SEND Improvement Programme - September Newsletter

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SEND improvement board

                                                                                                                      September 2019


Welcome to a bumper newsletter for September - incorporating news from over the summer period as well as the beginning of the autumn!

If you have information that you would like included in the next newsletter, please email us.

Speech & Language Therapist South West Hub Meeting


On Wednesday 19th June a commissioner representative joined Speech and Language Therapists from Livewell South West and Children and Family Health Devon at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists South West Hub meeting. This was a great opportunity for professionals across the whole South West to share good practice, learn about new initiatives and to hear about national campaigns. Representatives' from across Devon are looking forward to taking part in and leading the regional follow up sessions.

Major Investment to Improve Special Needs Education in Devon

On 10 July, Devon County Council's Cabinet approved more than £1 million to be spent on improving special education needs in Devon.

The money will be spent on improving the quality of Education, Health and Care Plans, better support for the transition to adulthood, and additional staff for the participation team.

Find more information here.

Timeliness of Education and Health, Care Assessments and Plans continues to improve

There is progress in meeting the deadlines of Education and Health Care assessments. Over June, July and August, improvement has continued in the timeliness of plans being issued on time; with 26% of plans being issued in 20 weeks. This is continuing the positive path we are now on, aiming to reduce delays in children and young people getting the support they need in schools.

New Special School in Devon

A new Devon special school has welcomed its first students. Charlton Lodge in Tiverton used to be a care home and has been converted by Devon County Council in a £4.5 million project.

Read more about the new school here.

Book on VOYC Child Protection Courses


VOYC are running child protection courses over the Summer and Autumn. The Awareness in Safeguarding course aims to increase understanding of child protection processes and improve practitioners’ confidence.

Find more information and booking details here.

Improving Access to Communication Services and Support Project (IACSS)

Commissioners from health, social care and education recognise the need to provide a more accessible, responsive and joined up approach for Children and Young People (CYPs) with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).

Find more information about the Improving Access to Communication Services and Support Project (IACSS) here.


Champions for Change Fun Day!

Children and young people can have their say on their local services by being part of a network called Champions for Change. This is a group of young people who believe that their voices should be heard and not ignored. Young people can learn more about Champions for Change and their right to have a say in the decisions that affect them by coming to a fun day that is planned for Saturday 28 September 2019 at Tiverton Youth Centre.

Please register so we know who is coming and we will send you more details nearer the time.

18th October 2019 is International Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) affects 7-10% of children, causing them to struggle in their learning of oral language as well as impacting on their literacy development.

Find out more about the training events taking place across Devon, for DLD Awareness Day here.

Find out more about Developmental Language Disorder on the Devon Local Offer website, or at


Navigate - Emotional Support for Parents from Scope

Navigate is a national mentoring service run by the charity Scope, that provides emotional support for parents of disabled children.

Find more information about eligibility, access and programme details here.

Ofsted Approval for Devon's SEND Written Statement of Action

The Written Statement of Action, developed in response to the SEND Local Area Inspection in December 2018, explains what we are going to do to address the four key areas identified in the inspection:

  • Understanding of our strategy
  • Improving communication
  • Timeliness and quality of Education Health and Care Plans
  • Improving support for children with Autism

A letter, confirming the statement is fit for purpose, was received from Ofsted in August.

New investment in autism services will reduce waiting times in Devon

Increased investment in autism services for both adults and children in Devon has been secured. Additional funding of £750,000 has been made available for 2 years and will increase capacity for assessments.

Read more about this additional funding here.

Understanding Autism e-learning course

Devon Transforming Care, in partnership with Devon Partnership Trust, have developed free e-learning on Understanding Autism.

The course has been prepared by staff from the local specialist team for autism in collaboration with people who have autism.

It aims to provide an awareness and understanding of what autism is, how it is experienced by individuals and by those who support them. The course should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

You can complete the course here.

Update from the Support for Autism Workstream

The SEND Support for Autism workstream is working hard to address the concerns that families raised in relation to support for children and young people with Autism.

Find more information and areas of focus here.


Pathways - Support for Young People with Complex Health Needs

For young adults with complex health needs there is a risk that secondary specialist health care becomes fragmented at the age of 18 years.

Pathways provides a way to optimise the health care for young people with complex health needs making the transition to adult services, by providing a specialist team and point of contact. The complex nature of the young person’s health needs are understood and addressed, with clear plans for any hospital treatment or admissions.

This is a pilot project and is only available for patients at the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital, joint funded by Together for Short Lives.

Find more information about the problem and referrals here.

Employment Offers for Supported Interns

Many further education providers work with employers to offer supported internships to learners with Education, Health and Care Plans. A lot of the supported interns who started their placements have now been offered employment – including our supported intern Jim, who has been supporting the SEND improvement Programme and the SEN 0-25 Team since September. Jim will start his supported apprenticeship with Devon County Council later this year, where his attention to detail and skills with data analysis with be invaluable.

The overall goal of supported internships is to move young people with additional needs into paid employment. If you know a learner who could benefit from Petroc's programme, or would like to learn more, visit Petroc's website.

Speech, Language and Communication Needs - Network Meetings - Book Now!

Babcock LDP

Babcock LDP are offering a free opportunity open to all Devon LA area primary schools to further your Speech, Language and Communication Needs development and to share effective strategies, in October. The sessions will be led by the Speech and Language Therapist and Advisory Teacher for Speech and Language for your area.

Find details of the events and booking information here.

Changes to the Preparing for Adulthood Introduction Letter

Parents / Carers told us that it would be helpful for the ‘Introduction to Preparing for Adulthood’ letter to tell them who completed the Preparing for Adulthood web referral form behalf of, and with the consent of, the young person. 

We have made these changes to the referral form. We can now tell parents / carers the name of the person / professional who completed the referral.

Don’t Forget: The referral form to access the Preparing for Adulthood Team is available on the SEND Local Offer. Alternatively call 01392 381291 or email for an informal chat.