SEND Improvement Journey E-newsletter AMENDED (15/5)

View as a webpage

SEND Newsletter Header

Announcement by Boris Johnson, 10 May 2020
Schools Announcement
Stockport Local Area Response

We know that as parents/carers you will have listened to the announcement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the 10 May 2020. The announcement has answered some, but also raised many, questions and some concerns for parents/carers and colleagues from our early year’s settings, schools and colleges. Colleagues from the local area are meeting with representatives to listen to the concerns to make sure they are taken into account when planning for the return of our children and young people.

We would like to reassure you that the safety of our children, young people and staff is our primary and main concern. The announcement stated that, schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1 June 2020. The Government expects children to be able to return to early years settings, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, back in school in smaller sizes, from this point. There are also proposals that there will be face to face contact within secondary schools who have exams next year (current Year 10/12)

As a local area we are clear that we need to take stock of this announcement. We need to make sure that any way forward is safe for everyone within our schools. At this point it is clear that any return for children and young people will not look the same as before Covid-19. The pandemic has changed things for us all both in the short and longer term. There will need to be consideration of how we best support children and young people through this period, and this focus will not be solely academic.

The Covid-19 period has brought with it stress, uncertainty and anxiety for us all, including our children. We need to make sure any return to settings, schools and colleges is safe for children’s physical and emotional well-being.

We will be working in partnership with Early Years settings, School Leaders, from both primary and secondary including academies, Colleges and our Parent/Carer groups throughout this period, to formulate a measured response to the announcement.

We will publish further information on the Council websites and the local offer as soon as we can and we will keep you updated as regularly as we can. We hope that we can reassure you we will be working together to ensure the well-being of Stockport residents.

If you have any questions in the meantime, please email: and we will respond as soon as we can. Our Parent Carer Forum (PACTS) are also available to support individual families, email

Safety and well-being is and always will be paramount in our decision making for our wider Stockport community.

Chris Mcloughlin - Director of Childrens Services

Paul McDowell - Chair Primary Consortium

Julie Kersh - Chair of Primary Consortium

Keith Turmeau – Chair of Secondary Consortium

Rob Metcalfe - Chair of Special Schools Consortium

Danny Pearson - Principle Aquinas College

Sherann Hillman & Paul Harper, PACTS

stockport council
headteachers consortium
primary consortium
aquinas college

Coronavirus update

Where possible, you should continue to stay at home as much as possible and help save lives. The government has issued new guidance (11th May)  to help you stay safe outside your home.

Please keep checking the Stockport Council website at which will be continuously updated with the latest news, advice and help in relation to Stockport residents, and the NHS website, where you can learn more about the virus, how to protect yourself and others, and what to do if you're feeling unwell. If you would like to know more about the guidance, you can stay up to date with updates.

We will be updating our social media network regularly so make sure you're following us on Facebook and Twitter pages. If you have any resources about the coronavirus, staying at home, social distancing or something else that may be helpful, especially in relation to children and young people with SEND, please do get in touch with us and share these if you can on Facebook and Twitter.

If you do not have access to social media, or know someone else who doesn’t, please keep up to date with our Local Offer web page which will be updated with guidance, resources and information about support. We are also working closely with PACTS, SENDIASS and other parent carer representatives.

Coronavirus helpline

The Council has introduced a dedicated coronavirus helpline for vulnerable people.

It means that the most vulnerable people in Stockport will be able to access support Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, by calling 0161 217 6046.

The helpline will provide advice and tell you how you can access support. You can call the helpline if you do not have a network of family and friends you can call upon for support particularly if:

·         you're over the age of 70 and you're self isolating

·         you have received a letter from the NHS advising you're high risk and should stay at home

·         you're medically vulnerable according to the government criteria and should stay at home

At times of crisis, accurate information is vital. With so much Coronavirus information flying around, we want to ensure you can easily access the information you need to make the best decisions for your family

Responding to the needs of SEND children - Our Covid-19 response

Following the announcement from central government that educational establishments were to close as from Monday 23rd March, colleagues from the local authority worked with early years, schools, colleges and parent/carer representatives to:

  • help providers understand exactly what was being asked of them and to interpret the guidance around the cohorts of children for whom they had a duty to provide care
  • communicate this offer to parents/carers
  • help families who were unable to access places establish childcare for their children.  

