Latest SEND news
This section has news and updates about SEND in Brent, as well as details about holiday activities, events, meetings, workshops and training opportunities for parents and carers.
May 2021 - Teenagers invited to consult on Brent's new post-16 skills hub for SEND
Young people with SEND aged 14+ are being asked to help develop a post-16 skills 'hub' that will offer help and support as they move into adulthood.
Targeted at 16 to 30-year-olds, the walk-in hub will offer support and advice in the four main Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) areas: employment, education and training, health and wellbeing, community participation and independent living. Brent's walk-in hub will be mirrored by a virtual hub - due to launch in the autumn - offering online advice, support and information.
Young people who take part in the consultation will be known collectively as the PfA Youth Say Forum. Young people can attend one or multiple sessions and gain SEND Champion status.
How to get involved: Engagement timeline 2021-2022
All welcome, including parents
Activity for all groups below:
Congratulate young people on taking part in the ‘PfA Youth Say Forum’ as Level 1 SEND Champions. Discuss advantages of participation and impact on the shaping of services and opportunities of all Brent young people.
Suggestions wanted for further recruitment of young people with SEND and discuss how wider groups link with each other.
Introduce the SEND Champion roles through a ‘role description’ and give examples of how a Champion will take part in further engagement activities to represent wider groups of young people with SEND. Introduce concept of Level 2 SEND Champion.
The group will look at the mapping work on Post 16 provision and consider what may be missing and how the information should be presented within the Virtual Hub and Skills Hub. Information will be shared between the working groups and PfA Youth Say Forum.
Champions may be asked to do research with peers before next meeting.
4.30 – 5.30 pm (Teams)
12 May 2021
Various times 13 May 2021
All welcome, including parents.
Level 1 Champions encouraged to reflect on their role. How could it be developed further (i.e. an Achievement Diary/record of involvement/reference)
Information will be shared between the working groups and the PfA Youth Say Forum.
Refine content suggestions and its presentation, share ideas and views of the Virtual and Skills Hubs.
The Virtual Hub web developer will meet Champions to discuss ideas based on the feedback received.
4.30 – 5.45 pm
Brent Civic Centre Boardroom (subject to Covid guidelines)
Virtual Hub sample designs will be presented to PfA Youth Say Forums for their input. Champions feed into launch activity. Information shared between working groups and PfA Youth Say Forums.
Champions to evaluate and acceptance test the prototype Virtual Hub, ask others for views, and feedback on test criteria, comments and experiences.
Champions participate in Virtual Hub launch activities within PfA Youth Say Forums.
Information shared between working groups and PfA Youth Say Forums
31 August – 30 September
PfA Youth Say Forums continue to meet to discuss Skills Hub. Champions awarded Level 2 status if they have been involved in multiple activities.
Celebration event planned in Autumn
20 Sept, then monthly
6 month evaluation of Virtual Hub
1 - 30 March 2022
Further engagement activities will take place throughout 2022 for young people to consult and engage in developing the Post 16 PfA Skills Hub
April 2021 - The Big Ask: Brent children asked their hopes for post-Covid future
Children and young people in Brent are being asked to share their hopes for the future in the biggest ever survey of children conducted in the UK.
The Big Ask will find out from children what life is like for them, what their aspirations are and what challenges they face in reaching their goals.
Launched by the Children's Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza and backed by footballer Marcus Rashford, the survey runs online until 19 May with responses kept anonymous and questions tailored to different age groups from four to 17 years old. It will also be made available through schools, youth groups and charities.
If you work with children and young people there are lots of resources to help you encourage them to take part. You can also watch Rachel De Souza introduce the survey with the help of footballer Marcus Rashford.
Results from the survey will inform a review - titled the Childhood Commission - which will identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve.
April 2021 - Online mental wellbeing for 11 to 25-year-olds
Kooth is a free, online mental health and wellbeing platform for young adults from 11 to 25 years old. Young people can access a range of free, safe and anonymous online support for their mental health that includes:
- Online forums
- Counselling (all counsellors are BCAP accredited)
- Discussion boards
- Mini activities
The site is completely anonymous to help young people feel safe and confident in exploring their concerns and seeking professional support.Whether you're feeling sad, anxious, or finding life hard, the Kooth community is here to support you with any issues, big or small.
April 2021 - Multi-agency MECSH training for Brent professionals
Virtual multi-agency training sessions to share information about the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home‐visiting (MECSH) programme are being offered to professionals working with children and families in Brent.
The sessions are being hosted by Brent Health Visiting Service and offered to GPs, social workers, midwives, family support workers, early years workers and anyone else who will find the information useful. They will cover an overview of the programme and how and when to refer clients.
It’s hoped they will help professionals to share their knowledge of the programme, which is offered to expectant and new parents in Brent.
