SEND Improvement Journey E-Newsletter - January

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Welcome to the first SEND e-newsletter of 2020 and a very Happy New Year to you all! 

The SEND (Special Educational Need and Disability) e-newsletter gives information and news about what is new and being developed in the world of SEND and the Local Offer in Stockport.

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

Chris McLoughlin

Welcome message from Chris McLoughlin

Hello, I am Chris McLoughlin, Director of Children’s Services at Stockport Council. I would like to welcome you to the first SEND e-Newsletter of 2020.

I hope you will find that this issue is filled with useful information and updates as well as interesting events, groups and meetings that you are very welcome to be involved with. You can do this by contacting event organisers using the details listed in this e-Newsletter, or emailing us at

Increasing numbers of cinemas are creating and running autism-friendly film showings including ‘The Light’ cinema at Redrock in Stockport; I hope you get the chance to visit, especially in the upcoming half-term holiday.

Please spread the word about the SEND e-Newsletter – new subscribers can email to be added to the mailing list. We want this newsletter to be valuable for you so please share your feedback and suggestions to help us improve and keep contributing your useful information and future events to be included.

Wishing you all the best for 2020,


Follow us on Twitter!

We now have an active Twitter account!

You can find us @SMBC_SEND so please follow us for regular updates of meetings, events, news, and information.

SEND Twitter account

Have your say! iOutcomes Framework consultation is now open

We would like to know your thoughts on the iOutcomes framework. This framework was created to measure how well every child or young person, including those with SEND, reaches their goals, and it was co-produced with children, young people and families.

The proposed seven outcomes for children and young people are:

  • I am confident and able to achieve my goals
  • My voice is heard and acted upon
  • I enjoy good health and wellbeing
  • I feel safe
  • I feel part of my local community
  • I am happy and have people I can trust
  • The people who love me and care for me are enabled to do this

Please have your say by filling in this short survey. It will only take 4-5 minutes.

We want to know whether you think these are the right outcomes. We will use your views and opinions to confirm the outcomes and then to help improve the way local services are developed. The survey will help identify any trends or areas for further improvement in partnership with children, young people and families.

The deadline for completing the survey is Friday the 28th February. Please do complete the survey, send the link to as many people as you can and spread it onwards within your networks!

Stephen Nyakatawa

Parents/Carers Drop-In Session on 26th February

We hold monthly drop-in sessions for parents/carers. This is your opportunity to meet some of the senior staff responsible for SEND services in Stockport. This month Stephen Nyakatawa will be in attendance, who is the Director of Education Services (pictured left). We want to hear about the issues that matter to you and will answer any questions you have. This is a great opportunity for parents and carers to discuss any issues about SEND for their families.

Our February session is being held on Wednesday 26th February from 2pm to 4pm at Cheadle Town Football Club, Park Road Stadium, Cheadle, SK8 2AN. To find, go down Park Road and past the entrance to Cheadle Cemetery until you come to the car park at Cheadle Town FC. This will follow on from the EHC Plan Masterclass course being run by IPSEA and the Seashell Trust.

Updates from the last drop-in session

In January we joined Together Trust for their monthly coffee morning. About 15 parents/carers came to chat with each other and with professionals about various issues including special school placements and working with mainstream schools to support their children’s individual needs. SENDIASS also attended to give advice. Thank you to the Together Trust team for being so welcoming and helpful! Details about future coffee mornings at the Together Trust can be found on the Local Offer. We will join them again later in the year.

If you have an idea about where and when we should hold one of our future monthly sessions let us know by email at

Together Trust logo

PIPS logo

Supporting Your SEND Journey event - 3rd March 

There is a free event for parents, carers, family members, young people and professionals who have or work with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. It will be on Tuesday 3rd March 2020, 9.00am to 3.00pm at the Alma Lodge Hotel, 149 Buxton Road, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6EQ.

Supporting your SEND Journey will be the theme of this year’s Annual Information Day hosted by the Parent Carer Forum. The day will include the re-launch of PIPS as Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACT Stockport).

The day will include a marketplace of services, support and information as well as workshops about Healthy Young Minds, Support from Schools (the Entitlement Framework), Children’s Therapy Services and Co-production (Working together). Lunch and refreshments will be provided free of charge. Full details of how to book will be published on the PIPS website.

SEND Champions wordcloud

Network of SEND Champions Update

After two meetings discussing the start of the Network of SEND Champions in December and January, initial scoping is taking place. We will be releasing dates for our next meeting(s) very soon.

If you are interested in joining and shaping our Network of SEND Champions, please email us at

What is the Network of SEND Champions?

The Network of SEND Champions is a new network set up to help connect parents/carers and professionals with each other to share support and advice from people with experience of the issues they may be facing.

SEND Inclusion Community Group meeting

SEND Inclusion Community Group

The SEND Inclusion Community group met for the first time last week on Tuesday 21st January. The group will provide an opportunity for all people to meet, and to have open, transparent communication on the current issues in relation to SEND within Stockport. There is so much potential for this group, not only to share best practice, but to really push up key messages where things are and aren’t going well and what the consensus in the SEND community is.

The first meeting was attended by a mixture of people from: headteachers, resource managers, nurses, SENCOs, parent, social workers, teaching assistants, voluntary sector representatives, charity representatives etc. The conversation was rich and it was widely acknowledged that we need to work together and share information to be able to get the best for children and young people with SEND in Stockport.

