Stockport SEND newsletter- August

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SEND Improvements Journey Newsletter
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Welcome to the latest SEND Newsletter 

Stockport publishes a monthly SEND e-newsletter for all children, young people, families and professionals working with special educational needs and disabilities, including statutory and voluntary agencies across education, health and social care. Click the link below to receive the latest information and updates on SEND in Stockport.

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Missed an issue?

You can find every issue of the SEND newsletter here

We welcome all feedback on the send newsletter. If you would like to make any comments or suggestions, please email us at send-ip@Stockport.gov.uk or complete our online survey . You can also email us with suggestions for articles in future editions.


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SEND holiday activity offer

Stockport MBC would like to offer support with summer activities for families who have children with additional SEND needs and low-income families.

We realise that the last few months have been really hard for SEND families and those who may not have as much money.

We have therefore allocated time slots for visiting two locations in Stockport:

  • Bramall Hall
  • Stockport Air Raid Shelters

These visits are free of charge to families who are eligible for free school meals or may have a child with special educational needs or disabilities. Please note that every member of your family will need a ticket to gain entry (max 6 people per timed slot).

These timed slots will need to be booked in advance to ensure Covid-19 social distancing measures are in place.

The timed slots will be dedicated to ensure they are quieter for SEND families. The visits will be available in August and early September. They will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Click on the location of your choice below to book your timed slot.

Bramall Hall

Stockport Air Raid Shelter

 


starting school

Supporting young people to return to school following Covid-19

The smooth transition of children and young people between schools at the end of an academic year is incredibly important and when considered carefully by all the adults that know a child, this can make a significant difference to a positive ‘lived experience’. We know that during Covid-19 many families are more anxious about their child joining a new school. As such, it is vital to consider the transition process for the summer/autumn term 2020 and what this might look like given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, families and communities. It is also important to recognise that for some children, especially those with SEND, a detailed, highly personalised transition plan may be needed.

In response to the above issues, a working group including parent/carer representatives, primary and secondary SENCOs, local authority education and inclusion service staff worked together to consider approaches to transition and particularly the transition for vulnerable children. This working group created a resource and guidance pack to support the transition of children with an identified SEND, during the Covid-19 period. The working group considered the principles that underpin effective transition and which need to underpin our approach during the Covid-19 pandemic. These are co-constructed and locally agreed principles, and align with the underpinning principles of the SEND Code of Practice and Stockport Co-Production Charter. Many schools across Stockport have now had an opportunity to attend virtual meetings where the resources and guidance have been discussed. Positive feedback has been received and schools are working with a range of resources that compliment what they are already doing to help us all to manage a consistently good transition process, as best we can, during this exceptional year. The resources 'Guidance and Helpful resources for Early Years Settings and Schools' can be found here

In addition there are a range of resources on the restorative website to support schools and pupils for return from lockdown which can be found here

Stockport Behaviour Service have also worked with partners across Greater Manchester on some fabulous back to school videos, which can be found here


Covid-19 update on the Local Offer

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The local authority has sent regular updates to all schools throughout the Covid-19 period. These updates have been used to share resources, links and DfE Guidance for early years settings, childminders, schools and colleges. Contributions are received from officers across Public Health, the NHS, Stockport Family and Education as a shared communication.  The latest newsletter (28/08/2020)includes information about preparing for re-opening schools to all children as safely as possible. You can view them all here

Our Covid-19 page on the Local Offer has also been created to give you one place to access all the latest news, guidance and advice from Stockport Council and partners. 


Update from August SEND Board

The SEND Board oversees our the development of an overarching SEND strategy and the delivery of the Written Statement of Action. It is a monthly meeting, co-chaired by Chris McLouglin, Director of Children and Education and Andrea Green, Chief Accountable Officer at the CCG.

The SEND board is a very important meeting as it signs off all the key elements of the SEND transformation programme. You can view the minutes to these meetings on the Local Offer website. 

In future editions of the SEND newsletter, we will provide a summary from these Board meetings so that you can ask questions via email, get involved and follow our journey.

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EHCP Annual Review Statement: August 2020

Dear parents/carers, children and young people,
Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport.

Steve Nyakatawa, Interim Director of Education at Stockport Council, wrote to you in May 2020 about Education, health and care plan (EHCP) timescales. You can see the letter on the Local Offer. I now want to update you about our progress and priorities since then on our SEND improvement journey.

In that letter, we said we would:
•Provide additional staff in the SEN Team Update: We have four new EHCP co-ordinators starting in August and September 2020 which means we will have more staff to carry out assessments, write plans and update reviews.
•Overhaul the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks Update: We have made good progress and are monitoring timeliness on a weekly basis and working on any issues. We now have an updated process for staff to follow to make sure everything is recorded electronically, and information is easily available. This will make it easier to monitor timescales.

