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Sandwell SEND Updates

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The information on these pages has been put together to enable parents who have a child with special needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to find the information they are looking for in one place. 

Once we are aware of information which is of interest to families of children and young people with SEND and professionals working with them we will post it here. It is organised in monthly sections.

To find specific information about organisations in Sandwell that support young people with SEND and their families please click on the 'SEND Organisations' link on the SEND Local Offer home page.

Updates - November 2022

New Video from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)

SPDC has produced a new video to show the work it does to support the families of children and young people with SEND. Watch it on the Sandwell SEND Organisations page

Family Activities in December from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)

SPDC has published details of its family activities for December, including Christmas.

Parent Carer Newsletter for November and December 2022 from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)

SPDC has published its November 2022 newsletter for parents and carers. You can find details on the SPDC Twitter page. It has also published the December 2022 newsletter

Updates - October 2022

New Transition to Adulthood Brochure from SENDIASS

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) has produced a new brochure to support the transition to adulthood for young people with SEND. You can access it from the downloads section of the Preparing for Adulthood page.

Details of Family Club for October to December 2022 from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)

SPDC has published details of its Family Club from October to December 2022. You can get more details on the SPDC Twitter page.

Autism Awareness Session

There is an autism awareness session taking place at Brasshouse Lane Community Centre B66 1BA on Tuesday 18th October 10am-12noon. This is a free workshop for anyone interested in autism. No booking is needed and all are welcome.

Last Chance to Take Part in the HOPE Survey

The HOPE Survey seeks to identify variations in SEND provision and identification. You can complete the survey if you are a young person with SEND, a parent/carer or a SEND professional. The closing date for completing the survey is Friday 14 October 2022. For any queries about the survey you can email hope21@medschl.cam.ac.uk 

October Half-Term Activities from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)

SPDC has announced details of activities on offer to families during October half-term. You can find more details on the SPDC website. You can also access the October 2022 parent/carer newsletter in the downloads section of this page.

Updates - September 2022

Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC) - September Newsletter for Parents and Carers and Family Club

You can find details of the SPDC September 2022 parent/carer newsletter and Family Club by visiting their website

Latest Edition of Kidz to Adultz Magazine Available

The latest edition of the Kidz to Adultz magzine is now available. The magazine deals with issues around the transition to adult life for young people with SEND. It is available on the Disabled Living website.

Additional Funding for Supported Internships Announced

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced the Internships Work consortium and the British Association of Supported Employment (BASE) as the chosen delivery partners for an £18 million investment in the Supported Internships programme.

The Internships Work programme includes the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), BASE, and DFN Project SEARCH. It will work closely with local authorities to double the number of supported internships by 2025, engaging with employers and young people to level up the quality of Supported Internships across the programme.

 In addition to their involvement in Internships Work, BASE will offer personalised support to young people in acquiring skills and independence by training over 700 new job coaches by 2025.

 You can read more about Internships Work and BASE by visiting their websites.

Updates - August 2022

Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC) - Summer Activities 2022

You can find details of the activities on offer from SPDC for Summer 2022 by reading the newsletter on their website

Updates - July 2022

DfE Consultation on Changes to Timescales for Reviews of Education Health and Care Plans

The government consultation on changes to EHCP review timescales is currently underway. It finishes on 12 August. You can respond to the consultation by visiting the consultation webpage

Updates - June 2022

News from Autism West Midlands (AWM)

AWM has announced details of upcoming vents for parents/carers in Sandwell. Click on the appropriate link for more information

You can find details of other events in the West Midlands, including a Virtual Dads Group, on the AWM events page.

AWM have also announced that, due to current circumstances, they are replacing face-to-face meetings with telephone advice sessions. For more information, including how to book a session, please contact Donna or Angela:

T: 07881 109 525 E: donnab@autismwestmidlands.org.uk
T: 07706 309 379 E: angelas@autismwestmidlands.org.uk

Latest Newsletter from the Travel Assistance Service (TAS)

TAS, which deals with home to school transport for children and young people with SEND, has published its latest newsletter. You can access it in the downloads section

Earlier Updates

Sandwell Sensory Processing Occupational Therapy Project

The Sandwell Sensory Processing Occupational Therapy Project is a 2 year pilot project to establish the effectiveness of Occupational Therapy interventions for children with sensory processing differences. Read an overview of the project in the downloads section.

New Autism Awareness Pack for Educational Professionals

To celebrate Autism Acceptance Week this year (28 March to 3 April), the Autism Education Trust (AET) have been working with their Autistic Young Expert’s Panel to produce their Let’s Learn About Autism Packs. The fully resourced packs are designed to help all education professionals to plan their Autism Acceptance Week lessons and lead conversations about autism and understanding difference. 

New Online Meeting Space for Autistic Young People

Ambitious about Autism has launched the UK’s first online platform for autistic young people – please find further details on their website.

New National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults

Information from the Department for Education:

"Improving the lives of autistic people is the focus of a new multi-million pound strategy launched by the government today. Backed by nearly £75 million in the first year, it aims to speed up diagnosis and improve support and care for autistic people. The funding includes £40 million through the NHS Long Term Plan to improve capacity in crisis services and support children with complex needs in inpatient care. It also includes £600,000 to fund training for staff in early years settings, schools and colleges, to improve the experience of autistic children in the education system and prepare them for adulthood. "

You can find more in formation on the GOV.UK website

New SEND Strategy for Sandwell

Sandwell has produced its strategy for children and young people with SEND covering the years 2021-24. To access the strategy click on 'Updates from the SEND Strategic Board' in the Related Pages section of this page.

