SEND Update
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In this issue:
  • Welcome from Jeanette Savage, Babcock LDP Lead for SEND and Inclusion
  • Local Area Inspection update from Jo Olsson, DCC
  • Volunteers wanted!
  • Dates for your diaries: SEND network dates
  • SEND: Communication and Interaction team news
  • SEND: Sensory Impairment team news
  • SEND: Physical Difficulties and ICT/SEND team news
  • SEND: Social, Emotional and Mental Health team news
  • SEND: Education Psychology team news
  • Babcock LDP Training and Conferences
  • DCC News
  • Free training from Devon and Cornwall Police
  • Feedback
Welcome from Jeanette Savage, Babcock LDP Lead for SEND and Inclusion
Happy New Year! And welcome back to the Spring Term 2019!
The end of the autumn term saw its usual blend of pressures – in addition to the day-to-day teaching and learning there was the additional sorting nativities/performances, costumes, music and props, juggling rehearsal times in the hall and then the final performance(s) bringing with it that sense of joy and pride as all the hard work paid off!
This time we also had our first local area inspection for SEND. Thank you for all your support and to all those of you who contributed – sending out letters to parents, organising meetings, releasing staff to attend meetings and meeting with the team of inspectors themselves – all at very short notice during what is one of schools busiest times. I know that the passion and commitment you all have was evident for the inspection team to see. At the time of writing we are still waiting for the report to be published and I will keep you all updated as I know more. Please take the time to read Jo's reflections on the inspection – it is heart-felt and I am sure many of you will relate to her reflections.
This term we look ahead to DELP training  - this started at the beginning of term and the feedback already is amazing, fantastic engagement and staff really feeling inspired to develop language strategies and provision back in their schools. We will also be publishing the details of the Boxall Training so please keep a look out for that.
I am absolutely delighted to say that we have successfully appointed a new SEND Adviser. Amanda Burrows relocated to Devon last September from Surrey where she was a Head teacher in an inclusive and  challenging school. As an inclusive Head and a SENCO Amanda is keen to work with us all as we continue to develop and improve outcomes for our CYP with SEND. Amanda will include a short pen portrait next time around but you will get to meet her as she takes on the SEND networks and starts to visit schools.
I hope you enjoy this term's SEND Update, there are plenty of articles of interest, we would like to include some best practice stories from you. Please do let myself or Claire Hayter know if this is something you would like to do – we can help write it up!
Best wishes for the Spring Term
Local Area Inspection final update from Jo Olsson, Chief Officer for Children's Service, DCC, and Chair of Devon Children and Families Partnership

Read here the final update from Jo Olsson, DCC  following the Local Area Inspection 10th December until 14th December 2018.

Jo offers a thank you to all the colleagues, including parents and young people, involved in the inspection. She explains that she was completely confident that inspectors from Ofsted and CQC got a very full and very fair (warts and all!) picture of  progress in Devon. Whilst this can be a bit uncomfortable for professionals, it is absolutely vital for children and families that DCC see the full picture, hear the challenging feedback and learn from it to help  to continue to improve.

The inspectors feedback is completely confidential until their letter is published, which is likely to be late January/early February. Read below Jo's observations that she would like to share with you written entirely from her perspective, her reflections and learning from the inspection process. 

Local Area SEND Inspection.pdf

Volunteers wanted!
SEND Reference Group

DCC are looking for SENCO volunteers to be part of the SEND Reference Group to work alongside the 0-25 team around a number issues key which we and our partners are keen to work closely with schools and settings on.

The purpose of the group will be to ensure we have school involvement in the development of our service and the processes for which we have a statutory responsibility; there is an existing Terms of Reference from when the meeting was originally set up, however things have moved on and this will need to be revised with the group.
Agenda items will include; 
  • Work on agreeing a school/setting level core offer which will enable there to be transparent conversations about the graduated response a school/setting have followed towards meeting needs
  • Annual Review process developments
  • Working towards an agreed understanding around provision descriptors and levels of funding 
  • Meetings will be twice termly, to give this pace, and we will  look at a range of methods of communication, including Skype etc.

Please contact  or  if you would like to discuss further or if you would like to volunteer, please contact and we will  provide more information and sort out dates for meetings. If levels of interest is high, we will select representatives.
Dates for your diaries: SEND Network dates
Join SEND Advisers and friendly professionals for a networking event. Aimed specifically at SENCO's and school leadership these events give professionals a chance to receive updates on SEND and network with colleagues in their local area.

5th March – Old Heathcoat School, Tiverton EX16 5JJ
19th March – Westbank, Exminster EX6 8AT
21st March – Dartmoor Lodge, Ashburton TQ13 7JW
27th March – Blue Coats, Torrington, EX38 7NU

This networking opportunity provides you with a chance to ask your questions and further your own understanding of SEND and is free for all Devon schools.

