NW SEND Regional Network News

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NW SEND Regional Network News

February 2016

Dear colleagues

I’m pleased to inform you that, on 29 January, Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson announced a multi-million package designed to ensure that ‘children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) have the same opportunities as any other child’. Details are available at

We’re always on the look out for good news to share, or challenges you’d like to work with others to find solutions for, so do get in touch in order that we can share the learning across the North West. If you would like to contribute to network activities, request connections for support, or provide information about forthcoming events for future editions of this newsletter please contact Dr Cathy Hamer, NW SEND Regional Network lead, Email: Tel: 0778 357 7284. If you’ve received this newsletter via a colleague and would like to be added to the circulation list for future issues then just let Cathy know by email.

Gill Hoar

NW SEND Regional Lead, Oldham


NW Regional Network Event

8 March 2016 10 for 10.30 – 3.30 Keeping in Touch

Venue: To be advised

Morning session- DfE update, Ofsted CQC presentation and update following the recent consultation. Lessons learned from the pilot inspections. Q&A.

Afternoon session – Peer challenge and planning session – the opportunity for local areas to get together and have facilitated discussions on what this means for them with support from DfE/Ofsted/CQC in planning for it.

Delegates: 2 per Local Authority, 1 Health representative, 1 Parent Carer Forum representative.

To book places please email Sharon Davies:

Other events:


8 February 2016 Key Working training

King’s House Conference Centre, King’s Church, Sidney Street
Manchester M1 7HB

The Council for Disabled Children has developed training on the key working approach to working with disabled children, young people and those with SEN and their families. This training is for a multi-agency group of professionals from across health, education and care and builds on learning from the Early Support Programme. If you are a parent or carer, you are very welcome to attend too.

The training will empower professionals to work in partnership with young people and their families as well as support them in implementing the SEN and Disability reforms. The one-day workshop is an opportunity for colleagues from different agencies to come together to understand the key working approach, functions and how it can benefit families and services.


10 February 2016 4 – 5.30 ‘Being heard and influencing decisions in Lancashire: the long and windy road’. Perspectives from the local authority, the voluntary sector and from young people.

Brook Building Room 142A, The Centre for Children and Young People’s Participation, School of Social Work, Care and Community, University of Central Lancashire, Fylde Rd, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2HE

Kate Baggaley from Barnardo’s Participation Service, Hannah Peake from Lancashire County Council and young people from Lancashire's participation groups including LINX, POWAR and CSI want to take the opportunity to share our journey with you. This will include our own personal journeys in terms of participation and will focus, crucially, on the young people's experiences. We will highlight our highs (and lows) and we will also take the opportunity to share our organisational journeys and the impact participation has had in Lancashire and beyond. This is effectively a verbal version of our annual report and will be a very personal, practical, experienced based session and we hope it will give you an insight into participation for all those involved. We will finish with our plans for the year ahead.

This seminar is part of a new series for 2015-16, ‘Children as Agents of Social Change’. For further details see

The seminars are free, including refreshments. Please reserve your place at


2 March 2016 10 - 1.30 Advocating for your child - Are you being heard?

Training Room 1, Redbank House, 4 St Chad's Street, Cheetham, Manchester M8 8QA

A free workshop for parents of children with speech, language and communication difficulties (free lunch and refreshments).

Find out how best to engage with professionals. Practical solutions to ensure that your voice as a parent is heard. Tools to help you feel more confident in meetings and able to have a positive say in decisions affecting your child.

To book your free place contact Tony Curtis on01223 244984 or email:


3 March 2016 10 – 1.30 Advocating for your child - Are you being heard?

The Gateway Conference Centre, 71 London Road, Liverpool L3 8HY

This is the same as the workshop above.

To book your free place contact Tony Curtis on01223 244984 or email:



4 March 2016 Key Working training

Partnership for Learning, Training and Conference Centre, South Road /Speke, Liverpool L24 9PZ

This is the same training as is available on 8 February.


