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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 http://www.communicationpassports.org.uk/

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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 parentsvoice@peoplematteriw.org or telephone 01983 823898 extension 2838 before 10th November 2015. Places are strictly limited.

For more information please visit their website www.parentsvoice-iw.co.uk

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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 https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/local-area-send-consultation

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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 www.portsmouth.gov.uk/schooladmissions, 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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The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and the Anti-Bullying Alliance have been working with groups of young people in Bristol and Bradford about cyber bullying and staying safe online. The young people they spoke with said that using social media online is a great way for them to stay in touch with friends and share experiences. They also said that using the internet helps them with essential day to day tasks – like doing their homework! To watch the video please click on the link below:

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IOY October 2015 The October 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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The BBC reported on 10th September that research suggests that children with learning disabilities are more vulnerable to sexual exploitation. 

A coalition of children's charities say they have the "same vulnerabilities" as all children but face extra "barriers" to getting protection or support and their report calls on UK authorities to offer "accessible and appropriate" sex and relationships education to children with learning disabilities. A new report, ‘Unprotected, Overprotected’, reveals that significant numbers of children with learning disabilities are not being adequately protected from sexual exploitation because of the false perception that they do not need sex and relationships education or accessible information about how to keep safe online and in the community. The research also reveals that children with learning disabilities are not being adequately protected due to a worrying lack of specialist services and a failure to implement existing national and local policies.

The government said the study shone a "much-needed spotlight" on such abuse. The report was commissioned by Comic Relief, and was produced by Barnardo's, the Children's Society, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, Paradigm Research and Coventry University.

'Not heard'

Commenting on the "barriers" stopping children getting protection or support, the report says: "The reasons for this are complex and appear to be entrenched in the way society perceives and treats young people with learning disabilities."

It says the research "illustrates that the abuse of disabled children is under-reported and often hidden, and that a range of myths and stereotypes surround the abuse they experience".

"It highlights that disabled children often make clear disclosures of abuse - often multiple disclosures - without being heard," the report adds.

It says many victims display "challenging" behaviour after being abused - but this is "often assumed to be related to a child's impairment rather than an indication of abuse".

Case study

Jane (not her real name) has autism and was 14 when a man she met online convinced her to send intimate pictures of herself.

"I thought I was talking to someone two years older than me," she said - but the man turned out to be "a lot older".

"He asked me to send private pictures of myself and I thought 'well, he likes me, this is what everybody does, it must be a couple thing' and he told me that as well so that was reassuring for me."

Jane, now 19, added: "When I found out who he really was I really regretted it and I wish I could turn back time."

Speaking about the pictures, she said: "He sent them to other people and then they sent them to their friends and I was at school at the time and the pictures ended up going around school and I was bullied quite a lot.

"There were pictures printed out and put around school at the time so wherever I went these pictures were following me."

Researchers found children with learning disabilities and professionals working with them reported a "general lack of attention to sex and relationships education".

Such education, focussed on healthy relationships and raising awareness of sexual abuse, should form part of "every young person's education", the report adds.

It also highlights "significant gaps" in the knowledge of professionals working with children, and calls for extra training.

Useful websites offering guidance to help keep children and young people to stay safe while using the internet

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The regulations dealing with transition were amended at the end of August 2015. The purpose of this amendment is to extend the time line for a transition from a statement to an EHC plan to 18 weeks. Under the original order the time limit was 14 weeks. In both cases, this is plus the two weeks’ notice which local authorities have to give. Thankfully this is a straightforward amendment, changing the references to 14 weeks to 18 weeks. There are just two things of interest to note:

  • This amendment only relates to transitions from statements. It does not affect transitions from Learning Difficulty Assessments to EHC plans which still go by the original time table;
  • It will not affect transitions which started before 1st September 2015.

IPSEA have updated their Transition time-line resource to reflect this change and it can be viewed here.

They also have various other links on their webpage regarding this update, please follow the link below to read their article in full:


More information about this update

The Council for Disabled Children also report on the above changes - to view please click on the link below:


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Disability Rights UK is launching a new campaign for better job opportunities for young disabled people. DRUK are looking for disabled young people to get involved with the campaign in a voluntary capacity.

This runs alongside the Dynamite group's push for young people to have more of a say in the way in which young people are supported to get into employment.

The DRUK campaign is being coordinated by Leo Capella, who was a consultant for Information, Advice and Support Service Network and was part of our Human Rights seminar panel.

You can contact Leo at leo.capella@disabilityrightsuk.org

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