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Special educational needs updates

Special educational needs and disabilities updates Summer term 2018

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Feedback gathered by the Special Educational Needs team


The Special Educational Needs (SEN) team are gaining feedback on how parents and professionals found the Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment meetings.

Of the spring terms 2018 feedback forms that were completed the main findings are as follows:   

  • Overall parents felt prepared for their child’s EHC meeting
  • 100 percent of parents felt satisfied with the EHC meetings with the majority feeling very satisfied (94 percent)   
  • The majority of parents felt able to contribute at the meetings     

Feedback was also gathered from a range of professionals including school staff, health professionals, Educational Psychologist, learning support services and ASSIST.         

100 percent of these professionals felt prepared and satisfied with the EHC meetings and transfer review meetings. Feedback from professionals included 'Meeting very accessible with a real focus on the child'. 

Transferring Statements of SEN to Education, Health and Care Plans  

Although it has taken longer to complete the transfers than we would have wished the council met the 31 March 2018 deadline for transferring all Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) to Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

Many thanks to the children, young people and their parents and schools for working collaboratively to achieve this.

In March 2018 we launched our campaign to reach all families who may have a child with special educational needs and disability to inform them of support they may be entitled to. Letters were sent out through the CAN Network, the Local Offer, the voluntary sector and REACH. You can read a copy of the letters on our short breaks web page.

Families can use the self-assessment form to request short break funding if they are not known to a Children’s Services team and feel that they would be eligible. The self-assessment form is available on our short breaks webpage.

A draft copy of the Short Break Statement 2018 to 2019 will be sent to REACH Wokingham in June. REACH Wokingham are assisting the council in reviewing of the draft statement. The statement will be launched for public consultation at the beginning of July 2018.

We are pleased to announce that the following providers are listed as Wokingham’s preferred providers:

  • Dingley's Promise 
  • Kids 
  • Me2Club 
  • Mencap 
  • Radis 

These providers can be identified on the Local Offer by the short breaks preferred provider logo. To view the list go to our services directory.

To be included on the list means that Wokingham Borough Council will engage with quality assurance activities with these organisations and work together to meet the needs of children and young people. Quality assurance for us means that these 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.

We are developing an online booking system for preferred providers which will be launched when complete.

We are committed to identifying and working with more providers to join the preferred provider list. If you are a provider and would like to apply to be on the list please contact Marcia Campbell by email: QACommissioning@wokingham.gov.uk 

All families who have been assessed as eligible to receive short break funding will have received their Wokingham Card. Some families received their card before the accompanying paperwork which explains the amount they are entitled to and how to activate the card. This issue was resolved in April, if you still have not received any accompanying documentation please email: QACommissioning@wokingham.gov.uk 

We would like to hear from you if you have any questions about the changes to the short break service. Contact either the CAN Network or the Strategy and Commissioning team who will be able to advise you.

Contact details

The CAN Network

Strategy and Commissioning team 

Parents of pre school aged children that have or may have special educational needs and or disability in a nursery or pre school that are not part of a school, are now able to feedback on the service offered by the Early Years Inclusion Advisor (EYIA). 

Your child’s nursery or pre school can provide you with the feedback form or the Early Years Inclusion Advisor (EYIA).  Feedback received is used where appropriate to adapt the service.

After 10 years years providing support to parents and young people, Phil Cullimore has decided to retire and will be leaving the service at the end of June. However, we are delighted that Julie Monahan has agreed to take over the mantle, bringing her wealth of knowledge and experience and thus maintaining a continuity of support to the borough’s families around Special Educational Needs and Disability. 

Her current post of SENDIASS Assistant will be filled as soon as possible. We have had some success in recruiting volunteers, some of whom have already started training, we hope to maintain our level of service as far as possible.

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

The drop in sessions will not run during the summer holiday. Autumn term dates will be available soon on the SENDIASS drop in surgeries web page. 

  • Venue: Wokingham Youth Centre, 35 Reading Road, Wokingham, RG41 1EG  
  • Time: 10am until 12 noon (during term time) 

To find out dates the drop in sessions run please visit the SENDIASS drop in surgeries web page. 

The SENDIASS volunteer recruitment process has been successful but further volunteers would help create a wider knowledge base of support helpers. 

SENDIASS would welcome those people who may have had support from them in the past or with experience in education, for example retired head teachers or Special Educational Need Co-ordinators (SENCos). 

If you are interested please contact SENDIASS to arrange an informal chat about what is involved. 

Contact details 

SENDIASS, in co-production with REACH Wokingham have formed a steering group. The purpose of the steering group is to guide the development of Wokingham SENDIASS.  

The steering group will: 

  • Identify what is working well
  • What could be improved
  • What are the gaps in the service provided

Whilst ensuring that it maintains its impartiality and arm’s length status from the Local Authority. 

The steering group first met in April and achieved: 

  • A terms of reference 
  • Reviewed the SENDIASS new confidentiality and data protection policy and impartiality policy to ensure they were easy to read and understand. Go to the SENDIASS web page to read these documents.

SENDIASS are keen to have more parent reps on the steering group. If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact REACH Wokingham, the parent carer forum. 

Contact details 

REACH Wokingham would like to thanks all those parents who responded to the recent consultation about SEND services within Wokingham. 

REACH would like to feedback that the information was very helpful, some results were as expected and there were a few surprises too. The LA are now revising their self-evaluation again in light of the information collected from parents. The issues raised about therapies has also been fed back to the providers.

The SEND Tribunal are responsible for handling appeals against local authority decisions regarding special educational needs. Previously they could only make recommendations about education aspects of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC). 

The SEND tribunal can now make recommendations about health and social care aspects EHC Plans issued from 3 April 2018. This is a trial and will run for 2 years. 

Read our changes to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) tribunal web page for further information.

The Council for Disabled Children have made a short animation film which helps explain the Education, Health and Care Plan annual review process. 

Watch the video on our reviewing Education, Health and Care Plans webpage. 

The Council for Disabled Children have also created short animation films to help explain the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process and the person centred connection. These videos can be found on our Education, Health and Care Plan assessment web page. 

A  Local Offer leaflet (PDF document) has been development with REACH Wokingham the parent forum to inform parents, carers and young people how to access the Local Offer and how it can help. A digital version of the leaflet can be found on the Local Offer section of our website.

We're always keen to hear feedback from you about our Local Offer. This can be provided via our online Local Offer survey or by emailing the Family Information Service at  info.families@wokingham.gov.uk

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