Hello! My name is Kath Apperley and I joined Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service in September 2016. I provide support to families where children and young people are being assessed for (or transferred to) Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), which replace the old statements of special educational need.
Prior to joining the service I worked for thirty six years as a teacher of the deaf in Wolverhampton and Dudley local authorities. I have been very fortunate in working with very many families whose children were either hearing impaired or deaf with additional needs. So I have a good understanding of a range of special needs and the challenges of meeting those needs in mainstream schools and special schools. Having sat on ‘both sides of the fence’ at Annual Reviews, both as a parent and a professional, I know how daunting this can be. My own son has cerebral palsy and together we navigated the special needs provision from nursery to university. I hope I can bring empathy, personal experience and practical advice to the IS role.
Working for a team of people who are all passionate about recognising the achievements of children and young people with special needs, means that every single family who contacts us will be assured of our best endeavours. Now, at long last, the new EHCP process, introduced via the Children & Families Act 2014 places the child or young person at the centre of the process. Even so, a piece of paper is only as good as the thought and collaboration which goes into it. Although an EHC Plan has statutory backing, if key information is missing from it, then the positive outcomes which we all want for children and young people will be compromised. Supporting parents to critically review draft plans, contribute to meetings and ensuring the voice of children and young people is heard throughout, is at the core of what we do. That is why I am so proud to be working as an Independent Supporter with the team.
If you would like to find out more please contact us.