SEND Newsletter- November

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SEND Improvements Journey Newsletter

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Welcome to the latest SEND Newsletter 

Stockport publishes a monthly SEND newsletter for all children, young people, families and professionals working with special educational needs and disabilities. Subscribe here to receive the latest information and updates on SEND in Stockport.

Missed an issue?

You can find every issue of the SEND newsletter on our Local Offer website

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.   

Table of Contents

Key updates

This month we have a couple of general updates which we would like to share with you.

Health services- update

This section provides an update about a webinar delivered on ADOS Assessments.

Engagement with Young People

Find out about some of our projects/pilots which involve young people with SEND.

Meet the team

Every month we will share information about a service with you. This month our Sensory Support Services would like to share how they support children and young people with permanent or long term hearing and/or visual impairment.

Get involved

There are so many ways to get involved with shaping our services and communities and raising awareness of SEND. Find out more in this section

Employee Spotlight

We know some fab people that really go over and above in their role. This section celebrates good practice. If you would like to nominate a colleague please email us at send-ip@stockport.gov.uk

Upcoming events

There are plenty of learning opportunities throughout the months. In this section we collect all the webinars and talks that you can take part in.


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send week of action

SEND week of action - 16th- 20th November

Thank you to everyone who took part in the week of action, either by attending events or providing useful information to raise awareness of SEND.

We hope that you managed to make it to some of the webinars but if not, don't despair...all the webinars were recorded and will be posted on the SEND Week of Action page on the Local Offer soon! There will another SEND Week of Action in May 2021 and we hope as many people will be involved as possible.

During the week, the SEND StrategyCo-Production Charter and Outcomes Framework were all launched. Please take time to read through and consider how these documents can help your own journey. We will seek feedback from the SEND community about how these make a difference over time.


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PACT parent/carer survey

Following our SEND Inspection in November 2019, PACTS (Parent and Carers Together Stockport) undertook a survey of the parent/carer community. They have recently undertaken another one to gauge how parent/carers are feeling about their SEND experience. This is showing small signs of improvement. However its clear there is still much to do. Please see their report and the local area response on the Local Offer. There are learning points for us all in the responses. However there was some positive feedback from parents in regard to our schools. In reference to Covid-19 some of the feedback has been:

"Mind was put at ease by new high school about help and support my child would now be given”

“My daughter received daily work and support from her school. The daily check ins for children and weekly check ins for parents worked brilliantly.”

“Things have been better both before and during the pandemic at this school. The communication and contact has been excellent both before and after the pandemic. The support during the pandemic was exceptional. Phones calls from the head teacher, the pastoral lead and the form tutor”

“Things have been better both before and during the pandemic at this school. The communication and contact has been excellent both before and after the pandemic. The support during the pandemic was exceptional. Phones calls from the head teacher, the pastoral lead and the form tutor. [Child's] relationships with the teachers have really helped him settle in. They have the right balance, so respectful towards the students, friendly yet [Child] completely aware of the boundaries. This school is excellent”


vaccination

NHS The flu vaccination - a guide for people with a learning disability

A short film about the importance of the flu vaccination for people with a learning disability and autistic people with certain health conditions. The film tells you:

  • why it is important to have the flu vaccine every year
  • who is eligible for a free vaccine
  • how you can get the vaccine from your GP or pharmacy

You can find out more about the flu vaccine in the NHS easy reads in the UKLDN Resources section or at NHS.uk/fluvaccine             


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There has been a delay with regards to ADOS assessments due to the accommodation issues with Healthy Young Minds post Covid.

Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS) hosted an extremely useful webinar with representation from the Therapy Services, Healthy Young Minds, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Learning Support Services and the Local Authority Autism Team.

The turnout was fantastic and the hosts shared ways in which parents/carers can be supported without the need for diagnosis in Stockport. The practical advice and support available was well received.

