NW SEND Regional Network News

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NW SEND Regional Network News

October 2016


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If there are particular areas of work or themes that you would like support with, activities or events then do let us know. We would also welcome any good news you have to share, or challenges you’d like to work with others to find solutions for, in order that we can share the learning across the North West. We welcome contributions to network activities, requests for connections for support, information about forthcoming events for future editions of this newsletter and new additions to the newsletter circulation list. For any of these please contact Dr Cathy Hamer, NW SEND Regional Network lead, Email: Tel: 0778 357 7284.

Gill Hoar

NW SEND Regional Lead, Oldham


NW SEND Regional Network events:


Post-16 events:

The Preparing for Adulthood Team are putting on two events (the same event twice) for schools and colleges in the Autumn term to support the development of the post-16 curriculum in line with the expectations of the Children and Families Act and the SEND Code of Practice. All young people from the age of 16 should be following employment focused study programmes and for those with EHC plans, the programmes should be personalised and informed by their aspirations and outcomes. These events will share good practice in the region and identify what else needs to be in place. The events will also provide an opportunity to strengthen partnership working. The first took place at Ribby Hall Village on 17.10.16. The next takes place as follows.


9.11.16 9.30 – 4, Partnership for Learning Training and Conference Centre, South Road, Speke, Liverpool L24 9PZ


To register for a place please email:


16.11.16 9.30 – 1, North West Preparing for Adulthood network

Vernon Park, Turncroft Lane, Offerton, Stockport SK1 4AR

The next meeting of the North West Preparing for Adulthood network will focus on writing outcomes for young people from year 9 to prepare them for adulthood and learning from area SEND inspection so far.

To confirm attendance please email:


Other events in the North West

2.11.16 National children and adult services conference 2016

Organised by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS), the National Children and Adult Services Conference is for those with responsibilities for or interests in social care, children's services, education, health and related fields. Click for more information.


2.11.16 Moving and Handling Children

Burrows House, 10 Priestly Road, Worsley Manchester M28 2LY


This course explores the Moving & Handling of children in community and hospital settings. There is a practical problem solving approach, using equipment and techniques tailored for those working with children, or for those assessing their Moving & Handling needs.

The course aims to enable delegates to handle children more effectively, in their work areas, using safer moving methods which maximise the skills of the child and maintain the safety of the handler.

Delegates will be able to use relevant law and guidance when Risk Assessing the Manual Handling needs of children. Delegates will be able to identify a range of practical recommendations when assessing the Manual Handling needs of a child. Delegates will be able to perform practical methods used to help children move, with and without equipment.

Presenter: Elizabeth Hallows Chartered Physiotherapist MCSP LPC (Back Care Management)

Target Group: All who Move and Handle Children

Cost: £95 plus VAT - includes light lunch and refreshments


4.11.16 'Beads of Life' approach: Working with young people and families to tell their stories about chronic illness in ways that make them stronger.

'Beads of Life' is a narrative approach for people whose lives have become dominated by an unwelcome ‘visitor’, which could be a chronic illness or any other problem that grows into a dominant story. This approach is named ‘Beads of Life’ because its theoretical foundations come from the ‘Tree of Life’ and to connect it with other projects which draw on this approach e.g. ‘Kite of Life’, ‘Recipes of Life’ etc.

Sarah Portnoy started using beads as a way of helping young people tell their medical stories when she was working at St Mary's hospital on their bone marrow transplant unit with young people who spent a long time in isolation and the beads enabled them to share their stories with other family members and staff. Drawing on inspiration from Narrative therapy and in particular the 'Tree of Life' she re-shaped the 'bead programme' into 'The Beads of Life'

Beads of Life' uses beads as hooks to hang stories on. It is an approach which puts the young person in a safe place to stand before hearing about the 'problem story'. It allows us to get to know the person apart from their diagnosis and bring forth rich, multi-stranded stories of the young person’s lives that lie outside of the problem as well as hearing about the 'problem story'.

Individuals and groups of young people between 8–24 years have taken part in 'Beads of Life'. Work has also been undertaken with parents.

To book a place visit


9.11.16 and 7.12.16 Assistive Technology for the Special Classroom


These FREE days provide an overview of the very latest and most popular Assistive Technology resources; how they can be used to meet individual and classroom needs, as well as giving you an insight into the latest research and exciting emerging technologies.



