SEND newsletter- December

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SEND Improvements Journey Newsletter


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 or complete our online survey . You can also email us with suggestions for articles in future editions. 


sen transport

Statement on SEN Transport

The council recently carried out a review of its SEND transport providers and contracts. Through this process some changes were proposed to SEND transport providers.

Some families who would be affected by these changes have raised concerns about these changes. We understand that this has been an incredibly difficult year for our SEND families and community due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We would like to apologise for any upset caused to our SEND families.

Families have told us that the proposed changes have created uncertainty. We are clear we would not want to add to any of the stress this year has posed.

Having listened to the concerns raised by families we have paused the review of SEND transport providers and contracts and can confirm that no changes to current provision will take place in this academic year. We will be in touch to confirm arrangements in the next few days. This will be through phone calls to families. We will also be writing to all families who have been affected.
Councils are required by law to regularly look at their contracts and providers. One reason for doing this is to ensure that we are getting the best value for the public money we spend. Listening to the feedback from parents and families, this process will now happen in time for the new school year in 2021.

We have recently launched our co-production charter and we want to work in an open, and transparent way with our community. We will keep our SEND families informed of developments as the year progresses.

For further enquiries please contact:

Steve Nyakatawa
Director of Education


Education, health and care plans and annual review statement

Dear parents/carers, children and young people, and colleagues

Hello, my name is Bev Milway and I am the Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion in Stockport.

In early August 2020 I wrote to update you on our SEND improvement journey. I pledged to send out further updates every two months. This is my December update. I want to let you all know of the progress to date. Since the last letter I can update with the following:

1. EHCP team
Update: EHCP caseworkers from the pre and post 16 Teams have come together as one EHCP casework team under the leadership of Janice Coleman Holder (Post 16) and Alison Poyser (Pre 16). We have restructured the allocation of children and young people for each EHCP caseworker so that each caseworker is working to a group of primary and secondary schools and early years settings, that reflect the ‘neighbourhoods’ in Stockport. It is anticipated that this will provide a greater level of consistency for schools and families.

2. Refresh of the administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks
Update: We have now finalised all of the out of timescale EHCP plans (81). In November we had 88% of plans signed off within the 20 weeks. In December I am pleased to say that we currently have 100% of new plans completed within timescale

3. Review all existing EHCPs to confirm that an annual review has taken place.
Update: The check is now complete. We now have a thorough picture of the reviews. We currently have 843 completed annual reviews in our system where paperwork needs to be finished and reviews completed. I want to apologise that these have not been cleared as quickly as originally planned. This has been due to staff shortages. We have additional staff starting with us this week. We are working hard to look at all reviews and are completing amendments.

4. 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 wrote to all settings in September 2020 to advise of outstanding reviews for the previous academic year and to ask for any review that had not taken place to be arranged of the first half of the autumn term. Caseworkers are continuing to work through the paperwork from these reviews as well as making contact with all settings to plan for reviews for the academic year 2020/2021

5. Re-design the referral paperwork with partners including parent/carers to ensure it is user friendly
Update: Draft new paperwork is being trialled through the SENCO Working Group. Feedback from this will inform any changes needed before we are able to roll out the new referral forms as a ‘pilot’ in the New Year. It is anticipated that the pilot will be finished and completed paperwork should be ready to be used across all settings from the beginning of the Summer Term 2021.

6. Re-design with our young people information sent out and ensure systems are in place to gain their views on their plans
Update: Our strategic participation lead, Michelle Bellis, is working with young people to re-design the information and this should now be complete for January 2021.

7. Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
Update: We are setting up a monthly specific EHCP SENCO group from January. This will look at anonymised EHCP referrals and quality assure every month. It was also look at the SEN support that has been provided. This will provide an opportunity for SENCO’s to discuss and share best practice.

8. Launch the co-produced Outcomes Framework in Stockport and make sure all our paperwork is focussed on those outcomes. Also training for our schools/settings. You can see the Outcomes Framework on our Local Offer.
Update: The Outcomes Framework was launched in November as part of the SEND week of action in November 2020. Training was delivered by the Council for Disabled Children to our schools. We are now writing the outcomes into our EHC planning system going forwards and devising a one page profile with the help of young people to capture their outcomes.