If you would like to get involved or know of anyone that would like to get involved, then please get in touch with us at

piggy bank

Funding Available from Stockport Council

There is funding available from Stockport Council to award grants to support activities of local community or voluntary groups. This is called The Ward Flexibility Scheme.

You can apply to this funding to support small projects or individuals that contribute positively to environmental, economic or social wellbeing of people within the particular ward. Awards range from £50 to £1000 and each ward has a maximum of £3000 to allocate per year, so please do make the most of this and pass this information along to groups you know that may benefit from applying.

For more information, including details about what applications they will consider funding and how to apply, please click here.

icons for a group

Autism Team Working Support Group on 11th February

The Autism Team at Stockport Council are restarting their regular parent support group and are encouraging any parents who have young people with social and communication difficulties to come along for support and advice. 

The next meeting is on Tuesday 11th February, 6pm-8pm, and will cover Managing Challenging Behaviour.

The meetings are being held at the Finger Post in the downstairs back room, 434 Hempshaw Lane, Offerton, Stockport, SK1 4QA. There is parking to the rear and the entrance is accessible to all. There is no booking necessary and all are welcome- even if the child or young person in your family haven't had been diagnosed with autism.

To find out more information on the about the different training available throughout the year, please go on the Local Offer website

For more information please contact the Autism Team on 0161 474 2553 or email

Seashell Trust Logo

The Seashell Trust Sleep Support

The Seashell Trust are offering free sleep support for children and young people aged 2-25 with additional needs.

Sleep Success is a one-day workshop offering an introduction to the behavioural approach to sleep. There is a choice of sessions: 12th March 2020 9.30am-2.30pm or 18th June 2020 9.30am-2.30pm. These will both be held at the Seashell Trust, Stanley Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 6RQ.

For more details or to book, please contact Samantha at or call 0161 696 9396. The website can be found here.

parent and child holding hands

Being a Parent Together Course

EPEC (Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities) is a group that aims to help parents to transform the lives of their children and the wellbeing of their families through parental training and support groups.

They are currently promoting their new course for parents, ‘Being a Parent Together’. It is a course for couples and carers that co-parent children, aged 2-11 years, who want to attend a course together.

Being a Parent Together is co-facilitated by a trained group leader and a professional. It focuses on the couple’s risk of disagreement to work together to parent their children successfully and safely.

Parents attending together may be in a relationship with each other, cohabiting, married or not, or they have separated and/or divorced. Parents attending must have active, significant co-parenting responsibility together for at least one child, who lives permanently with at least one of the parents, so they can try out and practice the ideas and strategies in the course.

The course is delivered over 8 weeks for 2 hours per week, crèche can be provided however must be pre-booked. If you would like any further information or to add your name to their waiting list, please email or telephone 0161 406 9558.

Keelie's disco

Keelie's Disco for Adults with Learning Difficulties on 28th February

On Friday 28th February, Keelie’s Disco is coming to St Peters Social Club, Green Lane, Hazel Grove, SK7 4EA. Keelie’s Disco is an event for adults with learning difficulties, so do join in for a free night of music, glitter make-up and buffet food! The theme is fancy dress so dress up in your favourite costumes or whatever you feel most comfortable in. Have fun!


Autism-Friendly Cinema Showings in Stockport

Several cinemas in and around Stockport are offering autism-friendly film showings, including The Light and Cineworld Parrs Wood.

Dimensions UK is a not-for-profit organisation that offers support for people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs and they have lots of information regarding autism-friendly cinemas. If you are interested in finding out more about autism-friendly cinema showings you can browse their website or sign up to their cinema newsletter.

If you find that your local cinema doesn’t provide autism-friendly showings, then Dimensions also offer free autism friendly cinema training! We encourage you to get involved by contacting the cinema manager and highlighting the free training available to them.

Prince's Trust - Get Into Retail with M&S

Get Into Retail flyer

Carer's Resilience Course

Carers resilience course flyer

SEND Revolution - 11th March 2020

SEND Revolution save the date


Measles Outbreak in Greater Manchester

A measles outbreak in Greater Manchester has been confirmed, with three cases occurring in the Stockport borough.

Measles is an infectious viral illness, so anyone with symptoms is also being advised to stay at home and phone their GP or NHS 111 for advice, rather than visiting the surgery or A&E, to prevent the illness spreading further. It is possible for anyone at any age to get measles and the illness can be more severe in teenagers and adults than in young children.

Because of this, Stockport Health Partners are encouraging people in Stockport to ensure that they, their children and their teenagers have had two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

If you’re unsure about whether you or anyone you know have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, you can check with your GP.

More information about the MMR vaccine can be found here.

Children's mental health week logo

National Events

Children's Mental Health Week

February 3-9 is Children’s Mental Health week. Set up by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, the week shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is Find your Brave.

To help them raise awareness of the importance of supporting children and young people's mental health during the week, click here. You can add the dates to your calendar, and download their free resources and sign up for email alerts on their website.

SEND Improvement Journey newsletters

The SEND Improvement Journey newsletters go out every last Friday of the month. The next issue will be out on Friday 28th February 2020.
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