Half- Term Update - Autumn 2

Safety Valve Update for Parent Carers

Thank you to all the families who joined us on the 8th November to hear an update from Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) on the Safety Valve Programme. A video link to the presentation from Wokingham Borough Council on Safety Valve here: https://youtu.be/RFeNzlKLiVE

A copy of the presentation slides are also available here: SV update 8/11/23 Slides and the link to the chat Q&A's raised at the event are here: SV Update Q&A's 8/11/23

Concerns about communication were raised at this meeting and a number of drop-in session have been arranged with Jamie Conran (WBC Head of SEND) so that families can discuss their individual cases with him. Jamie has told us how valuable these sessions have been and will be scheduling more for the Spring Term, once these are confirmed we will let you know the dates.

Date for Spring Term Zoom Update with WBC - Thursday 1st February 7.00 - 8.30pm
To join this session please email info@sendvoiceswokingham.org.uk for the joining link.

Participation Group kick-off meetings.

A big thank you to all those who joined our first parent carer Participation Group meetings in November. The feedback from these groups will be included in our termly Feedback from Families report which will be submitted to the newly formed Wokingham Area SEND Quality Assurance Board. Dates for the next Participation Group meetings will be on sent out in the New Year. If you would like more information or are interested in joining the Participation Group please email participation@sendvoiceswokingham.org.uk

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 include:
  • Updating the Parents Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Guide and are part of the PfA Working Group, which has fortnightly progress review meetings. A final draft of the PfA Guide is being reviewed and the updated version should be available early next year.
  • Working on the Local Offer website updates with the new Local Offer Co-ordinator – we have been asked to help review a new PfA Health section - please let us know if you could help with reviewing this content.
  • A member of the Early Years SEND Strategy Group. A first draft of an Early Years SEND Strategy is now being worked on by the group. We will be looking for wider parent carer feedback on this document in the New Year, so please do let us know if you could help.
  • Part of the SEND Support & Specialist Outreach Design Group which is developing improved support for schools with Ordinarily Available provision and additional specialist support such as Speech & language and SEMH support as well as an Area SENCO to support schools.
  • Part of the evaluation team for the new SEND Resource Bases and SEND Units
  • Supported Internships: WBC would like to hear what areas that your young person may be interested in completing a supported internship in: Supported Internship survey

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:
  • Attended the Strategic SEND Partnership Board and requested a data dashboard be made available for parents.
  • Continue to raise issues with SEND Team communication via the Operational Meeting and with Senior Leaders at WBC.
  • Presented the results of our SEND Survey to the Children's Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee and also raised questions about reporting of Complaints. As requested information about the complaints process for all SEND services is now on the Local Offer here: If you're unhappy with a decision
  • Presented our SEND Survey results to the Wokingham Primary Heads Association
  • Attended the inaugural meeting of the new SEND Quality Assurance Board. We will be producing a Feedback From Families termly to go to this Board. Our first report is available to see here: Feedback From Families Autumn 23
  • Attended an independent travel training workshop to make sure the process and communication meets families needs.
  • Continue to contribute to the Wokingham Area's SEND Self-Evaluation.
  • We attend the Wokingham Residents Equality Forum.
  • We have hosted SENDIASS training sessions on SEN Support in schools and the EHCP Process.
  • Attended the SENDIASS drop-ins to provide a cuppa and chat with parents attending
  • Part of the interview panels for SENDIASS Case Officer and permanent Director of Children's Services