News


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Please find attached the 1st weekly SEND News Splash, a short update of news from around the world of SEND in Swindon.
Hope you enjoy.
Andrew Myrie. Local Offer and Early Help Development Officer Education.
The go to website for SEND in Swindon: https://localoffer.swindon.gov.uk/home

Transport In Swindon.

We have put together a short survey about SEND Transport in Swindon. A lot of families have a good experience with their transport, however recently we have had some families highlight some concerns. Our aim is to get a full picture about your experience with the service and feed it back to Swindon Borough Council, working with them on any issues that are showing through the results.

The link to the survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NYSF5RH

For reference the SBC SEND Transport policy is here: https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20070/special_educational_needs/419/apply_for_special_educational_needs_transport


Core Standards.

Following the parents and carers focus group on the new Core Standards that took place yesterday, we invite all parents and carers of children and young people with SEND to review and feedback on the new core standards – a new way of helping support in our school be more consistent, and will be used from September to document the needs and evidence the needs of our children. It can also be used by those that home educate. Attached is a poster to visually explain the new process.

To review them follow this link: Core Standards

Please provide us with your feedback, via email. Email us using the link SSFV while the consultation period is open until the end of June, so we can pass your views to Swindon Borough Council. Thank you.

core standards.png


5th June 2019 Mental Health Trailblazer.

We recently asked you to complete a survey about mental health support in schools. Please find attached the results of the survey. They will be shared with everyone associated with the new scheme to help shape what the new Mental Health Support Teams look like in our schools. Consultation report 2019


2nd June 2019 A message from David Haley – Director of Children’s Service.

Swindon Borough Council.

Many of you will have been contacted recently about our local area SEND Ofsted/CQC inspection. Thank you for those of you who took the time and opportunity to contribute to the inspection process.

The inspectors recognised many strengths in SEND provision in Swindon and also identified areas for improvement including eight specific areas.

Click for full Ofsted report: https://files.api.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50050233

With your support, we have already been very busy working on how we can make things better for children, young people and their families.

What have we done already:

. We have increased the capacity of the SEN team to make sure that assessments and reviews of children and young people with EHCPs are done on time.

. We are working much closer with our partners, including Swindon SEND Families Voice as the parent carer forum, so that we can focus on parents perspective.

. We have already delivered and continue to deliver a training programme for all staff in education, health and social care, to continuously raise awareness amongst all professionals about the principles of the SEND reforms and what is expected of them.

. We are delivering support sessions for parents and carers so that they feel better informed.

. We are working closely with a number of our schools, early years settings and colleges to develop a core offer for SEN across all educational settings in Swindon.  This will greatly improve consistency of support available to all children and young people with SEN.

. We have strengthened our Governance arrangements and implemented a new Performance Management and Quality Assurance process.

These are just a few examples of actions already taken to make sure that we can do better for children and young people with SEND in Swindon. We want all of our children to be included, achieve well and be happy in their local communities.

We have received confirmation from Ofsted that our plan of action has been approved without amendment. This is great news because it means that together with all of our partners we can now focus on what we promised and achieve outcomes we set out in our plan here:

http://children.mycaremysupport.co.uk/i-need-help-with/swindons-local-offer-what-is-it-and-how-is-it-reviewed/our-written-statement-of-action.aspx

How are we going to know that we are making progress?

The SEND Board is a multi agency forum which meets every month and parent carer representatives are members of that board. All members receive monthly updates on progress and will be made aware of anything that is not going according to plan. The SEND Board has a responsibility to oversee the implementation of our plan to improve.

Where can you find our more information?

We already have a Local Offer for SEND published on the Councils website.  We have recognised that we can improve our Local offer and the information can be presented in a better way. This October we are planning to relaunch our Local offer. In the meantime we continue to include information about SEND in Swindon on the current website.

Swindon SEND Families Voice are the parent carer forum for Swindon. They are the strategic partners to the Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group and I welcome the challenge and support that they provide the Local Authority to deliver improvement across the whole system for children and their families.

Thank you for your support.

David Haley. Corporate Director – Children Services (DCS) Swindon Borough Council.


31st May 2019 – SEND Transport FAQ.

We have co-produced this Transport Frequently Asked Questions with parents/carers in Swindon and Swindon Borough Council. We hope that those accessing SEND transport will find the document useful. It is published on the Local Offer website (click here to view). We would like to thank everyone that had input into putting the document together.


Saturday 11th May 2019 New Survey.

have-your-sayClick here please to share your views on the relationship you have with your Senco. Survey is open for one week and the anonymous answers will be used as part of a presentation.

 


Wednesday 8th May 2019 In the Media.

https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/17624964.swindon-send-families-voice-and-hop-skip-and-jump-launch-new-group-for-carers-of-young-people/


Launch of New Support Group!

