In Partnership - April 2021

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Coventry SEND

In Partnership - April 2021

From the manager's office

I write to you as we once again have entered another stage of our "new world" with the re-opening of schools and the vaccine programme well underway. It continues to be a challenging time for everyone. However, as we officially move into spring and we see the beauty of spring beginning to blossom around us, so brings glimmers of light and hope. Hope, that the disruption that has affected us all, especially our children and young people, will be easing and we can look forward to brighter days ahead. 

In this bulletin, and those to follow, we try to highlight some things that will help you both in Coventry and on a national level, as support will inevitably be needed at all levels, as we transition out of lockdown over the coming months. 

It's especially nice to read stories like Warren's below - if you or your children or young people have stories to tell, send them through to

Wishing you all a bright and restful Easter break.

Chris Firth


Local news

Changing Futures Together - Warren gets to work

Warren ready for work

Changing Futures Together is an exciting programme offering young disabled people in Coventry the opportunity to gain skills in the workplace with the aim of getting into paid employment, supported by job coaches provided by Coventry City Council.

Warren, 20, who previously attended Riverbank Academy, completed a supported internship programme at the University of Warwick, and has now been offered a full-time role as a Multi-Skilled Labourer in the Maintenance Team.  

He is one of five young people who, despite the difficulties faced in the last year, has moved into paid employment through the programme. Read more about Warren's journey and the programme

If you are interested in finding out more about the ‘Changing Futures Together’ supported internship programme, please contact:

Hannah Rogers, Supported Internship Coordinator
Mobile: 07534 280 586

Back to school - again!


Following the re-opening of schools on 8 March, many of our children have had to adjust to returning to schools, colleges and classroom learning. For many this is a welcomed return, but for some this transition is more challenging.

The Complex Communications Team, in conjunction with the SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS), have put together a series of supporting videos for parents/carers to support their children and young people during the transition back into school following the COVID-19 lockdown. "Back to school" materials produced by Complex Communications team and SEND IASS.

There are also some short (and longer!) narrated videos on SEND IASS's Youtube channel. 

Annual Health Checks - "My Life. My Rights. My Health. My Choice."

Health Check

People with learning disabilities are dying younger from preventable and treatable medical conditions at a far higher rate than the general population, NHS England statistics reveal.

The statistics are so shocking they have triggered a new campaign delivered by an experienced team of health educators, themselves with learning disabilities, supported by leading local charity Grapevine. The campaign has the full support of the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Coventry, Rugby and Warwickshire and Coventry City Council and is calling for more people to have an annual health check with their doctor – a free check they are entitled to have from the age of 14…but one many know little or nothing about.

With just 39 per cent of people with learning disabilities taking GPs up on this offer, the ‘My Life, My Rights, My Health, My Choice’ campaign is seeking to double that number in 2020/21.

Find out more about the Annual Health Check through this video.

Active April

'Active April' 2021 - Get moving this spring!

If you have made a pledge to the Coventry Health Challenge over the last six months to improve your physical health, you can now get involved with 'Active April' 2021 which is all about getting moving this spring.


To keep us healthy and reduce the likelihood of illnesses including COVID-19 Coventry City Council have produced an 'Active April' calendar. You can follow the 30 suggestions for each day of the month to help you get active or you can fill in your own activity - from cleaning to walking to dancing - it’s all activity!


You could be in with a chance to win a £25 Amazon voucher too by sharing your #ActiveApril spring photos and tagging Coventry City Council on Facebook, Twitter @coventrycc or Instagram @coventrycitycouncil.


TeenVine+ poster

Teenvine Plus is an intensive development programme for teens 13 to 18 with autism or learning disabilities in Coventry.


They help learning disabled youngsters to create a plan of who they are and what they want in life, enabling them to get the friendships, confidence and skills they need to mature into independent young adults able to achieve their ambitions.


You can find out more on the GrapeVine website.