Book your place today here . We look forward to seeing you there.
SEND: Communication and Interaction Team news
Developing social skills using Lego Therapy
 Do you support children that need help with social skills? Lego Therapy could be the solution!

Vicky Norrish from Babcock LDP Communication  and Interaction team delivers  informative training that equips practitioners to support social skills using Lego Therapy in the setting.

Lego therapy developed from the natural gravitational pull of children toward Lego in a room full of toys. The instant motivation enables children to engage with an intervention to develop key social, emotional and communication skills as it's a fun way to build upon existing interests and emerging skills – and the possibilities are endless!

For more information about this exciting opportunity please click on the link below:

lego therapy.pdf
SEND: Communication and Interaction Team news
How autism friendly are your outdoor education sessions?

Seamo Teare, from Babcock LDP Communication and Interaction team has written an interesting article that highlights how children and young people with autism can benefit from learning outdoors and how these key skills can be transferred back to the classroom

To read more about how your setting could benefit from using your outdoor space positively, click on the link here: Autism and Outdoors.pdf
SEND: Sensory Impairment team news
Updated exam access guidance for candidates with sensory impairments
National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP)  in conjunction with Department of Education have recently updated their document 'Ensuring equal access to public examinations for candidates with sensory impairments.'

Click here for your copy of the new guidelines
SEND: Sensory Impairment team news
Goal ball is coming to Exeter!
Goalball UK together with key partners are launching a new club in Exeter so are holding free 'have a go' sessions for anyone to attend – visually impaired or sighted, young or old, male or female, new or experienced.

Goalball  is a fantastic, fast paced inclusive sport that can be played by everyone.

Come along to learn all about this exciting Paralympic Sport!
Date:  Saturday 16th February & Saturday 16th March
Time:               11am to 1pm
Venue:            University of Exeter (St Luke's Campus), 79 Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 1TX (Participants can be met at the bus stop on Heavitree Road or other places on request)
For more information, and to register your interest, please contact Tom Dobson. Tel. 07526 169288 or email
SEND: Physical Difficulties and ICT/SEND team news
Preparing for Adulthood and PDnet - free online training
PDNet -Free online training

Pdnet is a national organisation providing an excellent online forum, training and information for professionals working with children and young people who have physical disabilities.

Becoming a member is free and joining will give you access to the online forum, CPD opportunities and termly updates. You'll be joining a growing network of like-minded professionals all of whom are passionate about improving outcomes for learners with physical disability.

The pdnet vision is for children and young people with physical disabilities to:
  • Achieve as much as other learners at every phase of education, from Early Years Foundation Stage to Post-16 studies.
  • Be fully included in their school/learning community
  • Actively take part in high quality learning activities with their peers
  • Thrive and enjoy learning                     
  • Develop knowledge and skills so they can go on to lead fulfilled lives as adults
  • Be empowered, confident and able to function as independently as possible
Free Online Training for anyone working within an educational setting who needs to develop their awareness and understanding of physical disability.

Pdnet Standards provide a practical structure for educational settings to self-evaluate and reflect on their current provision for CYP with PD
 Preparing for Adulthood

Transitioning from children's services to adult services can be a daunting prospect as things are often so different.

The Preparing for Adulthood team can work alongside young people who are likely to have needs for care and support into adulthood and introduce them to the world of adult services. They have a wealth of guidance on their website, including the Promoting Independence Toolkit which helps young people, families, carers and supporting agencies, consider what they might need to do in preparation for transition to adulthood.

Their aim is to empower the young people to capitalise on the opportunities of adulthood, becoming as independent, self-reliant and confident as possible. They can offer information or attend meetings to support young people as they prepare for their post16 experience.

A young person between the age of 12 and 18, their parent/carer or a professional can seek support from the Preparing for Adulthood team by completing  the web referral form  here.
SEND: Physical Difficulties and ICT/SEND team news
Emotional Logic Training
Jenny Woolf, from Babcock LDP Physical difficulties and ICT/SEND team has created bespoke training to encourage settings to use Emotional Logic techniques to support children and young people understand how all emotions have useful purposes. More information about the training can be found here

Don't just take our word how good the training is, the following is taken from recent feedback from a Devon assistant head teacher.

"As a parent, teacher and school leader, finding Emotional Logic has been revolutionary in helping my own children and the hundreds of children I work with (and their families) to make sense of their emotions.  It's brilliant! "

Click here to watch a 2 minute animation of the benefits of implementing emotional logic within your setting.
SEND: Social, Emotional and Mental Health Team news
Passive Intervention and Prevention Strategies
 Schools are increasingly challenged to demonstrate that they are able to effectively include the most vulnerable children and young people.

