Covid-19 / Coronavirus - SEND resources and information (WCC)
We have created this page on the SEND Local Offer to share resources and information that may be useful to families and those working with children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.
We will also add any relevant updates from specific services as they become available.
For general information from the Council regarding the Coronavirus (Covid-19) please follow this link:
Update - 04 January 2021
Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. Furthermore, early years, nurseries, alternative provision and special schools will remain open. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.
There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:
- Early Years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
- Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
- parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
- some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
- nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home
Please click the sections below for more information / resources relating specifically to SEND.
Specific support for families continue to be offered remotely by our local SEND Parent Carer Forum, Make it Happen, and also our local Information Advice and Support Service (IASS). Details for both can be found via this link.
Please use this link to view the document that you may find useful for Parenting Workshops.
Please use this link to view the document that you may find useful for Education and childcare during coronavirus
Guide To Access Online Health Appointments
Colleagues from the CCG and Health and Therapy Providers have worked together to produce the attached guide and leaflets. These documents clarify which online program each service uses in a clear and simple way.
In response to the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic, health services have adapted to deliver services as best possible given the current constraints. All services are working to prioritise those children and young people most in need, including those with Education, Health and Care Plans. All services are accepting new referrals.
Local SEND Health Services are delivering a blended model of online, telephone and face to face appointments. All of these contact methods can support children and young people and those working with them. Health colleagues have also worked with others to collate and develop helpful resources (see resources section of this page).
Details of how to access online appointments are set out below
- Guide to access online appointments- parents/young people and carers
- Leaflet on how to use Attend Anywhere
- Leaflet on how to use Blue Jeans on your phone or tablet
- Leaflet on how to use Microsoft Teams
- Leaflet on how to use Zoom
Parents, Carers and Young People are invited to contact services directly if you have any queries or want advice in relation to your child’s needs. You can contact services in the following
Call the Children’s Complex Care and Speech and Language Therapy Administration Hub on 020 7266 8777 to speak with any of the following services:
- CLCH Paediatric Nutrition and Dietetics
- CLCH Occupational Therapy
- CLCH Speech and Language Therapy
- Imperial Children’s Physiotherapy
- Woodfield Child Development Service including Clinical Psychology
This phone line will be open Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm.
To speak to services delivered by Chelsea & Westminster Hospital call the numbers below:
- Cheyne Child Development Service: 0203 3156577
- ChelWest Music Therapy: 02033156472
- Cheyne CDS Specialist Nurse: 0203 3156470
- Cheyne CDS Clinical Psychology: 0203 3153196
- ChelWest Children’s Physiotherapy: 0203 3158667
Please go to the individual service pages to find out more about the service offer.
Covid-19 Hospital Passport
We have developed the attached Covid Hospital Passport for Children and Young People with special educational needs and / or disabilities who may have to go to hospital during this period. You can download it here.
In addition to the Hospital Passport, a 'Grab and Go guide' has been designed in partnership with people with learning disabilities, families and nurses.
It gives the information that doctors and nurses will need if you go to hospital
because of COVID-19 and, for example, are struggling to breathe.
The guidance for completing the Grab and Go guide can be found here.
The Short Breaks Service has been using unique ways to overcome these exceptional circumstances as a result of Covid-19.
This has meant enabling families to use Direct Payments in a range of ways, from purchasing electronics, to exercise equipment.
A skeleton service has been operational from both our sites (St Quintin’s Centre and Tresham Cente for Disabled Children and Young People) – enabling three children and young people and three carers each morning and afternoon to access these sites, enabling those who most need it to still have a short break.
The service has worked closely with home care agencies to ensure they are stocked with PPE and can support families due to staff shortages, provided additional training to carers who support more complex children and young people, and supplied PPE packs to specific families to ensure they are equipped to manage.
Short Breaks staff have been continuing their support of families virtually through video and telephone calls, ensuring regular contact for those who need it, and where necessary providing extra support.
The service is trying to ensure business as usual as far as possible and want to thank our families for their understanding at this unprecedented time.
Please click this link for information on how you can get our Short Breaks Sensory and Craft Packs.
Please contact the Disabled Children’s Service for any other help/support or Advice:
WCC EDT - 020 7641 6000 - 17h00 – 9 am (evenings and weekends)
WCC Access duty number 020 7641 4000
Please follow the link below for a range of resources that have been collated by our SEN Outreach Service and our colleagues from the NHS:
- Our Educational Psychology Service have collated a psychological resources section on the EPCS services to school webpage, which has been extremely useful for local schools.
- The British Psychological Society have issued this document providing support and advice for schools and parents / carers following school closures.
- Website The Sensory Projects, has collated a range of resources aimed as supporting children and young people with a range of special educational needs and disabilities.
- The government have also released a useful list of resources for home learning, including specific resources for children and young people with SEND.
- This leaflet covers creating routines, learning together, keeping active, taking notice of our surroundings, connecting with each other and managing technology. It explains that there are lots of informal ways in which children and young people can learn. Their family’s wellbeing is the most important thing to focus on during the lockdown
Please follow this link for our page outlining resources to support transition between Early Years, Primary and Secondary phases.
Here you can find information about our new inclusive youth newsletter for young people as well as information about how you can get involved in different activities within the council. We have also included some helpful ‘back to school’ resources and activities.We want to hear from you, so please email me with any ideas or suggestions you have for the page or how you want to get involved.
