SEND Improvement Board April Newsletter

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                                                                                                                      April 2021


Welcome to the April edition of the SEND Improvement Board newsletter. We hope you have had a lovely break over the extended weekend and April half term. 

In this newsletter there is information on the practitioner Progression Framework training, the Cygnet Parent Autism Awareness course training sessions to become an Ambassador Volunteer. 

There is also useful information on Early Language and 0 - 5 Get Chatting Campaign.

Practitioner Autism Education Trust (AET) Progression Framework Training

The AET Progression Framework is a comprehensive interactive assessment tool for children and young people on the autism spectrum in both mainstream and specialist schools and settings (Early Years - Post 16).

It is designed to support staff identify learning priorities and progress measures that fall outside of the national curriculum.

The AET autism progression framework 2.0 has been created for the AET by Autism Associates. It is based on a literature review and consultation with a wide range of practitioners, parents and people on the autism spectrum.

Follow this link for more information on the framework and the dates of the upcoming events.

Strengthening Social Care Contributions to Education, Health and Care Assessments and Disability Expertise in the MASH

Devon’s Children’s Social Care are committed to providing robust social care contributions to Education Health and Care Needs Assessments (EHCNAs). As part of the SEND Improvement Plan, the Children’s Services Leadership Team has secured funding for a Social Work post dedicated to completing social care contributions where children and young people are not currently open to Children’s Social Care.  This will mean that all children and young people, who need it, will have a meaningful social care contribution to their EHCNA, where we will understand their needs, the outcomes they want to achieve and how they can be supported to meet them. This new Social Worker will be from the Disabled Children’s Service, so will bring expertise and experience of supporting children with SEND to the contributions provided. We are aiming to have the new Social Worker in post by the 21st June.

Where children and young people are already open to Children’s Social Care or Early Help, their allocated worker will complete the contribution.   

Devon Information Advice & Support (DIAS) Demystifying SEND Session

Whether you are new to SEND or already on your journey, this session is aimed at parent/carers supporting their child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who would like to find out more about how SEND support should work. Helping parents to understand how they can access information and which services may be available for them, highlighting the graduated response and the terminology around SEND in schools, e.g. Universal, targeted, specialist services terminology, working with school in a plan do review type approach. The sessions aim to signpost to information and service websites that are already out there and linked to the Devon Local offer webpage.
The next session is Tuesday 27th April 2021 10.30-12.30 (online), click here to book.

Ambassador Volunteer Project

The Ambassador Volunteer Project is supporting the Parent Carer Forum Devon (PCFD) to grow across Devon.

New induction training for people interested in becoming an Ambassador Volunteer is now available. The training is a three hour virtual session from 10am-1pm with a short break. The session will be the first step in training to become and Ambassador Volunteer:

  • Wednesday 28th April 2021
  • Tuesday 11th May 2021
  • Monday 14th June 2021

If you are interested in the Induction training please complete the form through this link and you will be contacted soon. For more information on the  Ambassador Volunteer Project please follow this link.


Covid Winter Hardship Application Form

Early Help continues to provide support to families through lockdown across our daily Triage’s to ensure a multi-agency coordinated response to families in need. We continue to maintain partnership focus on the DCFP priorities around hidden harm and neglect.

Applications for the Winter Hardship Grant are still available to families to support with a one off payment of £90. Practitioners who are working with families that are experiencing financial hardship can contact Early Help with the application form, so that they receive this and other financial support to improve their situation.

The criteria set by Early Help is as follows:

  • You are a family (at least 2 people where at least 1 person is either pre-birth or up to 18 yrs old)
  • You are not eligible for hardship grant funding through your district council or you have not yet applied
  • You are experiencing financial hardship linked to or independent of Covid - 19 (e.g. unemployed, furloughed, being made redundant)
  • You need financial help to buy food or to pay utility bills

You can contact Early Help by contacting one of the following mailboxes:

Annual Health Check Survey

Are you a parent/carer of a child/young person with a learning disability aged between 14 - 20? If so, we want to hear from you.