To ensure that offer was upheld we developed robust communication on a daily basis:

  • We initially held twice daily briefings and governance with senior leaders in the local authority (including early help, social care, early years), health and head teacher representation across primary, secondary and post 16 – the frequency of this recently changed to twice per week
  • We send a daily newsletter to all schools/settings which we develop with Headteacher representatives, to ensure the most up to date information / messages are in place (you can read these on the Stockport SEND Local Offer website)
  • Daily circulation of DfE guidance / daily email to keep stakeholders updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • Regular updating of Stockport’s SEND Local Offer content and specific Covid-19 pages with info / resources (which have been commended across Greater Manchester)
    Three times weekly check-ins virtually with parent / carer representatives (PACTS and SENDIASS) to keep updated on key progress and gain SEND community feedback to inform Covid-19 response
  • continued to promote information and key updates through our social media pages

Support with educational establishments overall

  • A school enquiries email was set up on the 22nd March to support parent/carers with school places and other queries i.e. food which has been manned daily. Over 100 enquiries have been received.  100% of these enquiries have been resolved positively. If you need to access school provision for your child with an EHCP and are struggling to make contact with your child/ young person’s setting. You can email and we will facilitate a conversation to support you.
  • A community helpline for the most vulnerable has been set up and the distribution of food parcels underway, linking into schools and those on free school meals, young carers and vulnerable list. Total of 2,380 calls made (shielded and non-shielded), with approximately 650 food parcels delivered which includes around 40 parcels for young carers and care leavers. Staff who are in school are working hard to provide care for the children and learning packs and online resources have been provided for children. 
  • A health visitor and school nurse advice line was set up on 23rd March to provide support around concerns with child development and wellbeing
  • High schools are currently working through the guidance to help them establish the grades that will be awarded to year 11 students this year.
  • We have nominated a link officer from the Council to connect with settings on a daily basis. These include: primary, secondary, early years, special and colleges.

Preparing children and young people to transition

There are over 50 people currently working hard behind the scenes to develop a set of transition guidance papers and resources. This will help provide a meaningful and smooth transition for all CYP, by ensuring that all settings/schools, parents/carers, children and young people across Stockport have the right information and support at the right time to ensure a consistent, cohesive offer, regardless of when and how we return to settings/schools/colleges. We would like to reassure you that the safety of our children, young people and staff is our primary and main concern.

Working parties linked to the key transition phases have been created and in each group there are representatives from PACTS (Parents and Carers Together Stockport), schools, inclusion services, therapy services, Autism team, social care, health, Virtual Schools and Education Welfare service.

The working parties are initially focussing on the COVID 19 response to transition, considering specific actions that need to be carried out remotely. In particular, the working party are looking at what transition support may be needed for those children and young people needing a more targeted approach, including those with SEND. This means considering a graduated response to transition which recognises that different support will be needed. Resources being developed include support packs for parents/carers etc so they feel empowered and supported through the transition process, ensuring a human response, following the rupture and possible trauma during the COVID-19 situation. 

Information will be available on the Local Offer, Covid 19 section, in the next few weeks.


Stockport position statement: Education, Health and Care (EHCP) plans and timescales and Covid-19

On the 30 April 2020, the government announced temporary relaxations in EHCP application, planning and review processes, effective from the 1 May 2020. Please see our position statement on EHCP plans and timescales on our Local Offer website

We hope that this clarifies the guidance and Stockport’s position for you. We know that the current time is very uncertain, and stressful. If you would like any further information or support please get into contact with us by email on:



Emotional Wellbeing offer

The Council and Stockport NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have launched three new emotional health and wellbeing services.

The 3 new services are

  • The Big White Wall -, which offers 24/7 anonymous support via a digital emotional wellbeing and mental health service, offers peer support for anyone over the age of 16 as well as support from trained clinicians alongside a range of helpful tools and resources
  • the establishment of the new 24/7 mental health helpline and (currently virtual) safe haven for anyone over the age of 18 in Stockport (0800 138 7276), commissioned by Stockport NHS CCG and provided by the charity Making Space
  • an Emotional Wellbeing Hub which provides information, advice, and guidance for anyone up to the age of 25 for emotional wellbeing and mental health concerns. Access to this is through the Multi-Agency Safeguarding and Support Hub (MASSH), 0161 217 6028. It's open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday

Please see the leaflet below for a more thorough list of all the health and wellbeing support available for all-ages in Stockport.

emotional health and wellbeing

COVID SEND HUB for families and educational settings

We recognise that staying at home during this period of school closure is difficult and understand that parents and carers of children and young people with SEND may be facing additional challenging circumstances that are unique to their own personal situation. In response to this Stockport are launching a new SEND HUB to offer support to offer support and advice to families. This is being launched on the 12 May 2020. This can be reached on the following number 0161 217 6028. You will be asked about your needs and current concerns. We will then look at how best to support you as a family during covid.

