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SEND news

SEND news

The latest updates about services and support for children and young people with SEND.

22 October 2020: Free early education for two year olds 

If you're the parent or carer of a two year old and you receive certain benefits you could be eligible to apply for a free early education place.

We’re prioritising applications from families who have children: 

  • with special educational needs and disability (SEND)
  • with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
  • who have sent a request for a EHC plan assessment

If you’re eligible you could receive up to 15 hours of free childcare a week during term time, starting in January. 

Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply

21 October 2020: Test and Trace Support Payment scheme launches in Bristol

Applications now open for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Bristol City Council has opened applications for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, to help residents affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Payments of £500 will be given to eligible low income workers in the city who have been asked to self-isolate and are unable to work from home.

Read more about the scheme in our news release.

Find out if you’re eligible: NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

30 September 2020: Take part in the SEND High Needs Block budget engagement survey

We’re holding a survey to get feedback on the draft High Needs Block funding process. This is to make sure the process is clear and accessible.

The draft funding process is explained in a video at the start of the survey.

Watch the video and fill in the survey.

The survey is open from 30 September 2020 to 22 October 2020.

If you have any problems accessing the survey or require the information in a different format, email Alison.hendy@bristol.gov.uk 

29 September 2020: New eco-apartments for SEN students open at City of Bristol College’s Brislington Centre

The eco-apartments are complete with two bedrooms, a living space with cooking and washing facilities and a bathroom. The homes are a joint project between the college and Bristol City Council, with the council financing the venture to better support special educational needs (SEN) students in Bristol.

The Brislington Centre is managed in partnership with Bristol City Council and offers week-day accommodation for up to 13 students with SEN. The centre’s team support the students to develop skills for independent living, including cleaning, cooking, washing as well as learning how to budget and use public transport.

Read the full story on City of Bristol College’s website

22 September 2020: Written Statement of Action update 

Find the latest update about the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) on the Ofsted/CQC updates page

The WSoA is the detailed plan to improve key areas identified in the Ofsted/CQC inspection report, which was published at the end of last year.  

15 Sept 2020: Full SEND survey report for children and young people

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services. Altogether, seventy seven children and young people took part in the survey.

Read the SEND services children and young people survey full report (pdf, 595KB) (opens new window) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

7 Sept 2020: Accessible SEND survey report for children and young people

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services.

77 children and young people took part in the survey. Find the accessible report (pdf, 71KB) (opens new window) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

28 August 2020: Home to school travel service update for children that require an escort

If your child is allocated a school place and we usually provide travel with an escort, you may find your child has a new escort for the new school term starting September 2020. This is because many of our escorts are unable to return to work because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We also have a reduced number of escorts. If your child’s escort is unable to work, we will not be able to replace them. If this happens we will either:

  • ask if it’s possible for you or a household member to accompany your child
  • see if it’s possible to arrange a later run with another escort

We are seeking to resolve this issue by recruiting new escorts and will provide an update in October.

If you have any questions or concerns call us on 0117 903 6328 or email passengerservices@bristol.gov.uk.

25 August 2020: Proposals to invest over £28m in Bristol’s special schools

The SEND Sufficiency and Capital Proposals outline an investment of over £28m for Bristol’s special schools. The proposals will be reviewed at Cabinet in September. If approved, the proposals would enable the council to deliver more specialist provision for children and young adults with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

An open letter from Councillor Anna Keen and Director for Education and Skills, Alison Hurley (pdf, 101KB) (opens new window) outlines the proposals.

Read more about the proposals in our news release.

20 August 2020: Changes to Bristol Autism Team Education Hub 

The Bristol Autism Team (BAT) Education Hub has become an Autism Education Trust (AET) Training Hub and is changing the way it will deliver its services from September 2020.

Currently, BAT and the Educational Psychology (EP) team write joint Education Health Care Needs Assessments (EHCNAs). From 1 September, the BAT Education Hub will no longer provide this service for children and young people who are not active cases for the team.

This will avoid a duplication of services with the EP team, and more effectively manage the number of assessment visits for both parents and carers, and educational settings.

This will also enable the BAT Education Hub to focus on early intervention and training, which will make their specialist advice more widely available for the benefit of a far greater number of children and young people.

BAT will continue to provide joint EHC Needs Assessments with the EP team for the families and young people they are already working closely with to ensure specialist advice is developed jointly for families and young people.

The BAT Education Hub will have greater capacity to provide specialist advice and information to schools and education settings, as well as delivering a nationally recognised program of AET autism training, endorsed by the Department for Education.

Key changes to BAT

  • The BAT Education Hub will be able to work more closely with schools to offer specialist advice clinics, to provide advice and support for individual children and young people, and to deliver AET training across the city.
  • The BAT Education Hub will not automatically be asked to provide joint advice with the EP team for all EHCNAs where there is an autism diagnosis, but will continue to do this for children and young people they are currently working with.  
  • Where BAT input is requested for other EHCNAs, we will support the EP team in providing these assessments. There is no statutory requirement for BAT to provide assessments for EHCNAs
  • The EP and BAT team will continue to work closely to ensure specialist advice is developed jointly.

From September 2020 BAT Education Hub will:

  • provide a nationally recognised program of autism training  for all educational settings, endorsed by the Department for Education
  • hold annual cohort meetings with educational settings to agree what support is needed tailored to the needs of the setting and its pupils
  • hold regular drop-in clinics for both education staff and parents and carers to gain informal advice
  • continue to offer a package of consultation, including observations and discussions with staff and parents, to fully assess children and young people’s needs, providing written recommendations for outcomes and provision
  • offer follow-up visits in line with the SEN Code of Practice

Find more information on the Autism support section

If you've any questions or concerns contact the BAT hotline email on: bristol.autism.hotline@bristol.gov.uk

The BAT are a term time only service, and will respond to your email as soon as the new school year begins. 

2 July 2020: Bristol’s SEND survey report published

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services.

370 parents and carers took part in the survey. Find the Bristol's SEND survey report (pdf, 1.2MB) (opens new window) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

The report also contains the results for the children and young people survey.

An accessible, easy-read version of the report is being developed, and will be published here soon.

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