The video will be available for all to see on the PACTS website


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Aquinas College

During the SEND Week of Action, Aquinas College raised awareness during their daily assembly. As a result, 21 students have volunteered for the new ‘Pathways Mentoring’ programme. This programme will train volunteer students from the mainstream College to mentor students with SEND. Training sessions for the mentors begin in December and the programme will launch in January 2021! A very exciting result of the SEND Week of Action and a huge thank you to the volunteer students. We look forward to an update in future.


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Young Inspectors Programme

To make sure young people’s views are at the heart of our SEND Improvement Journey, we are now piloting a ‘Young Inspectors’ programme. The first sessions were led by our Participation Officer, Steve, during October half-term. Young people learned about the skills needed to work well with each other and with services. Following the training, young people will ask services how they meet the needs of young people and will make recommendations for improvement. The sessions will run again for anyone interested in getting involved. If you or a young person you know are interested in being involved please contact us.


Young Peoples’ Voices: Dedicated Schools Grant, High Needs Block Review

It is really important for us to hear young people’s views as part of our review of future of provision for children with SEND in Stockport. Our schools and colleges have helped us hear from over 200 young people so far about how they feel at school. These views will help shape proposals for future support. Your school may have already asked you to help your child complete the survey – please take the opportunity to help your child have their say.


meet the team
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We thought some of you might like to know a little more about SSS and what better place to put this information than on this newsletter! The SSS team of 41 staff provide specialist intervention and support to over 600 babies, children and young people who have a permanent or long term hearing loss and/or vision impairment from 0-25 years, including those who use British Sign Language and are deaf, and those who have severe vision impairment /are blind and are Braillists.

We also provide advice for children who have temporary vision impairment, for example if a child needs to wear an eye patch to correct vision in one eye.

For a families, finding out that your child has a vision impairment or a hearing loss can bring about a whole array of emotions. At Sensory Support Service our additionally qualified Teachers of Vision Impairment and Teachers of the deaf work with families from the time of diagnosis, often from a few weeks after birth, to provide guidance and support in homes and childcare settings, along with unbiased, clear information that allows families to make their own choices and decisions for their child. We also work directly with children and young people when they reach nursery, school, college, through to work and employment when we operate a self advocacy support and signposting provision for young people and/or their parents/carers.

We are invested in the principles of co-production. We have recently set up a Childrens Hearing and Vision Services Working Group to bring colleagues from health and social care services in Stockport together with SSS to listen to parents, carers and young people with the aim of improving our combined and individual service provisions.

A video message from one of our brilliant young people who is profoundly deaf and uses BSL, letting us all know what we can do to support communication and independence for deaf children and young people. A great reminder of what our young people with SEND in Stockport can achieve. 😊

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We’ve set up a new closed facebook page for all the families who are linked to our service: A copy of our most recent newsletter that we posted on the SSS facebook page is attached if you’d like to take peek!

Please do get in touch with any queries, requests, comments or feedback via headteacher@sensorysupport.stockport.gov.uk anytime: we’d love to hear from you whether you are a parent/carer or Stockport colleague.

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The Grinch is back to steal Christmas!

After his viral success at Halloween, our Local Offer coordinator is bringing back the Grinch for Christmas. Over the weekend of the 12th and 13th December, residents can visit the Grinch at his home, interact with him and the display and take away a festive treat for the sweet tooth.

Tim and his partner Amy have traded in the Halloween cobwebs for lots of Christmassy snow and lights to truly bring the display to life for the festive holiday, as well as building extra interactive pieces as part of the display.

“We never anticipated the reaction we got with the Grinch for Halloween, so we just had to bring it back for Christmas. We’ve been shown so much love and generosity from the community with offerings of donations from gifts for giving out to offering their time to help with anything we needed. Everything we’re adding to the display will work along with everything else, everyone no matter their abilities will be able to access and interact with the display.”

The display is completely free for everyone to enjoy, Tim has decided to run an optional collection in aid of the charity Action for Children, who help children, young people and families in providing practical and emotional support.

“We had an overwhelming amount of people in October asking to give us money for what we did, so this time we’re collecting donations to help those less fortunate through the toughest time of year. No one, especially children, deserves to go through Christmas without hot food, warm clothes or a roof over their heads.”


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get involved

consultation

Have your say on the aspects of SEND services in Stockport  - Dedicated Schools Grant consultation

Remember to respond to the online questionnaire

Stockport Council are asking residents, parents, carers and young people to share their views on the future provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as part of a public consultation that that opened on Friday 9th October and will run for eight weeks closing on Friday 4th December 2020.

The consultation comes after a six-month review was undertaken of the £32m that Stockport spends each year on our SEND provision in the High Needs Funding block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).  The DSG is the budget that the government allocates to the council every year to fund local schools and education services.  

The High Needs Funding is spent on top-up funding for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), all places at our specialist schools, resourced units, Pupil Referral Units and external placements (including independent school places) and also funds some of our support services.


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Network of SEND Champions

During our SEND Week Of Action our SEND Champions chose the winner of our logo competition... brothers Harry (age 11) and Lucas (age 9) 'co-produced' our winning entry!! This amazing logo will be used for all things SEND Champions in future! The runner up also wins a prize

Our network of SEND champions is made up of friendly, passionate parents/carers and professionals all wanting to provide support and signposting for children and young people with SEND and their families.

Read more in the Champions' Local Offer page. Please also share their poster with other parents/carers and professionals to encourage them to get involved.

Our last meeting on 16/11/20 was a ‘Meet the Champions’ session and we were lucky to be joined by 7 new Champions, all wanting to make a difference. If you want to know more, you can see an overview of all their meetings on the Local Offer.


the send inclusion community group

The SEND inclusion community

The SEND inclusion community group is made up largely of operational professionals, parents/carers and representation from the voluntary and community sector to ensure:

  • Communication- the group will provde an opportunity for all stakeholders to meet and have an open, transparent communication on the current issues in relation to SEND within Stockport
  • Sharing information- The group will provide a forum to share best practice available both local and nationally for young people with SEND
  •  Outcomes and Inclusion- the group will provide one forum to monitor the proposed outcomes framework and the role of the community in achieving the outcomes needs.

Ultimately, the SEND Inclusion community group presents an opportunity for us to bring knowledge, experience and expertise to influence the SEND agenda in Stockport. The SEND community group complements the work that is being undertaken by the services that strive to put the best in place for the SEND community and encourages members of the group to champion best practice in their work/life areas.

Our session last week had a fab turnout of over 27 people. You can read more about what this group has been upto here


SEND E-Learning

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 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 .

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Help us keep the Local Offer website up to date

The Stockport SEND Local Offer brings together a range of support services and information for children and young people aged 0-25, with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  

Throughout the last month there have been a number of updates to the Stockport's Local Offer website:

  • Websites accessibility tool is now fixed and working
  • News reel now links through to all news articles
  • Latest SEND Strategy, Co-production Charter and Outcomes Framework are available to views
  • Focus groups continue to review and update 'Advice and Guidance' content

As parents or professionals, if you notice that information on there seems outdated, please let us know by responding to the feedback link in the website. You can also email us directly to make any suggestions or amendments at SENDlocaloffer@stockport.gov.uk


social media

Follow us on social media

Twitter @ SMBC_SEND

Facebook @ Stockport Council SEND

YouTube @ Stockport Council SEND


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Webinars

Mental Health in Learning Disability live online training course

9th December

09.45 am - 1pm

Learn how to promote mental wellbeing and recognise mental health problems in the people with a learning disability and/or autism in our live online training course in partnership with mental health and learning disability experts

Find out more on the Association for Real Change website

SEND National Trial Webinar for Parents Carers

10th December

11.00-12.30

This webinar will include:

  • Overview of the SEND National Trial
  • Finding solutions through mediation
  • What to expect at a Tribunal hearing

There will be an opportunity to ask questions to the panel on the SEND National Trial at the end of the webinar.

Book your FREE place on eventbrite