SEND newsletter - April 2021

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Welcome to Stockport's monthly SEND newsletter for all children, young people, families and professionals working with special educational needs and disabilities.

Missed an issue? You can find all our previous newsletters on the Stockport SEND Local Offer.

Key Updates
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Education, Health and Care Plans and Annual Review Statement: March 2021

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. I would firstly like to apologise for the delay to my latest update. I am sure you will understand that there has been significant pressure due to the latest lockdown. Since my last letter I have put together an update which you can access on our SEND Local Offer website. The update covers the following:

  1. EHCP team work and staffing.
  2. Refresh of the administrative processes to ensure new Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks
  3. Annual Reviews backlog
  4. Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
  5. Co-production Charter Update – more schools and settings signed up
  6. Keyworker pilot
  7. Pilot of Stockport Enhanced Learning Fund (SELF) – to support children with SEND

Please take a look at the full update online and if you have a specific query or question, please contact me by email: bev.milway@stockport.gov.uk Yours faithfully Bev Milway Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion


Tim Bowman

Appointment of Joint Director of Education

I am delighted to let you know that Tim Bowman, Assistant Director for Education in Tameside joined us on 1st April as Joint Director for Education across Stockport and Tameside. This is part of our wider transformation programme of integration across Children’s Services through which we have been exploring opportunities for closer working and collaboration with colleagues in Tameside.

We have now formally agreed this ambitious and exciting arrangement. Tim will be responsible for all education and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services across both local areas and will lead the programme of partnership working between the two councils. Over the course of April our current interim Director of Education Stephen Nyakatawa will be working closely with Tim to ensure a smooth handover.

- Chris McLoughlin, Director of Children's Services

Read the full story on the Local Offer


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Local Offer Update

We have listened to feedback from parents/carers, professionals and young people throughout our SEND Improvement Journey.

Here you can find an outline of what we have done to respond to the feedback on the Local Offer.

Since the re-launch it isn’t always easy to find things from the front page  

The front page of the Local Offer was updated to age groups in response to feedback during the re-design. After receiving feedback from parents/carers and professionals since then, we know that this isn’t the easiest way to get around the site. We have worked with parents/carers and to re-design the ‘buttons’ available and will be making the changes with the provider. We have also created a parent/carer focus group for the Local Offer – if you would like to get involved, please email SENDLocalOffer@stockport.gov.uk.

March 2021

 

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We’re pushing on with the mammoth task of a site wide content review/update. We’ve now reached out to over 1,000 people to check their pages are up-to-date and accurate for our users. We’ve had a great response so far with over 200 pages now being worked through making updates. This work will continue and reminder emails will be going out to those who are have not yet responded.

Along with updates to content we’re also focusing on the structure of pages, merging information and grouping pages that sit better under one category, team, work-stream etc. This is helping to refine the search results making it easier and quicker to get to the information they’re looking for.

We’ve been getting some excellent feedback from those who have taken part in a ‘surgery session’, reviewing and changing their page(s) in real-time with our Local Offer Coordinator.

If you or your team, group, service etc. provide information on the Local Offer website, and haven’t yet been in touch, contact sendlocaloffer@stockport.gov.uk.

We have also updated the home page in response to parent/carer feedback. We have added a small selection of buttons in addition to the existing age band buttons. These new buttons help direct users to parts of the site that have been previously hard to find or even unknown to users.

We would love to hear your feedback on this update, if you would like to submit your thoughts/comments to us (anonymously) head to our feedback area of the Local Offer


haf

Holiday Activities Fund Programme

The Department for Education (DfE) have granted Local Authorities funding to provide a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme to cover the Easter, Summer and Christmas Holiday Periods for 2021.

The programme supports school aged children between the ages of 5-16 who are eligible for benefits related Free School Meals (FSM) to access high quality, enriching activities and nutritious food free of charge over each of these holiday periods. This includes offering an inclusive programme of activities and special provision for children with Special and Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) up to the age of 25. After a great start over the Easter holiday we are now developing the offer for the Summer holidays.

For more information or if you have ideas about the HAF Programme please contact HAF@stockport.gov.uk


sendb

SEND Board update

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). The last SEND Board meeting took place on Tuesday 13th April. You can read a summary of the SEND Board meetings on the Local Offer.

Stockport’s SEND Board is represented by a number of people from: Parent/Carer representatives, Education, Health and Social care

Read more about the membership and view their individual profiles


SEND Performance Data

The SEND scorecard helps us keep track of progress on our SEND improvement journey. We update the measures in the scorecard where new data is available.

Where we have targets we apply a red/amber/green rating to the measure and if it is rated red, an report is generated with detail about action for how we will improve. We use data from local and national sources. Updates are then presented to the SEND board to track progress.

The scorecard continues to develop as we refine the measures, including the introduction of new measures. You can find all updates of the scorecard on the Local Offer


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Watch webinars on demand

Did you know that PACTS has a growing library of SEND webinars? Stockport professionals give information and advice on topics ranging from advice on what to do while waiting for an Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) assessment to how to find information on the Local Offer and a whole lot more.

Go to Webinars | PACT Stockport to see the full list and watch the webinars you want exactly when it suits you.

And don't forget you can catch the latest information and advice for Stockport families by looking at the PACTS website.


autism

World Autism Awareness Day

The National Autistic Society outlined plenty of ways to take part and learn more about Autism, all of which you can still find on their website.

