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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:

https://www.westminster.gov.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information

Latest letter from the SEN Service

Please click this link to read a letter to all local parents from our Assistant Director for Special Educational Needs and Educational Psychology, Julie Ely.

SEN Transport

In advance of the return to school in September 2020, please click this link for a letter regarding Special Educational Needs Transport and what we are doing to reduce the health risks on your child’s journey from home to school and back.


Please click the sections below for more information / resources relating specifically to SEND.




Information for SENCOs and School Staff (including Government Guidance)

SEND Risk Assessment Guidance 

On 2 July, the Government published "Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings". It can be accessed via the link bellow:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings/guidance-for-full-opening-special-schools-and-other-specialist-settings

The Govenment is asking education settings to welcome all children and young people back in the autumn. 

During the period of lockdown our local schools have used individual risk assessments for children with EHCPs. The guidance for the full opening of schools states:

  • “Risk assessments may prove useful now and over the autumn term, in identifying what additional support children and young people with EHC plans need to make a successful return to full education. Risk assessments may also prove useful if children and young people have to self-isolate, or if a local outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) requires a setting to return to more limited attendance, or temporarily close.”
  • “Whether individual risk assessments are used to help plan for the autumn term or not, education settings should, in the spirit of coproduction, contact parents and involve them in planning for their child’s return to their setting from September. They should also contact and involve young people over 16 who have EHC plans.”

Considering this, we have developed a checklist to help inform schools' conversations with families - to address considerations for individual children and young people with SEND, in addition to the overall school risk assessment. You can access this checklist here:

I am a parent / SENCO and I need support with...


LETTER TO PARENTS FROM JULIE ELY

Following the temporary changes to SEND legislation announced by the Government on 30 April, please click this link to view a letter from the Council's Assistant Director for Special Educational Needs and Educational Psychology, Julie Ely.


COVID-19 - I am a parent / SENCO and I need support with...


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.

Support for parents of children with SEND

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

Resources categorised by specific SEND Needs

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:


COVID-19 - Resources categorised by specific SEND Needs


General resources

Support with transition between phases

Please follow this link for our page outlining resources to support transition between Early Years, Primary and Secondary phases.

We want to hear from Children and Young People with SEND!

Please follow these links to our new Children and Young People’s Participation Pages in RBKC and Westminster


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.

Marianna Lill
SEND Participation Officer for Children and Young People 

marianna.lill@rbkc.gov.uk 

07967 760095


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.

Local Update - Bi-borough Inclusion Service (SEN Outreach)

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.

Local update - Educational Psychology Consultation Service

Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea Educational Psychology Consultation Service - Update

Following support provided to families, children and young people and setting and school staff during lockdown, the WCC and RBKC EPCS continues to be fully available to all state funded settings and schools (via a phased combination of remote and direct contact).

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.
  • There should be flexibility 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 work out the best ways of providing a service taking into account any risks to public health, themselves, and others.
  • There does not need to be a blanket policy with regards to how work is undertaken and delivered.  EP 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 – and will be informed promptly should the situations change.

Local update - Short Breaks

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

Local update - SEND Health Services

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Public Health England has made the decision to stop routine and non-urgent appointments. This is so that NHS staff and resources can be redirected to support patients with high risk conditions and urgent care needs, as well as to ensure that social distancing is adhered to.

Local SEND Health Services have been working with colleagues in the Local Authority and other sectors to ensure that there continues to be support for children, young people and families at this difficult time. Health colleagues have worked with others to collate and develop helpful resources (see resources section of this page).

During this time we understand that families and young people may want to contact services. If you have any queries or want advice in relation to your child’s condition you can contact the Children’s Complex Care and Speech and Language Therapy Administration Hub on 020 7266 8777. This phone line will be open Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm.

  • You can call this number if you want to get in touch with any of the following services CLCH Children’s Community Nursing
  • CLCH Paediatric Nutrition and Dietetics
  • CLCH Occupational Therapy
  • CLCH Speech and Language Therapy
  • Imperial Children’s Physiotherapy
  • Woodfield Child Development Service including Clinical Psychology

Some of these services, such as Children’s Community Nursing are continuing to see children when a face to face contact is essential. However, if you have not been contacted by the service directly we recommend that you call the number above to discuss this.At this time these services are still accepting new referrals, however you are likely to have to wait until normal service resumes before you get seen by the service. If you have any questions about this please contact the number above for further information. Chelsea & Westminster Hospital SEND Health UpdateIf there are any urgent questions regarding a patient that is already known to the Cheyne Child Development Service a message can be left on one of 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

New referrals to the Cheyne Child Development Service should be emailed to: CCDSintake@chelwest.nhs.uk


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 dowload 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.

Local update - Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health

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. In addition to this, our usual face-to-face services are adapting their approaches, so as to be able to continue to provide support remotely.

You can contact your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Please follow this link for a leaflet that sets out available support for children and young people ‘Knowing your mental health’


Woodfield Road Child Development Service

This is a message from the team at the Woodfield Road Child Development Service: 

Dear Parents and Carers,

We, like many other services, have had to adjust our ways of working because of the Corona virus. We would really like to hear how you found these changes and how you would like services to look like going forward. We would like to invite parents and carers who are currently accessing/ have previously accessed our services to fill out this short survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HNKN3T3


The results will help us to understand which type of support families find most helpful and help to shape the way we offer services.


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 Social Emotional Learning Programme - MindUP - have released some free resources that can be accessed from any device and printed.

Local update - Early Years and Childcare

For the latest information regarding Early Years and Childcare support, please visit our Family Information Service website

Local update - Preparing for Adulthood and Transition to Post-16 education

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:

Rachel Edwards
T: 07739 315 424
E: rachel.edwards@rbkc.gov.uk


Our Adult Social Care Transitions Team is working remotely and open as usual. They are contactable by phone or email: wldpduty@westminster.gov.uk or 020 7641 7411.


Please see the attached leaflet outlining Careers Pathway Support that is being provided by SCOPE.

Local update - Caxton Youth Club

Caxton Youth Club are are still providing remote sessions and activities, as well as 1:1 support for Young people with SEND and their families.

Email: rose@caxtonyouth.org to discuss how we can support your child during this time.

https://www.facebook.com/caxtonyouthorg/

Local update - Westminster Society

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.

Last Updated 21/10/2020

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