11 March 2016 Key working with an emphasis on post-16

Partnership for Learning, Training and Conference Centre, South Road /Speke, Liverpool L24 9PZ

The booking link will be available on the Council for Disabled Children website.


15 March 2016 10 – 4 Working together to help young people with SEND achieve good futures.

Ribby Hall Village, Ribby Road, Wrea Green. PR4 2PR

This workshop is aimed at people in colleges and other post-16 providers (including Independent Specialist Colleges and work-based training providers), local authorities (including those working in adult social care), the NHS, housing and employment agencies with a responsibility for improving outcomes for young people with SEND.

Participants from local areas are expected to attend together as a team of 3 to 5 reflecting these partnerships. Given the wide range of participants, it is expected than no more than one person will represent each agency/organisation in a local area.

Places can be booked at


22 March 2016 10 – 4 Working together to help young people with SEND achieve good futures.

Bolton College, Deane Road, Bolton. BL3 5BG

This is the same event as on 15 March 2016.

Places can be booked at


19 – 20 April 2016 Care and Treatment of Offenders with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability conference, Manchester
This event is an opportunity for reflection and sharing among services providing care for learning disabled offenders, both in the public and independent health and social care sectors and the criminal justice system. Book at


North West Parent Carer Forum News


The North West Regional Network of Parent Carer Forums come together on a half termly basis to celebrate successes, share challenges and learn from each other by sharing best practice.

Parent Carer Forums are an essential element in ensuring that children, young people and parents voices are kept firmly at the centre of the reforms for those with SEND.

The North West Regional Network is a strong, cohesive, forward thinking, vibrant collection of parents who wish to ensure that parents are involved at every level, locally and regionally in service design and delivery and that we work in partnership with Local Authority and Health colleagues, to turn the ideal into reality.

They are pleased to announce that they have just set up a North West Regional Parent Carer Forum steering group, which consists of a number of committed individuals who wish to develop links at a NW regional level with any existing structures. The main focus for this year will be engagement with Health colleagues but contact from other regional sources would be welcomed.

If you wish to find out more about their work or would like to invite a parent representative to any regional activities that you are aware of, please do get in touch via:




Children and young people’s continuing care national framework, Department of Health

This guidance is for clinical commissioning groups when assessing the needs of children and young people (0 to 17 years) whose complex needs cannot be met by universal or specialist health services. The new framework reflects the comments and suggestions received by the consultation on continuing care for children and young people with complex needs. The main changes have been to: simplify the language and streamline the guidance; clarify how the domains should be interpreted; provide advice on how the continuing care process fits into education, health and care plan assessments for children with special educational needs and disability, and multi-agency assessments.


Focus: Whizz Kids


What does Whizz Kidz offer?

Whizz Kidz works hard to transform the lives of disabled children across the UK, supporting them to become confident and independent young adults. All of the services below are free of charge and are flexible to meet the needs of young people.

Wheelchair Skills Training

Whizz Kids know how important it is to get the most from a wheelchair. Being able to use it safely and confidently at home, school, work and travelling can make all the difference. They offer three levels of Wheelchair Skills Training: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced to support ages 2 to 25 and tailor their programmes to make sure young people get the most out of them.

Ambassador Clubs (youth clubs)

Ambassador Clubs (youth clubs) are a place for young wheelchair users aged 8-18 to meet up, learn new skills and have fun! Their clubs operate once a month in four areas: Manchester, Liverpool, Morecambe and Wigan.

They run a wide range of activities from animal therapy workshops, arts and crafts, wheelchair dance, to sports, beauty therapy, baking, trips and lots more!

They encourage parents and carers to feel free to support young people to attend the clubs on their own as they have a club leader and volunteers at each of the clubs who supervises the club, along with health care assistants available throughout to support with any personal care needs. All staff are fully trained and DBS checked. Alternatively, parents and carers can stay during the club if they wish, especially if it’s their first time!

Work Placements and Employability Training

They organise work placements and provide employment training to young wheelchair users aged 14-25 enabling them to develop their skills and confidence in accessing working life. Camp Whizz-Kidz

Camp Whizz-Kidz is a short residential camp for young wheelchair users aged 12-25 which brings together key parts of Whizz-Kidz training and fun! The camps allow for young people to gain independence without parents and carers and have the opportunity to meet new people.

