SEND Strategy

SEND is Everybody’s Business

A strategy to provide inclusion for children and young people aged 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

The strategy sets out our vision, principles and priorities to ensure that we are working together effectively to identify and meet the needs of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) from birth to the age of 25.

We want all young people to:
Dream big – Achieve well – Have choice – Control – Lead happy and fulfilled lives.

The three priorities which have been identified to achieve this are:

  • SEND is everybody’s business – embedding the vision of the SEND Strategy into the practice of everyone who works with children and families in ways that strengthen families
  • Identify and respond to needs early – a holistic and joined up early identification of and graduated response to needs
  • Deliver in the right place at the right time – improving outcomes for children and young people through making best use of resources, ensuring a graduated response and high quality local support and provision

Our commitment is that everybody can be:
Aspirational – Confident – Healthy – Included – Respected – Safe – Successful

Through this joint strategy we want to make SEND everybody’s business. The work is led by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SEND Executive Board. This is the local partnership that brings together organisations and parent carer forums responsible for services and support for children, young people and families in a shared commitment to achieving our vision.It will be supported by an action plan that will set out in more detail how we will do this.

https://ccc-live.storage.googleapis.com/upload/www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/SEND%20Strategy%20-%20Final%20Nov%2019.pdf?inline=true

Adult Social Care charging consultation update

The consultation closes on December 15th so there is still time to have your say.

We have responded with this:

“Pinpoint have been considering the consultation as it will affect some of our parent carer’s young adults. We felt that the questions below were appropriate to ask at this stage. I’m not sure whether you would be able to answer them now or whether they would need to be put to Committee – please advise. If its not for officers, then can you please advise on how we pose them to Committee – can we register to speak?”

The Consultation says:

Some people will have to pay a bit more for their care. It will be up to £5.50 a week. Around 1300 -1500  some people might have to pay more​.

Some people will have to pay more for their care. It will be up to £28.95 a week. Around 1900 –2200 people might have to pay more.​

Some people might have to pay both suggested changes 1 and 2. Around 800 –1100 people might have to pay both of these​

Most people who use respite care have four weeks a year of care. They might have to pay up to £140 a week more. This will only happen on the weeks when they have a respite care stay. Around 100 -250 people might have to pay more​

Charge people for the Council managing their benefits and finances. This is called being an ‘appointee’. We will only charge people who have savings of over £1000. ·It will cost £10 a week for people in residential care. ·It will cost £12.50 a week for people getting care at home. Around 40-100 people might have to pay.​

We want to charge a fee each year to people who can afford to pay for the full cost of their care and who have chosen to ask the Council to arrange their care for them. These people are called self-funders. Around 800-1200 people might have to pay. They might pay up to £400 a year to cover the cost to provide this service.​

1. To what extent will the new charges affect young disabled adults?​

In terms of people in the age range 18 – 25 (care charges only apply from age 18), the only charging policy proposal that will significantly affect this cohort’s level of care client contribution is the inclusion of the full amount of the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Care Component or the enhanced rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – Daily Living part in the assessment (proposal two).

The Council’s other charging proposals relate only to i) people over pension age (i.e. the minimum income guarantee – proposal one) ii) those people who fund their own care because of high capital levels (proposal five – unlikely to be in the 18 – 25 age group), iii) those who take respite (proposal three – mainly taken by over-pension age clients, but some young disabled adults could also be affected) iv) those clients where the local authority acts as corporate appointee (proposal four – currently very low numbers).

Current Council records indicate that there are 219 Adult Social Care clients in the age range 18 – 25 receiving a Council-funded care package who either receive the higher rate of DLA Care, or the enhanced rate of PIP Daily Living. These individuals may therefore experience an increase in their weekly care client contribution if the Council agrees to the proposal, but there are a number of protections that would apply to people affected by this; including the application of the appropriate level of Minimum Income Guarantee in the financial assessment calculation which is a nationally set Government figure intended to ensure that people are left with a level of income after payment of care charges that is sufficient to cover usual daily living costs in the community and also taking proper account of any disability related expenditure in the financial assessment on an individual basis – based on the application of national guidance, local policy and best practice.

