SEND Update December 20
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Welcome from Jeanette Savage, Babcock LDP Strategic Lead for SEND and Inclusion
Dear All,
Welcome to the final SEND Update of 2020!

Well done to you all for surviving what has been the strangest and most challenging academic year we have ever had to face. Throughout this pandemic we have learnt so much about what we value and what we hold dear in both our professional and personal lives. We have seen first-hand the importance and strength of relationships and communication- how this has enabled us to maintain connection with children and families through, what seems, an ever changing and often daunting landscape. The on-going support from you all continues to be crucial for our children and young people. Your care and pro-active attention has helped to ensure that for many they have managed to continue attending school and continue to make progress. Thank you for this. The dedication and professionalism of our SENCO's and SEN teams is incredible.
The new year will see a change of face as Amanda Burrows joins the school effectiveness team and we are joined by Tanya Haigh, a highly skilled and experienced SENCO, Head-Teacher and SEN Consultant. I am sure you will all make her feel welcome to Devon and she is keen to tell you more about her background and hopes for the future in the new year.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, please stay well and safe. Remember to enjoy some time away from work - eat lots of mince pies and chocolates, and I look forward to 'seeing' and speaking to you all in (let's hope) a bright and wonderful 2021!
Best wishes


Update from Amanda Burrows, Babcock LDP SEN Adviser
At the end of this term I will be moving into a different role as a School Effectiveness and Leadership Adviser as part of the School Effectiveness team within Babcock LDP.

This opportunity means I will be saying farewell to being SEN Adviser. I have so enjoyed working with many of you and getting to know you and your schools. What a difference you are making and what a dedicated group of people you are!

Our new SEN Adviser will start in January 2021 and I will be handing over to her during the first half of the Spring term. I know she will want to introduce herself to you and will do so for the next Update once she is in post.
Obviously I will still be part of the wider Babcock team so able to ensure continuity as we move forward. I wish you all the very best and look forward to seeing some of you again in the future.
Best wishes
Devon County Council news
DCC has been working together with partner agencies on a brand new strategy for Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) in Devon.

The new strategy has been written by staff at Devon County Council in partnership with NHS Devon CCG and the Parent Carer Forum Devon. And, importantly, they have got input directly from children and young people with SEND themselves.

Using feedback received, DCC created a video about Devon's new SEND strategy. It includes a newly developed vision and priorities for us to support children and young people with SEND, and their families, in the best way possible.

Click here to watch the short video, read the draft strategy and how to submit your valuable feedback.

Message from DfE
Click here to read latest guidance from DfE regarding contact tracing for settings open throughout the festive period. 
Update from Babcock LDP Communication and Interaction team
How you can help

Babcock LDP C&I team have produced a one minute guide as part of a series that provides top tips and useful strategies to support you as a SENCO. You can access the series here

You can also book on our excellent virtual course: Autism and Girls 24th March 2021.

This half day virtual workshop 
is interactive and focussed on positive outcomes for pupils. A key outcome will be for delegates to develop a 'provision checklist', which can be applied to their setting in practical terms.  

The course also offers the opportunity for professional networking and sharing of good practise.

For more information click here
Are you supporting girls with autism? 
Girls with autism are often misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and lack the essential support they need according to recent studies.

More boys are currently diagnosed as autistic than girls. This is changing slowly but surely, as more women and girls are being diagnosed as autistic. Attitudes towards autism and gender are changing, although we still have a long way to go.

Studies and statistics
Various studies suggest that the ratio of autistic males to females ranges from 2:1 to 16:1. The most-up-to-date estimate is 3:1.

The National Autistic Society highlights the academic theory that supports these statistics and you can read them in more detail here

 Why do more boys get an autism diagnosis?

There are several theories and we have included a few here: 
  • There is a 'female autism phenotype' - in other words autistic females have characteristics which don't fit with the profile
  • Autism is an exaggeration of normal gender differences
  • The 'extreme male brain' theory of autism, which focuses on the effects of foetal testosterone on brain development
  • A range of biological factors (such as genetics and sex chromosomes) may mean men and boys have a higher prevalence of autism
  • Women and girls are better at masking or camouflaging their difficulties
  • Autism traits in girls are under-reported by teachers.
Sara Gibbs, a BBC comedy writer shares her experience of having autism. Click here to read
Don't forget you can now book your Spring Term 21 session at the Communication and Interaction Advisory Clinics. These are for school based staff and are being held in four localities. Click below for more information including how to book and parental consent form.

