouts and other relevant resources.
Here’s a link to the home page: www.connect-pshe.org<http://www.connect-pshe.org>
Leadership for Inclusion & Inclusive Classroom Practice
This online session took place during NDTI’s Inclusive Education Festival, 15 – 19.3.21. During the week, there were eight sessions to showcase great stories where inclusion really works and what needs to happen to ensure a more inclusive society. These can be viewed at The Journey Towards Inclusive Education – NDTi
Special apps for very special learners
Education staff wellbeing charter
The education staff wellbeing charter is a declaration of support for, and set of commitments to, the wellbeing and mental health of everyone working in education. All state funded schools and colleges are invited to familiarise themselves with the charter, and to sign up when it is available in the autumn, as a shared commitment to protect, promote and enhance the wellbeing of their staff. It is voluntary and there is no deadline to sign up.
Support resources: Parents with alcohol and drug problems
A toolkit containing guidance, data and other resources to support professionals who are helping families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems. These resources support local areas to understand the extent of problem parental alcohol and drug use and support needs in their area, and assess whether local systems have sufficient processes, capacity and resources to support families affected by problem parental alcohol and drug use.
Autistic people and inpatient mental health hospitals
Resources for autistic children, young people and their families
UK Trauma Council
The UK Trauma Council has updated its resources on the impact of traumatic bereavement in children and young people, which includes a new animation. Accompanying free resources are available for school staff and other professionals, plus parents and carers. Traumatic Bereavement | UKTC (uktraumacouncil.org)
Signed yoga videos for deaf children
With fun, easy-to-follow steps your deaf child can learn simple poses, improve their balance and coordination, and become more flexible. It’ll help your child learn to follow instructions and improve their concentration. As they make progress, their confidence is sure to grow.
APPG – CALL FOR EVIDENCE: CEREBRAL PALSY
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cerebral Palsy is launching a call for evidence for its third and fourth virtual sessions:
25.5.21 2pm Education, Health and Care Plans for children with cerebral palsy
6.7.21 2pm Best practices in Teaching and Learning for children with cerebral palsy
They are taking written submissions for their report with a deadline of 30.7.21.
Input from any interested stakeholder on these topics will be considered. This evidence will be used to inform the recommendations the APPG makes to Government. They are seeking concise responses focused on policy recommendations, key facts and figures.
For more information and to submit evidence go to Call-for-Evidence-APPG-on-Cerebral-Palsy-sessions-3-and-4.pdf (connectpa.co.uk)
FOCUS: THE BUZZ WEBSITE FOR DEAF YOUNG PEOPLE
This is the only website for deaf young people aged 8 – 18 in the UK and has been co-created with deaf young people and the National Dead Children’s Society
We are delighted to tell you the Buzz website has officially launched! This is the only website for deaf young people aged 8-18 in the UK and has been co-created with deaf young people and National Deaf Children’s Society.
Check it out here: https://bit.ly/3nnXaoZ
The link to the animation is here and it has BSL translation.
Understanding the needs of young autistic people
This survey by the National Autistic Society in partnership with the University of Kent focuses on young autistic people who are involved, or at risk of being involved in the criminal justice system. There are also versions for autistic adults and their families to complete.
Disability Activism in Europe: Young Disabled Activist’s Views and Experiences.
This University of Leeds project is exploring understandings of disability activism, politics, and the resistance practices of young disabled activists across Europe. Currently, there is an open, online survey exploring young disabled people’s opportunities and challenges to participating in disability activism across Europe, as well as understand the importance of disabled people’s social movements.
To take part in the survey, respondents will:
– need to be within the age range of 18 to 35;
– identify as a disabled person;
– currently live in a European country (EU or beyond);
– have experience or an interest in disability activism.
The survey is available in English, English Easy Read, French, German, and Spanish.
To take part, or read further information, please visit: https://disabilityactivism.leeds.ac.uk/getting-involved-in-the-research-2/survey-disability-activism-in-europe/
Support that parents are given to help them understand their children’s intellectual disability and that they and their child received from schools.
You can take part if you are aged 18 years or over and a parent of a school aged child with an intellectual disability. The survey will be conducted through an interview that will take approximately 45 minutes to an hour. To find out more and to take part, please go to: [https://nupsych.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2tcqPiKbAAosHYx]
When using the link please leave your phone number or email to be contacted for an interview (this is confidential).
Centre for Youth Impact news:
Council for Disabled Children newsletter:
Education Endowment Foundation: News alerts
Making ourselves heard news:
Mental health, Learning Disability and Autism bulletin:
NCVO news and resources
Whole School SEND news