NW SEND Regional Network News

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NW SEND Regional Network Newsletter

February 2017

The is the place to go to find everything you need to know in one place.

I am delighted that this issue of the newsletter includes learning from Liverpool. Please do check out their case study.

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:


7.3.17 9.30 – 4.30 Free Train the Trainer session to support local practitioners across education, health and care to deliver the CDC Workshop on ‘Key Working Supporting the SEND Reforms’

Partnership for Learning, Speke, Liverpool

By the end of the day, participants will be able to:

·      Demonstrate an understanding of the ethos and contents of the training - Key Working Supporting the SEND Reforms

·      Apply different delivery approaches and consider flexible uses of the materials

·      Clearly demonstrate the links between a key working approach and the SEND reforms

·      Source support material for delivery and sign post their own local participants to further information and learning

All materials and training tools will be provided free of charge, with the understanding that participants will cascade the training to their colleagues locally. This session will not cover training methods as it is expected that those attending will have some experience of delivering sessions with colleagues.


23.3.17 9.30 – 12-12.30 Data on Children and Young People with Complex Needs

Britannia Hotel, Manchester

Based on a soon to be published CDC Data report, this session for local authority and CCG SEND leads and managers will help them understand what national data tells us about CYP with complex needs; and what this means for commissioning.


Please note this and the session below are two discrete sessions, if you wish to attend both please sign up through both links.


23.3.17 1.30 – 4.30 Personalisation

Britannia Hotel, Manchester

This session for local authority and CCG SEND leads and managers will consider how local areas can develop joined approaches to personalisation of services for CYP with SEND, including the use of, and commissioning for, increased personal budget uptake.


2.5.17 Save the date: Early years/SEND Action learning set 3

Information about booking a place will be available in the next newsletter.



Other events in the North West

28.2.17, 8.3.17, 14.3.17 & 21.3.17 (4 sessions 4 – 6pm) Mental Health First Aid for Schools

St Bernard’s Primary School, Sherbourne Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 5EW

ADHD Foundation is working in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England and St Bernard’s Primary School in Ellesmere Port to provide the Mental Health First Aid Standard course to schools in Wirral, Halton and Cheshire. Mental Health First Aid is a training programme that teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening or an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Like traditional first aid, Mental Health First Aid does not teach people how to treat or diagnose mental health. Instead, the trainer teaches people how to offer initial support until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis is resolved.

For more information go to:

To make a booking email:






3.3.17 Talking Eating Disorders conference






7.3.17 Continence

Bolton Arena, Bolton, Greater Manchester

This one day event for health and social care professionals will include a wide range of lectures and workshops on a variety of continence issues. The three parallel learning streams – adult, paediatric, bowel care – are delivered by experts in these fields and will highlight best practice and service delivery models.

There is also an exhibition of the latest products, equipment and services.

Booking is essential. For further information visit the website


28.3.17 Advocating for your child – Are you being heard?

10am – 2pm, Rheged Centre, Redhills, Penrith CA11 0DQ (free lunch and refreshments)

A free workshop, arranged by Afasic, for parents of children with speech, language and communication difficulties.

  • Find out how best to engage with professionals who make decisions about your children

  • 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 a place contact Tony Curtis on 01223 244984 or email:


28.3.17 Working Therapeutically with Children and Adults with Neurodevelopmental Conditions – A one day training course for Counsellors, Psychotherapists and Nurses. Manchester

The course will include:

  • Understanding the needs of clients with ADHD and ASD

  • Understanding the relationship between Attachment Disorder and Neurodevelopmental Conditions

  • Considerations for Working therapeutically, including modality and approach – integrating skills and knowledge and evidence based practice

  • A toolkit of useful strategies and approaches

To book a place visit then click on “Training” then “Booking”.


