Friday, 23 March 2018

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Special Needs Jungle, Tania Tirraoro's latest article explains how a Wiki can be used to help with EHC plans and one page profiles.

Wikis are simple, accessible, secure and easy to build personal websites. They can be used to create multimedia person-centred plans that use pictures, words, video and sound to capture the voice, skills, aspirations and needs of the individual. Wikis give ownership of the planning process to individuals and families , facilitating genuine collaboration between parents, teachers and professionals. RIX Wikis can also be used as public websites to provide information about the Local Offer in a simple, accessible online format.

Tania met with Gosia Kwiatkowska, of RIX Research and Media at a recent SEND conference and Gosia has written an article for the SJN to explain to us all about how using their wiki puts the family or young person themself in control of their own information to promote person-centred practice. 

Using RIX Wikis to implement EHC plans

wiki1The SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Reforms, launched in September 2014, introduced a system of support which focuses on positioning children and young people (aged 0-25) at the heart of planning and decision-making. They and their parents and carers must be able to participate in this process, putting the new Education, Health and Care Plans (ECHP) into place through person-centred practice and co-production with their education, health and care professionals. The focus is on support to improve outcomes for children and young people rather than simply provision of support.

These reforms demand that support professionals work together with children, young people and their families to ensure they have choice and control over their futures and enjoy full, healthy and active lives. It requires not only a legal but a cultural change. The round-table event at the Department for Education hosted by the SEND Minister, Ed Timpson, earlier this month highlighted that there are many challenges, including the necessary culture change, that still need to be tackled by local authorities and health services in implementing these reforms.

RIX have been working with a group of parents who have children aged between 4 and 19 with varying disabilities and complex needs, all of whom either had an EHCP or were in the process of an EHCP, and all of whom confirmed that their child’s views were not sought during their EHCP process. Rix wanted to explore how a multimedia approach to self-advocacy and using the RIX Wiki tool could improve their experience and participation in the EHCP process.

To read more about Rix Wikis please click on the link below to read the full article:


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We are pleased to be supporting Children’s Mental Health Week (8–14 February)

Hosted by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, the theme of the week this year is 'building resilience' and teaching children to 'bounce forward' from life's challenges.

Bereavement, illness, family breakdown, bullying, pressure of exams… children carry far more than the weight of their backpack on their shoulders.

And while we cannot always change children's circumstances, we can teach them the skills to cope with the difficulties life throws at them.

3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem and children are less likely to suffer from serious mental health difficulties later in life if they receive support at an early age.

Get involved

For more information and resources for parents, schools, youth clubs and teachers visit:

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IOY February 2016 The February issue of 'Impacting on You' produced by Portsmouth Parent Voice is now available and includes lots of useful information. 

Please click on the link below to view:


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This Is My Child is a myth-busting and awareness-raising campaign, launched by mumsnet in response to requests from their members and supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field. 

Its aim is to support parents of children with additional needs, inform everyone else, and open up a conversation about how we can all act to make life easier for everyone caring for children with additional needs.

For this campaign to be a success they need it to reach far and wide, so please share as widely as possible.

For more information please click on the link below:

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Minister Edward Timpson announces £80 million to extend opportunities to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

s300 FLR-Young-boy-in-wheelchair-and-blocksA multi-million pound package ensuring thousands of children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) have the same opportunities as any other child has been announced today (29 January 2016).

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said the £80 million would help transform the life chances of children across the country and ensure every child, regardless of the challenges they face, can ‘dream big’ and fulfil their potential.

As part of its mission to extend opportunity to all, the government has already introduced the biggest reforms to the SEND support system in a generation by placing children and their families at the heart of the system.

Today’s announcement will increase funding for councils and support charities who work with some of the most vulnerable young people in the country. Alongside this, the government is continuing transition funding in 2017 to 2018 to help implement the reforms introduced in 2014, building on the progress so far.

