In Partnership - Jan/Feb 2017

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Coventry Send

In Partnership - January/February

From the manager's office

Only 11 months till Christmas! It's certainly been an interesting start to the New Year, but whilst not wanting to get too political, I can always try and use a common theme to bring it back to the world of SEND - this time we'll take the "bridges not walls" slogan as our inspiration. 

This is a concept very much emphasised within the SEND reforms, with a focus on effective bridge building between not just families and the agencies that support them, but between the agencies themselves. With resources becoming more scarce within many public bodies - education settings, health services, and local authorities - the potential for wall building is increasing. However, we must all strive to ensure that what we have is used to scale barriers, not create them.

It's a busy bulletin this time around, so hopefully you'll find something that is relevant for you. And remember, we're always keen to hear from you about anything that is going on for families or professionals around SEND. 

Chris Firth  

"Brain sieve" theory - a young person's view

We're always happy to hear any feedback from you, about almost anything! So it was really nice to receive a really interesting insight into how a young person from Coventry sees the world: 

"Hi I'm JD I'm nine years old and I go to a school in Coventry. I wrote this so other people can understand me and how my brain works. I have dyslexia and I think my brain works differently to most peoples. 

My brain is like a sieve. With me the sieve has very big holes, it's like not an icing sugar sieve like other people. Its bigger than a colander its allows more through. Like if I saw a wall I'd see bricks, concrete, air bubbles, etc but other people just see a wall. My computer scans stuff , my eyes are the things which puts stuff into the sieve, the sieve let's loads through. My brain has to work really hard and it needs cool down times. This is overload/TMI*. 

Sensory stuff like my fitness ball and chewy help the cooldown. Like putting water on a fire. While it's having cooldown, it can't register anything else, I can't focus on anything else apart from one thing which at home is the sensory stuff, which I automatically go to. I need a bit of time for the information to go through. Then I can go back to my activities TMI free.

*TMI stands for "Too much Information" for those of us in the older generation!

I'm sure you'll agree, this is a really fabulous description and a great example of the value of young people's voices in identifying what works best for them.

JD also included a joke as well for your enjoyment: 

"Have you heard of jerk chicken? They are mean cockerels!" 

Autism friendly library

Tile Hill library

In January 2017,  Tile Hill Library became the first ever autism friendly library in Coventry. With ideas from parents and specialists the library has been redesigned and features an open plan children's area, specialist signage and stock and Autism friendly hours (on Mondays between 4pm and 6pm). Full details - and video! - here.

There is also a local parents group for the Tile Hill area meeting every Thursday 9-10am in the library, for a chance to meet other parents for a coffee and a chat. Just drop in!

Education Health and Care Plans


The Council for Disabled Children has recently produced a resource aimed at supporting professionals in writing high quality EHC Plans

Consulting with a range of organisations including the DfE SEND adviser team, IPSEA, The College of Occupational Therapists and others, the resource draws upon some real life examples from EHC Plans to support writers and advice givers in considering their contributions.

Please note that this document provides examples for discussion and is not advocating any particular approach to meeting needs. 

Independent Support


And don't forget, if you are a parent/carer or a young person currently going through the process of an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment - either as a transfer from a statement or a new request - you can access Independent Support through one of two providers in the city. 

See full details and contact details.

Early Years - making play inclusive - SENSE


The National Charity "SENSE" have produced a play toolkit for both parents and early years' settings to promote the use of play in learning for children aged 0-5 with multiple needs.

The toolkits have been created to help play providers and families develop fun and inclusive play opportunities for children with multiple needs.

Both toolkits contain simple ideas, suggestions and practical tips on making play fully accessible – and are accompanied by ten videos.

Health - help for visiting your GP

It can sometimes be hard for families to get across to doctors the many things that worry them when they go to a clinic with their disabled child.
The Health, Functioning and Wellbeing Summary, known as the ‘Traffic Light Tool’, was designed to help. The family can complete this in the waiting room or before a visit. The tool was developed with disabled young people, parents, and other experts, and has proved to be successful in supporting these visits.

