October 2020

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SEND improvement board

                                                                                                                      October 2020


Welcome to the October newsletter, we hope you had a good start to the new term and half term break.

EHCP Questionnaire's

Some parents have recently provided valuable feedback in the new EHC Hub system, using the newly designed questionnaires. This has been a very different way of getting feedback as the design of the questionnaire and the analysis have been significantly supported by a parent advisor, who has competed the analysis independent of the different teams across SEN.

These teams have just received a summary of the first feedback which has given some valuable insight and information about parent views as they start the EHC assessment journey. Actions are being considered on the issues the feedback has highlighted. This will be provided on the Local Offer as a summary and the agreed actions from this in the next month.

Transition support for reception classes

The Babcock Early Years Consultants are able to extend their Area SENDCo role and offer support to Reception for a limited period as an outcome of COVID-19. This aims to support reception teachers and school SENDCos with children who need additional support. 

For more information please follow this link to the Devon County Council website.

Preparing for Adulthood - Be prepared when building relationships during lockdown

As we continue to take a look at the great work going on in our Health and Social Care Teams, Alice Lake gives us her account of working in the Preparing for Adulthood Team during the pandemic.

Preparing for Adulthood - Heart of the South West Skills Launchpad

The Heart of the South West Skills Launchpad website is now live.
Skills Launchpad can help you find information about jobs in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.
Skills Launchpad is the skills and employment hub for the Heart of the South West for those seeking employment, or a career change; for employers looking to upskills their staff; young people and their parents/carers and schools looking for careers advice.
Skills launchpad works with organisations, employers, education provider and local government and provides information in one place.

Children and Family Health Devon Facebook Pages

Children and Family Health Devon (CFHD) have recently launched their CFHD SLT Facebook pages, one for pre-school and one for school aged children. We hope these will be useful for signposting with content / information / strategies relevant for both families and professionals.


Babcock Cygnet Parent Autism Awareness Course

Babcock are delighted to continue our offer of the Cygnet programme online during the Autumn term. 

The programme is for parents/carers of Devon school children aged between 7 and 18 pre or post diagnosis.  Babcock  have negotiated and agreed access for families of children and young people (CYP) who are currently on the autism assessment pathway, in addition to families of CYP who have received an autism diagnosis. 

Additional staffing to the SEN Team

There was a recent communication about new staff agreed to add capacity to the SEN team. The recruitment process has been underway to appoint these staff and will continue over this term. The expectation is that the majority of these should be in post, at the latest, by January, which allows for any necessary notice periods to be completed. Following induction and training, families can expect to see an impact from this by late January and February 2021. Updates will be provided as decisions are made about the appointments and what areas of work they will be placed in within the SEN team.

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EHCP Charter

As part of trying to clarify what a good EHCP should look like, professionals have worked across education, health and care alongside the Co-chairs of the Parent Carer Forum to agree a common set of standards about what an EHCP should be. This is called the ECHP Charter. This has also been informed by the thoughts of parents gathered through the Forum to indicate what parents feel about a good EHCP. This gives us a common set of principles that we are all agreeing to work with and use to measure the quality of EHCPs moving forward.

Time to Talk

This is an exciting new programme for young people with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) developed by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) and funded by the National Lottery Community Fund for online learning.

Trained staff will provide to 50 young people in England with person centred planning sessions to enable young people to:

  • develop their aspirations, motivation, and plans for the future;
  • feel heard and valued
  • strengthen their emotional wellbeing and resilience
  • be well equipped to manage transitions

We are keen to reach 16-25 year olds with additional needs who are isolated and may not be engaged in education or training. Sessions will be tailored to each young person. Information and links to local networks will be provided to parents and carers where needed and useful suggestions and resources to support students who are anxious or uncertain about their future plans can be provided to education providers where students request this.

Young people can make a Request for Support from Time to Talk themselves or others can make the request on behalf of a young person on the NDTi website.

Supporting Speech Language Communication Needs in Early Years

Free webcasts and live webinars designed and produced by specialist speech and language therapist advisors are available. These provide early years practitioners, managers and SENCOs with an opportunity to consider how best to support children with SLCN. To get started with the two webcasts and to book a place, check out the I CAN website.

I CAN have also arranged new dates so that each participant has a chance to discuss the changes that they are making following the two webcasts and also to ask any questions.  These dates are:

• Friday 25th September – 10:30 – 12noon
• Wednesday 7th October – 10:30 – 12noon
• Monday 12th October – 7 – 8:30pm
• Wednesday 4th November - 7 – 8:30pm
• Monday 30th November – 3 – 4:30pm
• Wednesday 30th January – 7 – 8:30pm
• Thursday 28th January – 10:30 – 12noon
• Wednesday 10th February – 2 – 3:30pm
• Wednesday 24th February – 7 – 8:30pm
• Thursday 11th March – 9:30 – 11am

Look out for the new in-depth training which we will be delivering through webinars.  More details to follow soon. Contact eysend@ican.org.uk for further information.