July 2020

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Welcome to our July E-bulletin


We enter July with a renewed sense of hope as lockdown measures start to lift, particularly for those who have been shielding for months. It’s been a very strange and difficult few months and, we know, that for families of children with additional needs, it has highlighted immense challenges.

We are still operational and here to 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.

We hope this finds you and your family well and wish you a month ahead full of sunshine and hope.



Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service - a reminder


Parents and carers, you can access FREE, impartial and confidential advice from us on any aspect of SEN/disability law in relation to education, health and social care for children and young people 0-25.

We can offer information, advice and support on:

  • Education, Health and Care plans (EHCPs) and the assessment process
  • support for children and young people in early years settings, schools and colleges
  • concerns you may have about your child's needs being met
  • home to school transport
  • complex legal processes
  • personal budgets
  • helping to resolve disagreements

At present, we are dealing with lots of queries about:

  • how children and young people are receiving what is written in their EHCP during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • going to school during the pandemic
  • temporary legislative changes due to the pandemic
  • accessing other sources of help and support

We know that it can be daunting to try and navigate SEN and disability processes. Contact our friendly team to talk through any concerns or queries. We are all home working at the moment so if you choose to call us (01902 556945) you can leave a voicemail and we will call you back.

You can contact us via Facebook and Twitter @wolvesIASS

email ias.service@wolverhampton.gov.uk and visit www.wolvesias.org

Survey Monkey


Parental Survey during the

COVID-19 pandemic


At the end of May, we launched a survey to find out about the experiences of parents and carers of chidren wih additional needs during lockdown. Thank you to those of you who took the time to respond. Over 140 parents and carers gave us an insight into their lives during lockdown. The experiences have been very mixed with some responses that were difficult to read and others that were extremely positive. We have been encouraged to read about how our servce has been used. What is very clear from respondents is that generally there has been a huge increase in the use of technology which we will continue to explore with the delivery of the IASS for those that want to engage that way. Have a look at the survey response

Young People Meeting

Update on CYP work and YP Advisory Board 


We have held the first meeting of our young people advisory board meeting. It was a successful session with lots of discussion and things for us to think about.

The session focused on branding and social media, with the group feeling that it is important to establish a brand that young people will be attracted too. The group recognised that whilst some young people still use websites most obtain their information from social media and you tube so it is important to get the branding right first.

The group will be looking at how we deliver our information on social media, and already have some good ideas. Hopefully, you will be seeing these ideas in the near future on our social media pages. Watch this space!

Online session

IASS online legal training sessions


On Tuesday 30th June we delivered our first EHCP taster session online. The session proved to be extremely popular with places sold out over a week before the event. Don’t worry if you were unable to book a place. We will be offering more sessions in the coming weeks. Please follow us @wolvesiass on Facebook and/or Twitter for further updates.

Q & A

Q&A webinar with local parent carer support group


Last month we were pleased to deliver an evening Q&A session for Walsall, Wolverhampton and surrounding areas Parent and Carer Support Group live via their Facebook group. Thank you so much for inviting us and we hope to join you again soon. We are also posting some of the frequently asked questions and answers via our Social Media pages @wolvesiass.

You can find more information on Walsall, Wolverhampton and surrounding areas Parent and Carer Support Group and their future events and webinars @WalsallWtonPCG

Parent Consultation

Inclusion Support Service – parent consultations


During the past three months IASS has been referring parents for free consultations with Wolverhampton’s Inclusion Support Service which includes Wolverhampton Education Psychology Service and Wolverhampton Outreach service. For many parents it has been an opportunity to seek help whilst juggling the day to day of looking after a child with special educational needs or disability during the lockdown and school closures.

Read the feedback from parents and carers on how this has made a positive difference.

Find out more about Wolverhampton Education Psychology Service by visiting their website

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

A reminder that there continues to be 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’. The temporary changes to the law on EHCP provision has been extended until 31st July and the changes to some timescales are in place until 25th September.

As the Government encourages school to open to more pupils before the end of the summer term there will continue to 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.

Please get in touch ias.service@wolverhampton.gov.uk if you have any questions.

Dept of Education

Re-opening of Schools


Following the Government’s announcement that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The Department for Education has issued Guidance for the full opening of schools. 

Please click here for information

Extended powers SEND tribunal national trial update

The national trial to extend the powers of the SEND tribunal service was due to finish 31 August 2020 but due to current circumstance the Government has announced it is not the right time to introduce any changes to this policy so the trial period will be extended until 31 August 2021. You can read what the extended powers mean in our summer 2018 magazine. and for further reading see the guidance “Extended powers SEND tribunal: national trial”

Family Fund

Department of Education Funding for Family Fund

Family Fund has been given £10 million emergency funding from the Department of Education to help disabled or seriously ill children in England. Families can apply for grants to make their lives easier while implementing social distancing measures, including computers and tablets, outdoor play equipment and sensory toys. It will make a difference to thousands of families in England during this crisis, providing practical and essential grant support to help improve the quality of life and ease some of the additional daily pressures faced in these difficult times by many disabled children and their families.

For more information visit the website.

Challenging Behaviour Foundation

Wearing of PPE for people with severe learning disabilities

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has produced this information sheet to help with wearing of PPE and face masks.

AFH Calendar July 2020

Why not take a look at this lovely 'Jump back to July' calendar from Action For Happiness with daily ideas to help support our emotional wellbeing.

Please view the calendar here.

Local News


Changing Our Lives launches new Common Ground campaign  "Your new normal. My normal."

There is an increasing conversation around loneliness during this time with people feeling disconnected from their families and communities, but for many young people this can be their everyday experience.