SEND Participation Officer for Children and Young People
In advance of welcoming all students back to school in September, we surveyed our local children and young people to ask about their experience of lockdown and their thoughts around returning to school. You can view the outcomes of the survey by clicking this link. These have been shared with local schools and services, to inform the support that will help with the smooth return of students.
Following support provided to families during lockdown, the Bi-borough Inclusion Service continues to be available to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities at our local schools. The service consists of the following teams:
- The Autism Advisory Team, which provides advice and support to schools and families, enabling them to meet the additional educational needs children and young people with a diagnosis of autism.
- The Sensory Support Team, which provides support to children and young people who attend our local schools and have hearing or vision impairment.
- The SEN Occupational Therapy Team, which supports the functional skills of children and young people with an education, health and care plan to ensure that they can participate in daily activities linked to their educational goals.
The teams within the service are working closely with schools to establish the best way to provide support to meet the needs of children and young people with SEND while also minimising risks to public health. To achieve this, the teams are working to the following core principles:
- There does not need to be a blanket policy with regards to how work is undertaken and delivered. Service members will work with partners to consider the individual needs of children and young people and balance the risks to public health, themselves, and others against the risks to individual children/young people, families and schools not getting the support they require.
- Parents/carers, children/young people and school staff should be fully involved in discussions and kept informed of decisions reached and the rationale for them.
- There should be a pro-active and ‘can-do’ approach adopted. The teams will continue to be creative, pragmatic and flexible in ensuring that children, young people, families and settings/schools receive the specialist support that they require.
The ‘Virtual SENCO Forum’, which was set by the LA during the lockdown, is continuing to be delivered throughout this academic year. It is an example of where use of technology during the lockdown period has identified a new way of working that we would like to sustain into the future.
The Bi-borough Inclusion Service is also currently surveying our local SENCOs to understand the SEND Training needs that have emerged following lockdown and preferences for how training could be delivered within the confines of the measures that are in place due to COVID-19. We anticipate that use of technology and the SEND Local Offer website will play a central role in this.
Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea Educational Psychology Consultation Service – Update 5th of January 2021 – to be reviewed regularly.
Following support provided to families, children and young people and setting and school staff during lockdown 1, 2, and now 3 the WCC and RBKC EPCS continues to be fully available to all state funded settings and schools.
However, following the Government's recent announcements from the 5th of January 2021 the service will pull back from a mixed model of direct and remote working to a totally remote model of service delivery. This model worked very well during lockdowns 1 and 2.
The service is working closely with settings and schools to establish the best way to provide support to meet their needs and those of families and children and young people while also minimising risks to public health. To achieve this, the team is working to the following core principles:
• A proactive, ‘can do’ approach will continue to be adopted.
• The EPCS team will continue to be creative, pragmatic and flexible in ensuring that children, young people, families and settings/schools receive the specialist support that they require via remote ways of working.
• Parents/carers, children/young people and school staff should be fully involved in discussions and kept informed of decisions reached and the rationale for them – and will be informed promptly should the situations change.
On behalf of the service thank you for your ongoing support Dr Jeremy Monsen Bi-Borough Principal Educational and Child Psychologist
We know that the uncertainty and significant changes taking place currently will have an impact on the emotional wellbeing and mental health of many children and young people in the borough.
It is critical that all children, young people and their families are aware of the available support and are able to access this over the coming weeks and months.
There is a wide range of support available that can be accessed online, by phone and by text.
Free online counselling support for Children and Adults
Kooth Kooth is an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. Students can chat online to professionally accredited counsellors. It provides services for the NHS and is part-funded by the National Lottery.
Relate Support, guidance and counselling services for families and young people, through private online chat rooms and phone calls. When families are going through a tough time, Relate offers support to help everyone settle.
Childline Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, they are there for you online, on the phone, anytime.
The local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services remain open and are accepting new referrals. They are currently offering a range of telephone, online and face to face appointments.
You can contact your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health service.
- Westminster CAMHS
- Telephone 020 3317 5999
- Email email@example.com
- Website CAMHS Central and North West London
Please follow this link for a leaflet that sets out available support for children and young people ‘Knowing your mental health’
There are also lots of resources for schools to use to support Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health at this time. Local Mind Services have collated a number of resources and tools for schools to refer to.
The Social Emotional Learning Programme - MindUP - have released some free resources that can be accessed from any device and printed.
For the latest information regarding Early Years and Childcare support, please visit our Family Information Service website
Our SEND Employment Pathways Coordinator, Rachel Edwards, supports young people Preparing for Adulthood, their families and practitioners to plan towards employment with the aim of increasing the number of those who successfully enter paid work.
We recognise that the current COVID-19 situation and impact on exams will affect many young people with SEND, particularly those planning transition from year 11 into further education in September. If it would be useful to have a conversation about next steps and potential options in terms of education, employment or training please contact:
T: 07739 315 424
Our Adult Social Care Transitions Team is working remotely and open as usual. They are contactable by phone or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7641 7411.
Please see the attached leaflet outlining Careers Pathway Support that is being provided by SCOPE.
The Family Service Team at the Westminster Society are helping parents/carers with children with disabilities and special needs. They can help with accessing funds, do PIP and DVLA’s and generally offer support to all age groups. This service is still continuing and offers an Arabic speaking service.
The Westminster Society also have a Portage worker who is working remotely helping parents with ideas and activities for their child to do at home. Also she offers behavioural support and advice. She also offers help with communication and uses PEC’s. The worker has been using What’s App to help families who may be finding working with their SEND frustrating. She works within the 0-5 age group.