SEND Improvement Journey E-Newsletter - February 2020

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Welcome to the February edition of the SEND e-newsletter. The SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) 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.

Deborah Woodcock

Welcome message from Deborah Woodcock

Hello, I’m Deborah Woodcock, the Director of Operations for Stockport Family and one of the workstream leads for the SEND improvement programme. Welcome to the February edition of the SEND Improvement Journey e-newsletter. This month’s newsletter is filled with interesting events, useful meetings, and information that I hope you find relevant.

There are loads of events for you to get involved in this month – from pan-disability football to Stan the T-rex at Manchester Museum, I hope you find something to get involved with. I encourage you to get involved by contacting event organisers using the details listed in this email, or by emailing us at

Please keep sharing the word about the SEND e-newsletter as it really does make a difference the more people get involved – new subscribers can email to be added to the mailing list. I want the newsletter to be as useful and as interesting as possible for you so if you have any suggestions or feedback, do get in touch with us. This newsletter is packed with information you’ve provided us so thanks to everyone who has contributed.

I hope you all have a happy March.


Join our Facebook group!

We now have an active Facebook group at Stockport Council SEND, so please join to get all the latest news and conversations as they're happening.

We are also on Twitter at @SMBC_SEND.

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Network of SEND Champions - next meeting 26th March

The next meeting of the Network of SEND Champions will be on Thursday 26th March, from 9.30am to 11.30am at The Place, 26 St Petersgate, Stockport, SK1 1HD. Details of how to find The Place are here.

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.

What does a SEND Champion do?

A SEND Champion should drive forward change and help to embed positive changes to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND. This varies from person to person - some offer support to parents and carers by signposting to advice and sharing their own experiences, whilst others may want to campaign for better SEND awareness at their local schools. No matter how much or how little time you are able to take, and whatever background you are from or knowledge you have, you can be a SEND Champion.

How do I become a SEND Champion?

Email us at to let us know you're interested in becoming a SEND Champion and joining the Network. We will be holding monthly meetings that will include training sessions, meeting people from the SEND community, sharing experiences and best practices, and opportunities to network.

SEND Inclusion Community Group

SEND Inclusion Community Group - next meeting Wednesday 25th March

The next SEND Inclusion Community group is on Wednesday 25th March 13.00-15.00 at the Arthur Greenwood Community Centre, 1 Hipley Close, Woodley, Stockport, SK6 1ES. Please look out for this on Eventbrite or email us at to book on to it.

What is the SEND Inclusion Community Group?

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

SPACE meet-ups
Duncan Weldrake

Parent/carer drop-in session Wednesday 11th March

On Wednesday 11th March 7-9pm, Duncan Weldrake, Joint Commissioning Manager for Children & Young People at Stockport NHS CCG, will be attending SPACE’s monthly drop-in at Funky Monkey Coffee Company on Bramhall Lane in Davenport, Stockport, SK2 6JA. Duncan will be there to talk to parents about Stepping Hill hospital and the new ADHD pathway for children and young people.

Don’t forget, you can also call in at the Annual Information Day on 3rd March at the Alma Lodge Hotel, 149 Buxton Road, SK2 6EL where there will be lots of services and group available to talk about support and guidance from 9am to 3pm. See more detailed information in the article about the information day. We hope to see you there!

Supporting your SEND Journey Information Day

The PACTS (Parents and Carers Together Stockport) Supporting your SEND Journey annual Information Day is next week:

  • Tuesday 3rd March 2020
  • 9.00am to 3.00pm
  • Alma Lodge Hotel, 149 Buxton Road, Heaviley, Stockport, SK2 6EQ

This is a FREE event and a fantastic opportunity for parents, carers, family members, young people and professionals who have and/or work with SEND.

To book, go to their Eventbrite page. Bookings close on Monday 2nd March at 4pm.

