SEND partnership newsletter - March 2023

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March 2023

Easter School Holiday Events and Activities

Lots of fantastic events and activities are taking place across the district during the Easter School Holidays. More info here.

Holiday food

Free activities during the Easter break

If your child qualifies for benefits-related free school meals, they are eligible for a range of free activities during the Easter break. There are some brilliant activities planned – don’t miss out. To find out more click here

SEND branding character

New SEND Branding 

We hope that you like the new branding we have developed alongside families in the district. Each of the characters represents a young person with a range of special educational needs and disabilities. We will be starting to use this branding and the characters on our partnership work - so watch this space! 

Clock tower

City Hall clock tower to light up in Gold for World Autism Acceptance Week

Autism Acceptance Week runs from Monday 27 March until Sunday 2 April 2023, which is Autism Acceptance Day.

The clock tower will be lit up on Sunday in the colour Gold to shine a light on the acceptance of autism within our communities. Gold as a colour to represent the week has been used more recently, to highlight acceptance, and because the chemical symbol for gold being ‘Au’, the first two letters of autism. Gold is also a perfect choice because throughout history gold has been something that is seen of immense value.


Council for Disabled Children's review 

The Council for Disabled Children published their social care review of Bradford social care’s disabled children’s services in August 2022. The review included representatives from many different partner agencies and included a strong representation from parent/carers. The review made 6 recommendations that children’s social care could consider to help improve the quality of support and response for children and their families. The work to implement the recommendations is now underway across the district. Initial meetings have taken place and the aim is to begin improving how we provide information to families and create more accessible services across the district.

You can read the full report here

coffee morning

Coffee mornings in schools

The Parents' Forum for Bradford and Airedale has been delivering a programme of coffee mornings in mainstream primary schools. The idea is to help SEND parents meet other parents who are in the same situation, build up a new support network, feel more confident and empowered and to improve communication between parent carers and the school. So far, over 200 families have been involved and are feeling the benefits of meeting new friendly and understanding faces.

We have been able to incorporate a sleep session into the coffee morning, as sleep is one of the most significant issues mentioned by parents.

We have had such positive feedback from parents and professionals that we would love to offer this to more schools.

If you would like the PFBA to come and run some SEND coffee mornings in your school, please drop an email to

Portage Team

Glowing feedback for The Bradford portage team

The Bradford portage team often receive lovely feedback, but today the team have received 4 wonderful compliments acknowledging the wonderful work the team do. You can read more about the Bradford portage team here

Portage Team feedback

Supported internship

Supported Internships

A Supported Internship is an employer-based learning programme. The aim is to support young people with SEND aged 16-24 with an Education, Health and Care plan who want to find work to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to progress into employment. The main feature of the programme is a long-term work experience placement providing an on-the-job learning opportunity in a real work setting. The expected outcome is a paid job either with the host employer or with another company.

MENCAP are one of a number of organisations offering supported internships.

Find more information here

Project Search

Project SEARCH

Bradford College are proud to partner with Project SEARCH offering internship programmes to young people living with a learning disability and/or autism, aged between 18 and 24. The programme follows the school year and runs from September to July, offering meaningful work experience.

Apply now before April 2023

SEND library sessions

SEND Sessions At Keighley library

The Family Hub has been working with Keighley library to offer a monthly session for families with SEND children and young people. This has been done in partnership with Carers Resource. The sessions include a story-time as well as access to a range of SEND resources that promote speech, language and sensory exploration. Comic books are provided for the older children, and again this is based on feedback which highlighted how much the children enjoyed being able to sit and look at comics. Whilst this session is aimed at families with children with SEND, it will still be an open session accessible to all. If successful, it is hoped that this will be rolled out across other libraries in the District.

The first session was held on 21 February and approximately 15 children and young people attended with parents/carers. The feedback has been that they really enjoyed it and asked when the next one was! The families loved the story time element so much that they asked for another.

All the family hub services and events can be found on the Families and Young Persons Information website.

What's on at Keighley/Shipley Family Hub


Dying Matters workshops

2 May, 9.45am – 3pm at Central Hall, Keighley BD21 3JD

There is a free conference/workshop from Bradford District Care Trust and a range of local organisations for parent/carers and people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

This is the second event looking at the importance of starting conversations about dying which none of us want to even think about, yet, it is one of those things that is going to happen to all of us at some point. This makes it scary but necessary to start to think about and begin to plan, whether this is for our own wishes as parent/carers or for the person we love and care for.

Please book a space, email: or call 01274 497121.

Thinking Big

Volunteers needed - Thinking Big, Friends and Family Hubs

Family Hubs are supported by The National Lottery and run by Thinking Big. They are a place for the friends and family members of children and young people with SEND to connect, share information and learn new skills.

In 2018 the Friends and Family project began with one Hub in Keighley. There are now four separate Hubs, with members from across the Bradford district. 

The group are now looking for partners to join them on this exciting journey. They have opportunities for:

  • Group facilitators
  • One to One support professionals
  • Paid and volunteer caterers
  • Volunteer walk co-ordinators.

If you have (or know anyone else with) a good understanding of SEND issues, local services and a passion for improving experiences and outcomes for families, please email for more information and to discuss opportunities.

Read more about the friends and family hubs.

School of Rock and Media logo

School of Rock and Media – open day success

The School of Rock & Media offer Music Production Level 1 and 2 qualifications, alongside an artist development and life-skills programme in a fantastic purpose-built environment.

The open day took place on 15 March, and potential students accompanied by parents/carers visited the centre to get a real feel for what the Education Hub can offer. Tea's, Coffees, biscuits & cakes were ready and waiting for visitors who had the chance to meet and greet with the tutors and the Education Coordinator.

They were given a tour of the building, got to see the music classrooms and studios and got an insight to what the Education Hub currently offers in terms of education and incentives for their students.

If yourself or someone you know is interested in the School of Rock & Media's education provision contact to find out more.

Parent Support groups

 (SEND) parent carer support groups

Many of our parent and carer groups have their own newsletters and offer their own training and support. We encourage all parent carers to join a support group if they have not done already, they give a lot of diagnosis specific support and give access to opportunities and activities. Many of the local groups are run by parent carers with experience. The Parents' Forum for Bradford and Airedale (PFBA) have compiled a list of support groups in the Bradford area.

List of support groups 

If you are a practitioner please can you share this list of parent carer groups with families you are in contact with. SEND parent/carers can feel isolated at times and signposting to support networks can really help we have found.

Disability stock 3

International Mixed Ability Sports

International Mixed Ability Sports has been successful in getting funding to set up a pilot project. The funding will involve the team going into SEND schools and delivering some physical education lessons across various sports, linked to community clubs who offer mixed-ability sessions. The funding is for 11-16’s and 18-25’s and will cover the coaching and co-ordination of the project over 2 years. You can find out more information about the range of sports activities and dates and times here.

 Visit the International Mixed Ability Sports website here.

SENDIASS waiting times

SENDIASS is an Information advice and support services for families in the Bradford district. Following feedback from parent and carers we plan to update on waiting times for the service on a more regular basis through this newsletter.

The current call back time for initial advice is 6-8 days. The service are doing their best to maintain an acceptable call-back time, but are at times are receiving 15-20 referrals per day. The wait for further casework support if required is currently approximately 8 weeks – we are now allocating those who referred in mid to end of January.

For any parents of children or young people where mental health is affecting attendance please keep an eye on our Facebook page, we will be sharing information on recently published guidance on school responsibilities in relation to this. Bradford Sendiass | Bradford | Facebook We have also recently shared powerpoints on exclusions and part time timetables.