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Special educational needs updates

Special educational needs and disabilities updates autumn term 2018

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If you would like to share any views about the Local Offer or SEND provision in the Wokingham Borough complete our online Local Offer survey

Survey and focus group feedback

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) have carried out a number of surveys and focus groups over the summer months to gather people’s views about the service and how it could be improved and developed. We have been very encouraged by the results which show that we are valued by both parents and professionals.

The majority of our users consider us to be impartial, fair and, easy to get hold of, and that our involvement has made a difference. Over 90 percent said that we were helpful, that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service and that they would be likely to recommend us to others.

Feedback from professionals

Generally professionals agreed that our information, advice and support benefited parents. They felt that:

  • Parents had a greater understanding of the SEND Code of Practice and the arrangements that should be made for their children with SEN  
  • Parents were more involved in decisions about their child’s education as a result of our involvement 
  • 45 percent felt that parents were happier and less worried about their child’s future.  
  • 33 percent felt that they had a better, more positive relationship with parents as a result of our involvement 

We have received many positive comments about the service and a number of ideas for how we can improve the service we offer to parents. We are looking very closely at how we can put these ideas into practice over the coming months.

Thank you to all those who have contributed in any way to these surveys and reviews. 

Monthly drop-in sessions for parents

Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) drop in sessions will continue to be run on a monthly base for parents to come and discuss anything special educational needs related.

Drop-in session dates 

Dates for the remainder of the autumn term and spring term are as follows:

  • Venue: Wokingham Youth Centre, 35 Reading Road, Wokingham, RG41 1EG
  • Time: 10am until 12 noon

Next dates:

  • 15 November 2018
  • 6 December 2018
  • 17 January 2019
  • 14 February 2019
  • 14 March 2019

More details

For further information go to the  SENDIASS drop in surgeries directory listing.

Contact details

Short Breaks provide children and young people with disabilities opportunities to spend time away from their parents and carers, relaxing and having fun with their friends.  

They also provide families with a break from their caring responsibilities and give parents and carers a chance to unwind, spend time with their other children or take part in leisure or training activities. 

Short break activities are offered during the daytime, evening, weekend and school holidays.

Who can use the short breaks service?

To find out if you meet the eligibility criteria for the short breaks service read our  short breaks statement (PDF document.) 

How to apply for a short break

If you think you are eligible, go to our  short breaks and respite care webpage and download the new self-assessment form. Then return the self assessment form to:  shortbreaksselfassessment@wokingham.gov.uk 

After receiving an assessment form we’ll look at the information in it and decide what level of needs a child and family have. The level of needs dictate what happens next. If the assessment shows a family qualify for short breaks the council we’ll put together a short breaks plan with the family and arrange a short breaks direct payment to pay for the short breaks. Read the  decision making flowchart (PDF document) to find out more.

Give us your feedback

If you would like to provide any feedback relating to the short breaks process, email reachwokingham@hotmail.co.uk

The Preferred Provider List is a voluntary list and those providers who have been accepted onto it have been vetted by Wokingham Borough Council to ensure that the organisation has experience in providing a short breaks service, with adequate staff, skills and knowledge. The provider is required to have specific insurances, as well as policies and procedures in place to guide the actions of the individuals involved in the service, such as safeguarding, safer recruitment and health and safety.

Providers will undergo annual checks so that parents and carers can be assured that the provision is suitable to remain on the preferred providers list.

The council has already accepted a number of applications from providers. These applications came from current Short Break providers in the voluntary sector. We are continuing to encourage providers of Short Break services not previously commissioned by Wokingham Borough Council to apply to be included on the list.

You can view the list of preferred providers in our service directory.

Annual opportunities evening - 15 November

The Supported Employment Service are attending the annual opportunities evening at Addington School on 15 November 2018.

The service will have a stand and be engaging with students, parents, families and carers regarding employment. In particular the importance of building transferable skills to increase chances of achieving paid employment.

Supported Employment Transition Team Lead (Josh Hancock) will also be presenting to the attendees about how young people can access the service and the support they can get, ensuring that young people get a good start with achieving their goals and aspirations, and know the expert help Supported Employment Service provides. 

The opportunities evening and work with Addington is an extension of our support and commitment to local residents of Wokingham as we have also travel trained several students to their National Grid Internship where they will be completing a one year placement with the prospect of obtaining paid employment.

More details

For more information about the Supported Employment Service visit the Optalis website.

What is Ace at Optalis?

Optalis Supported Employment started its fifth year of Ace at Optalis in September. The ultimate goal of the course is for students to achieve paid employment and achieve or work towards independence in their role.

This year we have 13 students who started in September at Optalis Head Office in Wokingham. Our students are looking for roles in a variety of industries including catering, retail, horticulture and the animal industry. They are all determined to prove themselves in roles which add value to and actively contribute to their employer’s success.

Supported Employment Service

Throughout the course Supported Employment Service provides bespoke support for the students, focussing on their individual needs, goals and aspirations. Over the 5 years, Supported Employment Service has worked with over 40 students (excluding the current cohort.) This bespoke and person-centred approach has resulted in some great outcomes for our learners, with 90 percent of learners across the 5 years gaining paid employment or entering onto industry specific education and training opportunities.

More details

For more information contact the Supported Employment Service.

Sign up for council 0 to 25 SEND updates by registering with our email alerts system.

Read the Local Offer leaflet (PDF document) to find out how the Local Offer can help you.

Send us your views on our Local Offer service by completing our online Local Offer survey or by emailing us at info.families@wokingham.gov.uk

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