PACTS Information Day

Our Stockport Conversation

Our Stockport Conversation at the SEND Information Day

A team from Stockport Council will be at the SEND Information Day on 3rd March as part of Our Stockport Conversation.

What is Our Stockport Conversation?

Stockport Council would like to involve local people in shaping our priorities for the borough looking ahead to 2030. This is an opportunity to genuinely put the people of Stockport at the heart of what we do by engaging with local people and ensuring our plans respond to their ambitions - for themselves, their communities and their borough. For the initial stage of the conversation we are putting children and young people at the heart of the conversation as they are the adults of the future. Over the next few months we will be engaging with residents through a variety of different activities and taking part at this event is a brilliant way to share your ideas and ambitions for Stockport in the future.


Reminder: Outcomes workshop - Monday 23rd March

Stockport Council and Stockport CCG are working with families, children and young people, and professionals to develop the Outcomes Framework and are holding a public workshop to shape the final outcomes.

We would like you to join us at the Outcomes Workshop where you can learn more about the progress that has been made and the work we are continuing together to improve local services.

The event will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions you may have and find out how you get involved.

To book you place on the Outcomes Workshop please contact to confirm attendance.

  • Monday 23rd March
  • 11:30am - 2:30pm
  • Conference Room 1&2, Fred Perry House, Stockport, SK1 3XE

You can find more info on how to get to Fred Perry House here.

If you have a question that you would like to submit in advance of the event you can email

The Outcomes online consultation closes TODAY so if you haven't already, make your opinions known by completing this short survey.

Can you tell us about accessible services for children and young people with SEND?

Yes! The Stockport Local Offer is formed of two parts:

The first part is the SEND Local Offer webpages which contain information explaining what support is available for children and young people who have SEND and how this is accessed, along with information to support parent carers and guidance on preparing for adult life.

The second part is a searchable online directory of service providers called the Stockport Local Directory. It contains information from hundreds of groups out in the community. This includes those groups around SEND children and young people.

Together these form the Local Offer.

However, we know that what is in the Stockport Directory is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more groups and organisations that support and make their services accessible to children and young people with SEND.

Help to make this a great resource for families by telling us about the gaps:

  1. If your child or young person goes to a good club or group, one that makes things accessible for them, look to see if they are in the Stockport Community Directory
  2. If not please let us know by email and we will speak to the group organisers and help them to get in the directory.

By being in the Stockport Community Directory, many more families can benefit from their service.


Joint Commissioning Strategy published

The way we prioritise our work across health, education and social care for children, young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and their families is set out in a Joint Commissioning Plan. We are pleased to publish Stockport’s SEND Joint Commissioning plan for 2020 to 2023, which you can read on the Local Offer website.

This is an important and exciting point in our SEND Improvement journey and outlines the local area’s shared commitment to supporting children and young people with SEND and their families in Stockport.

The Joint Commissioning Plan has been co-produced with key people and the priorities have been shaped by working with children and families. The Plan also reflects the findings of our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and our current spend. It takes into account the Ofsted and Care Quality commission inspection in September 2018 and the subsequent written statement of action.


South Manchester Down's Syndrome Support Group events

Did you know that on the 21st March it's World Down's Syndrome Day?

We've been in touch with the team at South Manchester Down's Syndrome Support Group (SMDSSG) who run amazing events all year round, including:

Chatterbox Club

The SMDSSG Chatterbox club is a family social occasion providing opportunities for children to meet with others of a similar age for group speech therapy. Sessions are delivered by qualified speech and language therapists who have specialist training in the specific communication needs of people who have Down’s syndrome. If you do not enrol for the SLT sessions, you are welcome to join them for coffee and a chat and all the other activities (sing and sign, arts and craft activities provided by Venture Arts and yoga). This takes place at the Emmanuel Community Church, Green Lane, Heaton Moor SK4 3LH.

