NW SEND Regional Network News

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NW SEND Regional Network News

May 2016

Dear colleagues

Congratulations to Cheshire West and Chester on their successful bid to become a Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Demonstration site. They will be working with the PfA Team to focus on the Local Offer, Personal Budgets and Employment. I am sure other NW areas will look forwards to them sharing their learning and experiences.

I am delighted that this edition of the newsletter shares good practice within the region and would draw your attention to Oldham’s Parental and Young Persons Engagement Values as well as Liverpool’s case study on the Local Offer Accessibility project.

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:


5.7.16 Children and young people’s participation – Save the date

A launch workshop event to establish links to develop a NW Young Persons Voice Network. For further information email:



8.7.16 Delivering Better Outcomes Together, Manchester

The Council for Disabled Children invites LA SEN Leads and CCG children’s commissioners to attend this session to discuss and plan local area joint working within the context of the SEND reforms and other local priorities for disabled children and young people and those with SEN. The workshop will cover the following themes through facilitated discussions:


·      The context of joint commissioning for Children and Young People with SEN and disabilities and aligning with other national programmes/initiatives including IPC, Transforming Care, CAMHS transformation plans and local area Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

·      Joint planning for children and young people with the most complex needs including those who are in out-of-area placements

·      SEN Support and improving outcomes for the wider group of Children and Young People who do not have EHC plans.

To book a place:


14.7.16 EHC assessment and plan co-ordinators – Save the date

The role of Social Care in the SEND reforms and social care needs as part of EHC assessments and plans.

For further information email:


15.7.16 Preparing for Adulthood Network, 10 – 1, Lilford Room, Wigan Investment Centre, Waterside Drive, Wigan. WN3 5BA

The Preparing for Adulthood Team have been asked to establish a PfA Network in each region. The network is for the Preparing for Adulthood lead from each local area and its purpose is to support each local area to develop its PfA work and to provide peer support during this year and beyond. To register please email:


16.9.16 Children and Young People’s strategic social care leads and senior practitioners – Save the date

More information will be available in the next newsletter.


Post-16 events:

The Preparing for Adulthood Team will be 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 dates and venues are:


17.10.16 9.30 – 4, Ribby Hall Village, Ribby Road, Wrea Green, Lancashire PR4 2PR


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


To register for a place at either event please email:



Other events in the North West

1 & 2.7.16 Autism Show, Manchester


21.7.16 Participation Conference, Manchester

This is a free event jointly delivered by CDC and KIDS. Minister of State for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, will provide a key note speech on the cultural change required to make young people’s participation a reality. The focus will also include how the new Ofsted inspection framework can support local areas to do so.

For more information and to book a place:


26.7.16 Autism and Sport: Theory and practical combined. Liverpool.

This one day course, delivered by the National Autistic Society, provides a comprehensive introduction to autism, focusing on the delivery of sport. It will help delegates to recognise and understand the key areas of difference in autism, as well as looking at supportive strategies in practical situations in order to reduce the difficulties experienced by participants and session leaders.

Course overview:
•What is autism?
•Common differences experienced by people with autism participating in sport
•Using Structure, Positive Approaches, Empathy, Low Arousal and Links to support people with autism in a sports context
•Suggested strategies using practical demonstration and activity plans
•Evaluating and developing your practice.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for anyone involved in delivering sport or physical activity who wants to develop an awareness and understanding of autism. Participants will gain an understanding of the autism spectrum in relation to the delivery of sport and physical activity. This course is relevant for those who support children or adults with autism.

Further information:

Participants will be helped to make the link between theoretical knowledge and practice. The course places emphasis on reflective practice and consideration of the participant's skills, interests and communication styles with tools to enable your continued development. It makes use of presentation, group interaction, self-directed learning, physical activity and video. Participants are advised to dress appropriately to allow them to participate in physical activities.

Visit for information and to book a place



17.11.16, Kidz to Adultz North, Manchester



The SEN2 Data can be found on the following links:

          Statistics and analysis on statements of special educational needs (SEN) and education, health and care (EHC) plans in England:

          Analysis and links to data sources on children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) in England:



Social care contact:

Amanda Harvey, Assistant Director, CDC, is able to act as a point of contact for policy and practice queries related to Social Care. Any specific queries by Social Care and SEND Managers should be sent to Amanda will provide a response and also pull together all the queries and publish resources to support national practice development.


The Preparing for Adulthood Team can offer support to local areas around employment. This could include:

  • Developing a local employment pathway

  • Establishing supported internships

  • Designing the post-16 curriculum in schools and colleges for young people with SEND

  • Partnership working for Preparing for Adulthood

To access support for work around employment please contact Cathy Hamer, Email:



Care Act 2014 Part 1: factsheets

These factsheets accompany Part 1 of the Care Act and reflect changes made to the Care Act statutory guidance in March 2016.


MindEd resources on children and young people’s mental health for all adults.


Easy read PDFs for parents
MindEd for Families have published a large number of easy read PDFs for people who are worried about their children’s wellbeing, mental health, or development:


Resources to support GPs deliver care to autistic patients sent to every practice in England
Resource packs to support GPs and their teams to make their surgeries more visibly friendly for patients with an autism spectrum disorder have been sent to every GP practice in England.

The packs aim to support GP practices to meet the commitments in the RCGP autism patient charter, which provides a framework for making GP surgeries more visibly friendly for those on the autistic spectrum.

Resources in the pack include a guide for patients on the autistic spectrum to help them get the most out of their GP visit, and a guide for GPs to support effectively consultations with patients on the autistic spectrum.


Inclusive childcare for children with special needs and disabilities.

Family Action have produced case studies, family journeys and a guide for to inclusive childcare for childcare providers as well as a range of online resources.


Learning disabilities made clear toolkit

Supporting people with a learning disability access healthcare


Organisations who offer free SEND Support

The IASSN-led SEND Information Organisations Group (SENDIOG) have produced an information sheet which provides details of organisations who provide FREE advice and support (such as phone lines, emails, direct support etc.) on a range of matters relating to SEN and disability in England. It includes impairment specific support, and support available which children, young people, parents and/or professionals can access. The list can be found at


Updated picture books on the criminal justice system

You’re under Arrest

You’re on Trial

Going to court


New Social Care resources

The role of the Independent Reviewing Officer in EHC assessments and plans -

Identifying the social needs of children and young people with SEND as part of EHC assessment and plans -


North West good practice:

Liverpool’s case study on the Local Offer: Local offer accessibility project:


Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled. The Local Offer has two key purposes: to provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it and to make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents in its development and review. It is the need to make the Local Offer accessible that this project focussed on.

Feedback from service users about the Local Offer told us that there was too much narrative on the Local Offer and that it was difficult for some parents and carers and children and young people to access the information easily. The LA, therefore, set out to explore ways in which the Local Offer could be made more accessible and researched examples across the country. Once the scoping exercise was complete, it embarked on commissioning an outside organisation, with experience of working with hard to reach groups of children and young people, to develop an App using a cross platform web based framework to make parts of the Local Offer more accessible to children and young people with SEND. In addition, it set out to develop an animated version of some of the complex processes and service descriptions currently in text format in the Local Offer, ensuring greater accessibility of information to visual and non-visual learners.

To find out more:

Oldham’s Parental and Young Persons Engagement Values



Education, education, mental health: supporting secondary schools to play a central role in early intervention mental health services, Institute for Public Policy Research


There is a crisis affecting children and young people’s mental health in England, with three children in every classroom experiencing a clinically diagnosable condition. Despite the growing number who require help, cuts to the funding of both NHS and local authority early intervention services, which can prevent emerging mental health problems from escalating further, mean that increasing numbers of children are unable to access appropriate and timely support. This report argues that early intervention mental health services for children and young people must be rejuvenated – and secondary schools should play a central role in this, complementing wider community and NHS provision. It advises that there is currently a great deal of variation in both the availability and quality of school-based early intervention provision and this is due to four major barriers: schools’ inability to access sufficient funding and resources; a lack of established mechanisms by which schools can influence commissioning decisions taken by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); the inconsistent quality of mental health support available to schools to buy in directly; a lack of external checks on the appropriateness and quality of the approaches taken by individual schools. The report says that the government must find ways to overcome each of these barriers if schools are to fulfil their substantial potential for meeting pupils’ emerging mental health needs, and play a central role in the transformation of children and young people’s mental health services. This should involve guaranteeing every secondary school access to a mental health professional who delivers targeted interventions on-site, making school counselling a regulated profession, and ensuring that Ofsted inspectors actually assess schools’ mental health provision.


Better Care in my Hands, CQC

The Care Quality Commission has published a report on how people are being involved in their own care.


Focus: Independent Support

In the new blog on the SEND reforms from Edward Timpson MP and Jane Ellison MP
regarding Independent Support, Edward Timpson MP said:

“Our network of Independent Supporters, into which we are investing £45 million between 2014 and 2017, are proving to be a catalyst for this change – they are helping embed the reforms, creating positive, powerful relationships with families, like you, who are accessing support. It’s encouraging to see the impact these individuals are having on children and young people with SEND  the very people who are at the heart of our work. The job is not yet done – but there are clear signs that we are on track. We know what we have to do to keep things moving forward.”

The full blog can be found at:

To access independent evaluation and case studies from service users please visit

Independent Support training is now CPD accredited and worth up to 18 CPD points in total, six for the online training and six for each day of the face to face training. See the Workforce Development section below for further information on Independent Support training.


Disabled young people and young people with SEN wanted for advisory group:

  • Are you a disabled young person or a young person with special educational needs aged 14 – 25 living in England?

  • Do you want to help change things for disabled young people and young people with special educational needs?

  • Do you like having your say and sharing your views?

If so the Council for Disabled Children and KIDS want to hear from you!

CDC and KIDS are recruiting for a national group of young people to advise on young people’s participation. I hear they are looking to recruit up to 12 disabled children and young people and those with SEN aged 14-25 years from across England. The main objectives for the group will be to:

  Work together to share their views and experiences of support and services

Give feedback and advice

        Talk to professionals about how to make positive changes to improve things for all disabled young people

Support CDC and KIDS work to ensure all disabled children and young people can be involved in decisions about their care and support

 The national group will meet in London 3 times a year with the first in London on Saturday 2nd July 2016.

 Applications are now open. The advert and application can be found online at:  

 The deadline for applications is 1pm on Friday 3rd June 2016.



Workforce development:

Independent Support training also available to Local Authority staff

CDC provide a suite of FREE CPD accredited training to support local service providers and Information, Advice and Support Services, under contract to deliver Independent Support. This training is now CPD accredited and extended to local authority staff.  Please do share this with your workforce and encourage staff to attend where you feels it’s appropriate.

The training is 4 days, 2 days is completed online and 2 days requires the trainee to attend a workshop led by a Council for Disabled Children accredited trainer. Within the 4 days, 1 day online and 1 day face to face will focus on the duties and statutory requirements that an Independent Supporter will need to know in their role supporting families and young people.  A further 1 day online and 1 day face to face training will focus on the role of an Independent Supporter and help trainees to understand the scope of the role and where they may go for additional advice and support.

For further information on how to access on-line training please email

Click on the link here to find out when training is taking place:

In addition there are a limited number of in-house training sessions available for groups larger than 8 people. If this is of interest please email for further information.

1 day refresher training for trained Independent Supporters

This is a FREE closed course and aimed only at Independent Supporters who have already completed the 4 day core training programme and worked as an Independent Supporter. The training will include an update on legislative changes made since the core 4 day training was first launched and provides an opportunity for group discussions on the key barriers and challenges for Independent Supporters and to explore solutions.


Free Inclusive online professional development webinars

9.6.16 Creating Accessible and Personalised Resources with ChooseIt! Maker 3

16.6.16 Inclusive Eye Gaze Learning Curve Part 1 – Attention and Looking

5.7.16 Inclusive Eye Gaze Learning Curve Part – Exploring and Playing

12.7.16 Inclusive Eye Gaze Learning Curve Part 3 – Choosing and Learning

Register for all the above at


Training for Educational Psychologists

Emotion coaching in Halton on 7th July.

Dr Janet Rose from Bath Spa University will be the trainer for the day.

For further details and a booking form email:


Designated Medical Officer/Designated Clinical Officer Workshop Days

Following on from the successful DMO/DCO days Council for Disabled Children held last July and September, they will be running three more sessions over the coming months. If you would like to attend, at this stage you are asked to book through the links below and hold the date. More information will be sent soon about the curriculum for the days which will focus on: 

         aligning NHS priorities and existing programmes to the SEND reforms;

         peer learning and learning from others in the role;

         transition and involving adult health services.  

The workshops will be held in the following locations and links to sign up to each event are also below.  

Leeds            9th June                   

London        10th Jun


Two day sleep course (22 and 23.6.16) to help professionals support families of disabled children, Manchester.

For a booking form please e-mail:


Dual Control: Two day (5 and 6.10.16) bowel and bladder training workshop focussing on children and teenagers with disabilities, Manchester.

For a booking form please e-mail:




Check out how apprenticeships can support young people with SEN at the following link:


A new taskforce - part of the government’s goal to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, and to halve the disability employment gap - has been created by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Department for Education.


Autism friendly cinema screenings:

There are a number of cinemas which offer autism friendly (and learning disabilities friendly) movie screenings. During the film, low lights are left on inside the auditorium and the volume of the soundtrack is reduced. Cinemagoers are free to move around, make a noise or take a break during the film if they need to.



Links to other newsletters:



Contact a Family newsletter:


Council for Disabled Children newsletter:


ICAN newsletter:


UK Health, Justice and Learning Disability/Autism Network Newsletter:

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