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Stockport SEND Inclusion Community Group

The SEND inclusion community group is made up largely of operational professionals, parents/carers and representation from the voluntary and community sector to ensure:

Communication

The group will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to meet, and to have open, transparent communication on the current issues in relation to SEND within Stockport. This includes improvements that are underway but also emerging needs and issues. These can then be reported up to the overarching SEND Board.

Sharing Information

The group will provide a forum to share best practice available both locally and nationally for young people with SEND. The SEND Board will also produce regular updates for the group’s consideration. This information will include performance and outcome data. The group can propose areas for further development, focus, including training needs.

Outcomes and Inclusion

The group will provide one forum to monitor the proposed outcomes framework and the role of the community in achieving the outcomes needed. The group will be vital in discussing whether it is working in reality, alongside the other improvements. If not, why not and to discuss proposals for action for improvements to the SEND Board.

Ultimately, the SEND Inclusion community group presents an opportunity for us to bring knowledge, experience and expertise to influence the SEND agenda in Stockport. The SEND community group complements the work that is being undertaken by the services that strive to put the best in place for the SEND community and encourages members of the group to champion best practice to their work/life areas.

If you would like to join this group, please email us at send-ip@stockport.gov.uk

Read more about what the SEND inclusion community group has been up to below.

19th January 2021

Screenshot of the SEND Inclusion Community Group meeting: 19th Jan 2021

On the 19th January, the SEND inclusion community group came together for the first meeting of 2021. We had 29 attendees that came together from different aspects of the SEND community. There were representations from not only parents/carers but VCSE, health, Local Authority services and schools.

We started first with a presentation from SENDIASS delivered by Tracy Ryan on what SENDIASS can do for parents/carers and children and young people. You can find the presentation here.

We then received an update on the development of the Local Offer website from Tim Brandwood, our Local Offer Coordinator. Tim shared the newly updated Education, Health and Care Plan page.

He explained that as we go forward into 2021, our efforts in reviewing and updating ALL the content on the website are coming to a pivotal point. Tim has now gone through every page on the site and assigned either a name or email address to each page so that there is always someone who he can contact in terms of keeping its content up-to-date. Following on from creating this database, Tim is sending out a mass email to all contacts assigned to pages requesting them to review their pages and send through any updates to be made as soon as possible.

Throughout February Tim will be offering ‘surgeries’ to those who would like to book in time slots with our Local Offer Coordinator. These time slots will be a chance to talk through content and make any necessary changes within that session show up on the live site there and then.

The group then discussed the holiday activities offer for SEND children and young people and being able to get the offer recognised on the Local Offer so that SEND families can know what is out there for their child. The group agreed that we will need to SEND activities mapped on the Local Offer and agreed to suggest groups on there and to ensure their own service is represented on the Local Offer website. Action: Group to ensure they send an update about their service/organisation to Tim.

The group were also informed that it is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week from the 1-7 February. The Local Authority will proactively share any events/awareness-raising campaigns that the group will be putting together during that week. Action: All to share campaigns/plans to raise awareness with Nayuri.

20th October 2020

SEND Inclusion Community Group meeting attendees October 2020

Our first agenda item was around supporting Jan from Autisk with a bid she had submitted with Cash for Kids where children and young people up to the age of 18 can receive ‘goody bags’ which they can open at Christmas. Jan informed the group that she only gets 1 day notice when the gifts are ready to be picked up, and with the rush of Christmas, it can be hard for her to get parcels around the Borough. The group came up with suggestions of vans and safe collection points for children to pick their gifts from Jan. It was lovely to see everyone want to support such a great initiative.

Update: Autisk food pack campaign is now been separated to be a new constituted group Stockport Together as we didn’t expect the response we got. A big help would be sharing our flyers to every school/ services so we miss nobody out and maybe encourage schools etc to set up donation points for us.


During this session, we also discussed what we can all do to raise awareness of SEND during the Week of Action. The group agreed to focus on positive stories and about people’s lived experiences or working or living with SEND. Watch this space!

Update: Please encourage staff to share and attend webinars


We discussed the issue of how to reach out to different communities in Stockport to engage them in SEND services and support, particularly BAME groups. We agreed to have follow up meetings with Aba from Ebony and Ivory Community Organisation and will update the group at the next session in November.

Update: We had a meeting on the 9th November. To connect Aba with PACTs and other Council networks


The role of the Ethnic Diversity service and how it links with communities was discussed. We agreed to have a meeting with the Ethnic and Diversity Service to understand their offer and the links back into the community. We will discuss this at the next meeting in November.

Update: We had the meeting on the 9th November and agreed that they will become a part of the community inclusion group and that we would promote their offer out to schools in a more proactive way.


Thad from Stockport Local Fund talked about how he would like to encourage SEND community organisations to bid for the Stockport Local Fund in the next round w/c 16th November.

Update: this week, 2 questions.


There was also a discussion about how we bring local neighbourhood organisations, similar to Brinnington Big Local to the SEND inclusion community group.

Update: This is something we will be working on.


Thank you for your contributions- see you in November!

23rd September 2020

After a break over the summer, it was time to reconvene. A whopping 27 champions turned up to our virtual SEND inclusion community group session in September!

