June 2020

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Welcome to our June ebulletin


We hope this finds you and your family safe and well.  We know it has been a very strange and difficult time.  As lockdown measures start to lift, we want to reassure you that we are still here and happy to try and answer any questions that you might have in relation to special educational needs and disability.  The IASS team continues to be very busy.  We have adapted the way we operate by working from home but technology has helped us to continue offering the service albeit in a different way. Some of the things we have been up to include:

  • Attending lots of virtual meetings with families who receive individual support and advice from us. 
  • Delivering online training on positive communication to members of the local authority SEN team.
  • Delivering updates at the SENCo network
  • Being part of a city-wide approach to planning for the return of children and young people to their educational setting
  • Working to develop and support a process to identify how children and young people with an Education, Health and Care plan can continue to attend their school/setting and have their needs met successfully
  • Sharing information about temporary legislative changes
  • Launching a survey to find out what lockdown has been like for parents and carers
  • Progressing our work with children and young people
  • Planning webinars, online legal training for parents and carers and virtual attendance at a local support group
  • Increasing our following on social media and sign up to this ebulletin

You will read more about some of these activities in this bulletin.  Lockdown has given us the chance to reflect on how we might deliver the service moving forward and how to use technology effectively for those who can and want to.  If you don’t already, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter @wolvesIASS. 

Latest local and national news

Back to School

Returning to school

We know that the partial reopening of schools to certain groups of children is of concern to many families.  The City of Wolverhampton Council has written to families in Wolverhampton regarding this.  The letter from Emma Bennett, Director of Children’s Services and Councillor Dr. Michael Hardacre, Cabinet member for Education and Skills aims to reassure families about the measures being taken. You can read the return to school letter here.

City of Wolverhampton Council has produced a video for children to explain the process of returning back to school .

Dept for Education Logo

Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families has written an open letter to children and young people with SEND, their families and others who offer support with SEND. The Letter from Vicky Ford MP can be viewed here

Children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHCP) or going through the process

There have been some temporary changes to legislation around Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPS) and some timescales in relation to the EHCP processes.  Part of the amendment includes a change to the duty on local authorities to secure ‘provision’ written into an Education, Health and Care plan.  The duty is temporarily amended to using ‘reasonable endeavours’.   You will have received a letter if this may affect your child. We can advise and reassure you about this letter and what it means.  The temporary changes to the law on EHCP has been extended until 30th June

There will be a risk assessment to consider the return of each child/young person with an EHCp to their educational setting.  The process will include discussing how the provision written in the plan will be provided.  The views of parents, carers, children and young people will be included in this process.  Read more about the risk assessment process here

If you have any questions please get in touch ias.service@wolverhampton.gov.uk.  We are looking at setting up some virtual drop-in sessions to answer any questions you may have.  Watch this space.

Supporting transition for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities

IASS has been working with the City of Wolverhampton Council and NHS partners to help develop a transition tool to support the school transition of pupils who have Education, Health and Care Plans during this time.

Transition to a new school or college setting can be challenging and families may feel even more anxious during this time of uncertainty.  The transition planning tool sets out best practice to  support the already well established and well thought through transition pathways and support mechanisms schools and settings have for children and young people and their families. It will ensure children and young people’s views and those of their parents and carers contribute to a transition plan to meet individual needs.  If you have any concerns or questions about transition please email ias.service@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Reachout Logo

Reachout ASC has produced transition resources that may particularly helpful for children and young people with autism, whether they are transitioning to a new school or returning to their existing school..  You can find the resources on the Reachout ASC website.

News from the Information, Advice and Support Service

EHCP Easy Read

We have produced an easy read EHCP fact sheet with the help from our young people who gave us their views on the final design.  

Please view the fact sheet here.

Survey Monkey

Quick Survey


Please can you help us?  We are keen to hear from parents and carers whose children have additional needs about your experience during lockdown and how you use the Information, Advice and Support Service.  The survey takes approximately five minutes and we would be so grateful if you could complete it.

You can access the survey here

Many thanks for those returned so far.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts on lock-down so far, let us know about your views on the return to school. We are keeping the survey open for another week or so. It only takes 5 mins to complete and we really value your feedback.

Summer magazine


Summer 2020 Magazine


A reminder that our Summer magazine has been launched. Full of information and articles on special educational needs and disabilities. We hope you find it an interesting read.


Please download here




Summer Workshops 2020



Unfortunately, due to current circumstances we are unable to deliver our EHCP Masterclass as planned on 22 June.