You can find out more about Whizz-Kidz and their young people’s services on the website:

or contact: 07787828473 for further information.


Reports and Information:

Life to the full: care and support in the UK for disabled children and children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, Demos for the True Colours Trust

This report highlights an emerging crisis facing ill and disabled children and their families, as fiscal constraints and poor coordination amongst service providers threaten access to quality care. While acknowledging the significant progress that has been made over recent years, it argues that the complex needs of these children and their carers can remain invisible to policy-makers. Focusing on two groups of children and teenagers with the most complex health and care needs - an estimated total of 800,000 disabled children and 49,000 children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions across the UK - the report says that they and their families have a right to lead an ordinary life supported by the system as needed and as a part of their wider community. However, the structure, design and capacity of services to support them is shaky and often non-existent. Many families describe being locked in a wearying battle to have even their most basic needs met on a consistent basis, and to understand what support is available to them. Shrinking local budgets are also threatening to set back some of the progress that has been achieved over the past decade. In the face of statutory budget pressures, the report focuses on identifying opportunities for the voluntary sector to add greater value for these children and families – but it also calls on the government to set out a policy environment that will support this through encouraging stability, structure, fair resourcing and collaboration.

Young people’s mental health, British Youth Council, Youth Select Committee

The Youth Select Committee is made up of 11 young people aged between 13 and 18. Its enquiry was triggered after the issue topped a British Youth Council poll of 968,942 young people in the UK. The report concludes that mental health services for young people are critically underfunded, are not equal to those offered to adults and that much work is needed to break down the stigma associated with mental health problems. The report offers recommendations across three key areas: funding and the state of services, a role for education and awareness, stigma and digital culture.


Workforce development


SEN caseworker award

This award is a professional development programme aimed at SEND caseworkers responsible for the coordination, production and review of EHCPs. It is an on-the-job training and accreditation programme specifically for those local authority staff directly involved in SEN casework. This is a new programme that will be available in Summer 2016. Details are available on the website



Commissioning for Speech Language and Communication Needs

This is a new resource to support commissioning of support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs by schools and health services. It draws on the evidence from the Better Communication Research programme. To read the synthesis of the evidence and download the report visit




Sex and relationships education for SEN

Three free sex and relationship education lesson plans for SEN, primary and secondary are available. These comprehensive lesson plans include worksheets and other useful resources, complementing a range of sex and relationship education DVDs. Newly released for 2016, the lesson plan that accompanies the title ‘You, Your Body and Sex’, helps support the planning and delivery of sex and relationship education for young people with learning disabilities. Accessible and user-friendly with easy to use menu choices, each of the SRE resources offers a clear and friendly guide to the central issues using animated characters to narrate and illustrate each topic.

Download the lesson plans and preview each of the titles online at


New autism guides

Skills for Care have launched three guides to help people to meet the needs of people who have autism. They have been created by working with people who have autism and their carers, as well as health and social care professionals. The guides can be downloaded from


Young Person's Guide to Personal Budgets in England

The e-resource has been written for young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and may be considering a personal budget. The easy to use guide aims to help young people decide if a personal budget is right for them.

The guide explains what a personal budget is, the different ways they may be funded and managed and how they can be used. The guide was written for Together for Short Lives by In Control, and can be downloaded from


Links to other newsletters:

Council for Disabled Children Digest


Short Breaks Partnership Bulletin

Short Breaks Partnership Bulletin with a focus on 'Short Breaks and Personal Budgets' in England.  

In this edition, barrister Steve Broach considers some of the legal requirements for statutory authorities in relation to personal budgets, and answers some commonly asked questions.

Also in the bulletin are case studies from Action for Children, Contact a Family, the Council for Disabled Children and KIDS and updates from SENDirect and Together for Short Lives.

Copyright © 2016 NW SEND Regional Network, All rights reserved.

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