Latest SEND Update 22nd May 20
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As we finish the summer first half-term I wanted to thank you for your hard work and sheer determination to support your children, young people and families. We are hearing so many positive good news stories about the value families are placing on the support you are providing, the difference that it is making to them, as individuals and as a family.

Despite the challenging circumstances, schools have found ways of strengthening relationships and in many cases reaching and engaging families that have been previously difficult to reach. I know that as SENCO's and leaders of SEN you play a crucial part in this, supporting your staff in tricky conversations, differentiating resources, supporting planning and working with individual children and their families. This work is seen and noted and valued, so thank you.
I also wanted to thank all of you who have been in touch with myself and my team members to express your appreciation of our support. We have always valued our relationships with you and during COVID 19, together with you, we have shown how effective working across teams and organisations can be.
I do hope that you are able to take some time for yourselves and your own families during half-term. Let's hope that the weather stays good and I look forward to welcoming you back in the summer second half-term. We will continue to work with you providing additional advice and support as we all think about transitions (big and small) and the gradual re-opening of schools.
Take care and stay well

In this issue...
  • DCC News: Letter to parents from Dawn Stabb regarding return to school
  • DCC News: Update for colleagues from Jo Olsson 21st May 20
  • DCC News: Update for Early Years colleagues from Val Smith, Senior commissioning manager (Early Years)
  • Update from Amanda Burrows, BLDP SEND Adviser
  • BLDP Communication and Interaction team update
  • BLDP Sensory and Physical Team update
  • BLDP Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team update
  • Signposting: Public Health Nursing - Free parenting advice for all Devon Parents for children 0-19
DCC News: Information sent to Parents from Dawn Stabb, Devon County Council, Head of Education and Learning
As you will have heard, some children will be returning to school from 1 June, if it is safe to do so. On 11 May the Government published further detailed information for parents about the planned re-opening. Read the letter sent by Dawn Stabb, DCC Head of Education and Learning sent to parents about returning to school here.

Further information from DCC can be read here.
DCC News: New update for colleagues from Jo Olsson, Devon County Council, Chief Officer for Children's Services
As we move into the next phase of coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to give colleagues across the partnership a clear overview of the current situation and our plan moving forward.

Click here to read the latest message from Jo Olsson on behalf of the Devon Children and Families Partnership
DCC News: Update for Early Years colleagues from Val Smith Devon County Council, Senior Commissioning Manager (Early Years)
As we move towards the next phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it is essential that all Early Years providers know the steps they need to take and where they can find advice and guidance before deciding about opening for all children from 1 June 2020; or alternative date to be advised by the Government.

There has been so much information to digest so this letter from Val Smith, is intended to give you the tools you will need to help you make decisions about your provision moving into the next phase.
Update from Amanda Burrows, Babcock LDP SEND Adviser
Guidance for schools regarding return to school.

Many of you have contacted the SEND helpline requesting guidance about, for example,  risk assessments for children returning to school in the near future. 

Please be reassured that these documents are currently being prepared by ourselves with our colleagues from DCC and will be shared with you as soon as possible.
SENCO Guide 4: How Can I? Support for SEN Pupils and families returning to school.

This week's guide seeks to help you think through the principles of rebuilding routines and relationships as the move towards reopening begins.

In recent days, there has been a plethora of information for schools and local authorities to digest regarding the gradual reopening of schools.

Understandably, this causes a level of anxiety and schools are keen to know that they have addressed everything they need to.With this in mind, links to key information are held at the end of this Guide.Click below for Guide 4

SENCo Guide 4.pdf
The response from SENCOs to the guides that Amanda has produced during the lockdown period has been extremely positive. If there are any issues or themes that you would like advice or guidance about, please feel free to contact 

The SEND Helpline for SENCOs is available daily 9-4 during this period. You can contact us on 01392 287248 or email

(Note that any enquiries related to named individuals under-going statutory assessment of need, transfer reviews or annual review process should be directed to DCC 0-25 SEN Team or email
Babcock LDP Communication and Interaction team update
As part of Babcock LDP C&I team's commitment to supporting children and young people in Devon with autism, they have created a wealth of effective resources and guidance that can be used in schools or in the home.