We have also changed our processes so that our EHCP co-ordinators make contact with parents when a referral is made, after panel discussions and to update on progress. You should therefore have regular contact during the EHC needs assessment and progress updates as the EHCP is being prepared. This is important, we want the EHCP process to be one which parent/carers and young people play an active part in, and co-produce plans and we want you to feel that we are keeping you informed.

You can see the timescales we work to when producing a new plan on the local offer. If you have any issues in regard to this then please contact: SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk

•Review all existing EHCPs to confirm that an annual review has taken place. Where amendments have been made to your plan in the annual review, you will receive the statutory letter informing you of this. Where annual reviews have taken place between September 2019 to May 2020, we will update plans over the next 3 months and send the updated plans to parents Update: We have now received and logged all information from schools about children’s annual reviews and are working through the backlog of updates to your plans. This will be completed in October 2020. This is a delay from the original deadline, and I apologise for this. The delay is due to the time it has taken to get information onto our electronic systems and the need to train staff. If you have a query in relation to your own or your child’s EHC plan then please contact your EHCP co-ordinator, so they can update you, or SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk.

•Work with settings to set up annual reviews for any plans that are out of timescale and any that are due before September 2020 Update: We are on track to be able to plan these in with schools at the start of the Autumn term. This will be done by the end of September 2020.

Our plans for further improvement
In terms of the journey going forward in the next three months, by the start of November, we will:
•Clear the annual review backlog
•Re-design the referral paperwork with partners including parent/carers to ensure it is user friendly
•Re-design the letters and information to parent/carers with parent/carer reps to ensure it is user friendly
•Re-design the information young people receive with young people and ensure systems are in place to gain the views of young people on their plans
•Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
•Plan training for settings and schools about setting outcomes for children and young people
•Launch the co-produced Outcomes Framework in Stockport and make sure all our paperwork is focussed on those outcomes. You can see the Outcomes Framework on our local offer.

We are working hard to improve the EHCP process, and systems. There is a commitment to change our processes and practice to make sure we improve the lived experience for families in Stockport. I will provide an update on the Local Offer every two months about our progress and will update you again in the first week of October. If you have a specific query or question in the meantime, please contact me on bev.milway@stockport.gov.uk.

Yours faithfully

Bev Milway

Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion


send startegy

SEND Strategy 2020-2023 

The SEND Strategy represents our overall vision and brings together the work undertaken.The Strategy will run from 2020 until 2023 but is a working document, which we will review as our journey continues. 

We started working on our SEND strategy last year and this year a short task and finish group was set up to complete it. Key partners including parent/carers reviewed what we currently have in place and have built upon this to co-produce the current SEND strategy. The Board agreed to wait for headteachers to share their comments, after which, we will publish the strategy on our Local Offer website and continue to promote it.

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We want to achieve the best possible outcomes for our children and young people with SEND and their families. Wherever possible we aim to ensure that children, young people and their families are able to access appropriate services at an early stage with a focus of early help and SEN Support. This will prevent any unnecessary escalation of issues or barriers to achieving positive outcomes for children and young people.


workforce development

Workforce development update

Workforce development is the set of activities developed to address specific gaps or risks identified to ensure the workforce is best able to deliver future services.

In Stockport there are a whole range of activities and planning dedicated to upskilling our workforce such as:

  • Additional targeted training has been provided to the Children with Disabilities team such as Talking Mats and Makaton level 1 and 2
  • Independent Reviewing Officers have had training on EHCP's to support their ability to challenge during reviews
  • 43 social workers attended physical learning sessions up to March 2020. As we have moved into lockdown, virtual sessions have restarted online.
  • SEND e-learning course has been launched in April is available for professionals, parents and carers. So far, close to 600 people have completed the course. There are plans to make this mandatory across. Since it's launch in April, over 500 people have completed this course to date. If you haven't tried doing the course, why not give it a go!
  • Planning drop-in sessions and 1:1 sessions on SEND- please see the poll further on in the newsletter.
  • Growing the number of SEND network of champions. The SEND champions have also worked on a resource list to help other families know where to go for support. You can find the resource list further on in the newsletter.

There are plenty of things being worked on behind the scenes:

  • Planning is underway for the SEND week of action in November
  • Training is being organised for the SEND champions
  • Training on the SEND Code of Practice is being co-produced with PACTs and will be available for everyone to join. Please keep a look out 'Dates for your diary' section in the newsletter

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Update on personal budgets

An update on the personal budgets review was presented to Board in August and this work continues to be a priority.

Currently, there is a project manager looking into the systems that support personal budgets as part of the the EHCP process. This will have a huge impact on the lived experience of families.

The work on personal budgets should be completed by October. We will update you around this in due course.

What is a personal budget

This is an amount of money identified by the local authority (LA) to deliver provision set out in a child or young person's EHC plan. Once it's agreed that a plan will be issued, the LA must send a copy of the draft and give you the opportunity to request a personal budget. More information about personal budgets can be found on the Local Offer



Join our network of SEND champions

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The Champions have created a resource list for families. The groups on the list below are the ones that have a large membership, are regularly updated and monitored, and are good at signposting families to more specific and complex help if needed.

