SEND Improvement Programme: November 2021

Would you like to view this email in a web page? Click here

Imp prog logo

Image description: the send partnership banner, featuring two interconnecting orange elliptical shapes. Text reads Cumbria SEND improvement programme.


In this edition:


Greg's focus on emotional health and wellbeing is crucial for improvement

Greg Everatt

Greg Everatt is the senior commissioning manager for children and families at North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Here he tells us about his connection to SEND in Cumbria, and his hopes for a sustainable approach to improvement through partnerships and joint working.

"I have a broad remit at North Cumbria CCG, commissioning paediatric services for acute and inpatient care, as well as community services addressing both mental and physical health. This includes maternity services, as well as services for children and young people with SEND.

"I am often asked what a commissioner does. I see the role as akin to that of an orchestra conductor, ensuring all parts of the system work together, in partnership and at the right time, to ensure that the music is in tune and in time (or in our case that the services meet the needs of families in a timely and effective way).

"I see everyday that children and young people's lives intersect with so many services provided by different agencies, including the local authority and third sector partners, and as such relationships between these agencies, and their ability to work together effectively, is key to ensuring the services provided are successful in meeting need.

"I am Chair of the SEND improvement working group for emotional well-being and mental health, and I am privileged to bring together parent carers and practitioners from across different agencies for this important work. It is well recognised that the pandemic has had, and continues to have, a big impact on emotional well-being and mental health for children and young people and their families, and as such cuts across all areas of family life, from education to home-life to social activities. As a working group we are focused on ensuring children and young people with SEND are properly supported in terms of their mental health and well-being. We are determined they will not be left behind, by ensuring their needs are taken account of and responded to.

"I understand the importance of 'getting it right' for children and young people. This is essential for their longer term well-being, whether that be making friends, forming meaningful relationships or having a valued role in society, and most importantly, enjoying life in a way that works for them."

Greg Everatt - Senior Commissioning Manager - Children and Families, North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group

Image description: head and shoulders photo of Greg Everatt, a white male with short brown hair and a beard, wearing a white open neck shirt and smiling at the camera.


Get involved and upcoming events

Preparing for adulthood - developing a 'Charter for an amazing life'

Charter for an amazing life

Image description: cartoon picture showing young adults smiling. In the background are mountains and sky scrapers and to the right of the picture is a computer and screen which shows the words our amazin' charter. Text reads it's time to make an amazin' life.

In October, Barry Jones of the National Development Team for Inclusion led two workshops with stakeholders, where they began discussions around developing a transition charter for young people with SEND in Cumbria as they move into adulthood.

Outcomes from the workshops are now being collated, and will be presented at a final follow up workshop session on the 22nd November 10.00 –12.00pm. This workshop will ensure everything that matters to contributors has been captured, and will seek to agree the final 'Charter for an amazing life'.

Parents, carers and other interested stakeholders are asked to book onto this workshop via the link below, and to share across networks to anyone it would be relevant to. It is not necessary to have attended the previous workshops to get involved in this session. Schools and SENCOs have been asked to support young people to attend the workshop to ensure their voices are included.

+ REGISTER FOR THE CHARTER FOR AN AMAZING LIFE WORKSHOP

 

Parents and carers invited to help improve the autism diagnostic pathway

Painted hands

Parents and carers in Cumbria are invited to an online workshop on improving the autism diagnostic pathway in the NHS.

The workshop is on 23rd November at 10:30 – 14:30

  • This online workshop is open to parents, carers, health and social care professionals and colleagues from third-sector organisations. It will focus specifically on the development of the NHS component of the autism diagnostic pathway.
  • This event will consolidate work undertaken so far, and consider how to co-produce some of the services that have been requested previously.
  • There will be an opportunity during this initial session to discuss previously raised concerns relating to the NHS component of the autism diagnostic pathway, particularly those raised by parents and carers during previous stakeholder events and from feedback in annual surveys.
  • After which, participants will be invited to attend one of four sessions that will look at co-producing elements relating to: (1) an easy-to-read leaflet to explain the multi-agency assessment team (MAAT) process; (2) understanding current delays in Speech and Language Therapy appointments; (3) participation in MAAT process; and (4) frustration with feedback from MAAT process.
  • Each session aims to create shared awareness of existing and likely future challenges and issues.

