Published December 2018

REACH Wokingham met with Wokingham Borough Council 0-25 SEN, Disabled Children's and SENDIASS teams and discussed a number of issues that have been raised recently by parents. The issues covered and the response from WBC is as follows:

1.Northern House

Parents continue to raise concerns.

Response: Still awaiting the Ofsted response for inspection which was carried out in October. A meeting is planned with the School Head and CEO this week. Currently, WBC are not placing any children at this setting until Ofsted report received. Parents, at any time and about any school, can complete the Parent View survey on the Ofsted website. This is the first thing that Ofsted review ahead of an inspection.

We are expecting an update from WBC on this imminently.

2. EHCP timelines, final plan issues and SEN attending EHCP review meetings

Some parents are concerned that SEN are not attending EHC reviews

Response: Additional admin resource has been added and further planned in addition recruitment is progressing for a SEN Case Worker. The SEN budget is being reviewed for 2019/2020. WBC will be working with REACH Wokingham to produce a SEN guide for parents to assist with SEN support, EHCP process etc. SEN are not necessarily required to be at EHCP reviews, as this is a process that is led by the child's school. The SEN team ensures that annual reviews are completed for every child with an EHCP, they are responsible for reviewing documentation following the review and where necessary refer to SEN panel, where changes are required in relation to funding or placement. If there are any problems with the plan or timelines not meeting statutory guidance REACH Wokingham can provide the SEN contact at WBC to resolve this. Plans undertaken over the summer break are subject to summer exceptions rule and as such may take slightly longer that the designated 20-week process. Parents are requested to email with any problems so that these can be resolved in a timely manner.

3. DCT Request for Support

Parents not clear of timelines for support once indicated plan would be put in place.

Response: The Family Intervention, Resources and Support Team and the Disabled children's meet weekly to agree whether requests for support would be best managed by non-social work qualified staff in the FIRST team who have practical experience knowledge and skills to support children and their families with issues around sleep, behavior, sexuality, toileting and other issues or a qualified Social Worker in DCT.

Routinely there should not be a significant delay in a member of these teams making contact with the family.

Please do not leave issues/problems for a long time. if contact has not been made within a week please phone or email DCT.

Email contacts are listed at the back of the Short Breaks Statement. REACH Wokingham can provide the appropriate contact if issues are not being resolved.

The new Short Breaks Coordinator starts December 14th, and a plan to recruit permanent social workers is in place.

Updates planned for the Local Offer will include further information on the FIRST Team.

4. High Needs and Exceptional Needs Funding (grant maintained and academy schools)

Parents are concerned that funding is not being used efficiently and effectively by schools.

Response: WBC are now requesting specific data from schools/colleges relating to outcomes, in order to ascertain how and if identified outcomes are being met. This data will come from discussions and paperwork submitted after an annual review, it should relate to how funding has been used to support the child in making progress. All schools should formulate individual plans for the child, reviewed on a termly basis (and these would form part of any discussions at annual review). Any issues must be raised directly with the school as it is the school's responsibility to ensure that the recommendations of the EHCP followed. The annual review should not be the only opportunity to discuss your child's progress. There should be communication throughout the year with the school' SEN team to ensure that any issues are dealt with promptly. There should be no surprises either from school or from parents at an annual review. Any continuing issues can be raised with REACH Wokingham and the WBC SEN Team.

5. Update on SEN Provision for children transferring to Year 7

We have been made aware that parents of SEND children have not felt welcomed by some schools in the area, especially those without an ECHP.

Response: The SEN team have spoken directly to one of the schools we have highlighted. REACH Wokingham and SENDIASS also have a meeting scheduled. We will keep all parties updated.

6. Feedback from Parents on the new Short Breaks documents

WBC asked if there had been any feedback on the new Short Breaks Statement, Self-assessment referral form or Direct Payments Guidelines.

Response: REACH Wokingham said that they had not received any feedback from parents. However, if parents do have any feedback, at any time, this can be emailed to or via the Local Offer on the WBC website.

REACH Wokingham now have monthly meetings arranged with the SEN, DCT and SENDIASS teams.

Next Meeting: Monday 17th December

Please continue to let us know any issues you have so we can discuss them with WBC. Please email