Letter from the Senior Manager Inclusion
Dear Parents and Carers
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) team are currently working away from the office environment in order to follow government guidance. We are all working at the moment and we have access to emails and phones as usual. We are continuing to run panels (through video conferencing and conference phone calls). We are in contact with our health and social care colleagues by phone, text and email.
We are still processing requests for statutory assessments, writing Education, Health and Care Plans and redrafting EHCPs from Annual Reviews. We are working with schools and settings to process annual reviews virtually.
We are emailing paperwork as access to our printers is limited because we are working away from the office. If we haven’t got your email address and need to send something to you we will contact you by telephone to request a contact email address from you. We can send things by post if you do not have an email address or do not wish to be contacted in this way, but it may take longer than usual.
We are working on the Local Offer to add information to help parents and carers who have their children at home when schools are closed, or family members have symptoms and are self-isolating. Keep visiting the site for useful websites and resources in the coming days and weeks.
We have set up a SEND helpline which is an education, health and social care multi-agency response to supporting the needs of SEND pupils at this current time.
We will aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours.
The purpose of the helpline is to:
- address general SEND queries through signposting to relevant resources/guidance as appropriate,
- allocate appropriate staff to give provide advice and information for known individual SEND children,
- the SEND referral line will be available 10am until 12pm Monday to Friday on: 03330 150 816
Useful contact numbers for the team are the same as always:
- 01229 407 403 for Barrow and South Lakeland
- 01946 506 211 for Allerdale and Copeland
- 01228 226 843 for Carlisle and Eden
Please get in touch if you have any queries, either using the numbers above or through your named contact.
Senior Manager Inclusion
Cumbria County Council and partners have launched a new emergency support service for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours.
The Emergency telephone support line is: 0800 783 1966.
Or you can email your request for help at: COVID19support@cumbria.gov.uk.
The telephone call centre will operate Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service will also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community
The helpline is there to support those at high risk and include people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who should be protecting themselves by staying at home. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups with tasks like shopping or collection of medicines if they require it. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support. If they have no alternative, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.
Cumbria County Council has been working closely with District Councils, CVS, Cumbria Community Foundation, community and voluntary sector, private sector and military to establish these new arrangements. To support the new helpline every area is coordinating a supply of essential food, medicines and supplies which can only be accessed via the emergency helpline or email. The requests received asking for help will then be matched with local support and supplies being offered by community groups, volunteers, councils and businesses.
Cumbria is already seeing widespread community and voluntary sector support for the response to COVID-19 and informal support, including neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and community Facebook groups, alongside a commitment from existing community emergency planning groups, local churches and faith groups and formal voluntary sector organisations who are working with the county council and partners including District Councils and NHS.
Message from the Council for Disabled Children
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC), at the Minister’s request, has launched two new email inboxes aimed to answer questions, collate resources and share information on Coronavirus and the impact on children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). They are designed to be used by professionals, practitioners, parent carers and families of children and young people with SEND.
The new CDC questions inbox, CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk, provides the opportunity to ask questions about how coronavirus will impact on children and young people with SEND as well as other questions relating to the impact on families; the education, health, social care sectors; and the voluntary and community sector.
The CDC will collate Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and share them with the Department for Education and Ministers as appropriate, in order to publish an FAQs newsflash each Friday. To receive the FAQs newsflash please sign up to their mailing list, selecting the CDC Digest option. The CDC resources inbox, CDCresources@ncb.org.uk, is designed to enable parent carers, sector professionals and practitioners to share resources, to support families of children and young people with SEND and practitioners across the disabled children’s sector.
CDC will add these resources to their COVID-19 Support and Guidance webpage.
You can ask your questions by emailing: CDCquestions@ncb.org.uk
You can send resources to: CDCresources@ncb.org.uk
- Minister Ford's letter for families who have children with SEND
- Coronavirus guidance on vulnerable children and young people from DfE and PHE
- Parents' Toolkit: SEND - Resources, activities and support to help you and your family during lockdown
- Guidance for People Receiving Direct Payments
- A Practical Approach at Home for Parents and Carers
- What parents and carers need to know about school and education during the Coronavirus outbreak
- Learning Disability Matters - Updated information around Covid-19 specifically relating to resilience and health and wellbeing of families. A range of resources are available from short guides, films and useful websites / contacts.
- Talking to a child worried about coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Coronavirus - A Digital Book for Children
- FREE - Online course for parent/carers and grandparents of Cumbria
- Covid-19 advice and tips for healthy relationships from Relate
- Advice on how to handle arguments from Relate
- A reminder of the resources from OnePlusOne (see it differently videos and click relationships pages in particular)
- Social distancing and self-isolation advice from Young Minds (for young people and parents of teenagers)
- Advice for parents and families with a child in the care system from the Family Rights Group
- Guidance for managing a funeral during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Coping During the Pandemic (Children 7 to 12 years)
- Coping During the Pandemic (Young People 13 to 18 years)
- Flynne's Barn - Counselling and Family Support Project (PDF 187KB)
- Flynne's Barn - Counselling Leaflet (PDF 264KB)