SEND newsletter- February 2021

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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.

From this year onwards, we will be publishing our newsletter on the first Monday of every month.

Missed an issue, you can find all our previous newsletters on the Stockport SEND Local Offer website.


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letter to parents

Joint Statement About Schools During Lockdown January 2021

The Council and Parents & Carers Together Stockport (PACTS) have released a joint statement for parents/carers to understand the current situation with schools. To view the full letter, please go to our Local Offer

The letter addresses:

  • Government statement on access to schools  
  • What support is available
  • How Stockport is implementing the Government statement?
  • Who is classed as a “vulnerable child/young person”? 
  • Is full-time access guaranteed? 
  • Updates and useful Contacts

We understand that supporting home learning is challenging, especially if you are also working from home. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and understanding at this time.

Yours faithfully

Steve Nyakatawa    

Director of Education

and

Paul Harper & Sherann Hillman Co-Chairs of Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS)


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SEND Board Summary

SEND Board Summary 12/01/2021
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 12th January. Please see a summary of the meeting below. We are now publishing a summary after each meeting along with the full minutes of meetings, when agreed, on our Local Offer SEND Board page.

Governance: minutes from the December meeting were agreed and an update was provided on actions. It was noted that a SENCo (SEN Coordinators) Working Group will be working with the EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans) Lead to look at the EHCP application process to provide feedback and make recommendations.

Pennine Care HYMS (Healthy Young Minds Service): discussion took place about accommodation issues for the Healthy Young Minds Service (HYMS). These issues have a knock-on effect for young people and their families, meaning long waiting lists for ADOS or ADHD assessments. Emergency plans are in place and services are working together for a better permanent venue. A venue in Stockport and the possibility of virtual assessments are being considered. Parent/Carer representatives highlighted the need for clear communications to parents and young people on any updates as soon as possible. The Board asked for a full update at the next meeting.

Personal Budgets: Work is continuing to roll out an integrated Personal Budget (that covers education, health and social care) offer to families from 1 April 2021. This included a discussion on the training requirements for personal assistants.

Performance Scorecard: It was noted that the numbers of pupils with SEND excluded from mainstream schools is reducing. Work is taking place to review the support offered to these pupils to support home learning where applicable. Discussions are taking place to make sure support is in place for Young Carers, whether in school or home learning.

Key worker proposal: A working group continues to meet about plans for the roll-out of the SEND key worker pilot (one point of contact) for families.

Co-Production: Discussion took place on the progress of ensuring the Co-Production Charter is part of `business as usual’ with members committing to `pledge’ it is included in all aspects of their work. It was noted that direct feedback of young people to Board is needed. Feedback from the SEND Network of Champions (open to anyone) was highlighted as a valuable source of information

We have been putting together profiles on our SEND Board members over the last week. Paul Harper from Parents and Carers Together (PACTS) attends the SEND Board every month to represent the voice of SEND families.

paul harper

Stockport SEND Local Offer Website- Update

We have had a total of 33,411 visits to the Stockport SEND Local Offer website which is great! 

As we go forward into 2021, our efforts in reviewing and updating ALL the content on the website are coming to a pivotal point. We have now gone through every page on the site and assigned either a name or email address to each page so that we always have someone who we can contact in terms of keeping its content up-to-date. Following on from creating this database we are sending out a mass email to all contacts assigned to pages requesting them to review their pages and send through any updates to be made as soon as possible.

Tim, our Local Offer Co-ordinator, is hosting surgeries throughout February 2021. You can meet Tim virtually and he will update your content live online!! To book a slot, email SENDLocalOffer@stockport.gov.uk.

ehcp

cts

Children's Therapy service- update

Children’s Therapy services are working throughout the pandemic providing assessment and interventions remotely where possible for safety. If a face to face visit is needed this will be arranged at a setting / your home based on a risk assessment. If you have any queries or want to contact a therapist please call the admin number 0161 204 4153/4. You can also email but there is a risk when sending emails that your information could be intercepted by a third party so please only use this if you accept this risk. If you include your contact details with any message then we will get back to you as soon as possible to help with your query. Have a look for our Facebook pages Stockport Children’s Therapies / Let’s Communicate and our groups on the pages for extra support. We also have some online training which you can access by contacting our admin team. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are worried about your child’s therapy or need advice, we are here to help and support you.


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ehcp team

Meet the EHCP Team- Who are we and and what do we do

The majority of children and young people with SEN or disabilities will be able to have their needs met within local mainstream early years settings, schools or colleges.
Some children and young people may require an EHC needs assessment in order for the local authority to decide whether it is necessary for it to make provision in accordance with an EHC plan.