For more information, or to request a place at the workshop, please email sendimprovements@cumbria.gov.uk

Image description: seven child's painted handprints forming a circle. The handprints are all different bright colours.

 

Sensory sessions provide training and opportunities to shape future services

Sensory image

The Cumbria and Lancashire SEND improvement programmes have collaborated to co-produce two online sessions focusing on sensory issues for children and young people with SEND. 

The first session, held in early November, featured an educational presentation by occupational therapists, which aimed to develop a common language and shared understanding across Lancashire and Cumbria with regard to sensory needs. Over 50 people signed up for the session, which was recorded and will be available to view on the SEND local offer website soon.

+ VIEW THE SENSORY PROCESSING EDUCATION PRESENTATION 

The second session will be held on 1st December, 10am to 12pm, and will be an engagement session which

  • aims to bring together parents/carers and leaders/commissioners to understand more about how well children’s sensory needs are being met.
  • provides location specific breakout groups - the intended outcome of the session is that parents/carers have felt listened to and understood.
  • gathers feedback which will then be collated and used to inform the wider approach for meeting sensory needs.

+ BOOK A PLACE ON THE SENSORY ENGAGEMENT SESSION ON 1 DEC

+ EMAIL ALISON MAY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE SENSORY SESSIONS

Image description: a toddlers hands pictured from above, playing in a sandpit.

 

Come along to the December SEND Q&A sessions for parents and carers

Q&A send leads

The latest regular Q&A sessions with SEND senior leaders are coming up.

The sessions will be held using Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 7th December.

Parents and carers can choose from a morning session 10:00 - 11:00 or an evening session 18:30 - 19:30.

Although not a platform to resolve individual issues, the SEND leads will be able to provide advice and information on services, procedures and systems, and signpost to other services and sources of information.

Sally Senejko, senior manager for SEND and inclusion at Cumbria County Council will be joined by Alex Nancollis, designated clinical officer for SEND in Cumbria with the NHS.

SEND Alliance Cumbria, the new parent carer forum, will also be available at both sessions to provide advice and support from a parental perspective.

To book a place at either Q&A session, parents and carers are asked to email Hayley Stewart, stating whether you would like to attend the morning or evening session.

+ EMAIL HAYLEY STEWART TO BOOK YOUR Q&A PLACE

Image description: a standing white modelling clay figure, with it's right hand on it's chin in a thoughtful pose, stands in front of a large red question mark.

 


SEND news

Children and families minister writes open letter to parents and carers

Gov UK image

Children and families minister Will Quince has written an open letter to parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

In the letter, the Minister reaffirms his commitment to delivering the SEND Review and the importance of supporting the most disadvantaged children and young people. He outlines his plans to continue to visit schools, nurseries and colleges around the country to directly hear first-hand from children, young people, parents and carers, school, college and local authority staff as well as meet with SEND organisations and experts so they can influence proposals.

+ READ THE OPEN LETTER TO PARENTS AND CARERS FROM THE MINISTER

Alongside the letter, the Department for Education has published information about the members of the SEND Review Steering Group. The new group was set up to assist the department conclude the SEND Review at pace and advise on proposals to be set out in a SEND Green Paper to be published in the first three months of 2022.

+ FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE SEND REVIEW STEERING GROUP

Image description: Gov uk logo showing a white crown on a black background. Text reads gov uk.

 

Local Offer website planned maintenance

Cumbria's SEND Local Offer website will be undergoing planned maintenance on Thursday 18th November from 12 noon for approximately 5 hours. Some services on the local offer website may be unavailable during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Image description: White signpost with three direction arms in different colours on a green background. Text reads education, health, social care, Cumbria's local offer.

 

Local offer signpost

New child and family worker posts provide additional resource for families

Following coproduction work with families for the new short breaks service, which will be launched on 1st February 2022, parents and carers requested more guidance and support to navigate the SEND system. 

