NW SEND Regional Network News

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Regional Network


December 2016


The www.nwsendnetwork is the place to go to find everything you need to know in one place. Latest updates include:

* a report of a Salford Challenge event designed to review the quality of finalised EHC Plans.
* presentations and practice sharing from the NW Early Years and SEND action learning set.

* a presentation ‘Securing better outcomes for young people in the youth justice system with special educational needs and disabilities’ and ten key statements against which you can test current practice. These are from the Youth Justice SEND project – see below for further information.


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:


26.1.17 and 27.1.17 The Children and Families Act 2014: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) – Decision Making and the Law.

These parallel workshops are open to Senior SEN officers for each LA with responsibilities for key decision and the NNPCF rep.

Places can be booked at https://www/


In the planning: Dates to be arranged


Workshops on the Local Offer for LAs and parent carer forum representatives


Early years/SEND Action learning set 3


Other events in the North West


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


16 and 17.2.17 Independent Support legal training and the role of the Independent Supporter
Kings House, Sidney St, Manchester M1 7HB




Government consultation response: changes to funding for three and four year olds (1.12.16)


This document presents the outcome of a consultation seeking views on changes to the funding of free childcare and early education for three- and four-year-olds in early years settings, including a new national funding formula. The consultation ran from 11 August to 22 September 2016. Key features of the government response are:

  • National average hourly funding rates for three- and four-year olds will increase from £4.56 to £4.94. This figure includes the Early Years Pupil Premium, the Disability Access Fund and other supplements;

  • National average hourly funding rates for two-year olds will increase from £5.09 to £5.39, based on the existing two-year old formula;

  • A new early years national funding formula will allocate funding to local authorities, including a minimum funding rate of £4.30 per hour to local authorities;

  • By 2018-19 all local authorities will be required to pass 95% of early years funding to providers;

  • By 2019-20 local authorities will be required to use a universal base rate to fund different types of provider for each hour of the free entitlement;

  • The government will provide supplementary funding of £55 million a year to local authorities for maintained nursery schools for the duration of this Parliament;

  • There will be a new Disability Access Fund to support three- and four-year olds in taking up their free entitlement, if they are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, this will provide £615 per eligible child;

  • The government will legislate for every area to set up a local inclusion fund for children with special educational needs;

  • The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) will continue. In future, government will review the delivery mechanism for the EYPP alongside the Disability Access Fund.



The Department for Education is consulting on detailed proposals for schools and high needs funding and the approach to implementing and transitioning to the new system.  Illustrative tables show the impact on all local authorities and schools.  The consultations and illustrative tables are available at:




Disability Matters in Britain 2016: Enablers and challenges to inclusion for disabled children, young people and their

This report offers practical, inspiring and down to earth examples of inclusion and a range of suggestions on how to ensure that disabled children and young people are meaningfully included in the health and education services, leisure opportunities, sport and everyday activities.

Disability Matters asked young people and their parent carers about their experiences of inclusion. At the same time, educators, health professionals, community workers, volunteers, training providers and employers were asked how they ensure that disabled people are included in their service or community. The report reflects the views of the 10 young people, 123 parent carers of disabled children, young people and adults and 128 professionals and volunteers who responded to this ‘Call for Evidence’.The interactive pdf is available to download from the ‘About’ page of Disability Matters:


Leading my life my way: young disabled peoples’ experiences of using services to live independent lives. Scope

Leading My Life My Way looks at young disabled people’s experiences of using support services to live independent lives.
Young disabled people are experiencing poor quality care and support planning, a lack of information and advice tailored to their specific needs and expectations.
This means many young disabled people are facing barriers to getting support to do the things they want in their lives, such as living where they want to, getting a job or being involved in their community. This is leading to social exclusion and affecting young disabled people’s wellbeing.


Inclusion Matters 2016: Resilience conference

On Friday 25th November around 100 adults interested in education gathered at Gorton Monastery to consider what "Resilience" means for the education of our children and young people in 2016. It’s certainly an interesting venue. The event was well attended, everyone was well catered for and the programme was varied. Free parking was an asset!

The fascinating film about how one schools has implemented “Forest Crew” approach is available via the web page link to You Tube.

Professor Nicola Whitton talked about developing resilience through encouraging risk tasking with freedom to fail (in a safe environment). Scenarios for shared problem solving, such as “Escape rooms” and identifying things you can do in “play” that you can’t reasonably/actually do in real life. A further fascinating presentation was Five steps to Wellbeing – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. There were lots of seminars with excellent ideas and information. Do keep checking out the website as more presentations are uploaded.

AWESOME: An opportunity for young people

My Future Choices magazine gives a voice to disabled young people and offers them the chance to share their dreams, goals and aspirations. In previous issues, there have been articles on a broad range of topics including: education, employment, health, positive activities, and politics.
The next issue of My Future Choices is currently being put together.
If you know any young person who would like to write an article or who would be keen to share a story, here’s what they have to do:

  1. Read the latest issue of My Future Choices to see the type of articles that are included.

  2. E-mail the Transition Information Network: to say you are interested in writing.

  3. Send your article by 6th January 2017

In your e-mail please say:

  • What you would like to write about.

How many words you think your article will be. (Most articles are between 250-500 words.)


Focus: Youth Justice SEND project

A new, free to access, online training and professional development programme has been developed as part of the Youth Justice SEND project. It is called the Youth Justice SEND Bubble and is available to Youth Offending Teams, youth secure estate professionals, health, education and care professionals, Local Authority SEN teams and any other interested professionals who work with young people who are part of the youth justice system.

The aim is to help you enhance your practice and improve outcomes for the young people you work with by supporting you to:

  • better understand the key issues around SEN and the youth justice system

  • effectively engage in discussion, debate and positive action (individual as well as group) and help build knowledge and resources in this area

  • support further study to deepen knowledge and awareness as an individual or part of a group

  • work more effectively with your local YOT Network to form local communities of practice and support

To access the Bubble you will need to go to and create an account using an access code – see below.

NB Access codes are case sensitive.




Blackburn with Darwen








Cheshire East


Cheshire West & Chester























St Helens















Instructions are available at


Burke, M et al (2016). Evaluating the Efficacy of a Special Education Advocacy Training Program. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. 2016.



Are you a parent or professional working with children or young people? Do you need an effective way to engage them and get them to open up so you can help them when it really counts? Chateez are attractive, thought provoking picture cards featuring the popular emoji design. They encourage dialogue and allow for creativity, making a safe space for children and young people to get their feelings across and, well, chat easy!


Measuring and monitoring children and young people's mental wellbeing

This toolkit is a practical step by step guide for senior leadership teams and those with particular responsibilities for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, inclusion, Personal Social Health and Economic education, welfare or pastoral support and mental health support. It will also be of interest to partners from the health, voluntary and community service sector who are supporting schools and colleges to improve mental health outcomes for children, young people and their families.


Supporting public health: children, young people and families

PHE has published a number of guides to support local authorities and providers in commissioning and delivering children's public health services aged 0 to 19 years. The guides identify six areas where health visitors have the highest impact on the health and wellbeing of children aged 0 to five years and a further six areas for school aged children from five to 19 years. The guides aim to help local councils to consider ways in which health visiting and school nursing services can link with other council services and programmes such as the Troubled Families Programme.


Commissioning for better health outcomes

This guide, developed with commissioners from councils and partner organisations, building on existing learning and resources and sharing new and innovative practice, includes eight case studies chosen to illustrate positive approaches to commissioning being taken across the country to address a wide range of public health challenges. In particular see the Cheshire East case study on commissioning an integrated 0 – 5s service.


Education, Health and Care Journeys

This website shows the EHC process from the perspective of families and aims to support areas to improve local services.


Combating bullying in schools

Open University: Free on-line educational materials to combat bullying in schools.
The Open University with Access All Areas and Disability History Month launched free on-line educational materials for use in schools in November. With the prevalence of negative language about disabled people and increased name based bullying at school or college particularly for students with learning difficulties this resource will be useful to teachers to raise understanding and empathy amongst students. 
This new online resource comprises a bank of educational activities for Key Stages 2-5, relevant to a wide range of subject areas, for both mainstream and special educational provision. Many of the activities are also suitable for adults with learning disabilities. The activities engage with contemporary issues of equality, rights, discrimination, disablist language and bullying, using a historical perspective. 
The activities are built around the life of Mabel Cooper as portrayed in the film 'No Longer Shut Up'. Mabel was institutionalised at 3 weeks old. Upon her release, Mabel became an active campaigner for people with learning disabilities, and was awarded an Honorary Degree from The Open University in 2010 in recognition of her work. Mabel believed passionately in the importance of teaching young people about the history of policies and practices that stigmatised and separated people.  She argued until the final weeks of her life in 2013 that this aspect of disabled people's history in the UK needed to be known, to help change attitudes and improve people’s lives in the future. Contact Jan Walmsley 07813085211 for more information


Health resources

The British Academy of Childhood Disability has a range of resources including:

The above resources, and others, are available at



Focus: Dads

Down’s with the kids

A podcast about being the dad to a child with a learning disability. As one dad says: "My son's special because he's a wonderful kid not because of the technical term."


Focus: Listening into action


Young people have fed back that they don’t like being referred to as adolescents. Going forwards the Department of Health and NHS England will no longer be talking about Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) but will be referring to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS).



Focus: Autism-friendly venues in Liverpool


Liverpool aims to be the first truly autism-friendly city in the UK. There are many places in the city which are adapting their environment and catering to those with special needs.


Bubbles Soft Play, New Brighton aims to offer a minimum of two special needs evenings per month, creating an environment for all to enjoy. The evening is aimed at babies and children up to the age of 11 who may require special assistance getting around the play area.


Chester Zoo is working with Autism Together, and has signed up to the Autism Charter. In order to become an autistic-friendly visitor attraction, the zoo has trained numerous staff as autistic champions. With more 130 zoo staff having attended autism awareness training sessions, Chester Zoo is becoming more and more autism-friendly. Quieter times are suggested on the website, with an interactive map available online and information on the animals, ensuring the best preparation is made prior to a visit.


Cinemas – FACT have autism-friendly screenings of the latest blockbusters with reduced volume and increased lighting with tickets priced at £3, Light Cinema and the Odeon have autism-friendly viewings and Liverpool ONE Odeon offer Sunday morning screenings at 11.30am for a better viewing experience, keeping the volume lower, having no trailers and more movement around the cinema.


Clarks Shoes, Mersey Retail Park, offers out-of-hours appointments on a Sunday for autism-friendly shoe fittings. Appointments can be made between 10 and 10.30am, before the store opens to ensure a more relaxed and quiet atmosphere. To book, call 0151 427 6951.


The Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, is offering a relaxed viewing of the rock ’n’ roll panto, Beauty and the Beast on 16 January 2017 for those with autism and their families.


John Lennon Airport is offering as much guidance and assistance as they can to ensure a smooth travelling experience. In preparation for a journey, John Lennon Airport has put together a guide making the experience into a game. This can be downloaded prior to flying. Also available is an autism awareness voucher, able to assist through security either independently or with some help from the special assistant service providers. These vouchers can be obtained by contacting:

Mattel Play, Liverpool, have signed the autism charter and are now working to become an integral part of Liverpool’s autism friendly city. They offer an autism friendly venue with all staff having undergone full training. Going forwards they will be offering special autism events on a regular basis where capacity is limited to ensure a calm and relaxed experience. For those with autism who wish to attend at other times, the advice is to go along at 9:20am any day of the week for a quieter and more relaxed experience.

Other newsletters

Council for Disabled Children news


Contact a Family news


ICAN newsletter


Ofsted news


Special World News

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