What the Team do?
The EHCP Team in Stockport work with families who are going through the Education Health and Care needs assessment process for the first time as well as supporting children and young people who already have Education Health and Care Plans as they progress through their educational journey.

Who is in the Team?
The Team consists of Education Health and Care Plan Caseworkers who work with children and young people from age 0-25.

Education Health and Care Plan Caseworkers within the Team also provide careers advice and guidance to students who attend specialist settings from Year 11.

The Team is led by two Team Leaders:
- Alison Poyser – Team Leader – Pre 16
- Janice Coleman Holder – Team Leader – Post 16

Please visit our 'EHCP page' on the Local Offer website. This will explain how you can apply for an EHC needs assessment and the steps you can take if you aren't happy with the decisions we make when an EHC needs assessment is requested.


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Parent/Carer Help Needed! Focus Group for Family and Parental Support

Our Local Offer website needs to change in response to what families need. We are looking for volunteers to join a focus group about support and services information on the local offer website to make it make sense to the people who matter.

If you are interested please email sendlocaloffer@stockport.gov.uk Meetings will be at times to suit volunteers.

It would be great to have you involved!


Children's Mental Health Week 1-7 February

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Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place on 1-7 February 2021. This year's theme is Express Yourself. 

Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.

There is a range of resources available to support children and young people around their mental health.

In Stockport, we want to make sure that young people have access to information and advice in one place, and are aware of local services, that can help support them when experiencing emotional wellbeing, mental health or behavioural concerns. We have designed a pathway on our Local Offer to help families of children and young people experiencing emotional wellbeing, mental health or behaviour concerns and the professionals working with them. 

These links will take you to a dedicated page for each category. 

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kooth

Kooth - webinar for parents/carers

Due to the current lockdown many young people are struggling with their mental health, parents/carers are at their wits end not knowing how to support their children and young people. Many organisations are offering a reduced service and parents don't know where to go right now.  Kooth is the largest emotional wellbeing platform in England. It is free, safe and anonymous. Young people can access weekly counselling from a qualified counsellor and may only need to wait an hour for this support to commence. The platform is available 265 days a year and offers counselling every day until 10 at night. However their is a variety of tools and activities, as well as peer support platforms that can be accessed 24/7

Kooth is funded by the CCG in Stockport.

As a parent/carer you may have questions and queries about how an online tool can provide support for your child. You can email:

Stockport@xenzone.com –  for professionals, parents or carers to request training on the site, more information about the service or to ask any questions.

Parents@xenzone.com – a central mailbox for parents and carers to find out more information about the organisation or ask questions.

There is also an online webinar for parents/carers to find out more. Book your free place on Eventbrite

Survey

Children and Young People aged between 10 and 25 are invited to take part in a survey on all things #MentalHealth online. Anyone entered can be in the running to win a £50 Amazon voucher. T&Cs apply. Enter here


national autistic society

Do you worry about your child being exploited or autistic children/children with learning disabilities that you work with being exploited?

The National Autistic Society has received funding to be able to run some workshops looking at these different areas of exploitation such as:

  • cybercrime
  • radicalisation
  • child sexual exploitation
  • county lines
  • fraud

The parent sessions will be give you information about these different types of exploitation, what to be aware of and ideas for how you can help your child. You can choose whichever one(s) are most rel-evant or of most interest to you. All sessions will be delivered online and will last about an hour. They will be delivered from March to June this year. If you are interested in any or all of these sessions, please register your interest by contact: clare.hughes@nas.org.uk


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pacts

Parents and Carers Together (PACTS)

PACTS is Stockport’s official local parent carer forum run by parents for parents, carers, grandparents and family members who have a child / young person between the ages of 0 & 25 years with special educational needs & disabilities including any additional need.

PACTS offers an opportunity for families to come together,  receive the latest training, share information, experiences and to provide support to each other.

To find out more, please visit the PACTS website


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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

Stockport SENDIASS 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.

Contact details:

Tel: 0161 240 6168

e-mail: stockport@kids.org.uk

Facebook: Kids Stockport Sendiass https://www.facebook.com/StockportSendiass/

Website: https://www.kids.org.uk/stockport-sendiass


cqc

Survey: The Care Quality Commission want to hear from unpaid carers

The pandemic has brought new pressures to bear on carers.The Care Quality Commission (CQC) would like to here from unpaid carers who are often the ones holding families and communities together.