The Stockport Council and our SEND social media channels were also sharing more local ways to get involved.

The Autism team in Stockport set themselves a goal to do 1.5 million steps between the 15 team members during Autism Awareness week. You can find out more and continue supporting them on their Just Giving page.


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You and your baby: The challenges of becoming a parent in a global pandemic

Introducing parents to the idea of parent-infant mental health and well-being, Emma Arnold and Kirsteen O'Keefe of Stockport's Infant-Parent Service talk about what it's like to become a parent and the particular challenges during a global pandemic. Offering some ideas about the importance of parent-infant relationships during the early years and the impact of a strong and trusting relationship on infant development, this webinar also offers some resources that might be helpful for parents of babies in supporting their infant’s development and their understanding of their baby - as well as providing information about where to go for additional help in Stockport.

Watch You and your baby: The Challenges of becoming a parent in a global pandemic

Health Services
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Stockport Healthy Young Minds- update

We currently have longer delays than usual for some of our routine mental health appointments and social communication assessments for children and young people.

Please visit the SEND Local Offer website for full details.

There is support available in the meantime. Information on local resources, services and online self-help for both young people and families is available on the Healthy Young Minds website.

In addition, further information and support is also available in Stockport through:

Stockport Local Offer: Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health - a range of support services and information from the Stockport local offer website • Kooth.com - a free online counselling service for children aged between 11-18 years. They offer counselling support the same day a child/young person makes contact and they offer a variety of tools to help build up resilience and support emotional wellbeing. • PACTS webinars - Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS) is our parent carer forum. They offer support to parent/carers as well as recorded online webinars by professionals on a range of topics (including emotional wellbeing) to help families.

Education Services
SENCO Newsletter

SENCO SEND newsletter

Find more news and updates for Stockport SENCOs in a termly published newsletter.

Subscribe now

You can find out more information and catch up on previous issues of the newsletter on the Local Offer

Engagement with Young People
Autisk and SEND

Autism Ambassadors

Our Autism Ambassadors are young people who want to make sure the voices of young people with autism are heard.

Autism Ambassadors was based on an idea from 13 year old Autistic Child, Jacob, this will be supported by Autisk and ran in partnership with Stockport SEND.

Age Range: 11 -21

Where: Zoom (due to Covid-19)

If you know a young person who would like to be involved, email steve.davies@stockport.gov.uk  


Kids Wellbeing Group

Kids Wellbeing Group

Every Wednesday, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

We run a wellbeing group, open to young people aged 14 - 25 years old. Our services are aimed at supporting wellbeing, providing participation opportunities for children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs in and around the Stockport area.

The activities are designed in line with the five steps to wellbeing and include: a range of workshops, evenings out, arts and crafts, cooking and healthy living, meeting new people, taking part in consultations and having your say.

For more information on how to refer please contact Anisa Saleh, Young People's Coordinator on: 07815 922 910 anisa.saleh@kids.org.uk

Woodbank Youth Centre, Turncroft Lane, Stockport, SK1 4BN


Young inspectors

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 training session ran in October 2020 and further sessions will be led by our Participation Officer, Steve. Young people will learn the skills needed to work well with each other and with services.

The sessions will be interactive with fun activities as well as skills development. Following the training, young people will as services how they meet the needs of young people and will make recommendations for improvement. If you or a young person you know are interested in being involved please email steve.davies@stockport.gov.uk There will be opportunities throughout the year.

Get Involved
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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.

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.


send champions

SEND Champions- update from 23rd March

A small number of us met for our first morning meeting of the new cycle of dates. We chatted about some of our earliest memories as our check-in with a nostalgic look back at family holidays!

One of our champions asked for views about the roadmap to recovery and thoughts from parents/carers about possible barriers to accessing activities as restrictions are eased. Parent/carers fed back various feelings including anxiety for some children and young people about mixing socially again whereas others can't wait to get back to activity groups and clubs. We talked about ways that organisations can help to make our families feel comfortable and encouraged to access activities safely. We agreed there will be a wide range of needs and lots of different views. This feedback will be fed into the Active Communities Strategy Board.

One of our champions asked about how to share lived experiences around children 'masking' at school. This is now being explored with our SENDCo Network.

Another great session - although we will keep an eye on day-time attendance to make sure it works for people!

Our next meeting is on Thursday 22nd April at 1pm. If you’d like to get involved, email SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk. You can find out more about our champions on our Local Offer Champions Page.

Upcoming Events
Wills and Trusts webinar

Wills and Trusts webinar

Estate Planning Seminars will be delivering a Wills and Trusts Webinar covering the following:

- Wills

- Lasting Powers of Attorney

- Protection for Vulnerable Beneficiaries

- Avoiding Threats

Wednesday 28th April 2021, 10am to 12pm on Zoom.

To book your place, please email familyservices.webinar@seashelltrust.org.uk or phone 0161 696 9379 with your name, number of places required and which Local Authority area you belong to.

WoA

SEND week of action

Our next SEND week of action is 17th to 21st May. We will be co-producing a range of activities with our Parent/Carer Forum, PACTS.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for the SEND week of action, or would you like to get involved? 

Please contact us at send-ip@stockport.gov.uk


Social Media

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Follow Stockport's SEND improvement journey:

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You can find Information, support and services on the Stockport  Local Offer


pacts

Follow PACTS on Social Media

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