How is your local authority doing with SEND?

I recently attended a conference put on by our local authority provider of children’s services Achieving for Children. They serve the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames and also Windsor and Maidenhead. Achieving for Children’s remit for children and young people in the borough’s they operate in, is wide-ranging and includes: social services, special educational needs, fostering, early years, health and education. You can find out more about Achieving for Children here

A couple of week’s ago, I attended their conference at Twickenham Stoop, which was aimed at teachers, SENCOs, school leaders, parents and voluntary sector providers. The film below is a snap shot of the day, which included a number of workshops providing insight, training and learning opportunities for conference attendees.

Some events like these can feel a bit ‘preachy’ by whoever is staging them, but this felt like a genuine forum for debate and discussion. I’ve written more about the event here, and this post is more to show you in pictures as well as words what the event was like.

There is a lot in the media about what local authorities are doing wrong and how they are failing parents of children with special educational needs. I don’t feel I need to my voice to that, critiques are easy to find. My goal is to shine a light on the good stuff, granted sometimes you gotta dig a long way for it (!), but this conference was a good example of how to engage a wide range of stakeholders, whilst fulfilling your local service provider obligations to be transparent and accessible.

If you are looking for parent or professional support for your child with special educational needs, a good place to start is your local council’s ‘local offer’ page on their website. It is a statutory requirement for your local authority to clearly promote Special Educational Needs & Disability services on their website, both those offered by the local council themselves and others. Services do not necessarily need to be delivered in borough either, so do check out these pages, which should be kept fairly up to date. They’re an important source of information for parents.

Here are a few links, so you can compare what they look like: Richmond & Kingston:



If you’d like to attend one of the FREE #happyinschool sessions coming up in London, click this link for more details.

© Suzy Rowland

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