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SEND Parent Parliament - February 2020

Welcome to our new look SEND Parent Parliament for 2020!

As a Member of Parent Parliament you have the opportunity to respond to consultations and be informed of other opportunities to get involved. You will also be the first to hear of any new developments across Education, Health and Social Care in Islington. Please read on for our latest items but don’t forget if you would like to:

  • give feedback,
  • raise concerns that you think may apply to a number of parents or
  • tell us about ways you think the services you use could be improved

You can email SENDparentparliament@islington.gov.uk at any time.

Item 1 - SEND Co-Production Group - Hot Topics

The SEND Coproduction Group meet six times a year to support the strategic development of person-centred services for children with SEND in Islington.

Half of the group members are ‘experts by experience’, elected by parents through the Islington Parent Forum to represent their views. Remaining members are senior professionals from Education, Health and Care services.

The Group operate in accordance with the agreed Islington Council Co-Production Concordat.

The Group receive information from the Parents Forum, Parent Consultants, regular parent surveys, PALS, Islington SEND Community Support Focus Groups, comments through the Local Offer and of course, the Parent Parliament.

We thought it would be useful to give you regular updates on what hot topics have been discussed. Earlier this month the group focused on:

Therapies Review - Islington Additional Needs and Disabilities Services (IANDS)

  • IANDS currently deliver Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy across mainstream, special schools, Early Years and Speech Therapy through the Children’s Centres.
  • A number of factors including increased numbers of children with EHCPs and rising numbers of children receiving autism diagnoses have put pressure on the therapy services to deliver to the Islington children who need them.
  • This means that the services need to adapt accordingly.
  • The Therapies Review will examine the current need, funding and clinical evidence on interventions to see how things can be improved.
  • The outcomes will be a:
    • better idea of resources available for therapy
    • clear understanding of current and future demand
    • co-produced, proposed new delivery model of therapy services
  • We will need your help with this. As they become available, further updates and opportunities to give your views will be posted here!

Islington Belonging Charter

  • Last year the SEND Parents Charter was developed through the Co-Production Group. The charter, which focuses on inclusion, outlines the 10 most important principles that Islington parents believe all providers should follow in order to offer the best possible support when working with Islington children with SEND.
  • This year we plan to build on it by developing and embedding the idea that for all Islington children with SEN their school should be a place where they feel that they belong.
  • Research from University College London (UCL) has indicated that a sense of belonging is important to help children reach their full potential.
  • With assistance from UCL we plan to produce a ‘Belonging Charter’ to help our schools ensure that all Islington children with SEND feel they are known, seen and feel valued.
  • We will need your thoughts and views in due course so watch this space for Belonging updates!

Item 2 - How is my child with SEND supported in school?

We have added more detailed information to the SEND Local Offer regarding how children with SEN are supported in Islington schools and we would love to know what you think.

‘How is my child with SEND supported in school?’ contains examples of what you and your child can expect from schools supporting several areas of special educational needs.

In addition, as part of the Islington SEN Support offer, we are excited to bring you the new Behaviour handbook for schools which outlines approaches and interventions for children with SEN designed to encourage and allow inclusion and reduce the risk of exclusion.

Let us know what you think by voting ‘Yes’ if you are happy with the pages or vote 'No' if you think they need more work. Please do let us know if you think anything is unclear or could be improved by leaving a comment.

A majority vote will decide and if you give the thumbs up a Parent Approved badge will be awarded.

View 'How is my child with SEND supported in school?'

VOTE HERE

Voting closes on Friday 6 March and we will let you know the outcome of the vote when we next contact you.

Item 3 - SEND Information and Advice Drop In

The Islington SEND Community Support Service are running monthly drop in sessions for parents and carers around the borough.

The Service provides free, legally based, impartial, confidential and accessible information, advice and support on all matters relating to special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This might include:

  • Help with preparing for meetings with schools, colleges and the Local Authority
  • Support to express your views and wishes
  • Information, advice, and support on all education, health and social care matters
  • Information about local and national services and help with making referrals to services
  • Information, advice and support to help resolve conflicts and disagreements e.g. with schools, colleges and the Local Authority
  • Help with paperwork for Disability related welfare benefits
  • Advice on Health and Social Care, Personal Budgets, the law on SEN and Disability.

The drop in sessions offer parents slots of 15 minutes to answer any quick questions they may have or if they have urgent queries that cannot wait for a full appointment.

The following dates have been confirmed, with more to follow:

  • Wednesday 26 February 2020 from 1pm-2:30pm
  • Wednesday 25 March 2020 from 1pm-2:30pm

Both sessions will be held at the Parent House, 55 Calshot Street, London N1 9AS.

Item 4 - Support into Employment

Scope's Starting Line is a seven week, group based, pre-employment training programme for disabled people.

Who is eligible?

The training is open to anyone aged 16 or above with a disability, impairment or condition looking at their next employment related steps, i.e. volunteering, training or education.

How does it work?

The training runs for two mornings a week for seven weeks, group sessions will help trainees to:

  • grow in confidence, assertiveness and independence
  • develop interview skills
  • find volunteering, training or employment opportunities
  • talk about disability in the workplace
  • trainees will also get one-to-one support from a specialist employment adviser.

Trainees are asked to to commit to the two weekly training sessions and their weekly one to one meetings for the seven weeks.
Following the seven weeks trainees will receive an additional 13 weeks support via phone, email, text and/or face to face.

How to join?

Register for Starting Line by completing the online application form or for further information email startingline@scope.org.uk. You can also download the Starting Line Flyer.