These are usually on the last Saturday of the month from 9.30 - 12.30. The next few dates are:

  • Saturday 21st March
  • Saturday 25th April
  • Saturday 16th May

Preschool Group

SMDSSG host a monthly Preschool Club. All children are welcome aged from birth to 4 (including siblings) and you are welcome to drop in or stay the whole time, to have a drink and a biscuit and have a chat with other parents/carers and grandparents. These take place from 10am - 12 noon at East Didsbury Methodist Church, Parrs Wood Road, East Didsbury, M20 5QQ.

The upcoming dates are:

  • Tuesday 10th March
  • Tuesday 24th March
  • Tuesday 14th April

For more information, events and contact details check out the SMDSSG website here or email

TPA logo

Funding available for deaf community social activities

Stockport TPA (The Prevention Alliance) have a small fund that could help start up some social activities for the deaf community in Stockport. Email to ask questions or to share your ideas. They have also made this YouTube video to provide more information.

Start Well survey


Have your say! Consultation about Stockport's Start Well approach open now

This survey is for you to share your views and experiences of supporting your child/children’s early development in particular speech, language and communication skills. Stockport’s Start Well approach brings together everyone working with families and children 0-5 years with a shared focus of supporting child development and school readiness. Start Well recognises that outcomes for children are at there best when professionals, services and parent/carers work together.
Parent/carers are children’s first and most important educators and caregivers.

The survey is for parent/carers of children 0-5 years and will take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. The findings will inform Stockport’s Start Well plan, including how services can better connect with families and share key messages about children’s early learning and development.

For more information contact

Alarm clock

New mental health and sleep resources available for schools

Did you know that sleep helps to improve mood, mental health and memory?

New Rise Above for Schools resources on Sleep and Wellbeing are now available for teachers to download for free. These are the first in a series of mental health content for young people (ages 10-16).

Students are now able to explore the physical and mental benefits of sleep through a variety of fun, informative exercises including action-plan worksheets, group activities and videos co-created by young people.

Please share this great free resource with any schools or groups that you know who may be interested.

Pan disability football

Pan-disability football sessions

Stockport County Community Foundation host pan-disability football sessions every week at Life Leisure Houldsworth Village. Sound fun? The sessions are every week:

  • 10-15 years: Monday 6-7pm
  • 16+ years: Wednesday 6-7pm

For more information, email or call 0161 286 8888 and select option 3.


NHS Stockport

Stockport Excellence in Palliative Care days 2020

The 2020 dates for the Stockport Excellence in Palliative Care (STEP) sessions at sessions at St Ann’s Hospice, Heald Green, in the Dining Hall, 1pm until 4.30pm.

The dates and topics will be:

  • Wednesday 11 March – Hard to Reach People – difficulties/challenges & Homeless/Olive Branch
  • 15 July – Brain/Neurological
  • 11 November – Nutrition & Hydration

To book on please email, Administrator to EOLC Facilitators, or call 0161 419 5378. 

The Stockport Entitlement Framework

In November's issue, we introduced you to the Stockport Entitlement Framework. To summarise, this is a document written by Stockport Council and developed with parents, early years settings, schools, colleges and a range of professionals. It sets out what all schools should do to provide the best learning opportunities for children who have SEND, and provides a tool for parents/carers to understand how the needs of their children can be met.

The Entitlement Framework is based on the following principles:

  • Everyone is responsible for SEND; every leader is a leader of SEND and every teacher is a teacher of SEND.
  • Schools, children and young people, parents and carers must work together.
  • Children should attend mainstream schools in their local community, wherever possible. Specialist schools should only be necessary for a small number of children.
  • The needs of all learners must be identified as early as possible so that the right help can be put in place.

Whether you are a parent/carer, a professional, a family member or other, you can familiarise yourself with Stockport’s Entitlement Framework, so that you can understand how SEND needs can be met in settings, schools and colleges.

The full document is available here in a number of languages, as well as a summary.