To get a young person involved or find out more contact Naomi on


Coventry SEND Support Service picture

Wellbeing inschools survey (autumn 2020)

During the autumn, the SEND Support Service completed a follow-up survey to gather the views of children and young people about returning to school. It was open to all young people attending primary or secondary schools. 


Information gathered through the survey has now been analysed and a report of the findings is now available for download.

The AmbasSENDors Club - new members wanted!


The SEND IASS "AmbasSENDors Club" is an opportunity for young people (11-16 yrs) with SEND from mainstream schools in the city to get together and shape local services. 


Whilst the group has struggled to get together much in 2020, we're hopeful that 2021 will enable us to get together on a monthly basis to have some fun and contribute to local practice. 


Away from the pandemic, the group get together once a month, normally at the Coventry Boys and Girls' Club in the city centre. 


We have a few spaces available to join the group, so if you are interested, please let us know by emailing  

Health for Kids 'Looking after yourself' kit

Have you visited Coventry's Health for Kids website?

The website contains information to support you during a child’s primary school years. There is lots of useful information on health issues, and advice and resources to promote healthy minds and healthy bodies.


As well as providing information for adults via the 'grownups' site it also has it's own kids site offering information tailored for children and young people. There are some useful resources filled with ideas, techniques and things to do at home, in support of children's physical and emotional health during the pandemic. Amongst other resources Health for Kids have developed a ‘Looking after yourself’ kit and 'Let's get talking' resource that can be downloaded and used to promote opening up about feelings.


You can find your local school nurse and the school nursing newsletter via the website too.

Coventry Independent Advice Service (CIAS)

Coventry Independent Advice Service logoThe Coventry Independent Advice Service is a charity offering free advice, information and support to Coventry residents around key areas such as:

  • Identifying entitlement to benefits and helping you make claims including; Universal credit, DLA, PIP from age 16, and becoming an appointee
  • helping you to sort out debt or other money problems
  • challenging decisions on benefit claims
  • giving basic advice and information about housing and other issues
  • helping you find other kinds of support.

CIAS have recently updated their contact details and the new number to get in touch with them is:  024 7652 1101

National news


Nasen launches free membership for all individuals across the UK

Nasen, the national association for special educational needs, is now offering FREE membership to all individuals across the UK! This is part of their commitment to ensuring expertise in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is available to every school and setting.  


Now more than ever, it is important that every part of the education workforce - from SENCOs to senior leaders, teachers to teaching assistants (TAs), local authorities to leadership boards and beyond - is equipped to understand, identify, and support those with SEND and learning differences. The free membership will support the education workforce to become effective, inclusive practitioners by accessing the most up-to-date knowledge and support, rooted in research and evidence-informed best practice.

Join Nasen’s membership community today, sign up.

Free COVID-19 information and resources.

NCB survey - impact of the pandemic on children and young people

Artwork from Riverbank students

The National Children's Bureau have been working with partners on getting the views of children and young people with SEND (and professionals working with them) about the impact of COVID-19. 

Coventry SEND IASS also enlisted groups of young people from a number of settings across the city to contribute to the survey. Thanks to students and staff who took part from:

Riverbank Academy, Woodfield, Stoke Park and St Lawrence's CofE. 

The findings will be given to the Department of Education and other key stakeholders to contribute to the national pandemic recovery discussion to support children and young people with SEND to grow their wellbeing and resilience.

Family Fund

Family fund

In May, the Family Fund charity was given an extra £10m to support low-income families of disabled or critically ill children who are staying at home more than usual during the Coronavirus pandemic.


Families can apply directly to the Family Fund, or can be supported by a professional, support worker/social worker to make an application.

Applications can be made for grants, typically worth £400-500, to support families with things like the cost of equipment, goods or services - from computers, tablets, washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Contact - "Listening Ear" support

Contact for families

Contact for families with disabled children are a charity for families with disabled children. They support families with  guidance and information, and bring families together to support each other. 


They have also launched their Family support "listening ear" appointments.


You might be struggling emotionally and looking for strategies to help you cope. Or maybe you just need to talk to someone who understands the extra challenges you face and who can point you in the right direction to get the support you need for your family.