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If you would like to get in touch with us, please email us at send-ip@stockport.gov.uk


Other updates

Future Drop-In Support and Events for SEND 👍

We are working with PACTS, our parent carer forum, to think about events we normally host. Depending on what social distancing is allowed during the Autumn, would parents/carers like us to host face to face, socially distanced drop-in support sessions or events? Or should we keep things virtual for the foreseeable future?

We will respond to need around support drop-ins or listening events about our SEND Improvement Journey.

Please complete the poll on Facebook so we can plan something meaningful and safe.

If you haven't got Facebook, please email us your preferred option from:

  1. I would like to attend a pre-booked drop in session with 1 or 2 professionals, subject to social distancing at a Covid- secure venue
  2. I would like to attend an event with a small group of families and professionals, subject to social distancing at a Covid-secure venue
  3. I am not comfortable meeting in person for now


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respect


how does co-production work

Community success story - Keira's Kingdom

Keira's Kingdom is a group that supports adults and children with life-limiting or chronic illness. They are a true community group and offer their users lots of support, especially around benefit assessments, GP appointments, health and wellbeing, and emotional support. Normally they raise funds by carrying out weekly online raffles of new donated goods, and by selling second hand donated goods online and prior to lockdown they had plans to open a charity shop. During lockdown there has been increased demand for their support and we were happy to help them with a grant from Stockport Local Fund so they can continue to offer this vital support while they're unable to fundraise.

A lot of the people they help are very isolated and struggling financially and on average, one phone call to Keira's Kingdom will take 2-3 hours. Keira's Kingdom have made an outstanding effort to reach out and collaborate with other community groups in Stockport and Stockport User Friendly Fellowship are now taking referrals from them and helping with shopping, gas and electric bills and other essential supplies.

We want to be able to share great stories like this. Please get in touch with us at send-ip@stockport.ov.uk


recruitment

Recruitment Opportunities in Stockport

SEND Assistant

Broadstone Hall Primary School
Temporary 1 x SEND Support Assistant to cover a secondment
27.5 hours per week
Start date 21.9.2020 to 28.6.2021 or earlier. (SECONDMENT)

Social worker- children with disabilities

Full-time, Permanent, 37 hours
Salary: SO2 £29,636-£33,799
Benefits: Stockport Council offers a wide range of benefits including: flexible working, 24 days holiday for new starters, a car lease, and bike loan scheme, as well as a wide range of employee discounts

Strategic Commissioning and Contract Performance Manager

Strategic Commissioning and Contract Performance Manager
MB2 £49,858-£57,341
Full Time
Permanent

Learning Support Assistant (for SEN pupils) - Windlehurst School 

Learning Support Assistant (for SEN pupils)
Salary: Scale 4 £19,554 - £21,166 p/a (Actual salary range: £14,104 - £15,275 plus Midday Assistant allowance)
No. of hours: 31.5 Term time only

Teaching Assistant SEND Support.

Hursthead Infant School
1:1 Teaching Assistant SEND Support.
SCALE 2, PT 4
20 hours weekly 8.30am – 12.30pm

Fixed term to 31st August 2021 to support SEN pupil.
Start Date:21 September 2020 (Flexible depending on the successful applicants circumstances)

Director of Service Development (Clinical and Health) - Seashell Trust

Cheadle Hulme, SK8 6RQ
£73,622 to £89,982 per annum +benefits
Expires: 14/09/2020
Holidays: 30 days + bank holidays


Dates for your diary!

steve broach

Virtual SEND Covid-19 session with SEND barrister, Steve Broach

Join Steve Broach for an informative webinar discussing the law in relation to Education, Health and Social Care for children and young people with SEND.

The webinars will be interactive with opportunity to ask general questions about the law, although Steve will not be able to give any legal advice during the webinar.

Book your slot on either webinar by following the links below.

9th September, aged 0 - 17: Book here

16th September, aged 18 - 25: Book here


entitlemtn

The Entitlement Framework

Wednesday 9th September 2020, 7.15pm to 8.30pm

The Entitlement Framework and how it can help families understand what can be expected of schools.

Eventbrite link for booking is here


ed

The role of the SENCO

Wednesday 16th September 2020, 7.15pm to 8.30pm

The Role of the SENCO and how we might work together to improve outcomes.

Eventbrite link for booking is here


sen

The SEN Support Plan

Wednesday 23rd September 2020, 7.15pm to 8.30pm

The SEN Support Plan; what it should look like and how we should be involved.

Eventbrite link for booking on is here


dscx

SEND Week of Action 16-20 November

For the first time this year, Stockport will be co-producing a SEND week of action. A week of action simply means that we will be doing everything and anything to get a buzz going around SEND so that people become aware and informed about what that means for the child, young person and their families; but also how can we support them in having the best outcomes that they fully deserve.

If you have any ideas or would want to get involved, please email us send-ip@Stockport.gov.uk


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