In response to this suggestion, Cumbria County Council are delighted to announce the appointment of three new child and family workers to support families going forwards. The new child and family workers are:

  • Diane Huddart covering Barrow and South Lakes
  • David Barnes covering Carlisle and Eden
  • Adele Hamer covering Allerdale and Copeland

The new posts will support families in relation to accessing the short breaks activities, completing the annual reviews of support packages that are not currently open to CWD social workers and providing social care advice for EHCP assessments for children not open to social care teams. In addition the workers will provide information and signpost to appropriate services.

The new Short Breaks telephone number, which will be active from Monday 29th November is 0300 303 8144.

 

New national sleep helpline has a local connection

Sleep logo

A new sleep helpline has launched which aims to ensure that everyone has access to high quality, evidence-based advice. 

Cumbria's own Amanda Bland from Barrow, a well known sleep practitioner and trainer, has been offering sleep training and advice to parents and carers of children and young people with SEND for many years. Amanda is part of the team supporting the new helpline. 

Amanda said

"I'm proud to be part of the team supporting anyone, child or adult, struggling with sleep issues."

Many children and young people with SEND struggle with sleep related issues. The sleep helpline is available Sunday to Thursday from 7-9pm for advice and support on 03303 530 541.

+ FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL SLEEP HELPLINE

Image description: The sleep charity logo featuring different shades of blue dots in semi-circles. Text reads the sleep charity

 

New SEND services manager appointed

Following Sally Senejko's appointment as Senior Manager for SEND and Inclusion earlier this year, Donna Stretton has now been appointed as Services Manager - SEND, in Sally's team.

Donna will take up the post in April 2022, and joins the team from Sandside Lodge school in Ulverston, where she is currently Headteacher.

 

Further SEND training for school staff secured as 'Whole School SEND' project extended

Whole school send logo

Cumbria County Council has been successful in gaining approval for another cohort of the Department for Education (DfE) funded Whole School SEND project, to support development of SEND within the local authority. 

The programme is free to schools and will provide school leaders and SENCO’s with free training and useful tools to support SEND practice.

Whole School SEND currently holds the DfE's Schools SEND Workforce contract and is well known for providing free materials which are useful to schools.

+ VISIT THE WHOLE SCHOOL SEND WEBPAGE

Image description: Whole school send logo featuring a green, blue and red circle. Text reads whole school send.

 

Accelerated progress plans put in place ahead of SEND reinspection

In anticipation of the upcoming reinspection of SEND services by OFSTED and the care quality commission (CQC), Cumbria's SEND partnership have put in place a number of accelerated progress plans. The plans cover areas where the partnership's self evaluation shows less progress than they would like against the written statement of action that was submitted following the inspection in 2019.

The identified areas may be due to delayed action, limited data to determine the impact of the actions taken, or performance data which is causing concern. In some cases, it is a combination of all three.

Governance and accountability for the accelerated progress plans will be through relevant working groups, to the SEND Improvement Board and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

+ READ FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACCELERATED PROGRESS PLANS

 

Virtual Preparing for adulthood fair provides advice and support for young people with SEND

PfA

Preparing for adulthood can be an anxious time for families of young people with additional needs and disabilities.

In order to help families plan and know what options and support are available, Cumbria's SEND partnership hosted a week long Preparing for Adulthood event, from the 18th to the 25th of October, with 100% of those providing feedback saying the event was extremely or very useful. 

Parents and carers said there was ‘..lots of choice, lots of things to read and take away’, the event was ‘..well organised, with a good range of subjects and presenters’. Young people said ‘I like that it was split into topics’ and ‘The resources bit is good’.

The event, planned alongside parents, carers and young people, was held on a dedicated page of the SEND Local Offer website and was aimed at families of young people with SEND from age 13 to 25. More than 30 services and organisations provided resources and held live webinars on topics as diverse as apprenticeships, interview skills, supported living options, day opportunities, health and mental health transition from child to adult services, social and sporting opportunities, as well as presentations from post-16 colleges, drop in sessions with SENDAC, the new parent carer forum, and much more.

Online resources from the event include access to the webinar presentations, alongside videos, leaflets, fact sheets and useful weblinks on education, employment, health and social care, support services, independent and supported living, leisure opportunities and information on mental capacity, guardianship and welfare benefits.

