In this Edition— SEND Tribunal, Transitions, Personalised Travel Payment (PTP), Independent Supporter (IS), Parent Feedback, IPS Autumn Training Open Morning.
Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SEND tribunal): single route of redress trial
Giving parents and young people the opportunity to request recommendations about health and social care by a SEND tribunal.
The trial lasts from 3rd April 2018 for two years. Those who have a new or amended final Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) or a decision from the local authority about an EHC Plan after 3rd April can request that the tribunal consider:-
- Health needs, part C
- Health provision, part G
- Social Care needs, part D
- Social Care provision parts H1 and H2
To be able to ask for recommendations in health and social care you must have an education issue you wish to appeal e.g. educational Needs (B), educational Provision (F) and/or educational placement (I). For further information please call us.
The tribunal can only make recommendations on health and social care issues not like the binding decisions they can make on educational aspects. But if these recommendations are not followed then families may be able to go to the Local Government Ombudsman.
There is also a guidance document on the gov.uk website.
The summer term is a really busy and important time to prepare children and young people for the next stage of their education. This ‘moving on’ to the next stage is called transition. However there are many types of transition, it could be moving from one school to another, from one class to another, between class and playtime, from home to school etc.
Moving to a new school or year group within a school/setting can be daunting for any child or young person but those with SEND can find it even more challenging than their peers. Therefore it is essential that a good transition plan is put in place to make the move as smooth as possible.
Communication is the key to this and it is vital that as a parent/carer/young person, you are communicating with the current school/class teacher, and the new class teacher or new school/ post 16 setting your child/young person is moving to. Your child/young person needs to be involved with these discussions and their views listened to.
If your child/young person is moving to a new school/setting make sure you/ young person speaks to the SENCO and check that they have been fully briefed about your child/young person and their needs and what special educational provision they need. Make sure they have read any relevant reports or information, including their SEN support plan, care plan (for medical needs) and their Education and Health Care Plan (if they have one) and are able to put the correct support in place for your child/young person from day one.
Speak to the current school and make sure they are working with you and your child/young person to prepare them for the changes.
Some ideas that may help your child/young person are:
- Multiple opportunities for your child to visit their new school/class at various times of the day to cover lessons, break times, lunch times.
- Have a map of the new school or post 16 provision and highlight key areas such as classrooms, toilets, lunch hall
- Visual timetable that is easy for the child/young person to understand and they can familiarise themselves with in advance
- Help the child/young person to make an “All About My New School” book including photographs of the school and key members of staff
- Allow plenty of opportunities for your child/young person to talk to you or someone they trust about any worries they have
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding transition please give us a call and one of our advisers will discuss them with you.
Personalised Travel Payments
Personalised Travel Payments (PTPs) is a new scheme for SEND Transport that is being trialled for 12 months by Norfolk County Council, if successful this will be an optional method written into policy.
A PTP is a sum of money that the Local Authority (NCC) offers to parents/carers
with a child or young person who has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) to enable them to make their own arrangements to take their child/young person to and from school. This is an alternative to other Local Authority provided transport such as a taxi or a minibus.
A PTP is for a child or young person with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) attending their nearest appropriate school or other specialist provision, who needs specialist transport. They must meet the general criteria within the home to school transport policy regarding age and distance, which would qualify them for free school transport. This policy is available by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk.
During the pilot, the Local Authority are looking for approximately 200 families who have a child / young person eligible for specialist transport who are interested in participating in the scheme. For the pilot, we would like to ensure a representative sample of families in a range of individual circumstances. For example children and young people who currently...
- Are on shared travel arrangements
- Travel in the taxi on their own
- Require a passenger assistant
- Travel long distances
We will also be looking to see how the PTP works in different types of educational settings.
The PTP is a payment based on distance, taking into account the child’s needs, based on the shortest distance by road from their main residence to school/college, measured using the council’s measuring software. We will pay your PTP every month in arrears, based on the number of school days in that month. There is no payment for August.