However, please bear with us as we will be offering some virtual taster sessions in the very near future.

Keep a look out on our website and social media pages for more information. 

Action For Happiness June Calendar


Why not take a look at this lovely Joyful June calendar from Action For Happiness with daily ideas to help support our emotional wellbeing.

Please view the calendar here.


All Age Travel Assistance Policy


The City of Wolverhampton Council has developed a new 'All Age Travel Assistance Policy’.

We are aware that lots of children and young people rely on travel assistance to get to and from their education setting.  If the changes in the policy affect you, please contact us at the Information, Advice and Support Service.

Family Fund



The Government has announced that the Family Fund will receive funding of £37.3m in 2020-21. This includes £10m which has been allocated to help families in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. More details can be found here

The Family Fund provides grants to families on low incomes who have disabilities or severe medical conditions. You can find out more about the Family Fund here


Co-production happens when people come together to find shared solutions.  It involves people who use services and their parents and carers, being recognised by organisations as equal partners and having influence over decisions made.  This might be in discussions and decisions about improving their own health and wellbeing as well as working with others  to design the offer of support and services available for others within the community. 

Wolverhampton’s Children and Families Co-production Charter hopes to strengthen this way of working.  The Charter is at heart a set of values and ways of working that the city council, health and other partners have signed up to. It recognises that young people and their families are best placed to shape the services and support they receive. 

There are some excellent examples of co-production, but for others it is a new way of working.  To support this we are developing resources that hope to explain what co-production is and how to do it.  I am delighted that Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service has agreed to support me in producing a series of case studies that will demonstrate best practice using examples of their work with families and other partners.  The service is highly regarded in recognising and championing co-production and the value that this approach has in improving the lives and outcomes of children, young people and their families.  The case studies will be published on Wolverhampton Local Offer for SEND where you can find out more information about ‘Working together through co-production’.

If you have a story you would like to share to highlight how you are working together with young people and families to improve the services and support that is available to them.  Please contact alison.baggs2@wolverhampton.gov.uk or download a template to complete and return. 

Covid - 19 Easy Read

The Government has produced this Easy Read document online with information relating to staying alert and safe during the pandemic.

Active Black Country




Active Black Country are seeking to understand how people intend to travel to work and school in greater detail. ABC would like to ask for help by completing this survey.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people are understandably expressing concern at travelling by public transport and with the good weather many are ditching the car and choosing to walk or cycle to work.

The survey findings will be used to help ABC to identify what support schools, parents and children & young people need to cycle and walk to school.

Please visit the website  to find out more about Active Black Country.

W & W Support Group

Emergency food parcels for families of children with additional needs

One off emergency food parcels are available for families of children with additional needs  in Willenhall, Walsall and Wolverhampton who may be struggling to balance needs at home.

The Emergency Food parcel Request can be found here.

Inclusive PLAYdays sessions for children with additional needs

The sessions offer music and movement sessions, specifically designed for children with additional needs and their families and delivered by specialist SEND artists. The sessions are delivered live over Zoom, but are also posted on a Facebook group following the session for families to catch up with in their own time if this is easier for them. 

Please see flyer below



The Way

New Sensory Room Plans at

The Way



A new state of the art sensory room will create a safe space that is suitable for for the young people of Wolverhampton with severe and mild sensory disabilities.

It will be a special facility designed to develop a person’s senses, through a range of stimuli including lighting, music, soft objects and colours.

Keep informed by visiting The Way's facebook page or website

National Deaf Children's Society


Family sign language course


The National Deaf Children's Society has produced this family sign language course with 12 free lessons for families of deaf children.

They have created 12 free weekly lessons especially for families of deaf children.

For more information please visit the website.

Please help us to increase our Social Media following

We post lots of information and advice on our Facebook and Twitter Pages to keep you aware and informed of upcoming events, activities, useful resources and other information.

If you don't already please follow us on Facebook and Twitter






Share your news

We are always happy to share information on our e-bulletins which help to promote a relevant and appropriate service which will be informative and of interest to our readers.  


We aim to add short and punchy stories, facts and information.  Please add web-links wherever possible & any necessary documents in PDF.

Please e-mail your information to ias.service@wolverhampton.gov.uk

We send out the e-bulletin monthly around the first Monday of the month, so we would appreciate this being sent to us by the middle of the previous week.

Our next e-bulletin will be sent out around 6th July so please send any inserts by 29th June.