- Tuesday 20 April from 1pm to 1.30pm
- Thursday 6 May from 1pm to 1.30pm
- Tuesday 18 May from 1pm to 1.30pm
- Thursday 3 June from 1pm to 1.30pm
To book please email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 2021 - Easter holiday activities for SEND
Join Disability Sport Coach for a free week of exciting virtual activities from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17th.
- Free of charge
- Range of sporting activities including dance, basketball, circus skills and boxing
- Siblings welcome to join
- Registration via Eventbrite
KEEN is offering a range of inclusive activities over the Easter holiday for children and teenagers.
- Free of charge
- Activities include arts, crafts, choir, drama, dancing, socialising, songwriting, yoga
- Look at the timetable and sign up
- A buddy scheme is run for 6 to 25-year olds
Sport at the Heart is running Easter play days for children aged from 5 to 11+ at Roundwood School and Community Centre between Tuesday 6 and Friday 16 April.
- £20 per day
- Sport, arts and crafts, workshops, dance and drama
- Children and young people will be provided with a nutritious lunch, or they can bring a packed lunch.
- Look at the timetable and sign up
Fit For Sport is running Easter activity camps for 5 to 12-year-olds at various locations in Brent and Harrow. Please let us know if your child has SEND when you book so we ensure that extra support staff can be arranged to accommodate their needs.
- Activity camps cost from £108 to £155
- Find and book your nearest available camp
Brent Youth Theatre is running creative workshops for 7 to 16-year-olds. Young people are also being asked to help create an original film and tell their stories of lockdown
Camp in the Cloud is a fun and interactive way of engaging children and young people with serious illness through online activities.
- Free of charge
- Suitable for ages 8-17
- Take part in different virtual camping experiences which focus on family, siblings and health
Need more ideas?
- Visit Brent Youth Zone and search for ‘holiday activities’.
- Community events take place daily at The Yellow
March 2021 - Our new SEND newsletter is out
Read the first issue of our SEND newsletter
March 2021 - Join us for The Big Conversation 2
Following on from the success of its first ‘Big Conversation’ workshop, Brent Parent Carer Forum is holding a follow-up event for parents and carers on Tuesday 23 March.
The focus of this second workshop, which is once again being held online, is Covid-19 recovery and wellbeing. There will be short presentations about what support is available for families who have children and young people with SEND, and the opportunity to talk to professionals from education, health and social care services.
We also want to hear from you about what concerns you may have for you and your family, and what additional help and support you might need going forward.
March 2021 - Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme
Brent Council has been awarded funding from the Department for Education to deliver a Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Programme in 2021, as part of a national scheme.
The aim of the programme is to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, encouraging them to engage in interactive and fun activities. The programme will offer free places at holiday clubs in the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays in 2021 for school aged children in Brent (aged 4-16) who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.
If you are interested in accessing the HAF programme over the school holidays, please continue to check Brent’s website, as we will be updating our website regularly with information on activities, locations and sign-up details as soon as these have been confirmed.
You can find more information about the HAF on the Department for Education’s website.
March 2021 - Lean more about supported internship opportunities in Brent
An open afternoon to hear more about the Wembley Park Supported Internship Programme takes place on 17 March from 4 to 5pm. Hosted remotely via Teams, this is an opportunity to hear first-hand about the scheme, which is based at Brent Civic Centre.
Current interns, the tutor, job coaches and mentors will speak to you about work experience opportunities at the council and surroundings as well as the support into employment that interns receive.
The programme is open to young people aged 16 to 24 who hold an education, health and care (EHC) plan. Applications for September 2021 are welcome.
The education provider is College of North West London, the ‘host employer’ is Brent Council, job coach providers are Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Kaleidoscope-Sabre.
Join on your computer or mobile app
March 2021 - PHE launches Psychological First Aid training
People that care for or work with children and young people that have been affected by Covid-19 (or other emergencies or individual crises) can access a new online Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course.
The free course, developed by Public Health England (PHE), offers training on how to provide practical and emotional support to children and young people affected by emergencies or crisis situations. Children and young people can be very resilient, but crises such as COVID-19 can severely impact their mental health. Getting the right support early on can help prevent problems occurring or worsening.
Those completing the training will be equipped to better identify those children that are in distress and provide support to help them feel safe, connected and able to take steps to help themselves during the pandemic or other crisis situations.
It is available for all frontline workers such as teachers, health and social workers, charity and community volunteers and anyone who cares for or is regularly in contact with children and young people aged up to 25, including parents and caregivers. It is free, takes about three hours to complete (split into three sessions that the learner can complete at their own pace) and no previous qualifications are required.
March 2021 - Help shape Brent's new SEND strategy
If you’re a young person living in Brent with a special educational need or disability (SEND), we want to hear from you!
