In Partnership - February 2020

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Coventry Send

In Partnership - February 2020

From the manager's office

Chris Firth, Manager SENDIASS

"Busy" seems to be the most popular word at the moment. Right across the range of services supporting children and young people with SEND, there seems to be an unprecedented level of work for staff. Identifying where the issues are is normally a lot easier than finding the solutions, although it appears that the Government is committed to increasing the funding available to supporting SEND. The big question though remains; is it enough?

The two major reports published during 2019, suggest that the 2014 reforms were not resourced in a way that would enable them to make the difference that they advocated. Hopefully, that message will be reflected in the resourcing moving forward. 

From a "service user" perspective, the most important thing is to continue to add your voice to the discussion - on a local level this can be done through events like "Ask the Experts",  the One Voice parent carer forum or Healthwatch/PALS. There's also Coventry's Local Offer Let's Talk pages, which allows you to ask a question or make a suggestion about local provision.  

Finally, I'm sad to report that Eloise Heneghan is leaving us here at SEND IASS at the end of March to take up a new role in Northamptonshire. She has been key to our work in developing children and young people's voice in the city, including the "AmbasSENDors" programme, and we wish her all the best for the future. We will of course continue to look at fun and inclusive ways of enabling children and young people to play an active role in developing their support in Coventry. 

Local updates


SInce the previous bulletin, the full report of the CQC/Ofsted inspection of SEND in the Coventry area, carried out in October, has been published.

The general headlines were positive, with the inspectors identifying a number of areas of strength. They have also identified some key areas of development, which will form the basis of the local SEND action plan moving forward. 

The inspectors were also very keen to express their thanks to all those who contributed to the inspection, including parents/carers and young people.

SEND Let's Talk

SEND Coventry

Off the back of the inspection, there was a very clear message about the importance of engagement with parents carers and young people in identifying SEND provision. "Let's Talk", allows you to contribute your thoughts about provision in Coventry. 

The page has details of consultations and surveys for children/young people, parents and professionals about Coventry processes like EHC needs assessments and My Support Plan. 

It's an opportunity to feed back on what is available in Coventry, and how it works for you. If it's not working, you can tell the Local Authority and partners what would improve things.

Ask The Experts

Ask the Experts

The One Voice Parent Carer forum once again brought representatives from education, health and social care together to answer queries about local services for children and young people with SEND.

Around 30 parents/carers and young people attended, with questions on topics ranging from waiting lists for NHS therapy services, access to independent travel training and adult short breaks.

There was also lengthy discussion about children and young people who were not attending school/education, and the current situation with specialist provision within the city.

Further questions and answers will be available from One Voice in due course - you can sign up to thier mailing list to receive them direct, simply send an email to

Healthwatch Focus Group 28 January 2020


Healthwatch Coventry held a focus group on Tuesday 28 January 2020 at the Limbrick Wood Centre with SENDIASS.  They gained the views of parents/carers with children and young people with SEND on services provided by our local NHS.

The main focus was about how the NHS could improve communication within their services, and asked for suggestions on how this might be improved through digital technology.  Attendees discussed issues they had experienced within various NHS departments, and looked at ways these could have been dealt with differently with the help of technology both positively and negatively.

The information gained from this session is being fed back, it will be used within Healthwatch’s public report which is due out in March 2020 and available online at

If you would like to share your views you can by emailing or visit their website If you would like to arrange for Healthwatch Coventry to come and visit a group you are a part of to give them feedback as a group about your experiences of NHS and social care services in Coventry please contact Jyoti Devi, Community Engagement Co-ordinator, Healthwatch Coventry (option 3) 024 7622 0381 or email

Thank you to all the parent/carers that took part in this event.

AmbasSENDors Assemble!


Coventry’s “AmbasSENDors” took to the Council Chambers in January as they continue to provide their views on support and provision for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the city.

As well as engaging in what could have been the first ever “Rock, Paper, Scissors championship” to take place in the chamber, the main event was engaging in discussion about the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) with the Local Authority’s public health team. The young people were able to discuss how they felt about their access to their local community and to education and employment, and any barriers that they faced. Their feedback will help to identify any inequalities and provide recommendations for commissioners and service providers in the future.

The “Cov AmbasSENDors” are young people aged up to 25yrs with special educational needs and is organised through Coventry’s SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). They have been involved in a range of initiatives as part of their role as SEND “influencers”. This has included training staff in a Secondary school around dyslexia and analysing the key priorities for local CAMHS, leading to notable recognition from inspectors during the recent Ofsted/CQC inspection of local SEND services.