30.3.17 Raising Education Standards and Attainment Across the Northern Powerhouse, Central Manchester

Sarah Lewis, Deputy Director, School Improvement and Opportunity Areas, DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION will deliver a keynote session titled 'Improving the Quality of Education Across Schools in the Northern Powerhouse' which will cover:
- Outlining the governments vision to raise school standards across the north of England
- Investing an additional £20 million towards the northern powerhouse schools strategy
- Recognising the need to incentivise recruitment to attract and retain a talented and skilled teaching workforce
- Looking to the future: Evaluating what more needs to be done to improve student attainment
Anne Casey, Deputy Director, Office of the Regional Schools Commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire will share essential insight on the role of the Regional Schools Commissioner in driving improvement in under-performing schools.
View the full agenda here:


5 & 6.5.17 Nursery World North

Exhibition Centre, Liverpool

Presentations by Professor Ferre Laevers, Jan Dubiel, Linda Pound and many more as well as a comprehensive exhibition.

Please visit for full details about the seminars and masterclasses, to register and book your places.


24.5.17 Moving forward: Next steps in meeting the needs of children & young people with SEMH and/or autism. The Mercure Atlantic Tower Hotel, Liverpool

For more information and to book a place:


30.6.17 NDNA Conference and NDNA Nursery Awards 2017, Manchester

This conference features content on both leadership and practice strands, with sector updates from the Government and Ofsted, combined with the annual awards event hosted by special guest TV presenter Johnny Ball.


19.7.17 Supporting Vulnerable Children and Young People in an Uncertain World

39th annual conference of the International School Psychology Association

University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University


10.10.17 Learning Disability Practice Conference: Moving professions forward



SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans,

Published 21 February 2017

  1. Managing 19- to 25-year-olds’ EHC plans

  2. Education, training and benefits

  3. Funding

  4. Considering health and social care needs

  5. Including young people in decision-making


NICE GUIDANCE: Learning disabilities: identifying and managing mental health problems - Quality standard [QS142] Published: January 2017




Residential special schools and colleges: a call for evidence

Dame Christine Lenehan invites evidence about:

  • the characteristics of children and young people in residential special schools and colleges

  • how and why they come to be placed in this provision

  • how they’re supported both pre- and post-placement

  • how we can improve experiences and outcomes for them and their families

Closing date: 17th March 2017




High needs national funding formula: stage 2

DfE are introducing a national funding formula to make funding fair for local areas, children and young people. This consultations seeks views on the detailed design of the formula, building on the earlier consultation on the principles and structure.

The executive summary outlines the proposals and the effect on LAs, and the consultation document explains these in detail. The effect on each area is shown in full in the impact tables.

The equality impact assessment considers how the proposals relate to the 8 protected characteristics identified by the Equality Act 2010.

Closing date: 22nd Mar 2017


Case Study:


Supporting the role of Social Care in the SEND Reforms

Whilst the SEND reforms were being embedded into planning and practice, Liverpool identified that there was a need for a lead for Social Care to support local implementation. The role is designed to build local capacity and collaboration, and to address some of the key challenges for SEND. The case study describes the process in detail and highlights key learning for other Local Authorities. or



Childcare for all – The role of the local offer

As part of their ‘Local Offer’, local authorities have a legal duty to provide information about services and support – including early education and childcare –for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in their area.

This report by The Family and Childcare Trust looks at the quality of information about childcare provided in local authorities. The report found that the quality and scope of information and guidance available varies significantly. Key findings include:

One third of local authorities (32 per cent) do not provide basic guidance for parents about accessing childcare for children with disabilities.

Only one quarter of local authorities explain providers’ duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for children with disabilities under the Equalities Act 2010

Sixteen per cent provide information for parents about how to raise concerns about a childcare provider.

Just over half of local authorities (51 per cent) had a directory of childcare listings that included information from providers about their individual ‘Local Offer’, including details such as accessibility arrangements and specialist staff training.


Study of Early Education and Development (SEED): Meeting the needs of children with SEND in the early years

This report presents the findings of a qualitative study exploring the experiences of children aged three to four with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) attending group early years settings, undertaken as part of the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED).

Case study children were selected from the families who completed the age three interview as part of the SEED longitudinal survey, who had been identified as having a special educational need and/ or disability according to a proxy measure and who were attending an early years setting.

Inclusive teaching and learning in higher education

The DfE has published a new report which provides best practice guidance to help universities, colleges and independent higher education providers support their disabled students.