Brent is developing a new strategy for the services that support children and young people with SEND. The plan, which is being launched in the summer, will help us to improve the provision that we offer and ensure that all young people have access to the right support and opportunities.
To develop this ambitious plan, we want to understand the views and experiences of young people with SEND. To help us, please complete our quick survey before 30 April. Parents, carers and facilitators can support young people to complete it, and there are links on the survey to guidance and resources to help you. We are also asking parents and carers to give us their views by completing a short survey.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
February 2021 - Mental health support programme for children and young people
Sign up now for a physical activity and positive mental health programme which starts in Brent next month.
Mindful Movement is a 12-week scheme for five to 18-year-olds who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, anxiety, low mood or depression as a result of Covid-19.
Run by the community charity, Sport at the Heart, the sessions are aimed at children and young people who do not meet current thresholds for CAMHS or other statutory support services, but who would benefit from mental health support.
Participants and their families will be helped to develop a toolkit to manage their mental health and take part in weekly physical activity sessions (in age-appropriate groups) to boost their wellbeing.
Sport at the Heart is a Covid-secure organisation and is aiming to start running the project in person next month, in line with the latest government guidance. For further information or to book a place please contact Koran Goldson, project lead, on 07857 327144 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2021 - Join an online cook-along for Pancake Day
The National Deaf Children's Society is hosting an online cookery class to celebrate Pancake Day on Tuesday 16 February. Leading the cooking will be chef Yvonne Cobb, from Yumma Foods, who is also deaf. Find out how to get involved.
February 2021 - Virtual SEND transition information event
February 2021 - 0-19 Service: Coronavirus update
Brent’s 0-19 Service continues to support children, young people and their families, although it is now operating virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The service is running a support and advice line for parents, young people and professionals, which is available seven days a week from 9am to 5pm on 0208 102 4900. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com
Health visitors continue to offer new birth contacts and six to eight-week checks, via video call or in person where clinically necessary. We continue to offer infant feeding support throughout the week, via phone or video call and in person when essential. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support or advice.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer child health clinics at present. Instead, parents should contact our advice and support line on 0208 102 4900 if they have a concern about their child’s development.Health and development reviews at one and two years old have been reduced, but if there are parental or professional concerns, they are being offered.
School nurses and health visitors continue to support vulnerable young people and children and the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MESCH) programme is still being offered to identified families.
Brent for Life team
The Brent for Life team continues to offer virtual support with healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Contact email@example.com or ring the helpline on 0208 102 4900 if you need help or advice.
January 2021 - Brent paediatric therapy services: update for service users
Due to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic we have made some temporary changes to the way that we deliver therapy services to children, young people (CYP) and families. We continue to work with colleagues in early year’s settings and schools to ensure they have up to date therapy advice to support your child. Where CYP are attending schools /educational settings we will work with school staff to support your child in school either virtually (telephone advice, videoconference) or face to face where it is appropriate and safe to do so.
Where children are unable to attend educational settings we will contact you to discuss how you may be able to support your child’s therapy needs in the home setting. Where clinically indicated we will be offering face to face contacts in community clinics.
We continue to accept new referrals and will contact you to make an appointment for a teleconference within 8 weeks of receiving the referral.
These changes have been made in order to keep you, your child and our staff safe and well. Please be reassured that our staff follow national guidance on infection control and health and safety in the delivery of services. We understand that this is a very unsettling time but we are here to support you, if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the department by phone on 020 8736 7106 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2021 - SEND Covid-19 survey
We have been asked by the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) to gather information from our parents of children/young people with SEND, about what’s working for them and what they are struggling with during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The information will be shared with Brent Council to help improve the support you receive. It may also be used by parent carer forums across London to help inform advice given to central government and the Department for Education about how best to help families during the pandemic.
If you have a child up to the age of 25 with SEND, please fill out the survey before 31 January and help us to identify what is working well and what extra support you may need. All responses are anonymous.
January 2021 - Join our Parent Champion programme
Want to help parents just like you?
Growing up can be tough, and sometimes parents can face challenges when dealing with their child’s behaviour. It can often be difficult to know who to turn to or which services can help.
Parent Champion volunteers are parents who have ‘been there, done that’. They can share vital information to support parents and guide them to services that they might otherwise miss out on.
We are in the process of recruiting new Parent Champion volunteers during January to help and support other parents to access local services, especially during this pandemic. The training is due to start on 8 February 2021.
We are looking for people who can support parents with children aged 11 to 19 years (or up to 25 years old if they have special educational educational needs and disabilities).
If you have experience of working with local services and you would be interested in becoming a Parent Champion, please email email@example.com further information.
January 2021 - Covid, inequality and hope in Brent: online talk and panel discussion
January 2021 - Online mental health awareness workshops for parents