9. Co-production Charter Launch
Update: We have now launched the Stockport Co-production Charter. These are the co-produced principles of what we expect within Stockport from each other. From those working within our SEND services but also families and parent/carers. We are now asking for schools and services to sign up to the Charter. We are expecting Currently we have 38 signed up, with more being added. You can find the charter here: charter on our Local Offer

10. Keyworker pilot
Update: We now have a working group set up looking at the proposal. This includes parent/carers. The role name was co-produced and will be “SEND Keyworker” There will be further work on this in the new year with a launch in February/March.
In the next few months we will be concentrating on:

• Ensuring all children have and up to date annual review with documented amendments.
• Re-designing the annual review process
• Working on a SEND Keyworker pilot
• Ensuring we have clearer mechanisms in place to gain feedback on the EHCP process
• Ensuring that the outcomes framework and co-production charter is evidenced in lived experience.
• Piloting an early help fund (SELF) to be available to our schools so young people can gain resources quicker. We will be piloting this in an area of Stockport initially and will update in the new year.

I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas. I know that this year has been a difficult one for us all but for our SEND families, I know Covid-19 has impacted significantly. We have our SEND hub available if you need support over the festive period or at any time. Please contact the following number 0161 2176028, Option 2 if you need support or someone to speak to.

I will be providing further updates in February 2021. If you have a specific query or question in the meantime, please contact me on

Yours faithfully
Bev Milway
Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion


Changes over Christmas period

Over the Christmas holidays the email address and our SEND social media will not be routinely monitored from Wednesday 23rd December till Monday 4th January whilst our staff are taking leave. 

Please do not feel alone. Our SEND hub is available if you need support over the festive period or at any time. Please contact the following number 0161 2176028, Option 2 if you need support or someone to speak to.

send b

SEND Board summary

The Local Area SEND Board provides direction and leadership for how we manage the processes in Stockport around identifying and meeting needs of children and young people who have special educational needs or who are disabled (SEND). It reports into Stockport's Health and Wellbeing Board.

The Last SEND Board meeting took place on Tuesday 15th December. Please see the summary below. Full minutes can be found on our Local Offer website.


We have been putting together profiles on our SEND Board members over the last week. Chris is our co-chair with Andrea Green from the CCG. 


hidden disability

Travel Accessibility and Reasonable Adjustments

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has signed up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme supporting people with disabilities that may not be so obvious to the casual observer.

Many people with a disability use or carry something – whether that’s a wheelchair, guide dog, hearing aid or white cane – that visibly indicates what the disability might be but other disabilities, such as autism, dementia, mental health issues or learning difficulties are not so obvious.

Under the Hidden Disability Sunflower scheme, people with such disabilities can choose to wear a lanyard bearing a sunflower logo as a subtle way of letting others know that they may require additional support, assistance or a bit more time.

TfGM is now part of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme. This means transport staff will recognise a sunflower lanyard or wristband and be aware that a person may need additional support while travelling.

Transport has changed significantly since lockdown, so it’s important that families plan ahead for how children will get to and from school and check the latest travel advice. You should also follow safe travel guidance:

  • Wear a face covering on-board and in stations and interchanges, unless you’re under 11 or are exempt.
  • Keep your distance from other passengers where possible.
  • Clean your hands regularly.

Use contactless payment or exact change only if you can.

For more information about travel accessibility, exemption journey assistance cards and travel passes for disabled people, please visit: TFGM Accessible Travel Page.

For more information about travel support aids, travelling safely and assistance while travelling, visit: TFGM Help While Travelling Page.

For the latest information on timetables, tickets, changes to Yellow School Bus services and further advice on cycling and walking, visit TFGM’s Back to School Hub.


SEND Newsletter Update

What a year it has been! We hope you have enjoyed reading our SEND newsletter's since it was formed in October 2019. We now have 2665 subscribers which is growing every day :) 

Update: From 2021 we will be publishing the SEND newsletter at the beginning of the month. Our newsletter schedule for 2021 will be:

  • 1st  February 2021
  • 1st March 2021
  • 5th April 2021
  • 3rd May 2021
  • 1st June 2021 (Tuesday)
  • 5th July 2021
  • 2nd August 2021
  • 6th September 2021
  • 4th October 2021
  • 1st November 2021
  • 6th December 2021

If for any reason there are changes the schedule, we will let you know :)

Stay safe over the Christmas and New Year period

xmas poster


Toys for Autistic Children and Teens

Buying a toy, gift, or Christmas present for a child or teen on the autism spectrum can be challenging. During the holidays we receive many calls asking our product specialists for gift advice. Based on these questions our product specialists have put together this helpful guide to help you choose the best gifts for kids, teens, and adults on the autism spectrum.