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Stockport Entitlement Framework - in practice

Adswood Primary School have been in touch to share a wonderful story of good practice using the Stockport Entitlement Framework.

The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) at Adswood Primary School is driving a focus on universal provision, using The Stockport Entitlement Framework. One aspect of this work has been the setting up of SEND clinics for staff. These clinics aim to support staff competency and further develop problem solving. The school inclusion team release staff during assembly time and the clinics are attended by representatives from outside agencies, such as Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, and the Behaviour Support Service.

Staff feedback about the clinic showed that they took away lots of new ideas with them. When asked what impact having this dedicated time would have on their practice, many staff expressed improved confidence to try new strategies as well as the time to speak with other professionals… “Useful to talk about individual children...great opportunity to reflect, chat to colleagues and decide on strategies we can implement further within our team.” 

This is just one aspect of the strategic planning for SEND at Adswood and it’s clearly having a positive impact on outcomes, highlighted in their recent Ofsted report: “Leaders understand the difficulties faced by pupils with SEND. They ensure that the curriculum is accessible to these pupils with well-informed support plans. Pupils with SEND….achieve well because teachers have high expectations of these pupils and they adapt work well to meet their needs.” (Ofsted, November 2019)

If you have any examples of good practice that has come from the Stockport Entitlement Framework then we'd love to hear your story so email us at

Stan the t-rex

See, Make and Do at Manchester Museum - Autism-friendly mornings

Join Manchester Museum for early openings aimed at children and young people aged 5-16 who have autism and other needs, along with their families and carers. See objects, do activities and make creations inspired by one of the Museum’s galleries. In March, they are inspired by the Fossils gallery, where Stan the T-rex lives. The Fossils gallery will be open 9.15 - 11.15am

There’s also the opportunity to explore the whole Museum at a quieter time 9.15-10am, before they open to the general public. They always have a quiet room available to anyone who needs it, please just ask.

This happens the second Saturday of every month. The next is on Saturday 14th March.

Assessing Suicide Risk in Kids Workshop - 27th April

Mental Health Learning are bringing the internationally recognised and accredited ASK workshop - Assessing Suicide Risk in Kids, to Manchester City Centre. It's taking place on Monday 27th April from 9am - 5pm at The Studio Manchester, 51 Lever Street, Manchester, M1 1FN.

There are around 6000 deaths by suicide each year in the UK. In Greater Manchester, during 2017/18, there were 10 child deaths recorded as being caused by suicide or self-harm. Verdicts of suicide are not recorded for children under the age of 10, but they can and do happen.

This one-day workshop challenges commonly held notions about children's capacity to consider suicide. It is for professionals who routinely come into contact with children and young people aged 5-14 years old, such as teaching staff, pastoral staff, youth workers, social workers, CAMHS workers, safeguarding leads and others.

Places must be booked in advance by contacting

ASK workshop

New group - Allergy Mums

A monthly meet up group for mums of babies and children with allergies happens the last Thursday of every month, from 7pm to 9pm, at the Beretto Lounge, Redrock, Stockport. Please see the flyer below for contact details.

Allergy mums flyer

World Hearing Day

National Events

World Hearing Day

The 3rd March is World Hearing Day 2020. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will highlight that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential. It will draw attention to the options available in this respect. You can find out more here.

World Down's Syndrome Day

21st March is World Down's Syndrome Day. The theme for this year's World Down Syndrome Day is 'We Decide'. They are also doing a fun #LotsOfSocks campaign - each year Down Syndrome International creates a new official #LotsOfSocks design and the socks are sold around the world to raise awareness. In 2019 over 32,000 pairs were sold! You can find out how you can get involved through their website.

World Autism Awareness Week

World Autism Awareness Week 2020 is from 30th March - 5th April. Take a look at the World Autism Awareness Week website and get your school or workplace taking part in the week with free resources, tips and activities, fundraising events, Spectrum night walks and more.

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 27th March 2020.


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