Potential advantages for families:
- Increased flexibility for families
- Families will not be constrained by the taxi or mini bus pick up/drop off time
- Parents and carers could consider shared travel arrangements
- Parents and carers or family members can spend more time with their child / young person
- Parents and carers may feel more involved or included in their school community
- Peace of mind – parents and carers know their child’s needs best and can support them so
- they arrive at school more ready to learn.
- Potentially less time spent travelling for those previously on shared travel arrangements
Please click here and follow the link on the Local Offer to access further information on the PTP.
Written by William Tait, Transport Officer
Parents feedback is important to us and following one of our Tribunal workshops we asked a parent to give us feedback in order to continue to offer the most effective support. We will be running further workshops and training so please keep an eye out on our website for more information. Please see the next pages for details of upcoming Independent Partnership Supporter (IPS) open morning.
‘I recently attended a tribunal course run by the Norfolk SEND Partnership team. I booked a place on the course because I want to appeal the educational placement named on my child’s EHCP, but I was feeling very apprehensive about the prospect of the tribunal. I hoped that doing this course would demystify the process and give me some practical tips. The course delivered on both fronts.
I found the course extremely informative and we covered a wide range of material in a short space of time, including a detailed overview of the procedure for appealing and the work that has to be done.
The course leader was very knowledgeable and she stressed how important it is to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. She gave lots of concrete suggestions for the kinds of evidence that you could use for different areas as well as ways to obtain the data you need.
Each participant was given a bundle of useful documents to take away, including example copies of the forms you will need to fill in, “reasons for appeal” documents written by other parents, advice on ensuring your EHCP is specified and quantified, and a list signposting other useful organisations. The team brought along copies of the different leaflets produced by Norfolk Send Partnership.
During the session there were plenty of opportunities to ask questions. There were also some individual slots at the end that could be booked in advance. I was fortunate to secure one of these and it was brilliant to have an expert look over my child’s EHCP and point out areas where needs had been missed off, or examples of woolly phrasing that should be rewritten to be more specific.
This is not the first time I have contacted Norfolk SEND partnership - I have also had telephone advice on more than one occasion over the years. The staff are invariably helpful and well-informed. I would highly recommend their helpline to any parent who is feeling in need of advice on the procedure for obtaining an EHCP or ensuring the EHCP adequately identifies and documents your child’s needs.’
Anon parent 23.4.2018
New - Independent Supporter (IS)
My name is Niamh Keane and I am taking over the part time IS role from May within Norfolk SEND Partnership. I currently work as a SEND Advisor and will continue with this role part time.
In 2014 the Government changed the law around Education and SEND. This law means that professionals from education, health and social care have to work closely together to give children and young people with special educational needs or a disability the support they need. A big change happened within these reforms and Statements were replaced by Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP). An EHCP describes a child’s special educational, health and care
needs and the help they will get to meet them. My aim as an IS will be to enable all young people and parents of children with SEND to take part effectively in the EHCP process. I can support with:
- How to help parents/young people give their views, wishes and feelings.
- Informing parents of the legal timescales
- Give support and advise around the whole EHC process
- Help to read through draft plans and request any changes to be made
- Explain what provision and outcomes look like.
- Attend meetings with parents/young people
- Understanding relevant reports and speaking to professionals
Become a volunteer
Become a volunteer for Norfolk SEND Partnership and make a real difference
Come along to our open morning and find out more about our FREE Independent Partnership Supporter Training starting this Autumn 2018 (dates below)
- Give information advice & support
- Help with paperwork
- Explain procedures
- Support at school meetings
OPEN MORNING - BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL
The Green Britain Centre, Turbine Way, Swaffham Wednesday 10th July 2018
AUTUMN 2018 TRAINING DATES
9 weeks on a Wednesday 12th, 19th & 26th Sept, 3rd, 10th & 31st Oct & 7th, 14th, 21st Nov 2018 (not including school holidays) also at Swaffham.
Call 01603 704070 to book.