We are delighted to announce a new partnership between Swindon SEND Families Voice and Hop, Skip & Jump. A monthly support group for all parents and carers in Swindon of children and young people with any special educational needs or disabilities, including those that are on the pathway to diagnosis. Please come along, we look forward to meeting you!

Branches - Group Poster_Leaflet


Mental Health in School – Survey closes 12th April.

Please complete this quick survey whether you consider your child/young person aged up to 25 to have mental health concerns or not. Most questions are still relevant. Please complete a separate survey for each child you have.

Swindon has recently been granted £2.3m to deliver Mental Health Support Teams to a proportion of schools within the Borough (approx 50%). Swindon SEND Families Voice are pleased to sit on the steering group that is delivering these teams. To enable us to share your views we have created this survey. We want to consult parents and carers on their views on Social, Emotional and Mental Health support currently provided in schools. The closing date for this survey is 12th April. Thank you for your help.

Click here for the survey


Ofsted SEND Inspection Result – January 2019.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission carried out a joint inspection of SEND services in November based on the last 4 years of performance. There are 2 possible outcomes, either a letter that shows the services are adequate, or a Written Statement of Action where there are significant areas of weakness in the local area’s practice. Swindon has received a Written Statement Of Action.

As a parent carer forum for Swindon, we have been working with Swindon Borough Council and Clinical Commissioning Group (Heath services) since March of this year so can only comment on what we have seen over those 10 months. The issues highlighted in the report are known to us (and to many of you) and didn’t bring up many surprises. They are key areas that we are in the process of working with those that make the decisions to improve. Ofsted have highlighted that there are the beginnings of many improvements such as the introduction of ELSA’s in all schools (see below for details) the High Needs Core Standards documents that are in the process of being written and the Redesigning of the ASD Pathway. We are also pleased to see that they recognise Swindon SEND Families Voice in a positive light. However, we also witness the financial difficulties the authorities face which is unfortunately a nationwide issue, but has led to high demands on some frontline employees which leads to mistakes and an inadequate service at times.

We will continue to do as we have been doing, working in co-production with authorities, challenge where we feel the need to, get as much feedback from you all, and keep growing as a forum trying to reach as many Swindon parents and carers as we can. The next few months will be exceptionally busy as we unpick the report and ensure all highlighted issues are addressed, and we would value more than ever any support you are willing to give us. Please keep a close eye out for our updates and see what you can do to help us improve things for all of our children. We truly believe it is through working together, collaboratively with everyone, that we can makes positive change happen.

Click here for the full inspection report.


Private and Independent Schools Survey.

Does your child attend a private school or college or independent and not funded by the Local Authority? If so this survey applies to you and closes on 15th January. Please complete if you can. Thank you.
A group of councils (Bristol, Bournemouth, Dorset, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Swindon, West Berkshire, Wiltshire and Wokingham) are working together to ensure all children and young people attending an independent non maintained special school or an independent specialist post 16 placement (private and/or for profit schools and colleges) have access to high quality education that makes progress towards their outcomes and longer term aspirations possible.
Independent and Non Maintained Special Schools are schools that are not maintained (i.e. not funded or controlled) by a local authority, and are specially set up for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). An ‘Independent’ school is usually one run privately for profit whereas a ‘Non-Maintained’ school is run ‘not for profit’ usually by a charitable body.
 
We want to work with parents and carers to improve the experience and outcomes that their child/young person with SEND achieves, so we’d love to hear your views on your child’s school or college. We would be grateful if you could please complete this questionnaire. Your feedback will be used to help inform and develop the design of a list of approved special schools and colleges, from which each local authority will make education placements. As part of this process we will keep you informed of progress and publish a ‘You Said, We Did’ document on our consultations hub to show how we listened to your feedback. Click on the link to go to the website https://bristol.citizenspace.com/
 
This process is not going to directly impact the services that children receive and no children will need to move school as a result of this change. This is about changing the way the local authorities purchase placements. Providers will be required to meet certain standards in order to be eligible, which will help us to better monitor the quality and effectiveness of placements available.
 
For the purpose of this survey, ‘school’ refers to all education establishments (pre and post 16 schools and colleges) and ‘child’ refers to children and young people up to the age of 25.

Capital Bids Consultation.

Have you heard of Capital Bids?

Swindon has been given approx £325,000 over 3 years (£977,000 in total) from the Department for Education that must be put towards projects that develop SEND provision. These are called Capital Bids. The Council want to use this money to invest in as many projects as possible so that a greater proportion of children with SEND will benefit from this fund. Phase 1 earlier this year saw educational settings across the borough put in their bids and 13 projects were approved. The criteria for the projects included helping improve Social, Emotional, Mental Health, Physical Development and supporting life skills.