It will help to ensure that all higher education providers are best equipped to support disabled students to reach their full potential and succeed. It encourages providers to look at how they can support and offer the best possible environment for disabled students to pursue their studies.


Understanding the needs of disabled children with complex needs or life-limiting conditions

This report by the Council For Disabled Children and The True Colours Trust looks at what can be learned from national data on the numbers of children with complex needs or life-limiting conditions. There are rising numbers of disabled children with complex needs and/or life-limiting conditions, who, with their families, are likely to need support from health, education and social care continuously or at times throughout their life. This is due to a number of factors, including increased survival of preterm babies and increased survival of children after severe trauma or illness.

The report estimates that numbers have increased dramatically by over 50% since 2004, from 49,300 to 73,000 children and young people. The research suggests that there is an urgent need to sharpen the focus on disabled children and young people, in particular, the rising number of children with complex needs and life-limiting conditions. We need to know more about the numbers and needs of this cohort, how this is changing over time and what this may mean in terms of future demand for specialist services.


8th DfE SEND survey of parent carer forums and local authorities

123 of the 150 parent carer forums responded, the highest rate yet, and 70% of all local areas reported that the local authority and parent carer forum had either completed the survey together or had shared their responses with each other. Read about the local authorities highlights in the DfE's January 2017 Newsletter and the parent carer forum highlights report [PDF].

Focus: Support from ContactaFamily for families in the region . 

Focus: Down syndrome and employment

Podcast: Down's Syndrome and employment
This episode: it's time to look at employment for people with Down's Syndrome – “Getting jobs is still a huge challenge for people like my Stan - but let's travel to North Carolina, Boston and Derbyshire to hear from people with DS who are in the workplace. Attitudes are changing and it starts, not with what barriers are in place, but with what’s possible. I've got stories about how people, who have Down's, are getting into work and becoming more accepted in society.”


Alternative provision: effective practice and post-16 transition

Research into best practice for raising attainment and aiding transition to post-16 destinations for young people in alternative provision.


Minecraft club


Workforce Development


Free SEND support courses and quizzes

NDNA, supported by the DfE, has created a selection of free online courses and quizzes for childcare professionals to develop knowledge of SEND provision.

The currently available courses are:

Courageous Conversations:

  • Understand what is meant by a ‘courageous conversation’

  • Gain tips and advice on how to hold these conversations in the most effective way

  • Explore what it is like to be in the parent’s shoes

  • Discover how effectively to manage a situation where parents may not be accepting of the concerns.

Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

  • Improve confidence levels about EHCPs

  • Learn about legislation linked to EHCPs

  • Increase you (and your staff’s) knowledge and understanding of the education health and care needs assessments and plan processes

  • Understand how to work in partnership with all those involved in a child’s Education Health and Care Plan.

To access these online courses, simply create an account on the Development Zone website.

Social care inspection framework:

Ofsted has announced that the new social care common inspection framework will be launched on 1 April. The following three principles will link all their inspections of children’s social care providers:

  • to focus on the things that matter most to children’s lives

  • to be consistent in our expectations of providers

  • to prioritise our work where improvement is needed most



Volunteering opportunities:

Do you have volunteering opportunities for a group of young people to get involved? Can Do is a community based volunteering programme which supports young disabled people aged 16-35 in their local community to develop their skills, provide new experiences and promote their independence by participating in a variety of projects and by playing an active role in their community. Can Do is looking for organisations in the Greater Merseyside particularly the Halton area, that young people from Can Do can get involved with either as a one off activity or a short term project. This could be any type of volunteering as long as it is worthwhile, interesting and also enjoyable!

The young people will be volunteering as a group and will come with any necessary support, all they need is some interesting projects to get involved in so that they can support their local community and make a difference. If you think you could benefit from having a group of eager and enthusiastic volunteers please get in touch with them today.