With this in mind, Changing Our Lives is asking for young people to get involved in a new campaign “Your new normal. My normal” by taking photographs, creating artwork, writing poetry - anything at all that explores what lonely looks like to them. The work will then be shared on their social media channels as part of the campaign and some work will feature in an online exhibition with Wolverhampton Art Gallery – so it’s a great opportunity for young people to get creative over the summer.  Read this letter from Changing Our Lives for more details on the campaign and how to submit your creative work. Deadline for submissions is 14th August.

Project Relight

Project Relight


City of Wolverhampton Council has teamed up with Wolverhampton Wanderers to celebrate how residents have come together in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council and club have joined forces to release a short film called ‘Project Relight’. The film centres around the city motto ‘Out of Darkness Cometh Light’ – reflecting on recent challenging times, while also looking ahead to brighter days.

Take a look at the Project Relight video

Wolverhampton logo


A Message from Carer Support


Do you look after a child with additional needs?

"My name is Anne Draisey and I am a carer support worker for Wolverhampton City Council. I specialise in supporting parents and carers who look after someone with additional needs who is under the age of 18. I have 3 children of my own and understand some of the difficulties faced in caring for a young person along with managing family life. As a carer support worker I support informal carers across the city. Parents/informal carers are entitled to a carers conversation which involves a chat about the caring role and offer information, advice and guidance and explore any services that may be available to access for the carer and for the child/young person and their siblings.This can include carer discounts, places to go, specialist activities, access to our short breaks caravan and carers emergency cards. Carers emergency cards are available to any carer that has had a carers conversation and would like one. The scheme has been set up to offer reassurance and a contingency plan if you were involved in an accident or emergency and were unable to say that someone is dependent on you. It also offers carer discounts around the city.  I can offer benefits advice to ensure that carers and their families are receiving the financial support that they are entitled to.  My service can be accessed directly, and self-referrals are welcome. I work within the Wolverhampton Disabled Children and Young People’s team (0-25) to try to ensure that carers and their families feel supported and valued and have access to support that may assist them with their caring roles.  

If you would like any further information or would like to contact me, you can call me directly on 01902 555926 or 07469 410520 or email me at anne.draisey@wolverhampton.gov.uk

I look forward to hearing from you"

Food Parcel

Emergency Food Parcel Provision 

Parent and Carer Support Group - Walsall, Wolverhampton and surrounding areas

There is a one off emergency food parcel for families where there is a child or an adult child with special educational needs and/or disability (diagnosed or suspected). This service will be available up to 31 July 2020. There will then be further communication regarding any further provision that  can be offered. This is open to both registered members and non members.

Applications can be made by following one of the procedures below 

Online form:  https://walsallwtonpcg.co.uk/emergency-food-parcel-application/

Telephone: 07939487052 (Julieth/)  between 10am - 2pm or 6pm - 745pm Daily

Email: Email to request a form to  walsallwtonparentgroup@gmail.com


Home Learning Support

As many children continue to learn at home the Specialist Learning Support team has added more items to the Home Learning Support Page on the Wolverhampton Information Network (WIN).

All new items are marked *NEW this month* to highlight additions.

Please view the page here.


All Age Travel Assistance Policy easy read available on Local Offer


Following consultation, the City of Wolverhampton Council has produced an All Age Travel Assistance Policy setting out the travel assistance offer provided for children, young people and adults. 

Please see the policy for further detail and eligibility criteria. There is also an Easy Read version available. We know that home to school transport can be a concern for families. The IASS can help and advise you.

Lap top


Over 500 laptops loaned to vulnerable pupils


Vulnerable children and young people have been loaned laptops to enable them to access online learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government announced in April that laptops and tablets would be provided for vulnerable children and young people, including care leavers or pupils with a social worker, who do not currently have access to them through another source, such as their school.

So far, over 500 laptops have been distributed to care leavers and children with a social worker in Wolverhampton, with further deliveries planned to pupils attending schools outside of the city or children under the care of the council who live outside of Wolverhampton in the coming days.

WV Active

Re-opening of WV Active leisure centres

Following updated Government guidance around reopening the economy after the coronavirus lockdown, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s leisure centres are working towards welcoming customers back as soon as it is safe to do so.
While the Government is permitting many leisure attractions to reopen from Saturday 4 July, swimming pools and gyms must remain closed until further notice.
Staff at the 3 council run WV Active leisure centres – Aldersley, Bilston-Bert Williams and Central – are working to put new safety measures in place ready for when the health and fitness sector can reopen its doors.

For more information and to access home workouts visit the WV Active website.

Virtual Squad

Virtual Squad Activities


Just a reminder to keep an eye on this site as more information becomes available especially as restrictions start to lift.


Bantock café and West Park tea rooms to offer takeaways

Wolverhampton residents will once again be able to enjoy a tasty treat while visiting two of the city’s spectacular outdoor green spaces.

The Courtyard Café located at Bantock House Museum and West Park Tea Rooms will be offering a takeaway service of hot and cold drinks along with food from a reduced menu.

Strict social distancing measures will be in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. These will include: a one-way system, managed capacity, controlled queuing contactless payments and marshals to assist and answer any visitor enquires.

Bantock Courtyard Café summer opening hours are Monday to Sunday, 9am until 5pm. Last drinks orders will be 4.30pm.

West Park Tea Rooms summer opening times are Monday to Sunday, 10am until 4.30pm. Last drinks orders will be 4pm.

Easy Read Covid

Staying Safe During The Pandemic


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

2020 Summer Magazine

IASS Termly Magazine


Don’t forget that our Summer Magazine is available. We hope to produce an Autumn Magazine later this year, if you would like to include information in it, then please contact us.

Please download our lastest magazine here

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 News

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 3rd August so please send any inserts by 29th July.