The Council says – However, if it was decided to go ahead with the changes, the Council would make sure that everybody is able to afford to pay towards the cost of their care. We will look at each person’s case. ​

Fact – Care support budget reductions over the last decade, particularly to support access to the community have meant that disability benefits have played a significant part in mitigating the effects of those reductions for disabled people. The new charging may have a significant role in reducing the ability of disabled people to lead purposeful lives outside their homes.​

2. To what extent will this process acknowledge and reflect those reductions as well as the new charges in making a judgement?​

The financial assessment itself will consider an individual’s financial and personal circumstances and take these into account, including levels of disability related expenditure as described above, and will also take account of any recent changes to the individual’s care and support plan that might adversely impact on their ability to access the community.

3. What will be the methodology for decision making about individual people affected? ​

The interpretation and application of statutory guidance, local charging policy and procedure, national association best practice and the use of discretion in certain exceptional cases will form the basis of the Council’s decision making methodology for individual clients affected by the implementation of the charging proposals, if these are agreed by the Council.

School Exclusions Fact Sheet: What is legal?

School exclusions: What is legal?
Pupils can experience school exclusion in many different ways and
the language used to describe exclusions can itself be confusing.
In this context, it can be difficult to notice where exclusions are
used in a way that is not consistent with the law.
We believe that schools, parents, carers and pupils will all benefit
from clear information about their legal powers and rights.
This factsheet defines the different terms that are used to describe
exclusions and what their legal basis is.

Exclusions_Factsheet

Launch of new EHCP guidance now available

Education Health Care Plan Guidance Launch

Following an 18-month process involving parents and professionals together looking at the old threshold guidance for EHCP assessments, we are delighted to announce that the new document has now been launched as a direct response from what you have told us and is ready to be used by professionals and parents seeking guidance in this area.

This new document should help dispel several unhelpful myths as it makes clear the legal duty on the local authority to respond to request for any child that may have additional needs and require further assessment.

The document is not intended to provide a list of ‘evidence’ required for requesting an Education Health Care Plan Assessment ( EHCPA) but rather provides insight to the types of information that maybe helpful in evidencing a child’s additional needs.

The majority of feedback from parents has been incorporated within the new document, it no longer refers to ‘thresholds’ making guidance much clearer children’s needs can be complex and overlapping rather than a sole academic delay that needs one specific type of support, but a joined up approach by different agencies.

The LA have committed to keeping this document under review to ensure it does everything we hope and expect.

Pinpoint would like to thank you for your engagement in this project and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/local-offer/education-health-and-care-plan-ehcp/

Summer Holidays

Pinpoint are winding down for the summer holidays. We wish you all a restful break and look forward to working with you again in the Autumn term.

Welcome new staff members Laura and Linda

A warm welcome to two new team members for Pinpoint in 2019!

Linda Green is former Pinpoint Trustee and spent fourteen years with Papworth Trust. She will be joining us as our Volunteer and Engagement Manager, working alongside new and old Pinpoint volunteers, ensuring parents voices continue to be heard, whilst engaging in activities to increase awareness in the wider community. Did we also mention she is Jonnie Peacock’s mum?!

 

Laura Potter has previously worked for Core Assets as an Independent Supporter and joins us as our new communications officer. She will be working on all things communication, increasing our reach to parents and carers, and also ensuring that parents and professionals work together and all voices are heard.

We look forward to working alongside them both in the future.

Pinpoint Trustees Wanted

Ever thought of becoming a trustee for Pinpoint? Fancy getting involved and making a difference? Now could be your chance!

If this is of interest and you’d like more information about what’s involved, come and chat to a member of the Pinpoint team at the conference on 1st February 2019

Pinpoint needs you!!

Better support for SEND coming in East Cambs and Fenland

Support for children and young people with SEND and mental health problems is to get a huge boost in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire after the area was designated an Opportunity Area by the government.

It’s just been announced that the two districts will share £6m of extra funding to increase opportunities for “disadvantaged” children and young people.  The plan aims to  boost their communication, language and reading, raise aspirations and recruit, develop and retain the best leaders and teachers in the region’s schools.

One of the top priorities of the plan is to “strengthen the effectiveness of support for children and young people with mental health concerns and those with Special Educational Needs.”

