To all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them.
As you will be aware, on Monday 4th January, the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which is expected to last until at least mid-February. Unfortunately, this means we have to return to restrictions on attendance at schools and colleges. I know that these restrictions are a source of anxiety for many children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.
As the Minister for Children and Families, I am committed to ensuring that appropriate education and support is available for all children and young people during the national lockdown, whether they are attending their education setting or at home. I am grateful to the families who provide care to their children and the professionals who work tirelessly to support them…
SEND Parents/Carers Quick Christmas Survey with Prizes
This survey is aimed at parents and carers of children and young people with SEND and we would be grateful if you could spend two minutes to tell us how you get information and advice to support you and your child/young person. We will use what you tell us to make it easier for parents and carers to find the information and advice they need.
For a chance to win a fantastic prize in our Christmas draw leave your details at the end of the survey. You could win one of the following:
- A Christmas hamper with the ultimate festive selection of festive treats for all the family to enjoy (worth £95)
- A £30 Amazon voucher
- A £20 Amazon voucher
All responses must be submitted by Monday 21st December and we will be drawing the winner on Facebook live on the 22nd December at 12:30pm so be sure to follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/localoffersouthtyneside/
Click the link to take part https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9QCZ6JT
South Tyneside Local Offer now has a Facebook page. The page will be used to promote what is going on in the local area, engagement opportunities and events.
Virtual Parental Engagement Events
We are excited to announce that our first series of parental engagement events will be 3 virtual Q &A sessions.
This is an opportunity for parents and carers to ask questions and share experiences of SEND services for children and young people in South Tyneside.
You’ll also hear about the exciting new approach to involving parents and carers in decisions about SEND services in the borough.
Andy Ritchie (Service Manager – SEND Access & Inclusion) will answer your questions about SEND services for children and young people in South Tyneside and the help and support available for their families. You’ll also meet Mehrnaz and Becca, our new SEND Participation Workers, as well as Catherine Ratcliffe from Contact (a support organisation for Parent Carer Forums).
This ‘question and answer’ session is the first step in a new engagement approach that will ensure parents have a strong voice in the provision of SEND services in South Tyneside. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey to improve services for families and our SEND Local Offer.
The dates for these events are:
Tuesday 21st October 10:30-11:00
Wednesday 22nd October 19:00-19:30
Thursday 23rd October 13:30-14:00.
There are limited spaces available, so please book your space early.
During Lockdown, some young people have really struggled. Below is a link to a booklet that may explain some of the behaviours that you may have noticed and gives some strategies to help ground this behaviour.
Please find link to a simple outline of what South Tyneside College to do to support parents and students with additional needs on the Foundation Learning Programme.
For any year 10’s returning to school the week commencing 15th June, please find below a social story giving further details:
Returning to school – what can you expect
What is a school bubble?
When you go back to school you will be in a bubble.
This is strange – it doesn’t mean a real bubble. At school you are going to stay in the same small group of people all through the school day.
You are going to stay together for lessons and work, to eat lunch and at break time. You will use the same toilets and sinks as people in your group.
They have called it a ‘bubble’ because you are being protected by not doing things with other groups (like being inside of a bubble, even though you are not in a real bubble).
It is good to remember that washing your hands, staying 2 metres apart from other people and not touching your face are good ways to keep us all safe. Using the hand sanitisers around the school is another good way.
What will my school day look like?
There will only be roughly 67 Year 10 students in school each day. They will be split into smaller groups of about 22/23 students. You will arrive at school and leave school at the same time as those 22/23 students. Those students will be split into smaller ‘bubbles’ of about 7/8 students. You will stay with those students all day. You will work, eat lunch and take breaks together.
When you arrive at school, you will go to the area outside the 1936 Building (the old building). You must stand on the yellow lines on the ground, which mark a safe 2-metre distance from other students. Your teacher will come and meet you and take you to your classroom.
You will have all of your English, maths and science lessons in the same bubble and in the same classroom. You may have different teachers throughout the day for different lessons. Your timetable will tell you what lessons you have each week.
You can bring a packed lunch or your teacher will give you a choice of sandwiches or wraps. You will eat your lunch in the dining hall. You will be told where to sit in the dining hall.
At break time, either you will stay in your classroom or you may be taken outside for some fresh air.
You will be told which toilets you can use and you must use those only. You cannot use any other toilets in school.
You cannot bring anything to school, apart from a packed lunch. All stationery will be provided. You will be able to take the pen home with you. The ruler and calculator will be cleaned after you leave the classroom.
It is ok to ask questions. It is ok to talk to students in your bubble at appropriate times.
You must remember to wash your hands throughout the school day and stay 2 metres away from other people.
FREE parent online workshops funded as part of the DfE SEND programme for the North East region.
Managing sleep on 9th June
Speech, Language and Communication on 16th June
Information for young people regarding self-care and well-being
During this time of uncertainty and recommendations to distance yourself from others, you may worry about how you will cope. Here are a few ideas about how you can protect your Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
Advice for parents
Here are a few tips for parents to consider with regards to keeping their children physically and mentally secure.
If you are in need of urgent mental health care for yourself or your child, call the Crisis Team on 0191 5665500 or free via 111.
To all children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), their parents/carers and families, and others who support them…
Click here to read letter: Joint DHSC & DFE Ministerial Letter
If you haven’t seen it already please find below, a link to new SEND Parent’s toolkit which is available on BBC Bitesize –
South Tyneside Local Offer with resources for families with SEND can be found using the following link: