News Archive

News Archive

Contact – New Guide

Do you need help with your child’s behaviour? – You are not alone. There are many reasons disabled children exhibit behaviour that challenges, and there are often complex reasons behind a child’s behaviour – it is rarely anyone’s ‘fault’.  Parents can feel under a lot of pressure to solve behaviour problems, and are naturally very worried about the best approach to take.
What is helpful to know is that all behaviours are a form of communication, and if you can work out what your child is trying to tell you through their behaviour, then you can look for ways to prevent them becoming distressed, as well as help them find other, more acceptable ways to communicate their needs.
Contact A Family have updated its guide for parents, Understanding your child’s behaviour, looks at:

· Why children behave in different ways.
· How to set the scene for good behaviour, recognising triggers and finding strategies
· Managing specific issues like tantrums or biting
· Looking after yourself – people and organisations who can support you and your family.
· Puberty and the teenage years, plus much more.
Parents can contact the Freephone helpline on 0808 808 3555, email  and ask for a free copy of the latest edition.  Or you can download Understanding your child’s behaviour free on their website.
Other guides for parents in the series on behaviour issues, available from their helpline or to download, include: Helping your child’s sleep  Potty/toilet trainingFeeding and eating, Dealing with bullying.

SEND inspection looms – calling all parents

Wolverhampton is preparing for an inspection that will examine how well the local area is embedding the Children and Families Act 2014.

In order to improve services and outcomes for disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN). Wolverhampton will receive notification of the inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The inspectors will focus much of their time on speaking to parents, carers, children and young people about how well Wolverhampton is responding to the needs of local families in relation to SEN and disability.

It really is essential that you have your say.  The Information, Advice and Support Service would like to have a 'bank' of parents/carers on stand-by so that when notice is given, we can contact you and invite you to speak with the inspection team.  If you are reading this thinking that you would like to be involved but do not feel confident, or that you do not feel knowledgeable about the system, please still consider coming forward.  We are keen for the inspectors to speak to those 'in the know' and those who are not.  We want them to hear from local families about what things are really like.    

This is your chance to have your say at a really important time.  Perhaps you have had a fantastic experience – then please come forward to share that too.  You will be given a very warm welcome along with a cuppa and a slice of cake!   We do not have date for the inspection yet but we would like to be prepared.  To find out more or to register your interest, please contact Lucy Harris (Manager of the Information, Advice and Support Service) 01902 556945 or email

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission have prepared an inspection handbook and framework, which will can be found here.

Calling all young people – would you like to be on the big screen?

Not quite Hollywood but Wolverhampton needs you!  Some training is being developed for schools and for people working across education, health and social care about changes made to the law around special educational needs and disability.  Some short videos will be included in the training and we would them to feature young people from Wolverhampton.  Would you be willing to read some lines for these films? Do you know somebody who would like to be involved?
If so, please get in touch with us at the Information, Advice and Support Service email: by 31st January 2017.

Aspirations, Hopes and Outcomes Workshop Feedback

Parents and carers joined us this month for a lively workshop led by Sue Briggs, aimed at understanding the differences between aspirations and outcomes, when planning future support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

One of the key messages on the new SEND legislation which Sue wanted to emphasise was Section 19 of the Children and Families Act.  This places the views, wishes and feelings of young people and their families at the centre of any planning and interventions.  In a nutshell, the child or young person must remain centre stage in all we do.  So how can this happen?

The workshop session demonstrated that if we understand the aspirations and hopes of children and young people, working together achieves the best outcomes.  We all have hopes and dreams.  As adults we know we may never fully achieve those dreams, but there is nothing wrong with having them.

Aspirations can tell us a lot about what motivates young people.  Take the example of a young man who wanted to be a pilot.  By asking the right kind of questions and engaging with the young person and his family, it was possible to go some way towards recognising this dream.  It turned out the reason he wanted to be a pilot was because he liked seeing the aeroplanes.  In reality, this individual was not likely to become a pilot, but a work experience placement was arranged, so that he could help staff in the airport and see the aeroplanes every day!

So the dream of being a pilot was transformed to a positive outcome of being able to work at an airport and see the aeroplanes.  Through a set of group activities, parents were able to discover what a good outcome should look like.

An outcome is a ‘will be able to’ statement, which sets out what the young person will achieve.  It is usually the result of an action or intervention.  Whether children are at SEN Support, have a Statement or an Education Health and Care plan, parents and carers must be involved in agreeing what those outcomes are.  Look at the following statements. Only one is an outcome – which one is it?

  1. Tracey has difficulty communicating with her peers
  2. Tracey will get three hours of speech therapy a week  
  3. By the end of Year 6 Tracey will be able to communicate with her friends on age appropriate topics in the lunch break

Please click here to view the handouts from workshop

If you are not sure, then maybe you should consider joining one of our future workshops. This is what parents and carers had to say about our workshop this month:

​"My son’s review is coming up. I feel I can go into the meeting understanding more.  I’ll have the ability to make a more focused plan."

