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The Deputy Director for SEND, Stuart Miller, took over the role shortly after the reforms were implemented. Stuart's job is to ensure that the reforms are accomplishing what they were intended to - to ensure a better experience for children and families, to better identify those with a special educational need and ensure they are given the right help and to make sure that local authorities understand and are implementing both the legal and cultural aspects of the reforms.

There's no doubt that this is a huge task, particularly as many families have found the transfer from statement/Learning Difficulty Assessment to an Education, Health and Care Plan has not exactly gone according to plan.

Tania from the Special Needs Jungle was recently invited to meet Stuart at the DfE recently to share some of the SEND experiences that parents have told them about and how SNJ see their role as ensuring that the voice of the parent gets directly to those in the decision-making positions. Stuart has agreed that he and his team will answer the top ten most frequently asked questions that parents send in. 

The SNJ are asking you to submit your questions to them and they will then collate every question asked in order to get the top 10. Each person is able to submit up to three questions via their online form. You have until Sunday 15th November 2015 to ask your questions. To get involved please visit their webpage

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IOY November 2015

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


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The Anti-Bullying Alliance have produced a new online tool for parents to get information and advice on bullying. Have a look at it by clicking here.

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Every year the Anti-Bullying Alliance coordinate national Anti-Bullying Week; a week where children and young people, schools, parents and carers come together with one aim: to make a noise about bullying.

The theme for this year is 'Make a Noise About Bullying' and the key aims are:

  • To empower children and young people to make a noise about bullying – whether it is happening to them or to someone else, face to face or online;
  • To help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying;
  • To encourage ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that affect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying;
  • To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied; and
  • To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.

You can download the Official Anti-Bullying Campaign Pack here

Anti Bullying Month runs from 2nd - 27th November 2015 with the theme 'Cyberbullying and E-Safety'. More information can be found at


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The Department for Education's 0-25 Special Education Needs and Disability Unit has published its October newsletter. This edition talks about engaging communities with the Local Offer, EHC Plan FAQs and training offers. 

To access the Department for Education October newsletter, please click here.

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Last week I posted a blog about the consultation launched by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on their proposals for inspecting how local areas are meeting their responsibilities to disabled children and young people, and those with special educational needs (SEND).

The Special Needs Jungle have produced an article which gives more information about the consultation and the questions being asked; they will also be posting future blogs to help you contribute to the consultation. To read their article please click on the link below:

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Personal Communication Passports are a practical and person-centred way of supporting children, young people and adults who cannot easily speak for themselves. Passports are a way of pulling complex information together and presenting it in an easy-to-follow format. Passports aim to:

  • Present the person positively as an individual, not as a set of 'problems' or disabilities;
  • Provide a place for the person's own views and preferences to be recorded and drawn to the attention of others;
  • Reflect the person's unique character, sense of humour etc.;
  • Describe the person's most effective means of communication and how others can best communicate with, and support the person;
  • Draw together information from past and present, and from different contexts, to help staff and conversation partners understand the person and have successful interactions;
  • Place equal value on the views of all who know the person well, as well as the views of the specialist professionals.

To find out more on how to create a Personal Communication Passport please visit their website

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12 Nov - flyer - v5Parents Voice IW,  the island’s Parent Carer forum for families of children and young people who have a special educational need or disability, will be holding a workshop titled “When a child becomes a young adult: helping to plan their future” on Thursday 12th November 2015,  from 9.30am until 2.30pm at the Riverside Centre, Newport, I.W. PO30 2QR.

Carol Robinson from the organisation Preparing for Adulthood will be joining them for this event, together with IW officers from Education, Social Care, the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and representatives from a number of other local organisations to tell families how they are able to help support our local young people with special educational needs and disabilities as they grow up into young adults and may look to become more independent and perhaps move into training or employment.

To find out more or to book your place on this free workshop, please email or telephone 01983 823898 extension 2838 before 10th November 2015. Places are strictly limited.

For more information please visit their website

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Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have just launched a consultation on their proposals for inspecting how local areas are meeting their responsibilities to disabled children and young people, and those with special educational needs (SEND).

Following the passage of the Children and Families Act 2014, Ofsted and CQC were invited by the Minister for Children Families, Edward Timpson, to formally inspect local areas on their effectiveness in fulfilling their new duties. The new inspection framework is expected to be in place by May 2016.
The consultation seeks views on a number of proposals for the new inspection arrangements, including how children and young people with SEN and disabilities and their parents can be involved and what information should be considered in the inspection process.

The consultation will run for 3 months and will close on 4th January 2016.

The consultation is online at

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If your child is currently in year 6 and will be attending secondary school from September 2016 you have until 31 October 2015 to apply. 

Late application will affect your chance of getting a place at your preferred school so don't delay complete your application online today. 

Many secondary schools and academies offer open days and evenings so that parents and prospective pupils can see the school and speak to teachers and staff before deciding on the school which suits them.  You are advised to consider your catchment school(s) within your list of preferences.   

Apply online at, it's quick and easy you can log in and change it at any time before midnight on the closing date and you will receive an email notification of the outcome on allocation day - Tuesday 1st March 2016.

Alternatively call 02392 68 8008 to request a form.

To download Portsmouth's school admission guide please click on the link below:

Primary and Secondary School Admissions Guide 2016/17

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