Keep in mind an autistic person's developmental ability rather than their age.
When choosing gifts it is important to respect an individuals interests and their age. Often individuals on the spectrum have strong interests in a certain topic. If this is the case books, DVDs, or other gift items that relate to their interests are always a hit. However, this can be difficult depending on the interest or this may not be an option.

When looking for a gift keep these two questions in mind:

Will they enjoy it?
Is it socially appropriate?

While some individuals may be developmentally delayed and enjoy toys for younger children, it is best when you find gifts that provide the same enjoyable qualities found in a young child's toy, but is developmentally appropriate.

The National Autism Resources provides some excellent examples of thing to buy


send champions

Champions Logo Contest

In October/November 2020, our champions held a competition for children and young people to design them a new logo. They chose the winner during the SEND Week of Action in November 2020. The winner is our new logo. Prizes go to the winner and runnerup. We love our new logo!

Meeting Outcomes 15/12/20

At our meeting on 15/12/20 we discussed how parent/carers should be communicated with during the EHCP process and came up with some rich feedback that has been shared with the team (see more below). We also had brief updates on the new logo and the co-production charter pledge. View the presentation from the meeting (opens as a PDF).

Then we had a great presentation about online safety for children as well as adults that was really thought provoking. View the online safety for children presentation (opens as a PDF) and the online safety for adults and young people (opens as a PDF)

EHCP Feedback

The SEND Champions were asked to comment on a draft set of questions for gaining parent/carer feedback on the EHCP process. The champions welcomed the approach to ensuring ongoing communication saying ‘That is the main point, that you are communicated with’. 

They provided feedback on the type of conversation that workers should have with families and that it shouldn't be a tick box exercise but should be part of how workers actively listen to families and understand their needs throughout the process.

Get Involved

To get involved, email us at You don’t have to attend all the meetings, you might just be able to share valuable information with others. Join us, be a SEND Champion!


Stockport Local Offer

During December we have had a current count of 32,194 visits to the Local Offer!

You can view all our monthly stats on our report page within on the website.

Your feedback is key to the development and expansion of the Local Offer website. It’s important that we gain open and honest feedback so that we can shape the Local Offer around what users really want to see.

This being the case, this month we have implemented a new feedback form which keeps all feedback anonymous.

This form is still in the process of being implemented across the entire site, however you can easily find the new a link to the new form on the Local Offer home page.

All feedback received is reviewed and taken into consideration, we are currently building our ‘You Said, We did’ page to showcase the changes we make to the site in reflection of the feedback we receive.

Please take some time, when you can, to view the current website and use our new form to send us feedback on what you like/what works, what you don’t like/what you don’t think works, and how you think we can improve the site for a better user experience.

As always, in addition to our new feedback form, you can contact us about the Local Offer website at


The SEND Inclusion Community Group

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 to their work/life areas. 

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 19th January 2021. If you would like to join, please email us at


Do you know about the Learning Support Service?

The Learning Support Service (LSS) is a team of 22 specialist teachers that support children with cognition and learning difficulties, as well as their families and schools.

We have specialist qualifications and skills that support children with:

  • Moderate learning difficulties
  • Specific learning difficulties
  • Developmental delay
  • Language and vocabulary difficulties
  • Memory difficulties
  • Processing difficulties

Our team is driven by the desire to provide young people with SEND the best chance to success in life and it is our aim at LSS to help schools make the biggest possible impact in achieving this.

This means helping schools to create positive inclusive environments, understand the learning needs of SEND pupils, develop specific approaches for day to day classroom teaching, support targeted intervention programmes and provide highly personalised individual teaching.

We do this by working in partnership with families, school leaders and SEND practitioners, within all stages of the graduated response to SEND support.

Universal support

  • Support and training for teachers to understand the needs of SEND in the classroom and best practice pedagogy.
  •  Advocates for the effective implementation of the Entitlement Framework.

Targeted Support

  • Assessments to further understand learning needs.
  • Training for evidenced based intervention programmes and whole school strategic approaches.

Individualised Support

  • Intense support at a highly personalised level, following high quality support at the universal and targeted level.


SENDIASS stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service. 

