Zoom Update for Parent Carers with WBC & Health

Thank you to all the families who joined us on the 15th May to hear an update from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) and Health on SEND improvements.

The slides presented and the Q&A's raised at the event are here: Zoom Update Slides 15th May and Q&A's 15 May

A snapshot of what was discussed included:

Improvement Updates

  • EHCPs - 80% completed in 20 weeks, 87% of assessements progressed to issue an EHCP
  • Number of generic SEND team email boxes to be reduced. Communication standards being developed.
  • SEND Customer Relations Manager in post supporting early resolution of issues.
  • SEND Strategy 2024-29 - consultation starting 27th May
  • Wrap around School care - work ongoing to improve provision
  • Short Breaks - review ongoing, (we'll keep you informed about opportunities to get involved with this work)
  • Parent Carer Health Engagement Event - 6th June

From Families

  • More focus needed on mental health in schools
  • Lack of Educational Psychology service
  • Need for early intervention/needs led intervention by schools
  • Annual Review process - are statutory timescales being met?
  • Concern with number of SEND Team vacancies
  • Transport – the importance of getting it right
  • Short Breaks – how can parents get involved and feedback with this
  • How to access ADHD assessments for children not in school

Date for Autumn Term Zoom Update with WBC (SEND and Social Care) & Health - TBC we will let you know as soon as a date is confirmed.
Following feedback from the session in May we will be inviting Transport to attend the session in the Autumn Term

What else have we been up to?

We continue to be involved in a number of workstreams associated with the WBC Safety Valve Programme. (Safety Valve agreements are agreements by the local authority with the Department for Education (DfE), agreeing that the DfE will write off the local authorities over-spend on their high needs SEND budgets by improving early intervention, local provision and easy access to information). Some of the main activities this half term include:

  • Continue to work with Education, Health and Social Care on the new Wokingham Area SEND Strategy 2024-29. This will be going out to consultation on the 29th May. We will email members with details of how they can feedback their comments on this strategy..
  • Attended the EOTAS/AP, Local Offer, SEND Support & Specialist Outreach and Post-16 working groups.
  • Part of the Ordinarily Available working group, currently updating the Ordinarily Available document (which will detail reasonable adjustments and what is ordinarily available for all Wokingham Borough children).

We have also been busy with a number of other workstreams and strategic meetings as well as raising the burning issues that families are telling us about:

  • Facilitated the SEND team drop-in with Jamie Conran & Sally Furness for parents to discuss ongoing SEND issues directly with the SEND team.
  • We are working with Health on a Parent Carer Health Engagement Day June 6th @ Lagoona Park, Reading, RG30 3UH. Visit information stalls and find out about the Ordinarily Available Healthcare Services that are available to children and young people with SEND without a diagnosis or referral and feedback your experiences of key SEND Health services.
  • We met with the Neurodiversity team from South East Regional Mental Health Team who are looking at Needs Led Support for children and young people who may be waiting for an Autism and/or ADHD diagnostic assessment.
  • Part of the Wrap-Around Care at schools working group and highlighted the need for greater inclusivity for SEND pupils.
  • Hosted a focus group to help the development of a EBSA Guidance for Schools - thank you to all the parents who attended and gave such valuable feedback. We will let you know further opportunities to help with this work.
  • Attended the Short Breaks Steering Group - we will keep you updated about how you can get involved with this work.
  • Fed back families concerns about changes to Short Breaks provisions over the summer holidays, we will shere more information on this as soon as it is available.
  • Attended the NNPCF SE Regional Meeting
  • Continue to raise issues with SEND Team communication via the Operational Meeting and with Senior Leaders at WBC.
  • Hosted SENDIASS training session on the EHCP Process and an Early Years Transitions session with the WBC Early Years Team
  • Attended the SENDIASS drop-ins to provide a cuppa and chat with parents attending.

Dates for Next Half-Term

Parent Carer Health Engagement Day

Visit information stalls and find out about the Ordinarily Available Healthcare Services that are available to children and young people with SEND without a diagnosis or referral and feedback your experiences of key SEND Health services. We will also have a information stall st this event.
Date: Thursday 6th June
Time: 10.00 - 2.30pm Tickets & more informtin here: Parent Carer Health Engagement Day

**NEW** - Drop-in and Chat
Come and have a drink on us and join us for a chat at Kore Cafe which is run by Addington School hospitality students.
We will have copies of the Local Offer Guide 2022 and our SEND Guide for Families available which gives information about services, organisations, advice & support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities in the Wokingham Borough.

Members will also be able to collect a Max Card (please remember to bring proof of your child's SEND to collect your max card). More details about the Max Cards and the discounts offered are their website here: MAX CARD

Date: Tuesday 11th June
Kore Cafe (run by Addington School Hospitality students), St James Church Centre, Kingfisher Drive, Woodley RG5 3LH
Time: 11.00am - 1.00pm

EHCP Annual Reviews ~ A Parent's Guide SENDIASS Training session
- Does your child have an EHCP?
- Do you know what should happen with their Annual Review?
This training will help you to understand the process and to participate fully.
Date: Monday 12th June
Time: 10.00 - 11.30am

Preparing for Adulthood ~ A Parent's Guide SENDIASS Training session
Is your child 12 years old or above? From year 9 at the latest, discussions about your child or young person's support should focus on the support needed to prepare them for adult life, focusing on their strengths and aspirations. This training will increase your awareness of what needs to be considered, enabling you to participate fully in preparations for you child/young person's future.
Date: Monday 24th June
Time: 7.30 - 9.00pm

Parent Carer Participation Group
The next participation group meetings will be on Tuesday 25th June 2024, with 2 sessions:
10.00 - 11.00 am on Zoom
7.30 - 9.00 pm at Woodley Airfield Centre, Hurricane Way Woodley, RG5 4UX (tea & coffee provided)

We are currently confirming the agenda with a mix of information to share, the opportunity to give your feedback on a number of services and facilities provided within Wokingham Borough plus the opportunity to meet other parents and have a coffee and chat. We hope you can join us on one of these session. To book a place please email participation@sendvoiceswokingham.org.uk

More details about all our events, free training courses and drop-ins can be found on our website here: SVW Events.
To book on any of the above please email: info@sendvoiceswokingham.org.uk

Other events we will be attending
We will be attending a number of other events over for the second half-term, please do pop by and say hello:

Carers Information Event - Monday 10th June, 10.00am - 2.00pm @ Loddon Valley Leisure Centre

WBC SEND Local Offer - Preparing for Adulthood Event - Thursday 13th June, 3.30 - 5.30 or 5.30 - 7.30pm @ Woodley Airfied Youth Centre, Hurricane Way, Woodley.

SENDIASS Drop-in sessions
We attended the SENDIASS drop-ins to provide a cuppa and chat with parents attending. Details of the dates of these fortnightly sessions are available on the SENDIASS website.