UPDATED SEND newsletter - Jun 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
Bev Milway

Education, Health and Care Plan statement: June 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. 

Since my last letter I can update you with the following progress: 

  1. EHCP team
  2. Review of our administrative processes to ensure new education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are issued within 20 weeks and are of good quality
  3. Work with schools and settings to link the EHCP process into SEN planning
  4. SEND week of action
  5. SEN Transport
  6. Keyworker pilot
  7. Support for SEND families
  8. Summer holiday activities
  9. Have your say and let us know about your lived experiences

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.

Our EHCP Team are offering 1:1 sessions for parent/carers during August. You can book a slot with the team through our Eventbrite page.

Chat Health

A new way for young people to chat about health

Health advice for young people in Stockport is now just a text away thanks to a new service from the local school nursing team.

‘ChatHealth’ is a confidential new text messaging service that enables children and young people aged 11-19 to contact the Stockport school nursing team about any health queries or concerns they may have.  A school nurse will then get back in touch with the person who has contacted them to offer health advice and support.

ChatHealth is designed to make it easier for young people to talk about what worries they have without embarrassment. The service is confidential and the nursing team will not pass any details on to parents, carers or teachers unless there is a direct concern about safety. 

The service went live on 8th June, and follows similar services supporting children’s and young people’s NHS services across the country. 

Vicky Hudson is a school nurse and one of the team who are now responding to young people’s queries. Vicky said “A lot of young people can be embarrassed about talking about their health issues, but if they have concerns they should be raised. ChatHealth is a really useful way of making it that bit easier for them. Whether the issues seem big or small, please get in touch; we are a friendly team and we are here to help.”

ChatHealth will be available Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 4.30pm (excluding bank holidays) ChatHealth  will give young people a choice of how to access health advice and increase our reach to service users including those who don’t attend mainstream education and those who are electively home educated. It is a SMS text service only (not WhatsApp).

Young people can also access this service via https://chathealth.nhs.uk/start-a-chat/h/StockportSNs

For more information about ChatHealth visit https://chathealth.nhs.uk/ 

School's Entry

Help us win!

Tithe Barn Primary school have entered a competition ran by Murrays Medical UK to win a fully commissioned sensory pod worth £9,000! A futuristic, relaxing space for children with autism, ADHD and anxiety.

Now it's time to get our school community involved help them to win – video entry's are uploaded to the Murrays Medical UK Facebook account daily so all you need to do is get as many likes as you can when your school appears. The more likes the better!

Watch Tithe Barn's video entry and make you give the video a 'like' to help it win!


A guide to the forthcoming visit by Ofsted/CQC inspectors

The 2018 inspection of Stockport’s SEND services revealed some weaknesses in the ways the local area supported children and young people with SEND.  Stockport’s Written Statement of Action (WSOA) set out how the local area would address these weaknesses.

Inspectors must revisit local areas with significant weaknesses in SEND services.  They must judge whether the local area has made enough progress in addressing the areas of significant weakness in the WSOA.  The inspection team will consist of Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors.  Revisits should normally  happen about 18 months after the original inspection, but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed all inspection activity.

If you would like to find out what happens when they visit Stockport and how you can get involved, PACTS have published a short factual guide, available on the PACTS website.


Holiday Activites & Food

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme is funded by the Department for Education. We're working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations and childcare providers to deliver the programme across Stockport. You can out what provision is available on by visiting the Council’s website for more information.

Children will be able to access up to 16, 4 hour sessions throughout the summer holidays at no cost to parents. Some clubs offer longer sessions and some provide specific sessions for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or additional needs. The sessions will include a variety of fun activities, including sports, music, arts and other exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills. Children will also receive a nutritious meal each day. As well as this programme, families who are eligible for Universal Credit may be able to claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs. You can find information about help with childcare costs on the GOV.UK website.

Heaton Chapel

Heaton Chapel to trial 'Active Neighbourhoods'

After a period of public consultation held online in October 2020 via the Commonplace platform, the Council has have listened to the local community’s comments and suggestions, and has selected an area of Heaton Chapel in which we will run an Active Neighbourhood trial this summer and autumn.

The aim of an Active Neighbourhood is to enable residents to make short trips on foot, by cycle or by public transport, instead of jumping in their car. Active Neighbourhoods also seek to make our roads a safer place for all users by slowing down traffic and cutting out rat running.

We can achieve this through measures such as:

  • New road crossings
  • New walking and cycling facilities
  • Traffic calming
  • Introduction of measures around schools to improve road safety
  • Measures to prevent ‘rat running’ in residential streets
  • Pocket parks

During the Heaton Chapel trial, the council will be installing some of these measures on a temporary basis, to see how they can help reduce through traffic and make the streets safer and more pleasant for walking and cycling. We would like residents, businesses and organisation inside the trial area to come along to our virtual online workshop to learn more about the trial. The workshop is an opportunity to talk through the trial proposal and measures, and get your views on the plans. The workshop will be held on Microsoft Teams, and will take place on Tuesday, July 13th 20201 at 7pm. 