Please be reassured that Stockport SEND, Inclusion and Therapy Services are still working alongside schools and educational settings to offer help and advice when needed on issues affecting the SEND community, during this difficult period, This includes advice and support on,:

·         Strategies to manage changes to routine

·         Challenging sleep patterns

·         Supporting home learning

·         Behaviour

·         Communication difficulties

·         Children and young people with hearing and visual needs

·         Diet

·         Transition back to school

·         Sensory issues

The newly created SEND HUB is a multi-agency team working together to offer a central point of contact for families, professionals and young people, who are  0 to 25 and at any stage of the SEND process, to discuss any concerns in relation to a child or young person with SEND. You do not have to have an formal diagnosis to contact the HUB or have an EHCP in place.

Once you have shared your concerns, the SEND HUB team will work with you to provide support or signpost you to the best support options, guidance and information that is available.

How to contact the SEND HUB

Telephone: 0161 217 6028

send hub


Children's Therapy Service

The Children’s Therapy Service have put training videos together on how to offer video-based appointments and setting up closed face book groups for children with similar needs and have also launched Webinars.  Very active on SEND Facebook pages providing advice, guidance and support.

The therapists have been prioritising the children with the most complex needs and ensuring that those who require their equipment at home to prevent health conditions / pain have these delivered, along with instructions for the families to carry out the programmes that would be usually carried out by school staff. Staff have been creative with their delivery and have made home-made dolls from pillows to help families support their children.

If you need to contact us during this time, please email:

therapy doll



The Autism team have worked hard on supporting children, young people and their families with the following: 

  • They have provided one to one sessions with young people over phone/video, parent calls, new smart targets set during Covid-19
  • They have continued to have ADAPT meetings over the phone/email with parents and schools
  • Created online training for Autism Awareness and Coping with voice overs. We will share these on the Local Offer as soon as possible.
  • Made links to set up questions and answers session for parents/carers on Facebook
  • The autism team have made phone calls to all families on waiting lists for training, offering telephone support
  • Transition subgroup for year 6 transition – one-page profiles, pack about link worker and new school, transition support via phone, resources sent out
  • Transition subgroup for year 11 transition – one-page profiles, pack about new placement, transition support via phone, resources sent out

If parents/ carers want support, advice or have any queries  email the autism team on . The Team has also created a Facebook group to support parents/carers: Stockport Autism Team.


Stockport Sensory Service

Stockport's Sensory Service team have sent a letter detailing support during lockdown. This has been sent to all families with contact details for the service.

They have also supported Face-time teaching and support for some children, which is taking place regularly. 

The Facebook group linked to Stockport deaf children’s social group has been active for some time: membership of the group has doubled during Covid-19 and parents and staff are posting supportive materials on here

For further information in hearing loss/deafness

For vision 


Learning Support Services (LSS)

LSS teachers have maintained regular weekly contact with schools for advice and support, as well as attending online SEND review meetings. Advice given about appropriate home learning opportunities to support the needs of children who have an EHCP or are on SEN Support, whilst also providing suggestions for managing their time at home. Service staff have created a bank of SEND continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities for teaching staff that will be forwarded to schools and individual staff as appropriate and requested.

LSS home learning suggestions can also be accessed through the Local Offer under contributions for ‘Learning without technology’, Learning with the stars’, ‘Websites and APPs for children and parents’ and ‘Developing independence and life skills’. These are intended to be a non-overwhelming selection of ideas that will be added to appropriately over time.

LSS continues to support SENDCos studying for their NASENCO qualification. Study sessions and assignment mentoring is continuing through online conference rooms.

For more information, you can email your LSS teacher directly or by contacting


Behaviour Support Service

Our team of Behaviour Support Co-ordinators are establishing contact with schools to identify the support that school teams and their children and families need.  Children who are active to BSS will be our priority in each school, but we are keen to offer support and advice for those children who schools identify as vulnerable.  Our Behaviour Mentor team are available to support their key children as directed by school if they are attending.