You can read more here


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greater jobs

Job Opportunity in Stockport

Join Stockport's Safeguarding Partnership team as a Participation Apprentice. Ideal for care experienced young person to help children and young people in care and care leavers be heard. Find out more on the Stockport Jobs webpage. Search 'Participation Apprentice' for more details!


pie radio

Free Workshop for Young People 03/02/21

Getting radio play isn't always easy, and no DJ wants their inbox spammed with YouTube links. @risingstarsnw @pieradiouk have put together a masterclass for artists and musicians to better understand how to get their songs played on the radio with @ThePush_Music Pie Radio"

Registration link is on the Pie Radio website


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says

Stockport SAYS group

It is important now more than ever to make sure we capture the voice of children & young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities in Stockport, particularly about the services, support and activities that are available for them. We need your help to engage young people.

If you know young people aged 13 to 25 with SEND, please encourage them to get involved, have their say and shape the Stockport of the future, making SEND everyone’s business. Meetings take place fortnightly, with some options for face-to-face as well as virtual attendance. Meetings happen at 5pm on Mondays.

If you know of any young people who may be interested in joining, please encourage them to get involved. http://www.stockportsays.co.uk/index.html

There may also be messages that need to be heard by the Council and Health professions in Stockport that you hear through the work you already do and it would be great if you could get in touch about how to share that and help influence what we do and shape our priorities.


stockport youth council

Stockport Youth Council 

Stockport Youth Council would like to suggest something you can all do to improve your own mental health and help to bring some happiness to someone else.

Don't delay though as you will need to sign up by 11:00pm on Wednesday 3rd February.

The youth council have taken part this year in 'Kindness by Post'. It involves sending a card to a stranger that you are allocated. In turn you should receive a card from another stranger. It is simple to sign-up by following this link https://www.kindnessbypost.org/


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SEND inclusion community group

On the 19th January the SEND inclusion community group came together for the first meeting of 2021. We had 29 attendees that came together from different aspects of the SEND community. There were representation from not only parents/carers but VCSE, health, Local Authority services and schools.

We started first with a presentation from SENDIASS delivered by Tracy Ryan on what SENDIASS can do for parents/carers and children and young people. You can find the presentation on our Local Offer page.

We then received an update on the development of the Local Offer website from Tim Brandwood, our Local Offer Coordinator. Tim shared the newly updated Education, Health and Care Plan page with the group, which you can find on the Local Offer He explained that as we go forward into 2021, our efforts in reviewing and updating ALL the content on the website are coming to a pivotal point. Tim has now gone through every page on the site and assigned either a name or email address to each page so that there is always someone who he can contact in terms of keeping its content up-to-date. Following on from creating this database, Tim is sending out a mass email to all contacts assigned to pages requesting them to review their pages and send through any updates to be made as soon as possible.

Throughout February Tim will be offering ‘surgeries’ to those who would like to book in time slots with our Local Offer Coordinator. These time slots will be a chance to talk through content and make any necessary changes within that session show up on the live site there and then.
The group then discussed the holiday activities offer for SEND children and young people and being able to get the offer recognised on the Local Offer, so that SEND families can know what is out there for their child. The group agreed that we will need SEND activities mapped on the Local Offer and agreed to suggest groups on there and to ensure their own service is represented on the Local Offer website. 

The group were also informed that it is Children’s Mental Health Awareness week from the 1-7 February. The Local Authority will proactively share any events/awareness raising campaigns that the group will be putting together during that week. 

If you would like to join, please email send-ip@stockport.gov.uk


champions

Network of SEND champions

At our meeting on 18/01/21, after a check-in about our chosen holiday destination, we reviewed some co-production tools developed by Oxfordshire to see how helpful they are in developing Stockport's own training and guidance. We were impressed with Oxfordshire work but very much want to make our own with more emphasis on education. We had more volunteers from the champions to support our co-production training and co-production effectiveness evaluation.
One of our champions then talked about support available for young people's mental health and wellbeing from Kooth. We then talked about activities for Children's Mental Health Week (1st-7th February 2021).
One of our champions also offered to run virtual workshops for parents/carers who may need support for using many of the apps which are supporting home learning and communication with schools and other services.
We also talked about whether we move to fixed meetings each month and that we will ask the wider network before deciding. Our next meeting will be in February.
You can find out more about our champions on our Local Offer Champions Page. If you’d like to get involved, email SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk

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

If you have any queries, please email send-ip@stockport.gov.uk