CI Clinic consent and info sheet 2021.pdf
Raising Awareness: Places still available on our last event (tomorrow) this term:
Tues 15th Dec  - 9.30-11a.m    £35

More events into the Spring term:

Raising Awareness
x 1 event
Wed 3 Feb3.30 – 5p.m
Raising Awareness
x 1 event
Tues 16 Mar3.30-5p.m
(4 x modules)
7 Jan, 28 Jan, 11 Feb, 25 Feb3.30 – 5p.m
(4 x modules)
Wed 12 May, 26 May, 16 Jun, 30 Jun3.30 – 5p.m
(4 x modules)
Wed 27 Jan, 10 Feb, 24 Feb, 10 Mar3.30 – 5p.m
Transition from school to college
(2 modules)
Tues 27 Apr  +  11 May3.30 – 5p.m
All bookings via the Babcock LDP shop:
Further information from:
Speech, Language and Communication needs - support, advice and training available from Babcock LDP Communication and Interaction Team

Large numbers of pupils have difficulties with spoken language, which impacts negatively on their literacy, curriculum attainment as well as their psycho-social development.  Oral language skills can be supported effectively through inclusive high quality teaching for the majority of pupils.  Some pupils may also need more structured targeted approaches in order to make progress.

Read below, additional information written by Lucy Bomford, Babcock LDP C & I Advisory Speech and Language Therapist about the effects of having SLC needs on attainment, behaviour and mental health. More advice and strategies can be found by accessing our webpage here.

Impact of SLCN.pdf

The C&I team provide a wide range of training to enable school staff to develop enhanced understanding and competencies to teach language and literacy effectively to all learners.  Click below for more information. 

SLCN training programme 2020 21.pdf
Update from Babcock LDP Sensory and Physical Team
Throughout this term we have been updating our webpage with useful sensory resources to support school staff and families. 

The resources cover a wide range of topics including how to support mental health, how to improve organisational skills  and maintaining specialist equipment

Please also be reassured that we are here to support you even if the children and young people are self-isolating at home. We can help with modification of resources and more to ensure that children and young people can continue to learn. Please contact your advisory teacher for more information.
Update from Disabled Children's Service 
The Disabled Children's Service (DCS) have launched a new e-bulletin for families and professionals across Devon.

Subscribers to the e-bulletin will receive regular updates about the latest news, information and news opportunities available through the service.

Sign up to receive the e-bulletin here

For more information about the services that are provided click here
Update from Safer Devon: Prevent Partner Briefing
Read the Winter 2020 edition of the Devon and Torbay Prevent Partnership briefing.

The briefing is intended to equip organisations with a greater understanding of Prevent, the local picture of threat and risk relating to violent extremism and radicalisation, and information about identifying and reporting radicalisation and signs of extremism.

The briefing below also includes an update on the current impacts of COVID-19 on Prevent, radicalisation and extremism within our communities.

Prevent briefing Dec 2020.pdf

You can contact Safer Devon Partnership Team using this email
 or visit their website here for signposting to useful resources and advice
Update from Splitz: Support for professionals
Devon's regional domestic violence and abuse support charity, Splitz, are offering support and guidance for professionals who are working with parents and children who are experiencing ongoing domestic abuse.

The sessions being offered are provided by an experienced and qualified Children and Young Person's Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA). The half hour sessions must be booked in advance and are available either by telephone, Zoom or Microsoft Teams – please state your preference on the booking form.

To make sure that the IDVA is able to answer all questions and keep sessions to time, the sessions are capped at small groups of professionals of no more than four.

For more information about Splitz click here
Update from Devon, Information and Advice Service (DiAS)
As you are aware DiAS provide fantastic support for parents and carers but did you know they also support children and young people to understand the SEND process?

DiAS' latest guide highlights how children and young people can find useful information, advice and support to achieve their aspirations.

Click below for more information:

DiAS support for Children and Young People.pdf

Signposting: Bale's Buddies
Bale's Buddies are a local not for profit organisation that provide therapy dogs for children and young people with autism and additional needs.

In the new year they will begin to offer therapeutic outdoor learning provision for children between the ages of 5 and 19 with the aim to re-engage and re-inspire them with learning. For more information click here.
Just for fun: Action for Happiness
2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways. We have suffered with uncertainty, anxiety, isolation and challenges with our financial situation, health or relationships.

One thing that can hold us together and help us get through is kindness. Although we can't change our situation, we can choose to respond to others (and ourselves) with kindness. And when we're kind, everything goes better. We help others, we help ourselves and we encourage others to be kinder too.

Click here for your December calendar
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