We offer free, confidential and impartial support to parents and carers of Stockport children and young people aged between 0 and 25 who have or may have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.  We provide independent advice and support directly to young people aged between 16 and 25.

The service is led by the needs of the young person, child and their family.

Our team has independent legal training about all matters relating to SEND including the local offer, local policy and SEN/Disability Law.

The information, advice and support we provide includes:

  • Advice on all levels of support including SEND support in school, Education, Health and Care Plans and transition to post 16.
  • Advice on gathering, understanding and interpreting information and applying it to your own situation.
  • Individual casework where needed including support in attending meetings
  • Information on resolving disagreements, complaints procedures and means of redress including support to manage mediation and appeals to the SEND tribunal
  • Signposting to alternative and additional sources of local and national information, advice and support

Contact details:

Tel: 0161 240 6168


Facebook: Kids Stockport Sendiass



Case study: Anthony

Anthony’s mother, Jane, contacted SENDIASS because she wanted information about transition to secondary school.  She was concerned that Anthony’s attainment levels were low and that he would struggle at secondary school. SENDIASS listened to Jane who shared how Anthony had got on in school to date. SENDIASS explored the provision that was currently in place with Jane to better understand the level of support Anthony needed.

SENDIASS then suggested a meeting with the SENDCo at the Secondary school Anthony was transitioning to. SENDIASS offered to attend the meeting and Jane said she would appreciate this support as she often felt nervous in meetings and didn’t always take in what had been said.

 Prior to the meeting, SENDIASS discussed with Jane what information she wanted to share, what her concerns were, and the questions she wanted to ask. 

At the meeting, Jane shared relevant information with the SENDCo who then outlined support the school would provide.  The SENDCo also agreed she would go to the Primary school to observe Anthony. SENDIASS took minutes on behalf of Jane. SENDIASS became aware that Jane had not asked one of her key questions and were able to ensure this was discussed.

SENDIASS met with Jane after the meeting to give Jane the opportunity to discuss anything she felt was missed or that she needed clarifying. Jane queried a couple of bits of information which SENDIASS were able to go over from the minutes.

Jane said that she felt happier that she had been listened to and was more confident that the transition would go well.

xmas activities

Christmas Activities


Lightopia Lantern and Light Festival

At Heaton Park until 10 January 2021

An after-dark wonderland. Apply for a personal assistant ticket if needed at


Christmas Trail: Holly’s Festive Feast

At Tatton Park until 3 January 2021


Christmas City Drive-In Cinema

Event City until 31 December 2020


Santa Claus Calls

Online Santa Experience from Chill Factore

Online activities 

Empower You have a new activity timetable each week for people with learning impairments and autism as well as their supporters in Trafford. All prices exclude carers. Sign up to their timetable by emailing to see timetable specific sessions. 

Access Sports have helpfully signposted to a number of different activities and resources online. You can also follow on Facebook @AccessSport #StayActiveWithAccess #StayInworkOut



Advance notice of a PACTS webinar on 22nd January from 11:30 - 12:30:  Jacqui Terry and colleagues will present a webinar called Working with education settings to develop individual priority plans.  This webinar will explore how families and schools together can capture bespoke and individual provision for a child, linked to desired outcomes in a SEN Support Plan or EHCP.  Details of how to book will be on Webinars | PACT Stockport from the New Year.  From this page you can also catch up on many of the PACTS webinars run during 2020.



Seashell Trust Sleep Better

We are offering free support with sleep, for children and young adults (2-25) with additional needs.
This five week course offers parents/carers evidence-based strategies as well as group support.

All sessions are currently being delivered remotely, via Zoom.

Our charity is dedicated to providing a creative, happy and secure environment for children and adults with complex and severe learning disabilities which include little or no language abilities.

Signalong Course

07 January

This course is useful for those who are working with individuals with a learning disability or additional communication needs.

Find out more here



What to expect at school if your child has an Education Health & Care Plan

15 January 2021

Join us for a webinar for the parents of children with an Education Health and Care Plan in a school setting. Topics include:

  • What to expect at an annual review
  • Funding and provision
  • Transitions from primary to secondary school and from secondary into post-16
  • Effective co-production
  • The Local authority role

To book a space, visit and search for 98596411521. Alternatively, please call Family Services on 0161 696 9379.

For further information, email

The next SEND newsletter will be published on Monday 1st February 2021

merry christmas