WHAT IS IMPACTING ON OUR ADDITIONAL
NEEDS AND DISABLED CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE IN PORTSMOUTH?
CWD Priority G Board
Priority G Board was set up approximately 3 years ago, as there was not a Priority
under the Children’s Trust Board Strategy that was looking into matters
concerning children and young people with disabilities. It is made up of professionals from the local
authority, health, social care, voluntary sector, education and essentially,
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms
currently a Children and Families Bill going through parliament. Attached to this Bill is a SEN Code of
Practice. Once these have passed through
the Lords, which is due to have occurred by next summer, both of these will
supersede what was in place before.
These are known as the: SEND Reforms.
Priority G Board is currently focusing on the SEND Reforms and they are due to
be implemented from September 2014. Some
Reforms have already been put into place, like the SEN School Funding. What this means is that if a child or young
person’s SEN cannot be appropriately supported within mainstream schools with a
budget of up to £6,000 then the school needs to apply for further funding.
Education, Health and Care Plan
take the shape of an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC Plan). This Plan super-cedes a Statement of Special
Educational Need and will follow the child or young person from the point of
issue until 25 years of age, unless the young person no longer continues in
One of the
biggest changes is the involvement from the start of the parent carer, and if
suitable, the young person themselves.
In the new Plan, an “All About Me” fact sheet about the needs, wants,
aspirations of the young person will have to be included. In fact, once the young person reaches 16,
they can become the author of their own Plan and make decisions on where they
wish to be educated and what course they would prefer.
The Local Offer
change is the Local offer. Every
service that has input into a disabled child’s or young person’s life will have
to produce a “Local Offer”. This
includes, for example, schools, nurseries, children centres and colleges, organisations
like Enable Ability or the Wheelchair and Continence Service.
a school will need to clarify exactly what it can provide, primarily on their
school website, although hard copies will be made available on request, for a
child with additional needs of up to £6,000.
If that school fails to provide the support it has outlined in its Local
Offer, then the parent carer can use it as a means to challenge the school to
ensure that the right support is put in place for their child or young person.
If you are
issued with a Plan, then you, as the parent carer can request a Personal
Budget. This requires further work and
the local authority has yet to determine quite how it will work for families,
but an example is as such: I currently receive 3 pads per day for each of my children
from the Continence Service. If I
requested a Personal Budget, it might mean that from the funding I receive, I
could find a cheaper provider other than Tena (for example), to supply the pads and therefore
get more pads per day for my children.
Dynamite (disabled young people’s voice)
set up to encourage and involve the young people themselves in the SEND
Reforms. It is for young people aged
between 11 – 25 years old. We have a
Youth Worker called Marie Devlin who is travelling around the city to already
set-up groups to inform the young people on how they can help. Each young person who becomes involved with
Dynamite and agrees to take part is reimbursed with shopping vouchers of their
choice. This is to thank them for their
time and contribution.
There are 3
main ways to encourage young people to get involved:
1. The local authority wants to produce
a DVD from their point of view, as an opportunity for them to say their story.
2. The local authority would like the
young people to be the designers of the “All About Me” part of their Plan.
3. Dynamite Launch
On Wednesday, 19 February, we
are inviting the Portsmouth disabled youth to Action Stations! at Portsmouth Historic
Dockyard, to take part in all the facilities on offer including Lazer Quest and
the Helicopter Flight Simulator. It is
from 10 am to 2 pm and there will be Information Stalls and a Futures Opportunities
Fair as well. If you know of anyone who
would like to take part, either as a guest or an exhibitor, please let Deirdre
or I know.
Portsmouth Parent Voice
Parent Voice is a service for families with children and young people with
additional needs and disabilities, 0 – 25 years old. Parent Voice has two essential roles:
1. To work together with the local
authority to ensure that parent carers have a voice in how services are shaped
and delivered locally. For example, a
Parent Carer Co-production Group has been set up to look more deeply into the
SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Reforms that are currently
being drawn up for Portsmouth.
2. To support parent carers, signpost
them to other relevant services and inform them on current issues that will
affect theirs and their families lives.
For example, we have a Facebook page and a monthly e-newsletter which we
email out to all the parent carers and professionals that are on our database.
If you have
any questions, please do contact either Deirdre of myself and we will do our best
to answer them.
Mary Ive – Coordinator: Portsmouth Parent
Deirdre Smith – Parent Engagement Officer
Marie Devlin – Dynamite Youth Worker
Tel: 07825 185608