Thanks to the government’s reforms, for the first time ever the needs of children with complex SEND are all set out in one education, health and care (EHC) plan. It also means that councils are legally required to take the views of families into account when deciding on what support to offer.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said:

"Our vision for children with special educational needs and disability is simple: that their aspirations are as high any other young person, that they dream big, achieve well at school and college, and lead fulfilling, happy lives."

"We’ve made fundamental changes to the law to provide that support and the work I’ve seen so far, putting families at the heart of the process, is inspiring - but we know there is still more to do to."

"I’m delighted that today we can announce that we are committing more money to councils than last year, helping to make the transition for families accessing support as smooth as possible."

To read more please visit

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The aim at the Mayflower Theatre is to provide first-class entertainment that can be enjoyed by the largest audience possible and they are continually striving to achieve this goal.

As part of that goal they have worked with Autism Hampshire and City Eye to produce a film so that you can find out a bit more about your visit before you arrive at the theatre.

To find out more please visit

You can also view their film by clicking on the video link below:

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LOL 2016 flyerCome along to Portsmouth's Local Offer live event on Saturday 19th March from 10:00am to 3:00pm at Milton Cross Academy, Milton Road, Portsmouth PO3 6RB.

The event is open to parents/carers of children and young people with special needs (aged 0 to 25) along with their friends and families to find out about services and activities available in Portsmouth.

They have many activities taking place during the day including:

Workshops, free crèche facilities (if parent/carer book a place on a workshop), stalls, live music, refreshments, craft activities, exhibitors (representing statutory and voluntary services) and much more.

If you would like to book a stall, please complete the Stall Booking Form below:


You can keep up to date with the latest information regarding the event via their Facebook page:

For more information please call 07825 185 608 or email 

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The National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) are running a free workshop for parents of children with a sensory impairment on 6 February in London. The workshop will cover what a good EHC needs assessment involves and go through the different sections of the EHC plan in detail.  

A flyer and booking form can be downloaded from:

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The National Careers Service (sometimes called NCS) have drop in sessions around Portsmouth where young people can go to receive advice on how to get into work. They are at:

Eastney Community Centre           Tuesdays 9.30am - 12pm

Somerstown Sure Start                 Fridays 10am -12pm

They also visit local places in the community but in order to attend these sessions you will need to phone in advance. The number to do this is 07468 474712

Buckland Sure Start                        Mondays 10am-12pm 

Southsea Library                            Mondays & Thursdays 1pm to 4pm

Oasis The Venue                             Tuesdays 1pm to 4pm

Milton Library                                 Wednesdays 1pm to 4pm

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The Met Office has issued a Level 3 (Severe Weather Action) Cold Weather Warning for the period between 0900 on Thursday 14th January and 1200 on Tuesday 19th January in parts of England.

What does the cold weather warning mean?

This is issued when the weather described in Level 2 actually happens.  This means that a mean temperature of 2°C is predicted for at least 48 hours and/or widespread ice and heavy snow is happening now, and is expected to impact on people's health and on health services.

Although there are usually fewer days at these low temperatures, the risk of negative health impacts increases as the temperature falls.  Aside from cold temperatures, snow and ice are associated with an increase in injuries and severe disruption to services.

You should refer to the Public Health England Cold Weather Plan and the "Keep Warm, Keep Well" information leaflet for further information, links as follows:

What is the risk in Portsmouth?

The risk specifically for South East England is 90% hence a Level 3 alert has been issued.

The weather forecast for Portsmouth during this period can be seen on the following websites:

It should be noted that the weather forecast for Portsmouth is higher than the cold weather threshold temperatures indicating a reduced likelihood of threshold temperatures for a Level 3 alert specifically for Portsmouth being reached. 

Organisations are advised to continue to monitor the local situation, consider implementing precautionary measures as indicated below and expect further information from Public Health Portsmouth if the risk changes.

What actions should I consider for a Level 3 Cold Weather Warning?

Please refer to the table below and to the action cards in Chapter 3 (p. 34) of the Public Health England Cold Weather Plan :

There are 5 levels in the Met Office Cold Weather Warning System; they are summarised in the table below:

Met Office Cold Weather arning System



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