Safeguarding Children and Young People with Autism

The National Autistic Society has produced a guide that explores safeguarding and child protection with specific reference to autistic young people. It outlines what all professionals should consider when they have concerns about a young person's welfare or safety. The material draws on national statutory guidance.

New Parent Forum for Sandwell

Every Local Authority has a parent forum which encourages the participation of parents in the development of services for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities. Sandwell Parents Voices United is the new parent forum in Sandwell. If you would like to be part of the group it can be contacted on hello@spvu.org  or by phone on 07306 364106. You can follow them on Twitter (@VoicesParents) or on Instagram . You can also watch a short video which gives more details of the forum.

New BUZZ website for Deaf Children

The Buzz website has officially launched. This is the only website for deaf young people aged 8-18 in the UK and has been co-created with deaf young people and National Deaf Children’s Society. 

National Autistic Society (NAS) - Latest Newsletter

NAS has published its latest newsletter. It has a focus on the importance of physical activity at school.

Mind Over Natter - Supporting Your Child's Mental Health

Sandwell CAMHS has produced a podcast - Mind Over Natter in which there is discussion about how parents can support their child's mental health. There is a particular focus on lockdown and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. You will need an up to date browser to access the podcast. Alternatively, you can find it on Apple Podcasts.

Over £42 million to extend projects for children with SEND

The Government has announced over £42 million of funding to extend projects working with children with SEND and their families. It includes £27 million for The Family Fund which supports low-income families raising children with SEND to purchase equipment, goods and services which they might not otherwise be able to afford. There is also increased funding for local parent-carer forums. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Youth Healthwatch Sandwell

Statement from Healthwatch Sandwell re the establishment of Youth Healthwatch:

'Healthwatch Sandwell has established a Youth Healthwatch to ensure the views of Children and Young People on the health and social care services they use are heard. We wish to be a forum to enable Children and Young People to help shape and improve future services. We are recruiting young people to be part of Youth Healthwatch in a formal volunteering role or by individual projects that are important to a group of young people.'

'We would be happy to support any school project around Health and Social Care, maybe your school council would like to make a difference in a particular area? We wish to ensure everyone is heard and particularly wish to recruit young people who have a long term medical condition, disability, have a social worker or care for an individual.'

Digital Skills Training for Young People with Autism

The organisation Caudwell Children is offering young people with autism aged 18-25 an opportunity to join their Digital Skills Programme aimed at upskilling and introducing individuals to the world of work within the digital economy. Visit their website for more details including eligibility and how to apply.

West Midlands Police Advice on the Safer Use of Tik Tok

Tik Tok is a social media app that is very popular with young people. As with all apps of this kind there are things you can do to support its safe use. This flyer from West Midlands Police gives some tips on how to support your child to use Tik Tok safely. Click here to see the information

SEND Initiatives and Strategies

The Local Authority (along with central government and organisations from the private and voluntary sector) is constantly striving to improve its support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families. To that end strategies and initiatives to address different areas of SEND are regularly produced which have been produced invariably in collaboration with parents and young people. Details of these initiatives will appear here. 

You can see which strategies and initiatives have been produced, access the associated documents and submit any queries you may have.

SEND Annual Report

Each year we will publish an annual report which details the developments that have taken place in the field of Special Educational Needs and Disability during the preceding year. The latest report refers to the calendar year 2019. 

Click here to see the 2019 SEND Annual Report.

The EVOLVE Strategy and Special Provision Plan

The EVOLVE strategy follows on from a review of SEND provision undertaken in 2016. It provides 'a vision, a mission and a strategy' which will lead to significant improvements in provision for the most vulnerable children and young people in Sandwell. In order to achieve this goal Sandwell will make use of the capital funding it has been given by the Department for Education and which amounts to approximately £2.65 million pounds over the three years to 2021. This funding is intended to allow the Local Authority to develop and improve provision for pupils with Education Health and Care Plans. It can be used to create new places or to improve facilities for pupils with SEND at existing schools.

Preliminary information about how the capital funding will be spent are contained in the Evolve 3 strategy while details about specific projects and plans can be found in the Special Provision Plan.  

View the EVOLVE strategy documents. The latest Special Provision Plan can be accessed via the downloads section of this page.

The CLASS Initiative

The Communication, Language, Autism and Social Skills (CLASS) Initiative was produced in 2016 and was designed to detect, identify and intervene early with children who experience significant social communication difficulties and have problems talking. It was a joint initiative with Children's Centres in Sandwell and Sandwell Public Health.

View the CLASS Initiative documentation

 

SEND Employment White Paper

For a young person with SEND finding employment can be challenging. This white paper from the Challenge Board sets out ambitions to improve employment opportunities for young people with SEND in Sandwell. The Challenge Board is made up of young people with SEND and makes sure that the voices of young people are heard when plans and strategies are being drawn up. They are supported by the organisation Changing Our Lives.

View the employment white paper

 

OfSTED/CQC Information

Action Planning for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

In March 2019 the Sandwell area was visited by OfSTED and The Care Quality Commission (CQC) to monitor our progress towards the goals identified in our recent SEND action plan .

They found that Sandwell had made sufficient progress to allow for the lifting of the requirement for a written statement of action and the ceasing of monitoring visits by OfSTED and the CQC.

Click here to see the letter from OfSTED and the CQC about the progress made in Sandwell.