Wednesday, 25 April 2018

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Dene Dunn

Dene Dunn

Hi my name is Dene and I work for Portsmouth Disability Forum maintaining and developing their websites. We are always looking to improve our website and welcome any feedback you may have as this helps us to create a website that is easy to navigate, understand and meets your information needs. If you have any suggestions please feel free to email me (

iSign Booklet WEB-1The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) have published a new guide for families of young deaf children in England on learning British Sign Language.

The guide explains some of the reasons why parents learn BSL as well as outlining the support that might be available to them from their local authority. The guide also describes barriers some parents have faced in learning BSL and how access could be improved through the forthcoming Special Educational Needs reforms.

Please click here to visit the NDCS website and download the PDF guide, alternatively, you can order a printed copy from their Helpline: 0808 800 8880 or email: or click on the link below:

I sign guide

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Last autumn the Department for Education launched a public consultation on a new Code of Practice. By the time the consultation closed on 9th December it had received over 700 responses. Over the last four months the responses have been collated and analysed resulting in further discussions to ensure that revisions secure maximum clarity for those who will be using it.

Today the revisions made to the Code since the public consultation have been made available by the Department of Education and can be viewed online at

The next stage will be for the Department for Education to consult on the revised Code of Practice and more information about how to take part in this consultation can be found on their website at The consultation will run from 16th April to Tuesday 6th May at 5:00pm.

The Council for Disabled Children have published a news article which gives an overview of the revisions since the 2013 public consultation together with the consultation questions - to read this article please click on the link below:

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Children's minister Edward Timpson and health minister Dr Dan Poulter have written to teachers, colleges, local authorities and parents about the SEND reforms, describing the changes the Department for Education is introducing in September 2014 to improve support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The first 3 letters ask local authoritiescolleges and teachers working with children with SEND to implement the reforms correctly.

The fourth letter is for parents of children with SEND and explains what the move to the new system will mean for them and their family.

To view any of these letters please click on the links above.

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The Council for Disabled Children (CDC), Contact a Family, National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) and National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN) have worked together to produce a document designed to support parent and carers through SEND reforms. The Children and Families Act will change the way in which children and young people with Special Educational Needs and disabilities are supported at school and in the community. The Act will be implemented in stages starting in September 2014.

The document covers:

  • What is in the Act
  • What does this mean in real life?
  • How can I find out what early years providers, schools, colleges, social care and health should do?
  • How can I get involved?
  • What can I do if I am worried about how this will affect my child?
  • When is this going to happen?

To read all about the changes please click on the link below:

pdfSEND-Reforms-what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-and-do.pdf94.7 KB

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The new Children and Families Act will mean changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities, and help for parents to balance work and family life.

The Act will extend the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met. It takes forward the reform programme set out in 'Support and aspiration: a new approach to special education needs and disability - progress and next steps'.

The key changes include:

  • Giving parents and young people control over the decisions about the support they are given.
  • The introduction of Education, Health and Care plans in replacement of Statements.
  • Personal budgets for parents and young people to carry out their EHC plans
  • A requirement on local authorities to provide a Local Offer which will include the education, health and care services

Although now an Act the law will not change until September 2014.

To see the Act in full, please see below. The part of the Act that addresses SEBD is Chapter 3.

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The Children’s Minister has been addressing an event hosted by the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and In Control. Edward Timpson speaks about the NHS’s role in support for SEN

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Each week the Preparing for Adulthood Forum look at an element of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms and consider how it interacts with the reforms as a whole to create positive outcomes for young people with SEN and disabled young people.

The Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) team believes that it is vital to consider the SEND reforms as a whole when developing processes and plans in local areas however, they also appreciate that there are specific challenges related to each element. Their forum gives you an opportunity to pose questions and raise challenges that you are experiencing in local areas as a result of getting ready to implement the reforms and to receive responses from regional champions, experts from the sector and the PfA team.

Please click on the link below to join the forum and get your questions answered.

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Posted by on in SEN Support - Facts

Do you often wonder what some words/terms mean? For example, 'Senco' - only to think "what is a Senco?"

If you are not sure what some of the abbreviations or definitions used on our website mean then why not take a quick look at our Glossary.

To help you understand the meaning of any words that are featured in the glossary they are identified by a dotted blue line underneath them; if you hover over the word a pop up box will explain what the word means. The word will only appear once on a page.

If you wish to view the complete Glossary then please click here.

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This report was produced as part of the evaluation of the SEND Pathfinder Programme for the Department for Education. It focuses on the ‘planning pathways’ developed in five pathfinder areas, leading to a single, coordinated Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan).

The key learning points, useful to other areas preparing for the SEND reforms were that:

  • Areas appear to be retaining their previous approaches to eligibility.
  • The largest change in eligibility is around 19-25 year olds.
  • The five pathfinder areas that contributed to the report had developed similar EHC planning pathways which included common elements and sequencing.
  • There are differing approaches to some key elements of the pathway.
  •  The EHC planning pathway is different to the SEN Statementing process.
  • There remain a number of challenges in implementing the EHC planning pathway.
  • The (new) family-centred way of working can lead to better quality plans.

For more information visit:

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The National Parent Partnership Network (NPNN) have produced a second information sheet designed to dispel some of the myths associated with the progress and implications of the Children & Families Bill, with a specific focus on the transition from Statements to the new Education, Health and Care plans. Below are some of the key myths we hear which are NOT TRUE.

1. Myth: ‘My LA has said they don’t issue statements any more as the system has changed’ – Statements will continue to be issued until September 2014. Some local authorities (on the ‘Pathfinder’ programme) are issuing EHC plans early in place of Statements, but these plans will no legal status. After September only EHC plans will be issued and will be legally binding

2. Myth: ‘My school has said that they don’t have to follow the Code of Practice any more as there is a new one’ – The new Code of Practice has not been approved yet, so the current Code will continue to apply until the new Code replaces it which is likely to be September 2014.

3. Myth: ‘My child’s statement will end on 1st September 2014’ – From September 2014 there will be a transitional period (up to 3 years) during which statements can be transferred into EHC plans. A statement will remain valid until an EHC plan has been developed, or is agreed to be no longer necessary.

4. Myth: ‘I’ve been told that EHC plans are the same as statements and have the same legal duties’ – EHC Plans will have no legal force until September 2014. Like Statements, any specified and quantified Special Educational Provision in the plan will have to be delivered by the local authority and can continue up until the age of 25 if a young person stays in education or training.

5. Myth: ‘My LA has said that only pupils with statements who receive a certain level of funding will get an EHC plan’ – The threshold for EHC plans will be the same as those for Statements, that is where the special educational provision necessary to meet the child or young persons needs cannot be reasonably provided within the resources normally available to mainstream schools and early years settings.

6. Myth: ‘I have been told that if I’m not happy with anything in my child’s EHC plan I can appeal’ – The educational aspects of an EHC Plan can be appealed to the SEND tribunal (from September 2014) in the same way as those of a statement. Arrangements for challenging Social Care and Health are still to be finalised, but should be in place by September 2014.

7. Myth: ‘When I ask for my child to be assessed under the new system the LA must carry out a social care assessment now as well as an assessment of his educational needs’ – No this is not true. The duty to assess a child’s needs is only in relation to their educational needs not any social care needs they – or you as their carer – may also have. This type of assessment still has to be triggered separately by contacting your children’s social work team. Once is has happened any information should be recorded in the EHC plan.

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