SEND e-newsletter

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Newsletter

SEND logo

October 2017 - Issue no.17

The SEND e-newsletter gives information and news about what is new and being developed in the world of SEND and the Local Offer in Norfolk.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed ideas and news articles to this edition.

Co-production in Norfolk

Co-production in Norfolk film still

This summer we celebrated National Co-production Week (3–7 July 2017) by making a short film about co-production in Norfolk – and co-producing it, of course.

The idea came from the Local Offer Manager and was enthusiastically welcomed by Family Voice Norfolk, the parent carer forum for our region.

Jacob Furniss, who directed, filmed and edited the film, is himself a young man with special educational needs. With an officer from the Local Offer as his sound man, he filmed a wide variety of events demonstrating Norfolk’s commitment to co-production.

In the film, Family Voice Norfolk with the Local Authority and Health colleagues are seen working together to improve services for children and young people with SEND, while the voices of young people themselves focus on the issues that most concern them.

The film was fun to make and stands as a continuing pledge of Norfolk’s commitment to co-production. Take a look here.

Supporting young people with medical needs

Do you have a child with medical needs? Do you have children attending your setting who have medical needs?

There is a new page on the Local Offer website which informs parent carers and school staff about support for children and young people with medical conditions. This page also links to the role of the LA Medical Needs Coordinator and you can find the latest medical needs newsletter at the bottom of that page.

Local Offer - SEND section review

Local Offer logo

Are you a SENCO willing to share good practice?

If so, we are seeking examples of:

  • One-page profiles
  • Individual Education Plans or similar templates used by SENCOs to record SEN Support

If you have any examples that you would be happy for us to share as resources within the SEND section of the Local Offer website, please get in touch with

SEN Support Guidance update

SEND logo

Thank you to everyone who responded to the consultation on the draft SEN Support Guidance document. 

The feedback was considered at a meeting on Monday 16 October, and led to a decision being made that further work needs to be done before it is ready for publication.

A task and finish group has been set up to support the development of more specific information in the SEN Support section in order to clearly detail expectations of SEN Support across the different areas of SEND.  This meeting will take place on 15 November 2017.

Norfolk County Council is now aiming to publish 'The Local Offer – the provision the local authority expects to be made available by education providers' in January 2018.

Events and training for professionals

5 CCGs logo

There are always lots of events and training opportunities for professionals advertised on the Events and training page on the Local Offer website. 

The following new workshops from the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) service for Norfolk and Waveney have been designed to raise awareness and improve outcomes for children and young people.

Mediation awareness training (multi-agency training) will take place on 1 November 2017 at the Woodside Centre Community Hub in Norwich More info and booking

Special educational needs and disabilities training (for health staff) will take place on 10 November 2017 at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich More info and booking

Special educational needs and disabilities training (for health staff) will take place on 13 February 2017 at Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth More info and booking

Enquiries to Mark Gower or phone 01502 719500 or 07583 091223

Events for children, young people and parent carers

Things to do

Finding something for our children to do

Whether you are looking for a regular club for your youngster to attend or a one-off event for a quiet weekend, it can be really time consuming. 

The Local Offer has a section devoted to events and fun activities for children and young people including events around cooking and eating, sports, independence building and Christmas.

And what about parent carers?

If you want to build up our knowledge in order to feel better informed to support our children and young people? In the Support events section of the Local Offer there are currently 20+ events and training courses ranging from learning to sign, supporting behaviour, through to understanding transition and opportunities for having your voice and experiences heard!

Are you running an event or a parent carer who is attending an event?

If so, please could you let us know about the event or training opportunity so that we can promote it, free of charge. It’s easy, just email us at with the details and we will do the rest.

Transition training events - Preparing for Adult Life

Preparing For Adult Life – Level 1 and 2 is for young people, parents, carers and professionals across Education, Health, Social Care and other partner agencies involved with the transition planning of young people with additional needs preparing for adult life.