They offer 1-1 telephone appointments with a family support adviser for parent carers looking for a listening ear, reassurance and practical and emotional support.


Making an appointment is simple: visit Contacts eventbright page, choose the day (morning, afternoon or evening), and when you register choose the time slot you want.

Appointments are regularly updated here and are subject to availability.

Read more.

Upcoming events

ILEAP Easter Fun Activities


ILEAP Charity are still busy delivering lots of fun and interactive online activities to beat the lockdown boredom. There’s a huge variety and something to suit everyone.

1:1 sessions for members are now also available. 


Membership and member renewals are currently free. If you’d like any help registering, just contact ILEAP.


There are a number of Easter activities planned for the Easter holidays.


Visit the ILEAP website for more details, or contact them on 07980 004381 with any questions you may have.

Virtual Coffee Morning

 SENDIASS virtual coffee mornings

Have you been to one of SENDIASS' online coffee mornings? 

They're an opportunity to meet up with other parents, have a chat (or just a listen) and support each other. 

Stay as long (or as little) as you are able - no pressure! 


Coffee mornings take place regularly so look out for the date of the next one! 

You can find out more information about SENDIASS events via the SENDIASS website.

Travel assistance information session

SEND Travel Assistance Image

Save the date...

SENDIASS welcome colleagues from Coventry's Travel Assistance Team to provide information and answer your questions and queries on:

- The travel Assistance criteria and eligibility

- The forms, processes and applications

- The appeals process


This is an online session on Microsoft Teams on Thursday 6 May 2021.

This session will be advertised after Easter. Visit the SENDIASS website after Easter for details of how to book your place. 

Parent Carer Forum

OneVoice Logo

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.

Useful links COVID-19


Coventry City Council and COVID-19

Please remember If you are trying to find out what might be happening to various Council services during this crisis, including information on schools, please visit their website.

It also includes information about what to do if you are:

  • feeling ill
  • having difficulty getting food supplies
  • looking for ideas to stay happy at home
  • trying to stay connected to your local community


Coventry Mental Health Service has produced an information booklet for all providers and members of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. The booklet is available to download and share.




Home is supposed to be the safest place for us all right now, but if you are experiencing domestic abuse then the advice to stay at home could be frightening. If someone is in immediate danger and their life is threatened, they should dial the Police on 999. 

Coventry Haven -  ensure safety and empowerment for women and children who are subjected to Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) in any form. They offer a range of services including a SafeToTalk Helpline 0800 111 4998 or 024 7644 4077 (Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm)

National Domestic Abuse Line (REFUGE) - Refuge supports women, children and men experiencing domestic violence with a range of services including a 24-hour helpline 0808 2000 247. 


Young Minds - a national charity which supports children and young people with mental health and well being. They have specific resources for young people around COVID-19, and also offer support to parents.

Childline - Childline is available to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, they have trained counsellors to support you. The helpline is 0800 1111 and is available between 9am to midnight every day.

Samaritans - Coventry & District Samaritans is an independent charity, run entirely by unpaid volunteers. They provide a free 24-hour helpline for people who are upset, troubled or who are feeling suicidal. Call 116 123 at any time of the day or night or email

In addition to their normal services Samaritans has set up a confidential support line for NHS workers and volunteers in England. This operates from 7am to 11pm every day. NHS staff can, of course, still use the 24 hour helpline if they prefer.

Other resources

CDC logo

The Council for Disabled Children has been asked to regularly update government advice on how to stay healthy and safe during this time. 

They have gathered a list of resources and guidance about Coronavirus to share with parent carers, children and young people and education, health and social care practitioners. This page will be kept under review and new resources added to the categories as they become available.

Family Hubs

Coventry City Council Logo

The Family Hubs can help you find and get help from different services in the area and will be able to give you information, advice and support.

If you need additional support during COVID-19 please contact your nearest Hub directly to find out if there is anything they can do to help

Coventry's SEND Local Offer

SEND Coventry


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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