The NHS is Devon, together with the Parent Carer Forum Devon, Torbay and Plymouth are committed to increase the update of Annual Heath Checks (AHC) for people with a learning disability, particularly in children and young people over the age of 14. 

Please access the survey here, we ask for your support by inviting you to complete this short survey before 30th April 2021. 

For more information on the surveys, please click here. If you have any questions, please do contact us here

0-5 years Get chatting!

The development of children’s early communication is essential for their Best Start in Life and their whole life journey. We recognise that parents are vital in supporting their child's communication development through their everyday interactions, impacting on their whole life experience.

Within Devon, Torbay and Plymouth we are celebrating the launch of our Devon wide Let’s Get Chatting campaign.

During this launch we will be sharing with you:

  • How we have agreed as partners across Devon, Torbay and Plymouth to work as ‘Together for Devon’, aspiring to nurture the development of speech, language and communication for all children in the early years.
  • Our five key messages championing speech, language and communication that underpin the Let’s Get Chatting campaign.
  • Provide you with information on how this twelve week social media campaign, can be supported by you.

We would be delighted if you could join us on Wednesday 21st April 9.30- 11.30, you can book on through Eventbrite or watch out for our social media posts.


Let's Get Chatting Resources

The Improving Access to Communication Services and Support (ICASS) programme is very excited to announce a new fantastic resource aimed at parents/carers and professionals of children from antenatal-5 years.

As part of the ‘LETS GET CHATTING’ campaign a group of professionals and parents/carers have developed a central resource that contains national and local information about speech, language and communication development from bump to 5 years old as well as providing a number of top tips on how best to support. It is free and very accessible and found here.

Early Language Intervention Measure (ELIM)

Devon Public Health Nursing are preparing to train their whole Health Visiting service workforce in the use of the Early Language Intervention Measure (ELIM) tool. Nationally designed (with some recognition of influence from a Devon case study on the Let’s Talk More assessment), the ELIM tool forms a standardised measure that will support identification of the need for additional support at a child’s two year review.  

Partners across health, social care and education are working together to develop a co-delivered wrap around support programme once a child is identified, that builds confidence and enhances speech, language and communication outcomes for these children both now and in the future.  

Early Language identification measure and intervention

Delivering Quality Annual Reviews

Council for Disabled Children has now published an online training on Delivering Quality Annual Reviews.

This package of online training has been developed as part of the Delivering Better Outcomes Together programme, funded by the Department for Education and delivered in partnership by the Council for Disabled Children, NDTi and Mott Macdonald. This is a freely available, self-guided course.

It is aimed at adults with a role to play in the Annual Review process such as senior leaders, parent carers, practitioners, SEN teams, and education teams.

The course will help you understand the importance of a person centred Annual Review process and meeting, the legal requirements, roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders and will provide the perspective of children, young people and parent carers.

To complete the e-learning course please click here.

Children & Family Health Devon Autism Assessment Team Resources

The Autism Assessment Team have a range of resources on their webpage, including ‘Bitesize Videos’ and ‘One Minute Guides’ on a range of topics. To the right-hand side of the page you can find links to useful websites, as well as a range of documents which may be helpful.

In addition to this, the autism Assessment Team also has a Facebook page. 

Cygnet Parent Autism Awareness Programme May - June 2021

Babcock have negotiated and agreed access to the Cygnet courses for families of Children and Young People who are currently on the Autism Assessment Pathway, in addition to families of Children and Young People who have received and autism diagnosis. The programme is for parents/carers of children aged between 7 and 18.
There will be 6 weekly sessions (approx. 2hrs each) related to the following topic/themes:
• Introduction - Mon 10th May
• Autism overview - Mon 17th May
• Sensory - Mon 24th May
• Communication - Mon 14th June
• Understanding behaviour - Mon 21st June
• Supporting behaviour - Mon 28th June

Babcock LDP will send a link each Monday morning to access the week’s topic.

Click here to register for the course by emailing Babcock, you will then be asked to complete a Reply Slip to confirm details.

Find out more about the Cygnet course here and additional Communication & Interaction weekly themed supporting resources are available for viewing here.