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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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The recent SEND reforms mean that disabled children and young people and those with SEN have a right to receive direct and impartial information, advice and support (IAS) on matters relating to their SEN/Disability. IAS should be provided to children and young people covering education, health and social care. The Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IASSN), hosted at CDC, have developed a new website which aims to help disabled children and young people and those with SEN better understand what rights they have for accessing information, advice and support across education, health and social care. The website also contains full contact details for IAS Services across England. To view please click on the link below:

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The healthy policy team at CDC have been working with the National Children’s Bureau to create a brand new website promoting children and young people’s rights when using the NHS. It is called 

Children and young people often don’t know what their rights are when using the NHS, but knowing these rights can make a big difference.

The website has been developed by the Council for Disabled Children in partnership with children and young people, and they really want to know how they’ve done. Please encourage children and young people to look at the website and give feedback through this online survey

They can enter a prize draw to one of two £25 shopping vouchers for taking part. The survey closes at the end of January and the prize draw winner will be notified shortly after.  If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Fellowes

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IOY January 2016 The January 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:

pdfIOY_January 2016.pdf

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Here is a report about what Dynamite have done in 2015 and what we hope to do in 2016.



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In November last year the Special Needs Jungle asked that parents submit their top ten questions for the DfE about their experiences of the new SEND System. After working through all the submissions they sent 10 'themes' with all the questions categorised under each theme so that the DfE could get a good look at the range of concerns being raised. 

They have now received a response from Stuart Miller, Deputy Director of SEND at the DfE and published the response on their website. As the answers were quite lengthy they have published the responses in 2 parts.

Part 1 answers questions on:

  • SEN Support
  • Inclusion
  • Training
  • EHCP assessment
  • Transition to EHCP

Part 2 answers questions on:

  • Provision
  • Post 16
  • Appeals
  • Personal budgets
  • Alternative Provision

To view please click on the links below:

The DfE answers your top 10 questions on the changes to SEND education - Part 1

The DfE answers your top 10 questions on the changes to SEND education - Part 2

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Does your child have Dyslexia, or a learning difficlulty and finds spelling and reading difficult? TTRS is a structured phonics program that aims to develop literacy skills, confidence, self­-esteem and motivation through a modular course. It is available both for home and school environments, and may be a way to enhance and improve your child's learning, whilst giving them the skills to touch type.

For more information click HERE

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Posted by on in SEN - Personal Experience

Last night 12 young people attended the second ever Dynamite Pizza evening.

Dynamite are different to other groups for young people.

This is because Dynamite are all about young people having a say in how services for young people are run.

Last night we were talking about the support available to help young people get into work.

We sat in two groups of 6 young people and talked about 4 different things.

First we talked about our experiences of support to get into employment including work experience and careers guidance.

There were lots of different types of support that people had received, this included:

National Citizens Service.
Reed employment agency at Highbury.
One to one meetings with careers advisers
Support with preparing for work actually on the course (including how to behave, how to go to someone with a problem, hygiene, having good body language at work Role playing selling Christmas cards)
volunteering (including in a nursery and in charity shops)
Group sessions which get young people used to teams and discussions
Leaflets to take away

next we talked about what had been good about our experiences.

Some of the good things had been:

Staff that spoke but also listened.
Staff that helped young people with learning new things and skills.
Having fun.
Staff that can say whether you would get a job.
Visiting different places of work.
Help with getting a good CV.
Having the option for parents to come to meetings too as they know young people well but also being able to say that you don’t want parents involved.
Support to be more confident and make a good impression, mock interviews were useful and advice on how to conduct yourself.
Feeling safe.
Not just career but life advice.
Friendly staff.

Then we talked about things which weren’t so good or could have been better.

These things were:

Videos how to interview
Being told about health and safety issues
Tasters of different work and work experience was helpful but more choices are needed.
Help with the social side of work
Not everyone had been on work experience at school and it was thought that work experience should be there for everyone.
Information you are given should have pictures.
Bigger, bolder, print.
Open minded support
allowing opinions (letting you have a say)

Finally we took some time to imagine what a perfect career support service would look like.

These are some ideas that we had:

From a careers interview young people should improve their chances of getting qualifications.
Young people should have tasters of different jobs
Education should be part of helping young people get into work.
There should be videos on the internet to learn from.
There should be extra support for young people with disabilities as it is harder for them to find work.
Support to understand dress code and how you present yourself.
It’s also important for young people to be committed and want to work.
Allowing tasters for jobs over a weekly/monthly period
Staff being more available
Note taking during meeting – it would be good to be able to have a third person to scribe in meetings.
Wider knowledge of disabilities in employment – mainly from employers who are sometimes not good understanding disability.
Shouldn’t try to push people in a certain direction. 

The event was attended by some professionals who work helping young people to get into work.

The were Julie Laws, Kath Constable and James Mahon.

Julie and Kath are careers advisers and James teaches on the Foundation Prospects at Highbury College.

During the event we were able to ask some questions to Julie, Kath and James.

Over the next month we are going to write up the things that were talked about at the Pizza evening and we are going to use the information to film some interviews with other professionals.

These interviews will be put on the Young Persons IASS website and the Local offer website. 

If you'd like to hear more about future Dynamite events then please get in touch

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Posted by on in Activities

Dynamite are having another one of our pizza evenings where young people get to have a say on how services for young people should be run for young people in Portsmouth.

At the event we will be talking about ‘employment’.

We will be talking in groups about what we think would help young people with a disability to find work.

There will also be a chance to meet some of the people who help young people in Portsmouth to find jobs and to ask those people questions.

The event is free and there will be free pizza for everyone attending.


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SeeAbility are a charity who work to help make sure that people with disabilities get the best treatment possible when they go to the opticians.

They have put together a survey to find out if people with learning difficulties are getting good help to look after their eyes.

There are questions about having an eye test and about wearing glasses.

When lots of people have completed the survey SeeAbility will write a report to show how they have listened to young people.

The report will be on their website but I will also post it here.

Click on the link below to do the survey.


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