Travel assistance consultation

Local Offer

Coventry Local Authority's consultation on home-to-school transport closed at the end of January. The consultation period included several drop-in sessions for people to ask questions and feedback about the proposals and this feedback will be available shortly on

The final proposals are due to be discussed at a full cabinet meeting on March 7th 2017.

Short Breaks

Short Breaks

Coventry Local Authority provides "Short Breaks" for a number of children and young people with Disabilities. 

To find out more about the activities available visit the website

The Council For Disabled Children have recently produced a legal guide around short breaks for LA's and interested parties to support their effective use.

Upcoming events

Below is a selection of upcoming events around SEND. If you know of any additional parents groups, child/young person's activities, and/or training around SEND that you think would be useful for others to attend, why not add them to the Local Offer

Post-16 Open Days

Are you thinking about post-16 opportunities for yourself or your young person? If so, a number of providers are having open day/evening events for you to find out what is on offer for young people finishing education at school.


Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber Training is opening its doors for an "Apprenticeship Careers Advice Open Event" on Friday 17 February from 2pm until 5pm, where people can drop in for independent and professional advice and guidance about future careers and Apprenticeships.

This will appeal to those who: 

  • Have left school or college and are thinking of an apprenticeship
  • Are considering your options when leaving school in 2017
  • Want a job with training and a career with great prospects
  • Are a parent looking for advice

Hereward College

Join us for our Open Day to find out more about the services and support we provide and the range of courses on offer.

Visitors will get the chance to chat to staff and students on a guided tour around the college to see the specialist facilities available for day and residential learners.

  • When: Thursday 2nd March 2017, 10am - 12.30pm

Spaces are limited so booking is essential. For more information and to book your place please contact Admissions on 024 7642 6173 or email

Henley College

Take a look around the College, talk to current learners and find out what path they chose to follow at Henley College Coventry. Tutors will be available to help answer any questions you may have on the courses and the apprenticeships on offer. There will be a welcome presentation at 5.45pm and 6.15pm

  • When: Tuesday March 14th 2017, 5.30pm - 8.00pm 

City College

A chance for you and your parents/guardians to check out the College’s course provision, chat to staff and students about College life and to find out how they can help you achieve your career dreams.

  • When: Wednesday 15th March 2017, 5.00pm - 7.30pm

Kidz to Adultz Middle


One of the largest, FREE UK exhibitions dedicated to children and young adults up to 25 years with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them.

Kidz to Adultz Middle returns to Coventry with exhibits around SEND from communication aids to education to holidays and leisure opportunities. 

Where: Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, CV6 6GE

When: Thursday 16th March, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Parent/carer groups


Coventry Action For Autism Group (CAFAG) hold a regular coffee morning on the 2nd Wednesday of every month for any parents of autistic children. They are friendly and informal, offering the opportunity to pop in for a coffee and a chat.

They meet between 10am -12pm at "Friends Meeting House", Hill St, Coventry, with closest parking at Belgrade Plaza. Young babies and children are welcome too!

Upcoming dates are: 8 February, 8 March, 10 May, 14 June and 12 July.

Contact Kellie for further information 02476 688521 or email

Government consultation: Improving Lives

One Voice

1Voice would like to share with you the improving lives consultation and how to share your views.

The Government have launched their Work, Health and Disability Green Paper: Improving Lives.

This document sets out the nature of the problem and why change is needed by employers, the welfare system, health and care providers. The Government set out some proposed solutions and ask for your views on whether they are doing the right things to ensure that they are allowing everyone the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The closing date for this consultation is 17 February 2017.

To keep up with all the news from the One Voice Parent/Carer Forum, check out their Facebook page.

Coventry's SEND Local Offer

Local Offer

The Coventry Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Local Offer brings together information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families. 

The SEND Local Offer will cover services available to the public across education, health and social care:

Education: such as nurseries, playgroups, schools and colleges as well as support services like Educational Psychology and SEN services

Health: children's and adult services including GPs, therapists and hospital services

Social care: such as short break services and children's and adult disability services.

Contact us

If you have any comments or wish to contribute something to the next bulletin, please let us know by contacting us

Alternatively, you can keep up to date through SEND IASS's;

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