Some of the projects are still being planned and some are fully operational. Have any of your schools benefited from the projects? The 13 projects are at Swindon Academy, Holy Family Catholic Primary, Nursery of Narnia, Lydiard Park Academy, Covingham Park, Kingsdown, Dorcan Academy, Lethbridge, New College, Even Swindon, Warneford and Goddard Park. The projects include sensory rooms, greenhouse, nurture provision, accessible toilets, lift, accessible doors and a well-being hub log cabin.

The 2nd phase of consultation is currently taking place until the closing date of 14th December.  If you wish to have your say please click on this link read and complete the survey.
https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20019/consultations_engagement_and_surveys/956/send_capital_investment_fund_consultation

Breaking News!

Parents and carers of a child or young person with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities between the ages of 0-25 years are invited to attend a drop in session with the Ofsted inspector to share your experiences of the SEND Services in Swindon. There is no need to book an appointment, just come when it is convenient to you between the times below.

Date: Tuesday 20th November, Time: 11.45am – 1pm, Venue: Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH

Please note parking is limited at the Civic Offices. The nearest car park is a pay and display at Spring Gardens, Swindon, SN1 2BF.

For alternative travel http://www.swindontravelchoices.co.uk/


Ofsted Inspection.

Ofsted are giving Swindon Borough Council a SEND inspection week commencing 19th November. See attached information on how to have your say between 12th November and 20th November.

Inspection briefing for public


High Needs Review.

High Needs Review Powerpoint Presentation 

Evaluation of Core Standards Word Document

Dear All, Please read the below communication. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved with putting core standards in place that aim to improve the support of our children in school and college, and make it more consistent. We are all once again asked to be involved in a big project, so I hope you are able to become a part of it and get our voices heard.

Kind Regards

The Families Voice Committee

Dear parents and carers,

I am the new High Needs Implementation Manager for Swindon Borough Council.  My role is to implement the recommendations of the High Needs Review that was carried out last academic year.  I attach a Power-point presentation summarising what these recommendations were, for your information.

High needs are those that cannot be met from the budget delegated to schools so it covers any child or young person who is in receipt of additional top-up funding at school or who has an EHCP. However, some of the recommendations of the review also relate to the support for children and young people at SEN Support level, so the remit of the work covers all children and young people with SEND in Swindon schools and colleges.

I am undertaking a project to put in place a ‘Core Standards’ document that will help all schools across Swindon to support every child and young person with SEND (aged 4-18 years) and would really value the contribution of as many parents and carers as possible.  The aim is to help schools across Swindon to provide quality and consistent support for all children with SEN.  We want this document to be accessible for all – including schools, parents, carers and professionals from support services, and to link it to useful resources and advice online.

I am forming an overall Working Group for the High Needs Implementation Work and two members of the Swindon SEND Families Voice Committee have been invited to be part of this.  There will also be task and finish groups for each area of SEND need: cognition and learning, communication and interaction (speech and language), communication and interaction (ASC/social communication difficulties), Social emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and Physical Impairment.  I would welcome parent/carer volunteers to be a part of any of these groups to help with developing the core standards.

There are some links at the bottom of this email to some examples of core standards that have been developed by other Local Authorities.  If you would like to be a part of the decision as to what the Swindon core standards document should look like, please look at these examples of core standards and complete the above evaluation sheet.  Email this evaluation sheet to swindonsendfamiliesvoice@outlook.com, the committee representative can share your views at the meeting.

If you would be interested in joining any of the task and finish groups for different areas of SEN need, it would be good to hear from you.  Please email me on lfewings@swindon.gov.uk, indicating which group you would like to be part of.  Please also copy swindonsendfamiliesvoice@outlook.com into the email.  Alternatively do feel free to give me a call on the number below.

It would be extremely valuable to have the views of parents and carers represented and to be able to use your knowledge and experience to help us to develop a really useful and beneficial document.

https://choices.somerset.gov.uk/025/education/what-to-expect-from-education/

https://www.wiltshirelocaloffer.org.uk/education/

https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools-and-colleges/special-educational-needs-file/strategies-and-policies/the-graduated-response/

https://new.devon.gov.uk/supportforschools/services-and-contacts/send

https://www.kelsi.org.uk/special-education-needs/special-educational-needs/the-mainstream-core-standards

I look forward to working with you.

Kind Regards

Liz Fewings, High Needs Implementation Manager. Contact at; 07977017465


Carers Rights Day.

We will be having a stall at this event! We hope to see some of you there on the day too.

Carers Rights Day.png


Save the date…

2018-09-18


Aiming High Short Breaks Statement. Consultation 2018.

Aiming HighEvery few years the Aiming High short breaks statement is reviewed.  We have been asked to get feedback from parents and carers in Swindon about the statement. Aiming High would like to know what you would like improved, what you would like kept the same, and any frustrations you have with the service.  Click here to read the statement and please email us or find us on Facebook to send us a message with your views.


Take part in our poll.have-your-say

Please complete our short poll to decide which workshop/coffee morning we will be arranging in Autumn! Click here to vote!