This session covered: 

  • Developments of the SEND journey since the last meeting in June  

  • SEND Strategy 2020-2023 has been approved by SEND Board and will be launched soon. The SEND strategy outlines the vision and priorities for SEND in Stockport 

  • Update following National Co-Production week 6-10th July  

  • Work on EHCP process and timescale is underway and the group were informed about our current position  

  • Work on Personal Budgets has progressed (webinar planned in the send week of action w/c 16th November) 

  • Emotional wellbeing webinars delivered with PACTS throughout summer 

  • SENCO newsletter being formulated 

  • A briefing by Bev Milway, Strategic Lead for SEND on the review of the Dedicated Schools Grant funding.  

  • The group provided feedback into the Stockport Health recovery PlanPeople noted all the ways that services interacted with children and their families whilst being from home during the pandemic i.e Youtube/ZOOM etc. 

  • The group also discussed a send holiday offer. It was agreed that we need to ensure that there is an offer for activities for SEND families to take part in across the Borough.  

  • Planning for the SEND week of action 16th-20th November. The group agreed to focus on planning for the send week of action at the next meeting on the 20th October.

21st May 2020

Our session in May was attended by 16 people! Thank you, everybody, for a great meeting.

As a group, we discussed: 

  • The SEND hub being live and what that will mean for send communities where they need support 

  • Preparing for children and young people to transition back to school following Covid 

  • How the emotional wellbeing offer has grown in the past 3 weeks locally and nationally 

  • The Council has recruited to 3 key new roles which is fundamental to the send programme: 

  • Local Offer Coordinator 

  • SEND Strategic Lead for SEND 

  • EHCP Coordinator 

  • We also shared a snapshot of information which details some of our achievements in May. We took this to the SEND Board in June, so that Senior Leaders at the Council, as well as partners who also sit on the Board, can see all the great things going on and understand the practicalities of how parents/carers access the Stockport SEND Local Offer. 

The group agreed that they will take a break over the summer and that meetings will reconvene again in September, with slightly longer meetings to allow room for discussion. 

If you haven’t come to any of the SEND inclusion group meetings as of yet, don’t worry, we have new people coming to every session.

28th April 2020

Since our last meeting in February, Coronavirus has impacted the entire world.  Howeverour commitment to the SEND community has not stopped and we have agreed to continue to meet up…virtually!

During this meeting, we wanted to land with everyone and understand how Covid has impacted everyone’s role. We discussed a lot of things including the guidance from Government which is causing a lot of uncertainty amongst the SEND community. We had a really productive discussion about: 

  • How we are all supporting schools, families, children and young people through the closure of schools and being restricted whilst in a global pandemic. 

  • Development on an emotional wellbeing offer- we are planning for the launch of the SEND hub and emotional health and wellbeing offer  

  • Updating the Stockport SEND Local Offer and social media with content specific to Covid-19  

  • We also had a lot of discussion around Covid including methods of communication that people have found useful to find out about the latest guidance. 

Thank you for all your wonderful contributions!

28th February 2020

This month’s SEND inclusion community group was almost as busy with 27 attendees and they met at the Adswood Community Centre. During this session, the group were asked to consider priorities that they would like to focus on as a group over the next 12 monthsAfter a lot of good discussion about what would be important to improving the lives of children and young people with SEND, the group decided that the following 3 priorities would be achievable and provide better working relationships:

Priority 1: Collaborative working 

  • To develop a website for self-help advice and agree on an escalation process to know when it is not right 

  • Seeking networking opportunities to be able to build new relationships 

  • Building relationships across other service areas wide than the LA, NHS  

  • Making more connections with front-line workers. Feeding back to the SEND board about findings 

  • Ensuring schools are inclusive 

  • Need to reconsider providers to deal with the issue around resource and make it known where  

  • Need to represent the voice of children and young people/families/parents & carers 

  • Challenging higher level decisions 

 

Priority 2: Sharing information and building knowledge 

  • Getting organisations to understand the difference between reality and practicality of decisions made  

  • To share information about what is available i.e resources, activities, good practice, ideas 

  • Understanding diagnosis for each condition to be able to champion information 

  • Case studies/evaluations to share skills and knowledge relating to families 

  • Consistent communication methods as a baseline for sharing information 

Priority 3: Culture Change 

  • To bring about change in the workforce and how it impacts people  

  • Training opportunities:  

  • Need to encourage that everyone working within a SEND role has training on statutory/non statutory frameworks i.e. Code of Practice 

  • Align all training with each other i.e. autism 

  • Ensuring that no matter who you are i.e. parent/professional, you can access e-learning training easily  

  • Training in Leading, empowering, organisations 

  • Easier access to training

As a group, we also fed back on a draft version of the Children and Young People’s Strategy 2020-2023This Strategy sets out the principles, ways of working and priorities which will enable us to achieve our vision for children, young people and families in Stockport. The Strategy ensures that all partners and agencies who help, support and educate children and families to achieve their ambitions are clear about their contribution.

20th January 2020

Our first SEND inclusion community group took place on the 20th January with a whopping 37 attendees.

As everybody was new and didn’t necessarily know each other we asked everyone to complete a mentimeter exercise to break the iceThe questions that were asked were: 

  • What does send mean to you? 

  • To what extent do you feel you are making a difference to young people with SEND in Stockport? 

  • To what extent do you feel being more connected will help? 

  • Where are you already connected and influencing? 

  • What do you think would help you feel more connected?

The group were asked the following question: What outcome do you hope to achieve this week in your role that will impact on children and young people with SEND. Everybody shared their thoughts as a group, which led to a rich discussion. The group unanimously agreed that regardless of everyone’s individual role within their services or organisation- the fundamental drive that takes them to work is to improve the lives of children and young people. 

The group suggested monthly meetings going forward in different parts of the Borough.