10 & 11.11.16 9.30 – 4.30 Simply Sleep Support Training

Kingsley St John’s Primary School, Hollow Lane, Frodsham WA6 8EF

This training is appropriate for those working with children, including those with additional needs and/or disabilities. Information relating to teenagers and adults is also included in the training. The training is accredited by the University of Chester, Faculty of Health & Social Care.

Research shows that sleep deprivation affects up to 25% of people (both adults and children) at some point in their lives.  For those with additional needs and disabilities, the incidence is much higher; up to 85% - and the problems are often more significant and longer lasting if they are not addressed early.

Sleep deprivation can have an adverse effect on children’s health, development and behaviour – this, combined with poor cognitive functioning, can make learning more difficult, especially for those with additional needs.

The main aims of this training are to enable delegates to:

*Incorporate a sleep behaviour assessment alongside other assessments they may undertake with children, young people and families.

*Use the knowledge and materials provided to promote healthy sleep habits in all children/young people

*Use the knowledge and materials provided to develop individual, appropriate interventions to resolve sleep issues, monitor progress and provide a comprehensive sleep service for families.

Places are limited and early booking is recommended.

For further information or to apply for a place on the training, please contact:



15.11.16, Autism, A hands on approach. The 13th Annual National Conference organised by Professionals & Parents in Partnership

Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport

Further Details: Tanya Farley - 07966 399 709 or email:


17.11.16, Kidz to Adultz North, Manchester


19.11.16, 9 – 3.30 Teaching for neurodiversity, PATOSS

Manchester Metropolitan University

2 reps per primary school are invited to attend


22.11.16 10.30 – 3.30 Youth Justice and SEND

Manchester Metropolitan University

Regional workshops around the country are on offer between November 2016 and February 2017 to improve the knowledge, skills and confidence of professionals working within the youth justice system to identify and support young people with SEND.
Learning Outcomes
- Reflect on the most recent findings from the survey of YOT professionals 
- Opportunities to share effective practice in developing teams around the child
- Explore the comprehensive on-line training and professional development resources that will be freely available to all attending YOTs and associate professional networks
- Identify areas of practice and culture change that would make the biggest impact on young people's outcomes, in your area, with your team
- Plan for change
You will also have the opportunity to hear first hand from NHS England staff on some important new developments.
Who should attend? 
Young Offending Teams, youth secure estate professionals, health and care professionals, Local Authority SEN teams 

To book a place:


25.11.16 Inclusion Matters 2016: Resilience

Gorton Monastery, Manchester

At a time of great concern about the mental health and well-being of our children and young people, how can schools help children to develop the skills they need to cope when things get difficult? 
This conference explores the theme of Resilience, bringing together examples from theory and practice of the many and varied ways in which schools can help children to develop the capacity to be more resilient. The conference is aimed at educational professionals and parents. Some places are available for parents at a reduced rate if booked through the local Parent Carer Forum.

Further details and booking information (and a sneak preview of a specially commissioned film!) visit the conference web page


29.11.16 Children missing education, Manchester


19.1.17 Primary assessment conference, Manchester


1.2.17 EHC plans – Workshop for professionals, Manchester


4.2.17 EHC plans – Workshop for parents, Seashell Trust, Cheadle




Open consultation - Schools that work for everyone

The Department for Education are consulting on proposals to create more good school places. The proposals include:

  • expecting independent schools to support existing state schools, open new state schools or offer funded places to children whose families can’t afford to pay fees

  • asking universities to commit to sponsoring or setting up new schools in exchange for the ability to charge higher fees

  • allowing existing selective schools to expand and new selective schools to open, while making sure they support non-selective schools

  • allowing new faith free schools to select up to 100% of pupils based on their faith, while making sure they include pupils from different backgrounds

Closing date: 12th December 2016


Government news:

Mental health and wellbeing of looked-after children

Government's response to the Education Committee's report on the mental health and wellbeing of looked-after children.


