SEND E-Newsletter

Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Newsletter

SEND logo

June 2019 - Issue No.30

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.

Area SEND Strategy

We are proud to publish Norfolk’s draft Area SEND (Special Educational Needs & Disability) Strategy This has been co-produced over the past 12 months between Norfolk County Council's Children's and Adult Services, Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, Parent/Carer groups and education professionals within early years settings, schools and colleges.

We are setting out our plans for the next 3 years to acknowledge achievements and successes to date but importantly to be honest about the many challenges that we face to improve SEND provision across the county.

We are seeking more views on our strategy with feedback through an online survey and this will ensure that the strategy can develop further as we continue, listening to children, young people and their families…supporting inclusion, meeting needs and changing lives together. The questionnaire will run for a 8 week period until 13 August. We will then make amendments to the strategy and publish a further version in September.

Each year we will refresh the strategy to ensure that we can provide updates on our progress and re-assess our challenges and priorities.

SEND and Alternative Provision Transformation Programme

Sponsor information event

As part of the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Programme there have been two exciting recent developments:

1) The County Council has held an information event for sponsors interested in applying to operate the two new special free schools planned for Norfolk:

  • a new special free school for children and young people with complex special educational needs and
  • a new special free school for children and young people with complex social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

2) Information has been published inviting Norfolk schools and academies to apply to develop an Specialist Resource Base as part of their strategy to create 170 new places as a core part of mainstream school support.  The priority area for development are Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Bases, a new KS1-KS2 primary SRB for cognition and learning and expansion of the primary Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) Bases.

What happens to the feedback we receive on the SEND Local Offer?

Our new online feedback form can be found on our Tell us what you think page.

SEND Feedback form

So what happens to your feedback?

The feedback is downloaded into a spreadsheet and then used to compile a report under the following headings:

  • Feedback on missing services
  • Feedback on quality of services
  • Feedback on the published SEND Local Offer
  • Feedback on the range of SEND services

The first report using information from the new feedback form been prepared and is on the agenda of the next Norfolk Area SEND Multi-Agency (NASMA)Steering Group on Thursday 20th June. This will enable your feedback to quickly come to the attention of commissioners and for any themes to be identified and responded to.

Themes from the collective feedback will also be described as part of the annual summary of comments published annually in September in Reviews.

The feedback form is one way that you can engage and participate with your SEND Local Offer - there are lots more ways to give feedback that are described within Views.

Survey on SALT services

Family Voice logo

Family Voice Five-Minute Focus is back to find out your experiences and views about Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) services with a very short survey.

Over the last year, SALT services have been the focus of the Health Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) and Family Voice have been feeding in the views and experiences of parent carers into this meeting.

Family Voice are now looking at the access to SALT services and would like to hear from parent carers who are currently accessing or trying to access these services.

If your child or young person (0-25 years) currently has additional communication needs, we would really appreciate five minutes of your time to find out your views and experiences.  We will be providing a report to the HOSC meeting in October 2019, ensuring that all responses are completely anonymised and unidentifiable.  Please click here for the survey.

Please complete the survey by Friday 19 July 2019.

Together our voices are stronger.

Call for evidence on SEND funding arrangements

In December 2018 the Secretary of State announced the intention to hold a call for evidence on the current funding arrangements for those with special educational needs, those with disabilities, and those who require alternative provision.

This call for evidence is intended to help the Department for Education understand how the current available funding is distributed, and what improvements to the financial arrangements could be made in future. They are also aware of the wider concerns about the overall amount of funding and the pressures on budgets that many local authorities, schools, colleges and other providers are reporting: we are separately looking carefully at this ahead of the next government Spending Review.

The call for evidence can be accessed here and will be open from now until 31 July 2019.

SEND Local Offer on Facebook

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SEND Local Offer has a new Facebook page which will be used as part of our SEND communication strategy, alongside Twitter and this SEND E-Newsletter.

Find us on Facebook

We will also be using Facebook to promote new and existing information on the SEND Local Offer.

Please give our page a like and spread the word @sendnorfolk

Family Voice Family Chat 2019

The Government response to the Timpson review

The Timpson review explored how headteachers use exclusion, and why pupils with particular characteristics are more likely to be excluded from school.

The review gathered substantial evidence through submissions to the call for evidence and engagement with many organisations and individuals, including schools, local authorities, parents and children.

The government response sets out a programme of work to respond to the recommendations.

You can read the Timpson review of school exclusion and the Government response here.

Looking for training that will boost knowledge and understanding of SEND?

SEND logo

Did you know that we have lots of events and training on different aspects of special educational needs and disability on our Events and training page?

Perfect for childminders, early years practitioners, teachers and tutors who are are looking to develop their knowledge and skills further.

And don't forget we also have the new SEND E-Learning course which provides a foundation knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disability (SEND). Suitable for parent carers and everyone who works with children and young people aged 0-25.

SEND IASS IPS training poster

Third care farm added to the County Farms estate

County Farms tenancies

Norfolk County Council has appointed new tenants to take on three farms on its County Farms estate - one of which will allow a care farm to expand to offer opportunities to more people.

Chris Howees and Louise Bishop-Howes who opened Edfords Care Farm in 2014, were seeking more space from which to expand the number of people they can work with.

Edfords Care Farm works with vulnerable people of all ages with special educational needs and those with mental health conditions, teaching traditional livestock and horticulture farming techniques as a form of green space therapy.  