All Forest school sessions are postponed but the team is available to advise on safe, outdoor activities observing social distancing guidance.

You can find out more on the behaviour support services webpage


Stockport Inclusion Coordinators

The Stockport Inclusion Team are offering support to staff working in any early-years settings and school nursery classes. They support the transition of children with EHCP’s and high-level needs into primary school through liaison with SEN/ EY SENDCo / Stockport Psychology Team. 

  • Liaison with receiving schools
  • Phone consultation to families 
  • Casework enquiries/ discussions with SEN team and any other multi agency colleagues regarding children with SEND
  • Support transition planning

Stockport Inclusion Team offer a check-in with families in addition to the above children to those children with EHC’s who SEN team identify. This is being done on a regular basis with open cases.

You can find out more by emailing 

parent feedback

"You’re all doing a fantastic job it’s amazing such a great response at a difficult time it’s helped a lot"

"Thank you for keeping us parents sane in this difficult time ❤"

"Everything you are doing is amazing! Thank you for all that you do. Our favourite thing is the videos from the teachers! 😊"

"The SEN page has loads of great resources which will be really helpful." 

" ****** and I are dipping in and out of the seesaw lessons. Using the school pack as well as other resources available. ****** does enjoy seeing what has been set each day and will happily work through some independently. He loves the clips by the teachers. Thank you all for taking so much time making it feel so personal to the children."

"We find the home learning helpful to keeping some routine my girls are proud of the work they can produce and we mix it up between the seesaw learning and the sheets we were given on the last day."

Communication and support updates for the most vulnerable children and young people

Digital Devices for Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Children

The government recently announced that they'd be providing digital devices for disadvantaged and vulnerable children to help them continue with studies where possible.

The Department for Education also stated that "Local authorities, trusts and other relevant organisations overseeing schools will be given guidance on how to place online orders for devices for eligible pupils from Wednesday 22 April. Schools, parents and pupils will not be able to order the devices themselves."

Whilst we appreciate that many of you will be keen to be included in this scheme, please wait to be contacted by someone from the LA or your school. We will do all we can to support your children and young people in making the most of this scheme, when the information becomes available.

Financial wellbeing

There is lots of help and support available to enable you to regain financial wellbeing, particularly if the current circumstances mean finances are stretched or uncertain. The sooner you look at your budget, contact organisations and prioritise your payments the better.

Health and wellbeing tips

Videos to support people in self-isolation

Christopher Hughes,Stockport Homes have been producing some short videos to support people in self-isolation. 

stockport jobs

Stockport Jobs Match

Stockport Jobs Match connects employers across the borough who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment.

In its first month, 113 jobs were advertised on the website by 37 employers. As well as this, there were 311 registrations and 1258 CVs sent to employers via Jobs Match. There were also almost 3,000 visitors to the website. 

Find out more here


Weekly webinars

During the lockdown, PACTS, Stockport's SEND Parent Carer Forum, has begun running weekly webinars on a range of topics to help families where children and young people have additional needs.  Each webinar features a short presentation by a Stockport  professional, followed by opportunities for you to ask questions.

For more information on the PACTS webinar programme, see their  Events page .

PACTS is also posting information from each webinar on the website a day or two after, so you can catch up by visiting this page.

Apply for funding to support people during Covid

Local fund image 3

There has been an incredible response by the voluntary sector, which includes the SEND community groups, in Stockport to the Covid-19 crisis and funding is available to support the effort.

Funding applications are an essential part of raising funds your organisation, but they can be time consuming, difficult to navigate and often overwhelming.

To support the sector during these uncertain times Sector 3, Stockport Homes and SMBC can help by:

  • Assisting in identifying new funding opportunities
  • Developing funding applications
  • Help innovate and move ideas forward
  • Assist in research and data collection
  • Be a critical friend providing support and guidance

If you require any help in applying for funding, please visit:

A poem to make you smile- Thank you Cat Price


If you would like to send your poem to us, please email them to us at 

stockport spider man

Stockport Spiderman is actually two friends who together are taking to the streets to put smiles on faces of their local communities. Spiderman follows strict government guidelines when out and about and always keeps social distancing in place. When you see him please shout from your window but do not come outside. By all means take photos and videos and post them in here. Why not even have your little ones draw up and Spidey drawing saying 'Spidey stop here' and hang it in your window. We hope that this small gesture is well received and putting smiles on faces around Stockport.