More than 200 attendees came along to the live webinars, with many more also accessing support and advice using the 'resources' section available on the website. The event page will remain available until the end of November to enable families to access the resources, before being moved to the 'Preparing for adulthood' section of the SEND Local Offer website.

+ VIEW THE PREPARING FOR ADULTHOOD EVENT RESOURCES 

Image description: a group of young adult friends are gathered around another young adult sitting in a wheelchair. The group are outside and are smiling at the camera. Three of the group are hugging and they all appear very happy.


Regular features

All of Us Forum News

All of Us logo

The All of Us forum is the group for young people with SEND in Cumbria to come together, chat, have fun and influence the things that matter to them.

There are two All of Us meetings scheduled for December:

  • 8th December 13:30 - 14:30 (school supported session)
  • 20th December 13:00 - 14:00 (out of school session)

Both sessions will be held using Microsoft Teams. For more information, or to request a link to either session, please contact Liz Wright, children and young people's right officer at Cumbria County Council

+ CONTACT LIZ WRIGHT FOR  ALL OF US SESSION ACCESS 

Image description: all of us logo. Two teenage girls are outside in a sunny spot and are looking at a book together. One of the young people is sitting in a wheelchair. They are both smiling. All of us logo shows four stick figures holding hands in a semi circle. Beneath them is a globe and the words 'all of us' in white on a pink background.

Your SEND Local Offer website questions answered

Q&A

Julie Jones, Systems development and information officer for Cumbria's SEND Local Offer website

In September we asked if you had any questions for Julie about the SEND Local Offer website. Here she answers your questions...

Image description: four hands hold up dark red letters. Text reads Q & A.

Can support groups be on a button on the front please?

The support groups can now be found on the front page.

+ VIEW THE SUPPORT GROUPS PAGE ON THE LOCAL OFFER

Is there anything about children in care or previously looked after children on the SEND local offer?

We have a webpage called 'Virtual schools for children looked after' which gives advice and information.

+ VIEW THE VIRTUAL SCHOOLS PAGE ON THE LOCAL OFFER

How do you decide what information goes on the Local Offer?

Apart from making sure that the information stated in the Code of Practice is on the SEND local offer website as a minimum, we also have a Local Offer Focus Group which meets around every 6 weeks. The group includes stakeholders from across the partnership, and most crucially, includes parents and carers. Ideas and feedback are given about information on the Local Offer.  There is also a 'Feedback button' on the top blue banner of Local Offer whereby parents can submit their own feedback and can request to have information uploaded to the site.

+ GIVE FEEDBACK ON THE SEND LOCAL OFFER 

How is the information kept up to date?

We have some software that looks at the system every 5 days to make sure that URL links are not broken.  The website is audited every 3 months by the team and providers are also contacted every 3 months asking them to check that their information is current and up to date.

I run a support group – how do I get it included on the Local Offer?

We welcome groups, services and providers being part of the SEND Local Offer website. If you would like to be part of the Local Offer, you can register your details to get started. The process if very easy, and once you are registered on the page all we ask is that you keep your information up to date so that families and practitioners can find your information and contact you more easily if they need to.

+ REGISTER DETAILS FOR A GROUP OR SERVICE ON THE SEND LOCAL OFFER WEBSITE

Call for questions

Call for questions - Jean Hamilton, Children's Learning Disability nursing service manager will be answering your questions about the learning disability service.

+ EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS FOR JEAN ON THE CHILDREN'S LEARNING DISABILITY SERVICE

Image description: a group of different sized orange question marks.


SEND resources

Expended suite of SEND leaflets for parents, carers and practitioners now available

SEND logo

The SEND and Inclusion team have produced a useful range of new and updated information sheets. The resources provide information on a range of topics around SEN support and EHCPs, and will be helpful to parents, carers and practitioners alike. 

+VIEW 'AMENDING AN EHCP - INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND CARERS'

+ VIEW 'EHCPs - THE IMPORTANCE OF SECTION A - ALL ABOUT ME'

+ VIEW 'AMENDING AN EHCP FOLLOWING A MOVE TO THE AREA'

+ VIEW 'AMENDING AN EHCP FOLLOWING A REVIEW'

+ VIEW THE SEND 20 WEEK TIMELINE

+ VIEW 'SCHOOL ADMISSIONS FOR SPECIALIST PROVISIONS GUIDANCE'

+ VIEW 'WHAT IS SEN SUPPORT?'

