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Special educational needs and disabilities updates

Special educational needs and disabilities updates Summer Term 2019

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If you would like to share any views about the Local Offer or SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) provision in the Wokingham Borough complete our online Local Offer survey

Support for children under 5 with complex needs and their families

The Wokingham Borough Portage team have been working with health professionals to set up a group for children under 5 who have complex additional needs.

The Early Years Support Panel have already identified a number of children who met the criteria for this service. A letter has been send out to these families inviting them to attend one of the 2 groups that will be running across the borough.

The sessions will give parents and carers an opportunity to mix with other families in similar situations.

The group is structured to allow time to discuss topics of interest, socialise with each other, observe and engage with play based activities, baby massage, group singing and sensory story.

Families will be asked to make suggestions as to what topics of interest they would like to talk about.

Session information

The sessions will be held at:

Finchampstead Baptist Church     

  • First Tuesday of the month at from 1pm until 2.30pm

Red Kite children Centre, Shinfield    

  • Third Thursday of the month from 11am until 12.30pm

What professionals will attend the sessions?

Professionals who will be initially attend these sessions we be:    

  • Portage teachers    
  • Health Visitor
  • Family workers
  • Nursery staff 

Other professionals will be invited along on a needs basis for example: Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), Educational Psychologists (EP), Sensory Consortium Service (SCS) , Dingley’s Promise, Occupational Therapists (OT).

These sessions will initially run for 3 months before the end of this period the groups will be evaluate with parents and professionals who attended to see if these were of benefit to the families and if additional sessions should be run.  

We believe this will be a great way for families, who have a child with complex needs to get support. Parents and carers have already feedback that they are keen to engage with these groups.

How to access the groups

If you feel this is something your family would benefit from please talk to your Health Visitor. They can assess if your family meets the criteria for the groups. 

The first session was held on the 4 June 2019.  

Monthly drop-in sessions for parents

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

Drop-in session dates

Dates for the summer term are as follows:

  • 20 June 2019
  • 11 July 2019

Venue and time

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

More details 

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

Contact details 


Our future plan

We are developing our future plan on how we will support people with a learning disability and the families and friends who support and care for them. We want to get your views on our plan.

We want to know what is important to you and what helps you live your life the way you want, whilst providing support and care.

Have your say

Go to the survey monkey website to complete our online feedback survey.

If you need support to complete the survey, email Mat Pelling at mathew.pelling@wokingham.gov.

Students from Addington School which caters for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) will soon be joining us for work placements under the new WORKingham Supported Internship Programme.

We’ll be working with Addington’s Routes to Work team to provide opportunities for SEND students to gain invaluable life skills, helping them to secure paid employment as adults.

Nationally, more than 90 percent of people with learning difficulties remain unemployed. So Addington has been working with employers for several years to offer quality vocational training and employment opportunities for young people with SEND. This has also raised awareness among local employers about the government’s workplace Disability Confident scheme.

The WORKingham programme with Addington is due to launch this September.

In March Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection of services for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in the Wokingham Borough.

SEND Inspection report

The inspection report can be viewed on the Ofsted website.

Optalis will be holding a graduation for their ACE students on the 26 June 2019.

Ace@Optalis is a groundbreaking supported employment course designed and delivered by Optalis to provide a smooth transition from college into employment for students who have been studying work-related courses at Reading College.

Hear from Ace@Optalis students

Watch feedback from students who have attended the Ace@Optalis course.

As of the 1 May 2019 the parent carer forum for the Wokingham Borough changed their name from REACH Wokingham to SEND Voices Wokingham following feedback from parents. SEND Voices Wokingham are the independent voice of families, representing their experiences to improve lives.

Join SEND Voices on Saturday 29 June

If you would like to find out more about SEND Voices Wokingham visit their website or come along to their membership day.

Date: Saturday 29 June

Time: From 2pm until 4pm

Location: Woodford Park Leisure Centre, Haddon Drive, RG5 4LY

Free membership

Membership to SEND Voices Wokingham is free and open to any parent carer living in the Wokingham Borough who has a child aged 0-25 years old with any Special Educational Need or Disability. Members will receive email updates on events, training courses, consultations, surveys and information. All member will also receive a free Max Card. Proof of SEND may be requested to receive Max card.

About the Max Card

The Max Card is the UK’s leading discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs age 0-19. Families can use their Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission. Visit the Max Card website for further details.

Hidden disabilities

People with hidden disabilities will be able to apply for a Blue Badge from the 30 August 2019.

The Government held an 8 week consultation (from January 2018 to March 2018) on widening the Blue Badge eligibility criteria. As a results the new criteria will extend eligibility to people who:

  • Cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person (such as young children with autism)
  • Cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress
  • Have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking)

Summary of consultation

For a summary of the consultation go to the GOV.UK website

The ASSIST team (Autism Spectrum Service for Information, Support and Training) support Wokingham families that include a child with a diagnosis (or on the pathway for assessment) of Autism Spectrum Condition.

Come and join the ASSIST team at our drop in sessions, alongside other parents and carers to chat, share ideas and problem solve.

Drop-in session dates and times 

Dates for the summer term are as follows:

  • 17 June 2019, 12:30pm to 3pm
  • 1 July 2019, 7pm until 9pm
  • 15 July 2019, 12:30pm until 3pm

Venue details

  • Woodley Airfield Centre, Hurricane Way, Woodley, RG5 4UX

More details 

For further information go to the  Woodley Airfield Centre drop in session directory listing.

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

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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