Government announcements over primary assessment, including the Rochford Review

  • note the publication of the Rochford Review and its recommendations to Government, including over the future of P scales

  • engage with the Government’s consultation early in the new year on reforms to primary assessment, including those proposed by the Rochford Review Group

  • note that currently schools should continue to use the pre-key stage standards and P scales for the statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests, pending decisions to be taken following the consultation

  • note the proposals to introduce a targeted package of support to make sure that struggling pupils are supported by teachers to catch up in year 7

Announcement over primary assessment: The Secretary of State made an announcement on 19 October about primary assessment that will be of interest to all those with a particular interest in SEND. The announcement included confirmation that: 

  • there will be no new tests or assessments introduced before the 2018/19 academic year

  • no more than 6% of primary schools will be below the floor standard in 2016

  • the Government will be laying regulations around coasting, so that schools not making enough progress get the focus and support that they need to improve. They expect a small proportion of primary schools to be defined as coasting this year

  • the key stage 1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test will remain non-statutory this year

  • the Government will publish improved guidance for the moderation of teacher assessment, which has been produced working closely with the teaching profession, and which will help to ensure a more consistent, reliable approach to the moderation of teacher assessment across the country

  • guidance will be accompanied by mandatory training for local authority moderators. This training will include planning and self-assessment better to enable moderators to quality assure their processes and make sure they are consistently accurate on each school visit

  • the Government will not introduce statutory mathematics and reading resits on children’s arrival in year 7. Rather, they will focus on the steps needed to ensure a child catches up lost ground. They will introduce a targeted package of support to make sure that struggling pupils are supported by teachers to catch up in year 7

  • the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile will remain in place for the 2017/18 academic year.

The announcement includes plans for a consultation on primary assessment and its implications for accountability early in the new year. The consultation will cover key issues, including: the best starting point to measure the progress that children make in primary school; the role and operation of teacher assessment; and the recommendations of the Rochford Review report, that was published alongside the announcement. 

The Rochford Review report makes recommendations for assessment arrangements of those pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests. The background is that in July 2015 the Minister for Schools established an independent review of statutory assessment arrangements for pupils working below the standard of national curriculum tests at key stages 1 and 2. The review group was chaired by Diane Rochford. The Rochford Review’s final report has now been published, and sets out the group’s recommendations to the Government. This follows the publication of the Rochford Review’s interim recommendations in December 2015. 

The Government will consult on the report’s recommendations in early 2017, as part of a wider consultation on primary assessment. Final decisions will be made following that consultation. In the meantime schools should continue to use the pre-key stage standards and P scales for the statutory assessment of pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum tests.


NHS Reviews

NHS England has announced more details of the accelerated national reviews into paediatric critical care and specialised surgery for children.

The reviews, which are part of NHS England’s regular round of specialised commissioning service reviews, would normally take up to two years to complete, but have been fast tracked to run in parallel with other work on new nationally agreed standards for congenital heart disease.

The aim of the reviews is to ensure sustainable paediatric critical care and specialised surgery services which will deliver high quality, safe care to children and their families into the future – as close to the patient’s home as possible.


Request for information: Short Breaks

Knowsley are undertaking a review of their short breaks offer. They are looking for areas of best practice in terms of process and delivery.  Please can anyone highlight areas where short breaks are delivered to high quality standard that is recognised by parents and providers alike?

Please respond directly to Lynsey Birch, Principal Commissioner, Early Help & Children’s Social Care, Whole Life Commissioning Team, Knowsley

Tel: 0151 443 2736 Mobile: 07966 830882 Email:


Focus: Data


Youth custody data

Monthly statistics on the population in custody of children and young people within the secure estate.


Young people NEET: comparative data scorecard

Data about the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in each LA in England.


Participation in education and training: LA figures

Databases showing the proportion of 16- and 17-year-olds in education and training.


Special educational needs: analysis and summary of data sources

Analysis and links to data sources on children and young people with SEN in England.


Children looked after in England including adoption: 2015 to 2016

Information on looked-after children at both national and LA levels.


Focus: Schools and mental health

A whole school framework for emotional well-being and mental health

NCB’s Partnership for Well Being and Mental Health and in Schools has launched a whole school self-assessment and improvement toolkit for school leaders, to support schools in facing the ever growing issue of student mental health and wellbeing. The framework is broken down into four stages, which are:

Stage 1: Deciding to act and identifying what is in place already

Stage 2: Getting a shared understanding and commitment to change and development

Stage 3: Building relationships and developing practices

Stage 4: Implementation and evaluation

Each step includes development questions to answer and activities to complete. The aim is to encourage the whole school come together to combat and prevent mental health issues in students and staff. It will help schools build on and develop existing practices, identify and implement new programmes, set priorities and evaluate the new ways of working.


Focus: Early years

Measuring child development at age 2 to 2.5 years

This factsheet explains how the ASQ-3 tool will be used to collect data to monitor child development across England.


Focus: Clinical commissioning


A paper from NHS Clinical Commissioners sets out a vision for the future of clinical commissioning.