Ps. Spidey will try his hardest to get out as far and as wide as possible within reason but if he cant he will do videos for all the kiddies who don't get a chance to see him. Stay home, stay safe and keep smiling beautiful people of Stockport🕷

Find out more on Facebook

Stockport Youth Council

Any young person aged 11-18 who lives, is educated in, or works in stockport can get involved in the youth council. at the moment the group are meeting each wednesday at 5:30pm online.

Contact Steve Davies by calling 07800 618 706 or search for @stockportyouth on facebook, twitter & Instagram

Below are some fun facts about the Stockport Youth Council:

  • Two members of Stockport Youth Council have been nominated for a 'National Diversity Award
  • Young people in stockport are still involved in social action, despite the lock-down.
  • Young people are meeting up vitually with young people from across the country to campaign on an issue - for example the 'Pupil Power Campaign'.

View their weekly e-newsletter here

Meet the team behind SEND Improvement  Programme

Hi All, it was Autism awareness month at the beginning of April, so the Transformation team supporting the SEND Improvement Programme team at the Council dressed up in blue and took our selfies to encourage everyone to think of autism. Can you spot Ruby? We are also working together with the professional associations across our local area, which includes our schools/education settings, health partners, PACTS, SENDIASS and other parent carer representatives to provide the best service that we can for your children.

From top left (clockwise): Jakki Rogers, Carolyn Anderson, Ruby the dog, Sally Roy, Michelle Booth, Jennie Neill, Bev Milway and Nayuri Patel. We all have our own individual twitter accounts – Michelle, along with parents and carers, manages the Stockport Council SEND Facebook and Twitter page, so a big shoutout to her to providing really good information to the send community. Come find us on Twitter and say hi!

p.s Ruby just told me that she doesn't have twitter because her paws are too big to type ;) 

Autism awareness



Meet the newest member of our Improvement Journey Programme- Tim Brandwood aka Captain America

Hi everyone, Tim here. Some of you may have seen me recently on your Facebook feeds or even walking down your streets as Stockport’s Captain America, working alongside the “Stockport Spidermen”. Another more recent role I have now taken up is the new coordinator of Stockport’s SEND Local Offer and I’ll be responsible for its development, improvement and continuous maintenance. However it’s development is something I cannot do all by myself, I am looking forward to working with parents/carers, young people and professionals to coproduce a central hub of information and support that’s accessible to all and meets the local needs of families in Stockport.

As well as making sure the information is kept up to date, in the next 12 months I’ll be looking at putting together various focus groups, creating a “Local Offer User Forum” to gain insights and ideas, as well as feedback on the changes being made within the local offer. Working this way I hope to incorporate the comments of children and young people, families and partners into a resource by them, for them.

I look forward to meeting and working with as many of you as I can along the way to make our local offer a resource we can all be proud of having available here in Stockport.



captain america

SEND E-Learning is LIVE

As part of our SEND improvement journey we have created a SEND e-Learning course which is aimed at everyone who works with children and young people aged 0-25. It can be completed by anybody who has an interest in developing their knowledge and understanding of special educational needs and disabilities - SEND. The eLearning has only been live for just over a week and already 70 people completed it.

The training will provide existing SEND professionals and those who are new to SEND with the required high level of knowledge and insight into SEND, thus creating a well-informed, joint support network for Children and Young People (CYP) with SEND.

The SEND e-Learning course can also so be a useful tool for parent careers and anyone interested in developing their knowledge and understanding of SEND. The course is accessed via Learning Pool, which is the home of the council’s e-learning courses and is available free of charge. If you do not already have access to Learning Pool, then please click here for further guidance and support.

Let’s continue to work together to make SEND everyone’s business .

Stockport Council SEND on Facebook has over 500 Members- Come join our journey


Please join our Facebook group to find out the latest updates and information relating to SEND children and young people with SEND.

Our Facebook page is monitored 8.30am to 5pm Mon-Fri.

send e-newsletter

SEND Improvement Journey e-newsletter

Our next issue will come out on Friday 29th May. Please email if you want to subscribe or send us articles/information to publish.

Please read our SEND Covid-19 EXTRA e-newsletter here