Andy Simpson, from Babcock LDP SEMH explains below the effective PIP strategies used by the team  that support settings to minimise serious incidents, reduce exclusion and improve behaviour. This ensures that children and young people can continue to make progress.

How PIPS can support your setting.pdf

You can watch a short video highlighting the benefits of adopting PIPS  in your setting and find details about how to arrange training by clicking here
SEND: Educational Psychology Team news

Transition Guidance

Babcock LDP Educational Psychology Service and Early Years Service have collaborated with Devon County Council to produce guidance and transition booklets for schools and settings to promote successful transitions across all phases of education.

Transitions are very important for children and young people and can be a challenging and anxiety-provoking time, particularly when the child or young person is vulnerable or has special educational needs and/or a disability that require understanding and support over the transition.

These guidance documents aim to support parents/carers, staff and other professionals in ensuring high quality transition practice across Devon.

The booklets are designed to be shared with children, young people and parents/carers prior to transition, with the aim of supporting confidence around transitions and this includes practical guidance on factors to consider.

SEND: Educational Psychology Team news

Free Training - 5th February 2019

Are you supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) in your setting?

Please join Babcock LDP Educational Psychology Service for some free training all about supporting the emotional and mental health of UASC in Devon.

For more information click on the link below:

Babcock LDP Training and Conferences

By attending our events and hearing from leading educational experts and commentators on the sector, we support schools and settings in their drive to raise standards, improve school performance and better outcomes for children and young people.

Click here to view the exciting Spring programme of training masterclasses and conferences. Also don't forget to take advantage of the special early bird price, available until 22nd February 2019,  for the conference just for you:

South West SEND Conference

Thursday 6th June 2019 | Sandy Park, Exeter | 09:00 - 16:15

We look forward to seeing you there!
DCC News

New MASH Enquiry Form

A new MASH Enquiry form is now available on DCC website.

All staff wishing to make a MASH enquiry need to use this form. To complete the form staff need to "open in word". For ease of use it is suggested that the form is saved as a template

If there are any questions or concerns regarding the form please contact
DCC News

Free school meals - Access to Citizen portal

DCC are reminding settings to encourage parents and guardians to apply for free school meals in order for settings to attract additional pupil premium.

All children in Key Stage One in state schools in England are entitled to a free school meal and research shows that eating a nutritionally balanced meal supports greater concentration in lessons. However the free entitlement to meals often means that settings are missing out on accessing additional pupil premium that can support learning.

To make it easy for parents and guardians to see if they are eligible, DCC have launched a Citizen Portal. This is the quickest way to apply and results in an instant decision.

Alternatively parents and guardians can call the education helpline on 0345 155 1019.

You might want to add the link to your next school newsletter to ensure that your setting is accessing all available additional pupil premium funding.
DCC News

Improving Access to Communication Service and Support

Sarah Miller, DCC Speech and Language advisor recently hosted a Creative Conversations session for parents and professionals at Kenn Centre, Kennford to focus on improving access to communication services and support available.

Sharon Matson, head of commissioning – women and children, for Devon's clinical commissioning groups, said: "The purpose of event was to consider the varied needs of children and families in relation to speech, language and communication need (SLCN). We also discussed how we can best meet those needs by working together as an integrated Devon-wide health, education and care system."

 After the event Sarah shared that "The workshop was a really inspiring day – we'd like to thank everyone who attended for sharing their ideas, expertise and enthusiasm.

For more information about the project click on the link below:

creative conversation meeting update.pdf
AAC and Literacy

Parents of AAC users, with support from Millwater PTFA, organised a 1-day information session about using AAC-based strategies to develop literacy and broaden learning opportunities for children with Complex Communication Needs (CCN).

The event, held in Budleigh Salterton Public Hall, was attended by 60 people including a range of professionals from education, health and social care from teachers and TAs, to speech and language therapists, ROVICs and enablers as well as parents of current or prospective AAC users.

AAC stands for Augmentative Alternative Communication, an umbrella term encompassing high- and low-tech communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. This could be voice-output communication aids or paper-based symbols.

For more information about the day and the project click below:
AAC and Literacy.pdf
Devon and Cornwall Police news

Free Hidden Crimes training from Devon and Cornwall Police

In schools and settings we are often supporting very vulnerable children and young people that are at risk of being exploited.

Devon and Cornwall Police are offering free training to help practitioners understand hidden crimes such as sextortion, county lines, cuckooing, online vigilante groups and illegal money lending.

Click here for more information and details of how to book your free place on this useful course.

Hidden Crime Awareness information leaflet.pdf

We hope you have enjoyed the latest edition of SEND Update. If you would like to contribute an article or suggest items that you would like to see in future editions please feel free to contact

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