Attached is our leaflet setting out the key terminology that you are likely to come across regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
We know that many of our members whose children use Transport Services to get to school have had concerns with aspects of the service, and are keen to see changes. As you know, Our Voice has been working with local Transport Services to try to improve the service, and many of you kindly participated in our large-scale survey last year. Our findings and recommendations were published in a report available on our website here.
Our umbrella organisation, Contact, the charity for families with disabled children (previously Contact a Family) have carried out their own investigations on a national basis as part of their School Transport Inquiry, (including input from our local report).
Their School Transport Campaign, the #SchoolRunCrisis campaign was launched on Sunday 10 September with an exclusive feature on BBC Radio5LiveInvestigates which you can download on this page (for the next 28 days): BBC Radio 5Live Investigates. Families with disabled children affected by poor school transport were interviewed for the programme.
Contact are pleased to announce that they have secured a major campaign win on school transport. The Secretary of State for Education has announced plans to review school transport statutory guidance. The decision has been made as a result of findings from Contact's School Transport for Disabled Children Inquiry. This is a major achievement for all the families and local parent carer forums that contributed evidence to Contact’s Inquiry.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We are investing £222million over four years to help local authorities improve special educational needs and disability (SEND) services and local authorities must provide school transport for all eligible children with SEND.
"In light of the findings by Contact, the department will review the statutory guidance for local authorities to ensure it is clear."
Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact, says: "This is a huge win for all of us, and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who submitted evidence to the inquiry. We will work with you when the statutory guidance is reviewed to make sure disabled children get the school transport they need."
Key Findings of the Contact Inquiry report
The Inquiry report was published on Sunday on Radio 5 Live Investigates, and brings together evidence gathered from more than 2.500 parent carers. The key campaign findings were, that:
o Nearly half (48%) of parents with disabled children can’t work or had to reduce hours because of school travel arrangements
o 1 in 5 (23%) of parents say their disabled child struggles to learn because of a stressful journey to school
o More than half (51%) of local school transport policies include unlawful statements
For more information and to support the campaign:
Contact have produced new information for parents with disabled children about school transport and your rights and entitlements.
If you have been refused school transport or want to find out about your rights to school transport, please call the helpline for advice on 0808 808 3555 (Open Monday-Fri 9.30am-5pm)
You can follow and support the campaign by:
Reading the Inquiry report here.
Following the campaign on social media and spreading the word about the campaign on social media: follow the @contactfamilies twitter account and like the Contact Facebook page. Look out for posts with the #SchoolRunCrisis hashtag and please share as much as possible.
If your child uses transport services to get to school, you may well be interested in a new report on school transport, which will be launched on Sunday 10th in an exclusive feature on BBC Radio 5Live Investigates to be broadcast at 11am. The programme will feature families with disabled children who are affected by poor school transport.
The report has been developed by Contact, the charity for disabled children, as a result of their School Transport Inquiry, and which forms part of their Our #SchoolRunCrisis campaign.
We will be publishing more information about the campaign and the report early next week, as part of our usual ‘What’s New?’ update for our members, as well as our website and facebook page. In the meantime, you can see more information about the campaign on the Contact website here
If you are not already on our mailing list, and would like to receive our updates, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Following our highly successful Parent Information Session, held on the 10th of March, please click on the appropriate links to view further information on how the SEN team in Enfield is organised.
As you will be aware, there have been huge changes taking place recently which affect children with disabilities and SEN, and their families. Our Voice organised a Parents' Information session which took place on Friday 10th March, at the Dugdale Centre in Enfield. This event gave parents an exceptional opportunity to get the latest information from key Local Authority figures on important topics including Transport, Short Breaks, Health, Education and Educational Psychology Services, as well as the opportunity to pre-book one-to-one sessions with LA representatives to discuss individual issues affecting their children.
Meet the Heads of SEND Services in Enfield
Our Voice were proud to present this unique opportunity to hear from the Heads of Departments responsible for the provision of SEND services in Enfield.
Education Transport, Health Short Breaks
EP Service Early Years Speech & Language
The event included:
- Updates and Q&A sessions from the Heads of the Departments responsible for Transport, Education, the Joint Service for Disabled Children, Health, and Educational Psychology. This was an exceptional opportunity to hear from the very top, about the changes happening within these services in Enfield,
- “Top Tips” from experts on how to communicate with your child,
- An opportunity to book 1:1 sessions with professionals from any of these areas to discuss specific issues and concerns you may have.
Our Voice is asking the parents of Year 6 children with SEND, living in Enfield, to complete a short survey about their experience of visiting secondary schools leading up to the year 7 transfer. The anonymised information will be shared with the Local Authority and used to make recommendations and highlight areas of good practice. The survey is very short and should only take around 5 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey here.
Please click on the link to find the Our Voice 'Transport Survey Report'. Our Voice collected data from parents/carers and 5 schools during the months of October and November 2016 in order to collect evidence on the quality and reliability of the Home to School Transport service.
Published on 24 May 2016
A film for parents of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, explaining how the new Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) process works, and what to expect.
We have the following documents and presentations available for download: