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Sendiass Newsletter (November/December 2020)

Published: Monday, 14th December 2020

Newsletter of resources and information to support parents, carers and young people across a range of topics.

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In this newsletter

We have included details of some new resources and information that we have produced to support parents, carers and young people across a range of topics. You can also find a link to some information on coping with the festive season. 

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We know that these are still strange times, while most children have returned to school, it is a very different environment and lots of things are being done differently. Many of you will again experience periods of isolation and home-schooling.  The Covid-19 section of our website still contains lots of information about home learning, managing the return to school and children’s anxiety and health and well-being resources.

The festive season is here, and we know that this can often be a challenging time for families of children with additional needs. We have produced some information about coping with Christmas. We hope it helps.

Christmas Hours

Our phone lines will be closed from:

Herefordshire: Monday 21st December – Tuesday 5th January
Worcestershire: Monday 21st December- Monday 4th January

Everyone at HW SENDIASS wishes you a very merry Christmas.

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New information


In October we were very excited to launch our first ever animation

‘SEN Support in Mainstream Settings- Graduated Response’ is designed to help people to understand the support that should be in place for children and young people with SEN in mainstream settings across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

You can find it on our YouTube channel or on the video page of our website. We hope you like it!!

Helpful Hints for Meetings

We have also produced some new information around meeting with professionals.

As a parent carer of a child or young person with SEND you will likely have regular meetings with your child’s educational setting as well as possible meetings with specialists and healthcare professionals. For many parent carers these meetings can be a cause of anxiety. We hope this information and our new meeting planner will help you to prepare for meetings so that you can make the most of them.

In the current situation many meetings are being held virtually so we have also included information on preparing for virtual meetings.

Annual Review

The Annual Review Factsheet has been created to help parents, carers and young people understand the process around annual reviews of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

What is SEND?

Some children and young people will have a learning difficulty or disability that requires special educational provision. This provision is something that is additional to and different from that generally available to pupils of the same age. These children and young people may be identified as having special educational needs (SEN).

This factsheet is designed to explain what special educational needs and disability (SEND) is. We hope it is helpful for those at the beginning of their SEND journey.

Local SEND news- Worcestershire

Graduated Response Guide

The Graduated Response sets out Local Authority expectations for the ways in which schools and settings should meet the needs of children and young people with SEND in Worcestershire. This is sometimes referred to as SEND support. 
Worcestershire Children First have worked with partners including, parents and carers from Families in Partnership  Worcestershire, to produce 'Understanding the Graduated Response'. This guide aims to help parents, carers and young people to navigate the Graduated Response.
You can find it here:

Post 16 Graduated Response

This document details the responsibilities of Post-16 settings for developing Personal Centred Approaches for young people who may have special educational needs and disability. This document was co-produced with parent carers and a range of experienced further education professionals.
The Post-16 Graduated Response represents a structured approach to meeting the needs of a wide variety of learners, within a mainstream curriculum, to help them to achieve their aspirations and goals alongside their peers wherever possible.

You can access the Post-16 Graduated Response on the Worcestershire local offer website. 

Worcestershire Association of Carers legal workshops

In January and February Worcestershire Association of Carers are holding legal workshops for parents or carers of children or young people with additional needs. This workshop was led by a family law specialist and will cover issues involved with future planning for a special needs child. 

Local SEND news- Herefordshire

The Safe Place Scheme has extended to include Herefordshire. The Safe Place scheme developed by Our Way self advocacy gives vulnerable people a short term ‘Safe Place’ to go if they are feeling threatened or upset when out and about in their local town.

Shops, businesses and public buildings who are a 'Safe Place' will display the Safe Place sticker in their window.

You can also download a free app called ‘My Town Worcestershire’ for your smartphone which shows your nearest Safe Place.

Herefordshire Mencap has been working with Our Way to include all of Herefordshire’s ‘safe places’ on the app.

For more information about ‘safe places’ in Worcestershire see Our Way’s website

For more information about ‘Safe Places’ in Herefordshire see the Herefordshire Mencap Website

Parent carer forums

The parent carer forums in our area are both looking for new members.

A parent carer forum is a group of parents and carers of children with additional needs or disabilities.

The aim of parent carer forums is to make sure that the services in their local area meet the needs of children with additional needs or disabilities and their families.

They do this by gathering the views of local families and then working in partnership with local authorities, education, health and other providers to highlight where local services and processes are working well, or challenge when changes or improvements need to be made.

Any parent carer of a child with additional needs or disability is welcome to join their local parent carer forum. Joining does not mean you have to commit lots of time. As a member you can just be updated with newsletters and have opportunities to complete relevant questionnaires. If you have spare time and would like to be more involved there are further opportunities.

More information

Parent carer Voice Herefordshire

Families in partnership Worcestershire

This video explains more about why you might want to join.

National SEND News

Government Guidance

This following government guidance has been updated:

Courses and resources 

Council for Disabled Children has launched an e-learning course: 'Holistic Outcomes in Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)'

Time to Talk is a project run by the National Development Team for Inclusion to Support young people (aged 16-25) with SEND to plan for the future, following the disruption caused by the pandemic and lockdown.

The project offers young people free, strength-based support at home to counter social isolation and provide motivation to make plans for the future.

More information and details on how to request support for yourself or on behalf of a young person

The Transition Event Hub is full of information and resources on topics to do with transition to adulthood. Live webinars took place in November and these can now be viewed for free on the website. 


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