The paper welcomes accountable care organisations and sustainability and transformation plans, which it says will allow commissioners to work across the whole system and deliver place-based commissioning of services for the benefit of patients.


Focus: The Care Act


How to use the Care Act to get the right support

"Using the Care Act to get the right support" is a new short film made by the Family Carer Support Service (FCSS).


Focus: Children in custody


The impact of distance from home on children in custody

Over the past decade, the number of children in young offender institutions and secure training centres has fallen by over two-thirds.

There has been a similar reduction in the number of secure settings in which children can be detained. Inevitably, this has meant some children have been held further from home than might have been the case some years ago.



Focus: School Nurses

School nurses spend twice as much time on paperwork than on direct work with children in schools, research by the Children’s Commissioner for England has found.

This could be reducing their ability to identify children at risk of neglect or abuse. There was also evidence that time pressures meant their role in supporting and promoting children’s health and wellbeing, their mental health, healthy relationships and sex education – was being compromised.

A survey of nearly 800 primary and secondary school nurses* revealed a concerning picture of paperwork eating into the time these important school staff had to spend with pupils – with some school nurses responsible for the health and well-being of 1000s of children.

School nurses were asked about child protection and children in need referrals they had made to Children’s Services, as well as any barriers they had faced.

When they identified children of concern, four-in-ten school nurses said they were unhappy with the response they had from Children’s Services on at least half of the referrals they make.

School nurses reported that increasingly high thresholds operated by local children’s services had meant making successful referrals about children had become more difficult. These thresholds also resulted in school nurses picking up early child protection work and developing support activities for rejected cases – work previously done by social workers.

Safeguarding and child protection processes have become a substantial part of school nurses’ work. A fifth of school nurses felt that their child protection caseload was limiting their capacity to perform other activities. On average, school nurses attended one case conference a week, which (including travel and paperwork) took up around 4.5 hours of their time. However, 8% were attending four or more case conferences, indicating they were spending at least half their working week attending these meetings and completing tasks associated with them. Ironically, this means that school nurses have less time for the preventative work to spot the signs of abuse and help prevent problems developing.

Children are unaware of the service

The majority of school nurses stated that children and young people in the schools they work in were unaware of their service.

Recent initiatives in some areas to enhance the role of school nurses were highlighted in the Children’s Commissioner report, including the introduction of digital and texting services, which allow children and young people to get in touch with their school nurse.

See the full report here.


SEND local area inspection outcome letters


Joint inspection reports of CSE and missing children: February to August 2016

Thematic inspection reports for joint targeted area inspections of local area services and individual inspection reports for each area.



Attachment difficulties in children and young people

This quality standard covers the identification, assessment and treatment of attachment difficulties. It focusses on children and young people up to age 18:

  • on the edge of care (those considered to be at high risk of going into care)

  • looked after by LAs in foster homes (including kinship foster care)

  • in special guardianship

  • adopted from care

  • in residential units and other accommodation.


Children missing education

Statutory guidance for LAs and advice for other groups on helping children who are missing education get back into it.



Anti-bullying app

Tootoot’ is an online platform providing 24-hour support to young people who are victims of bullying or online abuse.

Cyber bullying gives bullies the cover of anonymity but the app counteracts this by allowing children to report bullying incidents anonymously themselves. They can screenshot abusive messages or even take photographs of bullies in action, then send them via the app. The reports will then be read by staff at the child’s school, but no one else.

DfE have announced that tootoot and 9 other innovative schemes to tackle bullying in schools are being backed with £4.4m of government investment. As a result, 120,000 students across 300 schools will be able to use the programme to report incidents such as bullying, cyber bullying, or homophobic, transphobic and biphobic abuse.

The scheme, run by Internet Matters, will also train 4,500 teachers and educate 60,000 parents about how to protect their children from cyberbullying. An online hub will provide thousands of children, parents and carers with support around the clock, including in school holidays, with advice on tackling bullying and tips on how to block and report abuse on a range of online platforms.


Links to other newsletters:


ContactaFamily and National Network of Parent Carer Forums joint newsletter:


Council for Disabled Children Autumn Digest:

Council for Disabled Children newsletter:

Department for Education September 2016 newsletter:

DfE 2016 September Newsletter.docx


Early Talk Boost newsletter:

In Control newsletter:


LG Inform and LG Inform plus newsletter:


National Autistic Society newsletter:


National Development Team for Inclusion newsletter:


Preparing for Adulthood Autumn Bulletin:

Special World news:

Youth Justice SEND Project news:

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