The one-day training is spilt into two parts and attendees can choose to attend one or both parts:

10.00-11.30 - Awareness training

The purpose of this session is to provide a basic understanding of transition planning and the law.

12.00-1.30 - Workforce Development training

The purpose of this session is to promote the legal duties and responsibilities across a multi-agency network of professionals. 

The training is being delivered on 10 different dates across Norfolk throughout November and December. Find the venues and further information about how to book on the Events and training page or Support events page on the Local Offer website.

SENCO Forum e-discussion group

The 0-25 Special Educational Needs and Disability Unit of the Department for Education is asking local authorities to bring the National SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators) Forum to the attention of schools, settings and SENCOs .

The Forum provides an opportunity for new and experienced SENCOs and other SEN professionals to:

  • discuss issues and share information and practical advice
  • receive independent, solution-based support in a collaborative and mutual way  

Advice provided is based on the direct experience of SEN professionals, relevant research evidence and national/local policy guidance.

More information about the Forum and joining instructions can be found here.

Gig Buddies

Mencap logo

Gig Buddies, a new Mencap project is coming to Norwich. 

Gig Buddies, is all about supporting people with a learning disability to access night life. To find out more about the project, you can visit the website here.  

The project is currently recruiting for volunteers in the Norwich area who can give two hours per week to attend evening and night-life events with an adult who has a learning disability.

Family Voice, Family Chat

Family Voice Family Chat logo

Are you the parent of a child with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)?

Join Family Voice for coffee at their new-style information and feedback sessions.

For their first series, they have invited Norfolk SEND Partnership Information, Advice and Support Service (SEND IASS) so you can:

  • find out more about SEN Support and EHCP assessments
  • tell us about your own experiences of support for your child with SEND
  • ask questions in a relaxed setting
  • share ideas with other parent carers.

Tuesday 7 November 2017, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Sprowston Diamond Centre, School Lane, Norwich, NR7 8TR

Thursday 9 November 2017, 10.30pm – 12.30pm at Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Swaffham, PE37 7AB

Tuesday 14 November 2017, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Attleborough Community Hub, Station Road, Attleborough, NR17 2AT

Thursday 23 November 2017, 10.30am – 12.30pm at Kings Centre, Queen Anne Road, Great Yarmouth, NR31 0LE


If you can come, please email or call/text on 07535 895748.

Your view on mental health services for children and young people in Norfolk and Waveney

Commissioners from Norfolk County Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk and Waveney are looking to work with local people and stakeholders to shape the future direction of mental health services available for children and young people in Norfolk and Waveney.

They would like to hear from:

  • children and young people who use mental health services
  • people who work with and for mental health services
  • local support and voluntary sector organisations that work with children and young people.

There is an online survey where you can give your feedback about:

  • what currently works well
  • what the problems are
  • how mental health services for children and young people can be improved in the future.

The project team also want to ask these questions directly to groups of young people and stakeholders, and are keen to attend any meetings that are run by or for children and young people.

If you have any meetings you would like someone involved in the project to attend and talk about the survey in coming months, email with appropriate details.

ECCH Children's Speech and Language Therapy Survey

East Coast Community Healthcare logo

East Coast Community Healthcare Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service are currently asking people to complete a short bitesize survey to support their service improvement plans.  There are four different surveys which can be completed anonymously if so wished.

Parents and Carers ECCH Children's Speech and Language Therapy Survey - Parents and Carers

Education Professionals ECCH Children's Speech and Language Therapy Survey - Education Professionals

Early Years Professionals ECCH Children's Speech and Language Therapy Survey - Early Years

Health Professionals ECCH Children's Speech and Language Therapy Survey - Health Professionals

These surveys are just one part of the service evaluation process and East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) would really appreciate feedback from a broad range of people accessing our Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service so they identify what is working well and elements they can improve. 

Do look out for the ‘Community as Teachers’ events in Spring 2018.  These focus groups will run across the service and enable ECCH to understand your experience of using their service in more detail and improvements they can make.

