Open letter from Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford to all children and young people with SEND, their parent carers and families and other who support them.
The Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford announced £10 million of funding, allocated to help families during the Covid-19 pandemic, to Family Fund. The funding will help low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children with the cost of equipment, goods or services - from washing machines and refrigerators to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford. The grants are typically worth £400 to £500 per family, but vary depending on need.
The following story was sent to SEND from a parent regarding specialist support their child received from Local Authority services to manage their anxieties. All details have been made anonymous to protect their privacy and shall be referred throughout as YP (Young Person).
The Young Person has a diagnosis of ASC and whilst in primary school their grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer and this triggered a great fear of germs and becoming ill. YP would frequently wash their hands at length, to the point that they were cracked and bleeding. They inspected their food to ensure it was cooked properly and constantly asked if they were OK.
The school teaching assistants and family reassured YP and tried to help them to process and think through their fears.
YP’s anxiety and hand obsession increased at secondary school and they started to chant to themselves. The parents and school requested involvement from an Inclusion Practitioner.
The Inclusion Practitioner met with YP in school and completed a pupil passport, sensory profile and a five point anxiety scale in order to share strategies to support YP in school. The Inclusion Practitioner also shared relaxation techniques with YP and suggested creating a collection of visuals of YP’s special interests to distract them when they felt the impulse to chant.
A further referral for Inclusion Practitioner support was made and the Inclusion Practitioner met with YP and the school SENCO. Together they completed a structured interview over several meetings using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques which enabled school staff to identify strategies to support YP at school.
At the beginning of this year, YP’s mother discussed the Coronavirus with YP. They were not worried about it, even as the virus came to the UK. They had reasoned that they were unlikely to catch it as they do not go out socialising and tends to avoid places where they might see their bullies, and was able to rationalise that if they did get infected with the virus, they would probably only get mild symptoms.
Despite the pandemic YP is quite happy to go to the supermarket to buy a couple of groceries.
You can view the latest bulletin below:
For information about SEND Local Offer LOOK AHEAD and to register with the service, please visit the LOOK AHEAD page or contact the FISH helpline:Tel: (01482) 396469
Sessions are open to all parents and professional/practitioners.
Courses are for those parents whose child has a diagnosis. Please note that it is expected that parents attend the first course - Exploring Autism Course.
Attendees must be over 16 years of age
For information on the Autism courses/seminars: and to book your place, please wordcomplete the booking form and return it to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: (01482) 394000 (option 4 or option 2)
East Riding Council and HEY Smile Foundation have established a community response hub which will cover the whole of the East Riding and will work alongside charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to provide coordinated help and support for the most vulnerable and in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People living on their own and do not have a network of family, friends, neighbours or carers to call upon, will be able to call a dedicated telephone number to request support which could include asking for prescriptions or essential food items to be picked up or just a simple telephone call.
Calls will be taken by council staff who will forward the information on to the HEY Smile Foundation for their team of volunteers.
Telephone number: (01482) 393919
Operational times: 9am - 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Please note applications must have been returned to the FASP team by Friday 12 June 2020 and may take up to 8 weeks to process.
Contact: the FASP Team
Tel: (01482) 394000 (choosing option 5 then option 2) or
The Families Information Service Hub (FISH) consulted with parent carers regarding their views on how information is communicated. The survey/consultation was conducted at the Preparing for Adulthood Event in October 2019, via surveys in the bulletins during summer 2019 and spring 2020, and via several parent carer groups sharing the link.
Thank you to those groups who shared the survey link and to the parent carers for taking the time to complete the survey. Your comments are appreciated and will help us to improve our service.
Comments and responses will be published shortly in a separate “You Said” document.
Helen Whately MP, Minister of State for Care and Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families have written a letter to all children and young people with SEND, their parent carers and families and other who support them.
Following the Prime Ministers announcement on Sunday 10th May, schools in the East Riding will remain closed to the majority of students.
Schools will continue to operate to provide childcare for a limited number of children whose parents or carers are critical key-workers, children with an Education Health Care Plan who cannot be safely cared for at home and vulnerable children with an assigned social worker.
Many parents working in critical sectors are able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home, should be.
The Prime Minister outlined that some pupils may be able to return to school in the forthcoming weeks and months, but these details have not yet been confirmed and are conditional on the 'R' rate continuing to decline.
We are waiting to receive guidance from the Government to provide the detail behind what the Prime Minister said in relation to schools, education and childcare. Once we receive this information we will need some time to enable us to understand what this means for schools, pupils and families in more detail before publishing anything further.
The Council’s Children’s Services teams will continue to work with schools and the Trade Unions to consider the implications and practicalities of how they can reopen safely for the children identified by government. We would like to reassure you that the Councils first priority is supporting pupils, families, schools, staff and the wider community to stay safe.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our teachers and school staff for their dedication, parents and carers for supporting young people through this difficult time and a big thank you to pupils for embracing the changes they have been faced with in such a positive way.
We have recently been contacted by some parents carers regarding the Local Authority's use of an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) writing company. The Local Authority has a statutory duty to amend and finalise EHCPs by specific calendar dates of the year, as prescribed in the SEND Code of Practice.
To help us meet these statutory deadlines, we have commissioned an external EHCP writing company to support with the amending of EHCPs. This use of plan writing companies is a well established process and a practice employed by many other local authorities. The use of the plan writing company had enabled us to complete all year 6 transfers within the required DfE deadlines.
The role of the plan writing company is to pre-populate the plan template by extracting the relevant information contained in the annual review paperwork. The company does not generate any information, neither do they make any recommendations or decisions. Any plans amended by the company are produced only in draft. All information is reviewed for its accuracy and all plans are subject to quality assurance and finalised by our SEN Team.
The Council has processes in place to ensure that safeguards are in place when it commissions any companies to carry out work on its behalf. The company in question has strict processes in place to ensure they are GDPR compliant and the information is only used for the purpose it was provided. Parents/carers can rest assured that the Local Authority takes the security of data extremely seriously and that there is no need for any parents/carers to be concerned.
Contact: SEN team, if you have any questions regarding your child's/young person's EHC plan
Tel: (01482) 394000
During April 2019, East Riding of Yorkshire Council invited a 'Peer Challenge' which focussed on 3 broad areas of SEND activity. The peer challenge team, made up of four senior colleagues from other authorities within the region, were on site for 3 days, undertaking a series of meetings with staff across education, health and care services, parents and carers, children and young people, as well as site visits to settings. Council officers have subsequently met with the EYPCF and other partners to review the helpful feedback, which confirmed much of our self-evaluation (SEF), and to consider suggestions for further development. A copy of the full report is also attached below. If parents or carers have any questions regarding the peer challenge process or the detail within the report, please contact the EYPCF.