The resources include how to support staying at home, communication to support anxiety, using visuals to support learning, using objects of reference/photos to support routines. There is also practical guidance to support speech and language. To access the resources click

Why not bookmark the page as new resources, that you can use to signpost colleagues and parents to, are being uploaded frequently.  
Babcock LDP Sensory and Physical Team Update
New Resources - HI team

The HI team have been getting creative and producing songs, stories and well being resources in BSL. The videos are being uploaded regularly. Click here to view the latest ones. 

Our colleagues in Babcock LDP  Multi Sensory Impairment and Enabling team have also created lots of story videos( in spoken English, BSL and Cued Speech), sensory experiences and much more. Click here to see them.

Wash your hands!

A key message to everyone during this time is the importance of washing your hands. If you need a fun reminder of what you need to do, you can join in with Mr Tumble. Be warned once you have heard the song you will be singing (and signing!) it all day!
Click here to watch.

For older children, why we need to wash our hands is really simply explained by Ben and Evie using pepper and soap. Click here to watch the experiment. 

Royal Association for Deaf People has teamed up with Dr Ranj to answer children's questions about corona virus. You can watch here

Support for schools

As a large number of the children and young people in Devon are currently undertaking learning at home, we need  to ensure that the resources being prepared for them and sent home by schools are still accessible and if applicable differentiated sufficiently.

Babcock LDP Sensory and Physical team are still able to support and advise settings to create effective resources to promote independent learning. Advice might include using a suitable size font, using the accessibility features on a laptop, reducing visual clutter on worksheets, supporting topic words with BSL etc. Please contact our mailbox if we can help.

In the mean time, c
lick here
for ideas and resources that have been added to our website recently that support children and young people with sensory impairments. These include tips to support transition, access to the curriculum, well being, gross and fine motor skills, apps to support learning and much more.
Babcock LDP Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team Update
Managing anxiety - talking to children and returning to school

In the current situation with Covid 19 there are many anxieties for families – for adults and children alike. It is important that we learn to recognise when our children are anxious and find ways to support them, to make sure that it doesn't develop into a much bigger problem. Anxiety itself is a normal emotion and can be helpful in our daily lives. It can help to sharpen attention, increase focus and enhance performance, However it can turn into a problem when it becomes excessive and gets in the way of everyday life.

Andy Simpson and Jeff Cornish from Babcock LDP SEMH team have created useful guidance to help you  to talk to children effectively about their worries including returning to school. 

You can read the guidance here SEMH Managing Anxiety talking to children return to school.pdf

Coronavirus: Free book for children

If you are looking for a book for children that explains COVID 19, Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia  Roberts have collaborated with health professionals to create a really informative book. An added bonus is that the pictures have been created by one of our favourite illustrators, Axel Scheffler, he of Gruffalo fame!

Everyone involved created this book as volunteers and are keen for it to be shared to support children and young people during these uncertain times. Click
here for your copy or here to watch a video of the book being read.
Dealing with Loss and Bereavement - How to support children and families

During these times you may be asked to support children and young people that have suffered a bereavement. Babcock LDP SEMH team have created a guide that will give you confidence to support families. 

If this situation occurs to you it is important that you look after yourself. Make sure that you work in a team and let someone else step in when you are struggling. Remember that 'you have to put your own oxygen mask on first' before you can help others. Try to be open. Keep that unique close connection that schools create with families and be prepared to support and a offer a listening ear.

To read more click below:

Loss and Bereavement.pdf
Signposting: Public Health Nursing - Free support for all Devon Parents
Devon Local Maternity System have purchased a multi-user licence for four Solihull Approach online courses. These means that every single parent or parent to be in Devon can access the courses completely free of charge. The four courses discuss:
Understanding your pregnancy, birth, labour and your baby
Understanding your baby
Understanding your child
Understanding your teenagers brain
These courses are for everyone who wants to be the best mum, dad, grandparent, carer that they can be. The Solihull Approach aims to improve emotional health and wellbeing by supporting relationships ( The courses are written by CAMHS professionals with other health and education workers. They are evidence based and accredited by the DfE.
Together we are aiming to change the culture around parents' self-development and improve children's wellbeing at the same time. A smoother home life is good for concentration, learning and performance at school.
To access the courses you can use this link - access code TAMAR.

For Devon Local Maternity System frequently asked questions  click here

For queries about services and courses email:

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