Continue reading “Better support for SEND coming in East Cambs and Fenland”

Sex & relationships for young people with learning difficulties

Pinpoint’s Preparing for Adulthood Support Group hosted Liz MacKenzie, Learning Disabilities SRE Lead from Cambridge charity Dhiverse.

Liz runs the charity’s successful ABC programme about healthy relationships. And over the last year has visited schools, day centres and residential homes and worked with the Learning Disability Partnership to support over 400 young people with LDs across the county.

So who better to give our PfA parent carers some top tips on how to support their children and young people with the often tricky topic of Sex and Relationships?  Her colleague Grant Chambers, who leads Dhiverse training and health promotion work, joined us too.

“Sometimes decision-making is taken away from young people, so allowing them to make safe, balanced and educated decisions on SRE is important. Young people with LDs have the same freedom and choice as everyone else but it’s important they know it is a choice.”

Why SRE is important:

Being able to access clear, accurate and straightforward SRE information is vital. Otherwise, the consequences might include:

  • Not understanding what’s happening to their bodies
  • Being vulnerable to manipulation, abuse or exploitation
  • Inappropriate behaviour
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Pregnancy
  • Missing out on a happy and fulfilling relationship.

The Law:

It is legal for anyone aged 16 years and over to engage in consensual sexual activity with partners of the same or opposite sex. This applies to anyone with a learning disability or difficulty (LDD) provided the person has the capacity to consent to sexual activity.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a person is deemed to consent if she/he agrees by choice, and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. A person may not have the freedom to consent because she/he is forced by, for example, violence or threat of violence, to engage in sexual activity. A person may not have the capacity to consent to sexual activity because, for instance, they have a mental disorder.

Teach your children that consent is retractable – it does not mean you consent again and again.  Encourage them to ask: Is this OK?

Added Liz: “Saying no takes guts and can often be manipulated into a yes. Hearing and accepting that no is key.”

Role of parents and carers

Dads or male carers don’t have to talk to boys and it’s not just Mums who have to lead SRE conversations with their daughters. Who does your son or daughter communicate best with? Who are they are most comfortable with?

Top Tips:

  • Listen to what your children are saying ¬– try not to seem embarrassed or give the impression you don’t want to talk about it
  • If possible, try to start when they are young. That way it becomes a natural topic and less awkward on both sides.
  • Give clear, accurate, simple instructions or answers to their questions.
  • Try to keep patient, calm and matter of fact but talk about things naturally
  • Lots of little conversations are better than The Big Talk which can be overwhelming, perhaps frightening, and difficult to remember
  • Repeat things you’ve discussed if you need to
  • Use proper names for body parts to avoid confusion and ambiguity
  • Talk about what will happen as their body changes so that they know what to expect and will be better prepared.
  • Photos or a diagram or book are all good ways to start a conversation – see reading suggestions below
  • Discussing something you have watched together on TV can also help
  • If your child repeats something they have heard from peers or TV that shocks you or you don’t agree with, try to discuss it calmly to help them understand different view-points
  • Don’t jump to conclusions
  • Try to keep a balance between the risks and the positives of a sexual relationship
  • If you are worried about a sexual relationship that is not consensual, contact the police or family social worker.

Reading List

Family Planning Association: All About Us – a DVD and easy read booklet and Talking Together About Sex and Relationships

Parent suggestions: Teaching children with Down Syndrome about their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality by Terri Couwenhoven; Usborne Children’s Books What’s happening to Me?  (there are boy/girl versions).

Dhiverse ABC Course

If you’d like to find out more about the ABC (Awareness, Balance, Choice) course, contact Dhiverse on 01223 508805. Email info@dhiverse.org.uk.  Website: www.dhiverse.org.uk  The course can be delivered in groups or one to one and can be tailored to meet individual needs.

Sexual Health Information

Contraception and regular health check-ups are vital if your children are in a sexual relationship.

Free condoms are available from: many sexual health clinics, sexual health charities (such as DHIVERSE); school nurses, GPs and youth clubs.

Emergency contraception: You can get the emergency pill FREE from many pharmacies. This is available to women of all ages (including under 16). Dhiverse emergency contraception factsheet