By moving into larger premises, Chris and Louise plan to expand their current offer to give opportunities for their co-workers to learn skills in conservation farming and specific trades like butchery. “Over the years our work with our co-workers has grown from those in residential care to school groups, charity groups, young people leaving care and now also into an SEN Farm School, we’re looking forward to expanding this even more at Upper Wood Farm.”

Cllr Greg Peck said, “We are very pleased to be adding a third care farm to the County Farms estate.  Promoting care farming is a significant objective for the County Council both in terms of supporting people to live independently and encouraging diversification within the estate.”

Edfords Care Farm is currently based at Northrepps, near Cromer, but will move to its new premises at the 84-acre Upper Wood Farm on the Mautby estate near Great Yarmouth, in the autumn.

LIFT OFF Work Trials Project

LIFT OFF logos

LIFT OFF is a project led by Pathmakers in partnership with Norfolk County Council. Pathmakers is a charity set up to improve opportunities for everyone to access the countryside – particularly those who by reason of their age, ill health or disability might not currently benefit.

The LIFT OFF project are working with small rural land owners and small business owners, who would host a small group of people on work trials to help with tasks related to auditing and management of footpaths on their land.

The project is seeking to work with people who would like to gain confidence and overcome barriers in order to enter or return to the workplace. The target participants are people who are not in education, employment or training who require additional support to get into employment. This could include older people, young people aged 16+, people with mental health issues, people with disabilities and people who have little or no experience of the workplace.

The work trials will be running regularly, on dates agreed with by the participant, from early summer 2019 until February 2020.

For more information contact Ella Meecham.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Sleep East CIC logo

Having a new puppy in the house, has reminded me of those early days of parenthood when I was totally sleep deprived and exhausted. Thankfully, I know this won't last long and that in a few weeks, my family will get their quiet nights back. However, for some parent carers, and particularly those with children who have SEND, the sleep deprivation may go on for a lot longer.

Sleep East CIC offers regular workshops for exhausted families, giving ideas and strategies that will help your child self-settle, sleep through the night and manage those early morning awakenings. 

Find these workshops, plus many more events for parent carers on our Support events page.

If you need some immediate help and advice about sleep (plus a lot more) try the NHS website:

Thank you to those who participated in our recent consultation

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We received 156 responses to our recent online survey where we asked you to tell us how you want to search for health services on the SEND Local Offer. A smaller number of you attended our two workshops on 3rd May. Thank you for giving up your time to engage and participate, your views are important to us.

The majority of people (60%) who gave their views preferred Option 2: to be able to search for health services by need.

We are now starting work to make this happen and hope to complete the initial work by August 2019. This will involve replacing the existing information pages about services with new pages about different health needs. The new pages will signpost users to information about that 'need' and health services in Norfolk that can provide support.

Independent Living Skills - course roadshow

Health living apple

The new Healthy Food Healthy Lifestyle ILS programme will be delivered at 15 venues right across Norfolk starting this September 2019. Courses run in 3 x 10-week blocks and they are FREE.

Come to one of the county wide roadshows to find out about the Independent Living Skills (ILS) courses on offer in 2019/20. There will be cooking demonstrations for the Joy of Food Team and a chance to talk to the tutors about the courses.

Tuesday 18 June, 10-12: WI Hall, Garden Street, Cromer, NR27 9HN

Tuesday 18 June, 2:30-4:30: Great Yarmouth Hub, Suffolk Road, Gorleston, NR31 0LJ

Wednesday 29 June, 10-3: James Paget Hospital, Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, NR31 6LA

Friday 21 June, 10-12: Connaught Hall, Station Road, Attleborough, NR17 2AS

Friday 21 June, 2-4: Hope Church, Vince's Road, Diss, IP22 4HG

Tuesday 25 June, 10-12: Holt Hub, Charles Road, Holt, NR25 6DA

Friday 5 July, 10-12: First Move, Artillery Square, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2LR

Friday 5 July, 2-4: Iceni Care, 12 Queen's Road, Great Yarmouth, NF30 3HT

Tuesday 16 July, 10-12: Dereham Hub, Rash's Green Industrial Estate, Toftwood, Dereham, NR19 1JG

Tuesday 16 July, 2-4: Faro Lodge, Galyon Road, King's Lynn, NR30 3YE

Friday 19 July, 10-12: Central Baptist Church, Duke Street, Norwich, NR3 3AP

Tuesday 23 July, 10-12: Assembly Room, 13 Market Place, Swaffham, PE37 7AB

Tuesday 23 July, 2-4: Community Centre, Providence Street, King's Lynn, PE30 5ET

The roadshows are free to attend and no booking is required - just come along and join in the fun!

To find out more go to or email

Free Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) for staff in secondary schools

Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) is a national programme which will provide knowledge, skills and practical tools to staff working in secondary schools.

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to offer a comprehensive free, one-day face-to-face training.  

This one-day training will be freely available for up to two members of staff to those secondary schools who have not yet received Mental Health First Aid Training in 2017 - 2018. The training will take place in over 100 locations between September 2019 – March 2020.

To find out whether your school is eligible or to register your interest in attending a training, please visit

Consultation about ChangingPlaces toilets

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation about making ChangingPlaces toilets mandatory in all new, large public buildings in England is now LIVE.

You can take part here 

ChangingPlaces logo