“Really helpful explanation of outcomes, aspirations and provision.”

"Thought provoking ideas of questions to not only ask school, but also your child.”

“…reminds us all of raising aspirations of SEN children!”

“Enjoyed it. Good facilitators."

If this has tempted you to consider joining our workshop on 9th March 2017 at the Molineux Stadium and bring another parent with you!  The workshop, ‘Planning for the future – a legal view’, explains wills and trusts, together with advice on securing long term care, for those who need it (Booking is essential).  We are a friendly and professional team, aiming high to secure the best outcomes for all children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.  We look forward to meeting you!

Answer to ‘which one is an outcome?

( 3 ) By the end of Year 6 Tracey will be able to communicate with her friends on age appropriate topics in the lunch break

This is an outcome because it says what Tracey will be able to do, once some sort of intervention or support has been provided.  The outcome is specific.  It is about communicating with her friends at break and lunch times. It begins with a time frame – ‘by the end of Year 6’, so that professionals working with Tracey know that this goal needs to be achieved by the end of Year 6.

Statement (1) is a description of difficulties or needs – it is not an outcome.

Statement (2) is a provision. This might be the intervention or support provided before an outcome can be achieved.

Disability Rights UK


Disability Rights UK provide advice to disabled students who are studying in England.  The phone line – 0800 328 5050 – is open from 11am-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they can be emailed on  Advisors can advise and support disabled people who are studying, or wish to study, at any level on full-time or part-time education or training courses in England and they are over 16.  They can also advise parents and/or carers of disabled students or professionals working with disabled students.

Communication Strategies for people on the Autistic Spectrum – Discovering Autism: an ‘Apps and Autism’ event

Join Tobii Dynavox and Chris Barson (Positive About Autism (TM) ) for a day’s workshop looking at developing communication strategies and the use of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) in supporting communication for people on the Autistic Spectrum.  

The workshop is useful for parents and professionals, and will look at developing communication strategies for people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Queen Alexandra College, Birmingham on Thursday 10th November 10am-3:30pm.  Tickets and further information available through the Eventbrite website.

Please note there is a charge for tickets for this event

Parents carers have your say, time running out, deadline 21st October 2016

Parents carers have your say, time running out, deadline 21st October 2016

Calling parents, carers and young people!
If you are interested in improving special educational needs and disability services in Wolverhampton, here is your chance to do so!

Please share this with your contacts and encourage as many people as possible to complete it.

Wolverhampton City Council is currently in the process of developing a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) on Children and Young People with SEND.  An important part of the JSNA process is to understand what services are currently being provided, to identify any gaps in service provision, and also to highlight any other needs which are currently unmet.  To help them build a picture of the experiences Parents/Carers and Young People with SEND have of current services, they have created this survey. The recommendations will be used by the JSNA Steering Group to consider where improvements are needed.
As a Parent/Carer or Young Person who is a stakeholder of SEND services for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years in Wolverhampton, they would like to invite you to complete this survey. It is estimated it will take 10 minutes to complete.  All responses to this survey will be analysed collectively, and will be used to develop the JSNA report.  Complete the survey here

**Please note that the deadline for this survey is Friday 21st October 2016**

New Exclusion Resources from IPSEA

IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) has produced new Exclusion Support sheets.  The support sheets offer guidance on how to deal with different exclusions e.g. fixed term, permanent whether your child receives support at a school based level, or has a statement or Education, Health and Care plan.   The support sheets can be found on the Exclusion pages of the IPSEA website  

Give your views about GPs in Wolverhampton

GPs came out as one of the public's priorities at Healthwatch Wolverhampton's Public Engagement Event in June 2016 and also through the experiences shared with them throughout the year. They are   now researching the public's views on this priority with a survey accessible through this survey link:

This is also available in hard copy, if you require it in this format please contact 0800 470 1944

Aspirations, Hopes and Outcomes FREE workshop for parents and carers

Aspirations, Hopes and Outcomes was an event originally held on 15th October 2015.  It proved extremely popular and all the feedback we received was positive.  

Due to it's popularity we are repeating this event on 15th November (lunch is included).  We are delighted to welcome back outcomes expert Sue Briggs as our guest speaker.  So if you would like to find out:

  • What an aspiration is
  • How your child and and your child must be involved can be more involved in planning and decision making
  • What a realistic and positive outcome will look like for your child
  • How you can help your child think about their hopes and wishes

Please join us at our free event on 15th November at the Molineux Stadium. Places are limited so please call us to book yours as soon as you can. Please do make alternative childcare arrangements