You can find moreinformation on the Stockport council website. We are looking to hear from the community who live inside the trial area and this can be viewed on our website.

Sign up to the workshop


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 SEND Local Offer.

You said

We Did


Communication can be slow when a request for the website has been sent in and can sometimes lead to waiting for an easy request to be done. 

Previously as requests are received for the Local Offer they are actioned on an asap basis, working along side other tasks and priorities - this has also included communicating responses from the requests. This has unfortnately led to backlogs in website requests and lead to follow up communications chasing up requests stil waiting to be actioned.

We have put togther a new communcations plan and procedure when it comes to job requests being recieved for the wesbite. This new plan involves time limits to an array of responses as the request is moved through the procedure:

  • Initial response  - acknowledging the request has been received
  • Job size and time scaling - reviewing the request and confirming how long the job will approximately take
  • Confirmation of completion - request has been actioned and completed

As a request moves through this procedure it will also move through different categories so its progress can be tracked. This new procedure will help to keep transparency throughout the process from requesting a job to be on the site, through to it being completed.

Jul 21


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 disabilities (SEND).

SEND Board meetings are held monthly, you can read summaries of the SEND Board meetings on the SEND Local Offer.

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

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, a report is generated with detail about actions 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 SEND Local Offer

Health Services
Healthy Young Minds

New location planned for Stockport Healthy Young Minds

Located in the centre of Stockport, we will be investing nearly £1.4m into Stopford House to develop a safe and inspiring clinical space for children and young people, their families and staff.

The building boasts ample natural daylight, space to deliver all our services and is easily accessible by both car and public transport, with secure car parking also available.

We’ll be gathering ideas and thoughts from children, young people and their families during next month (July) about the new location’s layout and interior design; plus there will be a stakeholder engagement event in September 2021 to show our layout and design proposals.

The design and construction for the new location are expected to take approximately 12 months with the building open to staff and service users from June 2022.

Read a high-level timeline of the building development

Read the infographic showing the stages for the project here.

We will continue to work from our current three locations (Grosvenor House and Central Youth in Stockport, and The Forum in Denton) until the new building opens next year.

Education Banner
'3 Islands'

Finding different ways to gain the voice of our children and young people

At the SENCO network this term, we explored some different ways to pro-actively collect child voice for review meetings and support plans. 

We looked at different tools such as the '3 islands' tool to support children in identifying what's going well, and what's not. This will help us to build up a detailed picture of what's working and may be used to inform one page profiles and/or to identify areas for further exploration or support.

Using symbols or pictures familiar to the young person, ask them to place the pictures on the different islands:

  • The green island is where the child or young person wants to be and they can put anything they like on their island with them.
  • The orange island with the bridge to the green island is the place where the child or young person would like to be sometimes and can move across by the bridge. It also could be a place for objects that they could have sometimes.
  • The red island with the shark next to it is a place where the child or young person can put objects that they do not like.
  • A discussion needs to take place with the child or young person to explore the reasons for their choices and decisions. Use 'I wonder questions...' to help explore the child or young person's views for example: I wonder what made you put maths on the green island.
Talking Mats

Woodley Primary School shared how they use Talking Mats to gain the voice of young people. This approach works in a similar way to the 3 islands, sorting pictures into 3 columns; activities we like, those we are not sure about and finally those we don't enjoy. Through further discussion and careful questioning, more detail can then be gained.


Finally, we shared this photo to remind us of the importance of active listening to our children and young people. 

Engagement with Young People
Autism Logo

Autism Ambassadors

At the last Autism Ambassadors meeting, the young people were playing online games to celebrate getting to the end of the term. This is giving them the chance to get to know one another and have some fun together. The young people were also told that Stockport School have just started a group for their autistic students and two of this group will represent the school at Autism Ambassadors meetings.

The next meeting is on Tuesday 13th July, after that meetings will recommence in September after the summer holidays.

New members are always welcome, please contact steve.davies@stockport.gov.uk.



At the meeting on 5th July, the S.A.Y.S group wrote a letter that will be sent to the four Members of Parliament who represent parts of Stockport. In the letter the young people have said that they are concerned about mental health services for young people. They are asking the local M.Ps to help improve local services and they are asking the M.Ps to come and meet S.A.Y.S.

Get involved
Co-production Charter

Co-Production Week

Monday (5th July) marked the start of National Co-Production Week, which is back for a sixth year to celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and promote the contribution of people who use services and carers in developing better public services (SCIE).

Co-production is about working in equal partnership with people using services, carers, families and citizens. Co-production offers the chance to transform social care and health provision to a model that offers people real choice and control.