Free Sleep Workshops for Parents

Sleep East logo

Thanks to funding from the Flux Foundation, Sleep East are delighted to offer a free sleep workshop with follow-on support for exhausted parents in and around the Swaffham area.

The sleep workshop which is on Tuesday 21 November, 1.00 - 3.30pm at Swaffham Children’s Centre, Whitecross Road, PE37 7EF is fun, interactive and covers the following:

  • the physiology of sleep
  • play Sleep Bingo
  • sleep quizzes
  • why is my child not sleeping?
  • sleep information and strategies
  • keeping a sleep diary
  • developing a good bedtime routine
  • maintaining a good sleep pattern

Unfortunately, we are not able to run a crèche, so are unable to welcome children to the workshop at the Children's Centre.

Follow-on support is offered by our drop-in sleep clinic on Friday 1 December 2017 and Friday 5 January 2018, 10.30 at Swaffham Library, The Pightle, PE37 7DF. Children are most welcome at these Library-based sessions.

Places are limited, so please book as soon as possible by emailing 

Upgraded specialist resource base makes the news!

Sprowston Infant School has one of just 24 specialist resource bases (SRBs) in the county which support children with a range of special needs.

SRBs support children with a range of needs, including behaviour, autism and learning difficulties – giving them the opportunity to receive very specialist support and still be part of a mainstream school.

A bare patch of concrete and muddy grass has been transformed into a colourful, sensory outdoor learning space for the children and the ‘Turtle Room’ as also been upgraded with new and improved facilities.

The improvements were paid for by £10,000 from Norfolk County Council and a further £3,500 donated by Norwich music venue, the Brickmakers.

Read the full article here

New decision-making guidance for EHC needs assessments and plans

SEND logo

New guidance has been published on the Local Offer explaining local authority criteria and thresholds in deciding whether an EHC needs assessment or EHC plan is needed. Schools and all settings (Early Years, Colleges etc) should familiarise themselves with this document and use it as an ongoing reference tool when considering EHC needs assessment requests.

The threshold guidance is written in the context of Norfolk’s higher needs delegated funding model and aligns closely to the expectations of all schools and settings based on their duties under SEN Support as set out in Chapters 4, 5 and 6 of the SEN Code of Practice.

The new guidance is located on the Local Offer and can be found here

The new guidance document will, over the course of this academic year, be supported and supplemented by a range of new documentation including:

  • a new EHC plan format and template for Norfolk
  • a new and revised annual review report template for schools and settings following the annual review meeting
  • a new proforma for schools and settings to make a request for an EHC needs assessment
  • publication of the SEN Graduated Approach: Provision the LA expects to be made available from mainstream schools and settings.

Sunbeams Play is seeking feedback about opening in the Norwich area

Sunbeams Play logo

Sunbeams Play, a registered charity, provides a fun, safe and caring environment for children and young people up to the age of 19 on or thought to be on the Autistic Spectrum.

Following a recent Ofsted inspection and an Outstanding grade, Sunbeams Play is looking at opportunities to open a second centre in the Norwich area.

Give your information and views here.

Golden Futures – Promoting the mutual benefits of employing people with disabilities in Norfolk (Norwich)

The BUILD Charity, working with local businesses, Jobcentre Plus, colleges, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith are hosting an event to raise awareness and understanding of the mutual benefits to employers and employees gained from employing someone with a disability.

The event is targeted at employers and people with disabilities who want to work in their business. 

The event will take place on Friday 3rd November at The Forum, Norwich and will be in two parts:

  • 8.30am – 11.30am – seminar aimed at employers with presentations from current employers and employees with disabilities sharing their experiences. For a free place at the Employers session please click here
  • 9.30am – 2.30pm – marketplace of employers, training providers, welfare agencies and recruitment agencies on hand to give information.  There is no need to book this session.

For more information about the event please email