Sandwell SEND Updates
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 2023
Sandwell Parents Voices United (SPVU) Meeting with Inclusive Learning Services
SPVU is holding a meeting with the Inclusive Learning Service. The meeting will take place at Connor Education Centre, Connor Road, B71 3DJ on Monday 4 December 2023 between 11am and 1pm. You can get more details and book a place by clicking here
Latest News from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)
SPDC has published details of its activities for December. Click below for more details of:
Sandwell Local Area Partnership SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Strategy 2023-2026
Sandwell has produced its strategy for SEND and AP covering the period 2023 -2026. See the SEND Initiatves and Strategies section of this page for more details. The strategy can be downloaded from the downloads section of this page.
Updates from Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC)
Latest Magazine from Kidz to Adultz
Kidz to Adultz has published the latest edition of its magazine. This edition focuses on innovation and technology that can help disabled children and young people
Updates - October 2023
Updates - September 2023
Big Top Babies
Multi-sensory music sessions for babies and young children aged 0-5 with additional needs
Big Top Babies is a new provision offering weekly sessions for babies and children with additional needs.
Sessions are designed to be fun, inclusive and a supportive time for babies, children and parents to experience music together. The sessions are delivered by two musician-practitioners who are specialists in SEND and Early Years.
Sessions are FREE and take place on Wednesdays at the Windmill Community Centre, Smethwick, B66 3DX.
The Wrigglers session runs from 11.00-12.15 and is for babies and children who are non-mobile
The Movers session runs from 1.00-2.15 and is for children who are more mobile and active
The sessions are delivered in 5 week blocks. In the autumn term 2023 the first block runs from 20 September to 11 October and the second block runs from 18 October to 6 December. To find out more and to reserve a place ring 07792968743 or visit the Big Top Babies website
National Sleep Helpline
Does your child have trouble sleeping? Does this impact on your sleep? You can discuss your concerns with trained advisers on the National Sleep Helpline. The number to call is 03303 530 541. It is available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 7pm - 9pm and Monday and Wednesday 9am - 11 am.
Guidance on Choosing a Safe Out of School Setting
Sandwell has produced guidance to help parents and carers choose a safe out of school setting (such as holiday playscheme).
Presentation from the Organisation Young Epilepsy
Young Epilepsy is an organisation for young people with epilepsy. Have a look at the introductory presentation in the downloads section at the bottom of the page
Hospital Rooms (Sandwell CAMHS)
Hospital Rooms is an arts organisation which is going to be collaborating with artists and young people over the next year to make Sandwell CAMHS a more beautiful and creative place.
Together, it's going to transform the CAMHS building with artworks made especially for these spaces.
New Family Hubs in Sandwell
Children's Centres are growing to include more support and services and will become Sandwell Family Hubs.
For more information go to the Family Hubs website (live from 17 July 2023). You will be able to use the session finder to see what support is available.
Language Resources from Speech and Language UK
The organisation Speech and Language UK has given details of resources to help those working with children and young people who have difficulties in acquiring language skills
Early Help Portal
Youth Health Forum - dates for 2023
Are you aged between 13 and 21 and interested in helping to develop health services in Sandwell? Come to the Youth Health Forum. The dates of the meetings are in the flyer which you can access from the downloads section of this page. Other benefits are:
- Opportunities for volunteering and work experience which helps with CV's and UCAS applications
- Fun quarterly activities including go-karting, ice-skating and bowling
New Transition Explainer Leaflet from Inclusion Support
Inclusion support has produced a new leaflet that gives advice and guidance on transition to post-16 education and training. You can download it on the Going to College or Sixth Form page
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
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Sandwell Local Area Partnership SEND and Alternative Provision Strategy 2023-2026
In the wake of the recent visit to the area by Ofsted and The Care Quality Commission this strategy details Sandwell's plans to develop and improve services for children and young people with SEND and their families as well as for those who attend alternative provisions. The strategy is available in the downloads section of this page.
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.
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.
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.
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.