You can find out  more about co-production in Stockport on our SEND Local Offer, including information on our Co-Production Charter, which details how we will all work together to create a culture where we will:

  • Be Open and Honest
  • Actively Listen
  • Value the Lived Experience
  • Do What Matters
  • Be Accountable and Responsive
  • Work Together
  • Be Respectful

Let’s continue to work together to make SEND everybody’s business!


SEND Inclusion Community Group

Our session on Tuesday 15th June was attended by 19 SEND community representatives- schools, parents/carer forum, life leisure, community groups, charities and parent/carer representation.

The first item on the agenda was delivered by the school nursing team. Stockport School Nursing has now gone live with ‘Chathealth’.

The next item on the agenda was delivered by the Holiday Activities Fund Project Manager. You can find out more about the programme on the council website.

Sasha from Life Leisure informed the group about funding for young people. Life Leisure have been looking for new innovative ideas from the young people you work with, to create better opportunities across Stockport, whether that’s in developing a skill set, enhancing their education, creating a safe hub for them to express their selves and more!

The group were also informed about some key developments in the SEND programme:

SEND newsletter

SEND e-learning

The group were also told about the success of our Local offer Coordinator doing the very first live video stream into the Stockport SEND Facebook group, taking viewers through a tour of the Local Offer website, showing what's available, and what's currently a working progress for the website. This is to start a new way of communicating with users of the site and raising awareness of its existence.

We also discussed the importance of feedback to help the site continue its development for its users. Feedback can be given from the feedback area on the Local Offer website.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 20th July. See you then!

Read full summaries of our meetings on our page over on the SEND Local Offer website.

send champions

SEND Champions- update from 21st June

At our meeting on the 21st of June we started with a check-in about our ambitions as champions. 

We then discussed our aims and ambitions and whether a role desciption is necessary. We decided that a list of examples of what champions can choose to do would be better as people need to have the flexibility to do as much or as little as they can manage, as long as it is a positive contribution for children and young people with SEND and their families.

We talked about champions supporting other champions to achieve their aims as champions, whether through peer support or helping to set up coffee mornings at school.

We also decided that we should acknowledge schools and services who work well with parents/carers and children, in co-production, and decided a quick, simple way to do this would be by creating SEND Champion certificates and champions nominating schools or services to the co-chairs of the co-production workstream.

We will continue to review the support and training needed as well as our aims to make sure we are helping to improve lived experiences for children and young people with SEND and their families.

You can read more about our SEND Champions, and summaries of our meetings over on our page on the SEND Local Offer

Upcoming events

Managing Anger: Online Webinar for Families of Children with Autism

Monday 12th July 2021: 7.30pm - 9pm

This webinar will allow for a deeper look into the information and content viewed in the online seminar and allow for any questions from parents/ carers also.

Please ensure you have watched the seminar before booking on for this webinar

Booking is essential
Please Note this is open to parents/ carers only and please book your place before Thursday 8th July.

To find out more and book a place on the Webinar please contact:
Tel: 0161 998 4667
Email: abigail.gibson@nas.org.uk

NHS Logo

Community Services Development:  Co-production in Commissioning

Tuesday 20th July 2021: 11:00am - 12.30pm

This is the fifth webinar in the developing community services webinar series, aimed at supporting local areas meet the Long Term Plan ambition of reducing avoidable hospital admissions through the use of co-production in commissioning.

For more informaion and to book onto this webinar, head over to the event's Eventbrite page.

Tim and Bev

Meet Tim Bowman, Director of Education in Stockport, & Bev Milway, Stategic lead for SEND Inclusion

Wedneaday 6th October 2021: 11.30am

Following the parents/carers meeting with Tim Bowman, the new Director of Education in Stockport and Tameside, as part of our SEND Week of Action in May 2021, this webinar will now provide a regular slot.

Book onto this session

People graphic

The Big GMAC Stakeholder events 2021


Monday 12th July: 1pm - 3pm

Thursday 15th July: 10am - 12pm

Wednesday 8th September: 6pm - 8pm

What are we talking about?

- Progress on the Making Greater Manchester Autism Friendly strategy to date

- News about the new All-age strategy

- Next GM Autism Strategy: what should be in it?

All three events will be taking place on Zoom and will be repeat events.

Book your place on eventbrite

For more information email mari.saeki@nas.org.uk

NHS Logo

Community Services Development: Personalisation in Joint Commissioning

Monday 2nd August 2021: 13:30pm - 15:00pm

This is the sixth webinar in the developing community services webinar series, aimed at supporting local areas meet the Long Term Plan ambition of reducing avoidable hospital admissions through the use of personalisation in joint commissioning.

For more informaion and to book onto this webinar, head over to the event's Eventbrite page.

Tim and Bev

Meet Tim Bowman, Director of Education in Stockport, & Bev Milway, Stategic lead for SEND Inclusiong

Thursday 7th October 2021: 7pm

Following the parents/carers meeting with Tim Bowman, the new Director of Education in Stockport and Tameside, as part of our SEND Week of Action in May 2021, this webinar will now provide a regular slot.

Book onto this session


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