Organisation name: Can Do Merseyside

Phone no: 07753430207



Youth custody data

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


Education, Health and Care Plans – Examples of Best Practice

The Council for Disabled Children have developed some good practice guidance to support the development of skills in writing good quality EHC plans that meet both the letter and the spirit of the Children and Families Act 2014. This is available at:


Local Authority Audit Tool

The Local Authority Audit Tool pulls together in one place the key pieces of evidence that local authorities will wish to assure themselves on in terms of progressing towards implementation of the 2014 Children and Families Act reforms in relation to disabled children and young people and those with SEN.

The purpose of the tool is to support joint working between local authorities and health partners and therefore mirrors the CCG audit tool (see below), although some language differs to reflect the different agencies.


CCG Audit Tool

This tool pulls together in one place the key pieces of evidence that the CCG will wish to assure itself on in terms of its progress in implementing the 2014 Children and Families Act reforms in relation to disabled children and young people and those with SEN.



Preparing for Adulthood Outcomes tool

The Department for Education have developed an outcomes tool that is designed to support

the development of PfA outcomes in EHC plans across the age range.  It explores the key

indicators for preparing for adulthood at different ages and stages of development. outcomes-tool


The Decision-making Toolkit

This decision making toolkit is a practical guide to support social workers, health practitioners, school and college staff, parent carers, families and anyone working directly with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It is designed to be used in partnership with young people to support them to make their own decisions and to participate as fully as possible in decisions made on their behalf. It includes a template which practitioners can use to support a young person who lacks capacity to go through a best interests decision making process based on the best interests checklist in the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice. A link is provided below.

Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities: Health and person-centred plan.
A downloadable person-centred plan to fill out and keep. Once completed, the plan will tell people caring for children with complex health needs everything they need to know about the child's needs. 

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook 2nd edition

Written by Steve Broach, Luke Clements and Janet ReadDate 29 Feb 2016

Disabled children: a legal handbook is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.

The handbook aims to empower disabled children and their families through a greater understanding of their rights and entitlements. It is essential reading for the families of disabled children, their advocates and lawyers, voluntary and statutory sector advisers, commissioners, managers and lawyers working for public authorities, education, social and health care professionals, students and academics.

Each chapter has been adapted into a PDF for you to download for free.

The handbook is also available to purchase in hard copy at

You can also download the handbook on the kindle store 

NHS England: An introduction to personal health budgets in Continuing Healthcare (CHC) film.

The Improvise Approach: Making music with children and adults who have complex needs.
Facilitators training e book with 10 audio tracks.  Designed and created for teachers, parents and carers. 

NDTI: Housing Choices Discussion Papers


How do I prepare my child with a learning disability for hospital?

The charity also has a range of videos showing children going for procedures such as EEG, MRI, CT, ECG, Echo, Breathing tests, Sleep Studies and Hearing Tests:

Focus: Child abuse

The second phase of the DfE’s ‘Together, we can tackle child abuse’ campaign launched on Monday 13 February

 DfE’s ‘Together, we can tackle child abuse’ campaign is an important part of the government’s 5-year reform programme for children’s social care, which is set out in ‘Putting children first: Delivering our vision for excellent children’s social care’ (July 2016).

Many people are afraid to report worrying signs they have seen or heard. The campaign aims to help tackle the barriers that stop people taking action, so that children can get the help they need.

After seeing the phase one adverts, 41% of people claimed to take action, including discussing the ad with a friend, visiting for more information, or reporting suspicions about child abuse.

The launch is England wide, advertising on sites such as bus shelters, on the radio and online in specific regions incorporating Greater London, the North East and the North West. A toolkit of free materials is available to all other local authorities to boost their existing promotional activity.

If you would like further information about the ‘Together, we can tackle child abuse’ campaign, please visit

Other newsletters:

Council for Disabled Children - Winter digest

DfE SEND Newsletter January 2017

This edition focuses on funding for SEND support 2017-18, headlines from the autumn

2016 Implementation Surveys and the latest recent and upcoming reports.

Helen Sanderson Associates News


Learning Disability England Newsletter


North West Coast Strategic Clinical Networks news

Improved health and wellbeing through collaborative working across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire & South Cumbria


Simple Stuff Works ebulletin

Special World news


Youth Justice SEND project news

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