Access to Higher education - Coventry University

Cov UNi

Coventry University have announced Higher Education Taster Days for students with disabilities.

This programme has been developed to give students with disabilities the opportunity to visit the university, receive information relevant to their own circumstances and be part of a masterclass workshop in a topic of their choice.

This bespoke programme aims to support those who may look to access Higher Education and the Disability Student Allowance (DSA) which includes students with learning difficulties, autistic disorders, blind or partial sight, deaf or partial hearing, wheelchair users or those with mobility issues, longstanding illnesses, and mental health related issues.

This opportunity is open to students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 with the potential to study at Higher Education. Each event will include information sessions covering Higher Education, finances and bursaries for students with disabilities, student-led tour, lunch and a faculty masterclass.

For more details, check out the flyer available through SEND IASS, or contact Liam Norton from the University on 

National information

Mental Health for Children with SEND


If your child has special educational needs it can be particularly hard to identify mental health difficulties. Help them express their feelings and cope with life's ups and downs more effectively with these practical tips from parents from the disability charity Scope’s online community.

Children with special educational needs may experience a range of social, emotional and mental health problems, which can create a barrier to learning. But it's not always easy to identify mental health difficulties when many of the symptoms overlap with impairments such as autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).

The SEND IASS website (update)


SEND IASS were due to have a brand new website in January 2020.  Unfortunately this has been delayed and will hopefully be unveiled in the very near future. The new website will link the main site with The CHYP Shop site for young people. 

The main site will include all the information you need to know from the SEND IASS team, and can be found at 

The CHYP Shop has been specially designed for children and young people with SEN which includes:

  • Monthly blogs - from young people across the city commenting on their different experiences.
  • Young investigators - Reviewing different services across the City (ie Cinemas/Scouts)
  • Peer support - an Agony Aunt style area
  • Cov ambasSENDors - Young Peoples Forum

Contact Eloise Henegham on 024 7669 4307 or have a look at the website - any feedback gratefully received!

Making information accessible - LA website


Do you know about Browsealoud? 

Browsealoud enables hundreds of web pages (and downloadable documents held within them) on the Coventry City Council website to be more accessible for all in a range of different ways.

These include; translating into over 100 languages; speakaloud (which enables you to listen to pages/documents in either English or a range of languages); a range of viewing options; you can even make an MP3 to listen to! 

For more information, go to

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

SENDIASS/Contact - Money Matters

Money Matters

Are you unsure of what your entitlements are with regards to your child or young person with SEND? 

Contact and SEND IASS welcome you to this information session about managing your finances and understanding how to access support.

When: Tuesday 17 March

Where: Limbrick Wood Centre, Thomas Naul Croft, Tile HIll, Coventry, CV4 9QX

Time: 10am -12pm.(9:30 for refreshments)

Please book via phone 024 7669 4307 or email

SENDIASS coffee mornings

SENDIASS have regular coffee mornings for parents/carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs. The next coffee morning will be on 20 February 2020 between 10am and 12noon at the Central Library in the City Centre.  

SENDIASS Coffee Mornings

Kidz to Adultz - 4 March Ricoh Arena


Kidz to Adultz Middle is a FREE event organised by Disabled Living dedicated to children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their parents, carers and the professionals who support them.

Exhibitors offer advice on many areas including funding, mobility, seating, beds, communication, accessible vehicles, education, legal matters, sensory and much more!

There are also a range of seminars through the day covering topics such as sleep, toileting, supporting neuromuscular difficulties and communication skills.

Free downloadable tickets are available via the website.

Dyslexia Show 20 - 21 March 2020

Dyslexia Show 2020

About Dyslexia Show

The UK’s first free to attend national exhibition dedicated entirely to dyslexia. The Dyslexia Show is open to all and focuses on awareness and the understanding of dyslexia in education, parenting and the workplace.

At the show you’ll be able to attend seminars, workshops, build your CPD portfolio, learn about various types of support and discover the latest developments in the field of dyslexia.

Dyslexia Show 2020 - Find out more/register

Parent/carer groups

Are you involved with a parents group? If so, why not tell us about it so more parents can join in? 


Coventry's One Voice Parent Group is part of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums and helps support the views of parents/carers on issues involving SEND. 

To register an interest, please contact or call/text 07874 242733.

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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