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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


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 

As of 19 April 2020 (updated 7 May 2020), the Government have published new guidance for settings managing children and young people with an education, health and care (EHC) plan during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It can be accessed via the link bellow:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance

Following the updated government guidance regarding risk assessments for EHCPs, please click this link for a letter to all local SENCOs, and a letter to all FE Institutions.


Template risk assessments

With the above in mind, the Local Authority have developed a template risk assessment which has been tested by some local schools. Please see links below to access this:


Annual reviews

Please see the documents below for guidance and the template for completing EHCP annual reviews during the COVID-19 period.


Government Guidance

We are aware that guidance for schools has been released rapidly and is changing regularly. Please see below some key guidance, which we will continually add to:



Legislative changes

Some aspects of the law on education, health and care (EHC) needs assessments and plans are changing temporarily to give local authorities, health commissioning bodies, education settings and other bodies who contribute to these processes more flexibility in responding to the demands placed on them by coronavirus (COVID-19). There are two areas subject to temporary changes:

  1. The time-limited duty to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to secure or arrange provision in an EHC plan.
  2. Timescales for EHC needs assessments and plans.

The government have issued guidance regarding these changes here, and the presentation to accompany this can be found by clicking here.

Following these temporary changes to SEND legislation, please click this link to view a letter from Julie Ely, outlining the importance of risk assessments in helping to fulfil the requirement to outline the provision that is being provided to children and young people with EHCPs.

Please also click this link to view a letter that has been sent to all parents and carers of children with EHCPs.


Provisions for vulnerable children and young people

The government have issued guidance around provisions being made for vulnerable children and young people.


Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and whenever you return home.


Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UKPRN) available when calling the hotline.

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

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 this link for a newsletter from KIDS, a national charity that champion the participation of children and young people with SEND. It outlines lots of stuff for children and young people to do and ways that they can have their voices heard during this period. 

This has been sent out by our SEND Children and Young People's Participation Officer, Marianna Lill. Marianna was due to be launching our new forum for children and young people with SEND (provisionally named 'SEND Voice' until the members of the forum decide the long-term name) but we haven't been able to do this while we're all at home. 

That doesn't mean we don't want to hear from you though! Send us your stories, good news, things you’re doing at home, how you are being creative and passing the time, any favourite helpful websites or games you are playing while we are all practising #stayathome

Marianna Lill

marianna.lill@rbkc.gov.uk

07967 760095

Local Update - SEN Outreach Support

Our SEN Outreach Services are continuing to provide support to schools and families. This includes the support of autism advisory teachers; qualified teachers of the deaf; qualified teachers for vision impairment; SEN occupational therapy, and the support of our speech, language and communication needs advisory teacher.

The teams will be flexible in their approach so that they can provide remote support to school staff and families as well as support in any local settings that vulnerable children and young people are continuing to attend.

The Service Offers for these teams are available via the links below. 

During this period, we are operating the following points of contact for queries to these services. Please use the general mailboxes where indicated, as this will enable us to manage capacity and allocate resource centrally: 

Local update - Autism Support

Our Autism Outreach Services are continuing to provide support to schools and families.

The team will be flexible in their approach so that they can provide remote support to school staff and families as well as support in any local settings that vulnerable children and young people are continuing to attend.

The Service Offers for the team is available via the link below.

During this period, we are operating the following points of contact for queries to the service. Please use the general mailbox where indicated, as this will enable us to manage capacity and allocate resource centrally:

The following resources may also be useful for supporting children and young people with autism:

Local update - Sensory Impairment


It is National Deaf Awareness Week from 4-10 May and, to mark this, our Sensory Impairment Service have produced a poster with some tips on how to improve access for remote learning for deaf students. Please click this link for details.

The BBC have also produced this brilliant video about children and young people titled 'I'm deaf - this is how I want you to speak to me".

#DAW2020


Our Sensory Impairment Teams are continuing to provide support to schools and families. This includes the support qualified teachers of the deaf and qualified teachers for vision impairment.

The teams will be flexible in their approach so that they can provide remote support to school staff and families as well as support in any local settings that vulnerable children and young people are continuing to attend.

The Service Offers for these teams are available via the links below.

During this period, we are operating the following points of contact for queries to these services. Please use the general mailboxes where indicated, as this will enable us to manage capacity and allocate resource centrally:

More details regarding the Sensory Impairment Offer following school closures can be found in the team’s Spring Newsletter, which has just been published, and further useful resources that have been produced by the team are as follows:

VIEW (VI charity) have released their guidance for supporting students with VI returning to school where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

Furthermore, the National Deaf Children's Society have also produced a page dedicated to providing information for families following the school closures.

Local update - Educational Psychology Service

The Educational Psychologist Consultation Service (EPCS) continues to provide a service to schools and is available for advice, guidance and support through schools contacting their link Educational Psychologist (EP) in the first instance, or a member of the service’s senior management team member:

  • Jeremy Monsen (Principal EP)
  • Helen Kerslake (Assistant PEP and RBKC lead)
  • Sam Habal (Senior EP and WCC lead)
  • Jane Roller (Senior EP)
  • Sara Darchicourt (Senior EP)

All Local Authority (LA) state funded schools continue to receive:

  • A Core Statutory Offer – EPs will continue to work remotely to prepare EP Advice to inform the EHCP process, that represents the parent/carer and pupil voice as much as possible and attend virtual My Assessment Meetings, Annual Reviews etc.
  • A Core Plus Offer – Link EPs will work remotely to support schools enact their statutory roles and duties around SEN and Disabilities (with a specific focus on safeguarding and child protection).

In addition, for LA schools that have a Traded SLA with us, EPs will continue to be flexible in their approach, so that they continue to provide support through a remote traded service, until such a time that schools are able to open again. This work will be negotiated between the link EP and the school’s SENCo to support school communities with their identified needs. Parent’s with concerns should contact their school SENCo in the first instance to identify support available from the EPCS.

During the first week of term we will distribute to schools and other services an EPCS policy on supporting schools with coronavirus related bereavement. The current situation means that there is an increased risk of bereavements and traumatic events both in the school and the wider school community. EP time to support schools with critical incidents will continued to be offered to schools via our LA funded Tier 1b support and should be discussed with your line manager in the first instance.

Critical incident support in schools

The Educational Psychology Consultation Service has a long-established Critical Incident response and support service to LA funded schools across the two boroughs. The model is one of immediate response to school senior leadership teams offering support, particularly where a school may be feeling overwhelmed. Time is allocated for all EPs to provide support to schools affected by a traumatic event. All EPs have had training in the area of bereavement and loss and critical incidents.

Details regarding the service’s guidance/policy on supporting schools with coronavirus-related bereavement are outlined in this document.

The EPCS have created booklet Helping You With Your Feelings When Someone Close To You Diesfor children and young people to read through with a parent or adult following the death of a family member or someone close (with reference also to the coronavirus period). It is written at the level a young child or young person with SEND would understand and includes photos.

The EPCS has created resource booklets to support transition, recovery and learning in the aftermath of a pandemic and both the Primary/Nursery, Secondary, and Youth Service booklets contain ideas, interventions, activities and resources with a focus on a sense of safety, calming, self and community efficacy, resiliency, connectedness and hope. Hard copies will be made available to every school as soon as possible. For more information schools should discuss with their Link EP.

The EPCS has collated a wide range of resources to support schools and families during the pandemic including resources for children with SEND on our Services2Schools webpage: http://services2schools.org.uk/Services/4698.

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 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week during the current situation.

  • 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’


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 20/06/2020

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