Image description: SEND logo featuring stick characters in various poses, one in a wheelchair, interacting with the text. Text reads SEND in coloured boxes.

 

Structure charts make SEND services easier to navigate

Did you know the SEND and Inclusion team structures are available as handy charts on the SEND local offer website?

The charts make it easier for families and SEND practitioners to see who is who and navigate the system.

+ VIEW THE SEND AND INCLUSION TEAM STRUCTURES ON THE LOCAL OFFER WEBSITE

 

Resources for meeting the needs of adopted and permanently looked after children

Recently the SEND and Inclusion team had an interesting and informative meeting with an adoptive parent. The parent requested the meeting in order to share some resources which she thought would be particularly useful for the team, as well as other parents and carers, and schools and settings in general.

Many adopted and children looked after have some form of additional need. These documents provide a wealth of information and advice for parents and carers of children looked after and previously looked after, and for education setting staff, in a clear and accessible format.

  • The first document is a guide for parents and carers on meeting the needs of adopted and permanently placed children. It provides information on why adopted children may need additional support in education, additional educational entitlements, what other support is available and shares good practice examples. Although aimed at parents and carers, this document is equally useful to school staff in helping to understand how to best support these children and their families.

+ READ MEETING THE NEEDS OF ADOPTED AND PERMANENTLY PLACED CHILDREN - A GUIDE FOR PARENT AND CARERS

  • The second document is a guide for school staff on meeting the needs of adopted and permanently placed children. It provides advice and support for making sense of these children's difficulties, and details support available to schools and families. 

+ READ MEETING THE NEEDS OF ADOPTED AND PERMANENTLY PLACED CHILDREN - A GUIDE FOR SCHOOL STAFF

  • The final document is the statutory guidance on the role of the designated teacher for looked after and previously looked after children. 

+ READ THE DESIGNATED TEACHER FOR LOOKED AFTER AND PREVIOUSLY LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN - STATUTORY GUIDANCE

 

Hospital passport information now available on the SEND Local Offer

Hospital passport

In collaboration with stakeholders, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust (HMBT) have reviewed and designed a new digital version of child and adult hospital passports.

A Hospital Passport is designed to give hospital staff helpful information about the person, about their health and social needs and guides staff on the best way to support the person when they come to hospital.

Further information and a link to a blank hospital passport for families to use can be found on Cumbria's SEND Local Offer website. The hospital passport is suitable for use at any health setting or hospital, not just HMBT. 

+ READ MORE ABOUT HOSPITAL PASSPORTS ON THE LOCAL OFFER

+ DOWNLOAD A BLANK HOSPITAL PASSPORT TO COMPLETE FOR YOUR CHILD

Image description: cartoon of a blue passport showing a red cross on an orange circle. To the right is a cartoon of a hospital building. The background is orange. Text reads Hospital passport, about me and my needs.

 


And finally...

virtual meeting

a message from the whole SEND Partnership to families of children and young people with SEND in Cumbria:

We hope that you are finding these newsletters useful. If you would like us to cover any specific SEND related topics, or would like to see introductions or Q&A articles from specific people or services, please do let us know. 

+ GET IN TOUCH WITH THE SEND NEWSLETTER.

As you can see from the implementation of the accelerate progress plans, we recognise that there is still much to do, and as such are working to embed a continuous improvement approach across the county.

We continue to acknowledge the additional anxieties and pressures faced by many of our SEND families throughout this pandemic, and assure you that we will work together to continue to support you through this difficult time. 

We want to assure you that we remain committed to delivering the improvements which we know are vital to ensure Cumbria does it's very best for children and young people with SEND and their families.

You can find information and support on the Ways to Welfare page. As the end of another very difficult year approaches, we wish the very best for you and your family.

Image description: Cartoon of a computer screen showing on online meeting. There are six figures of differing ethnicities and genders in squares on the screen.