Welcome to the second SEND Update for SENCos and SEND leads in schools and settings. We have listened to your feedback and are working to further develop the SENCo pages on the Local Offer so that updates are more accessible i.e. specific age/sector sections, drop-down options.

We hope that you find the following headlines interesting and useful; please click on the links for further details and contact information around each piece.

For general information or feedback please contact Heather Wood heather.wood@birmingham.gov.uk

Improving our communication around SEND

This term has seen the new SENCo Communications Framework in action. Co-designed with schools, the framework to improve our ways of communicating has received very positive feedback so far. Schools have asked for advance notice of dates of briefings and other information, so we have produced the SEND Communications Plan for this academic year with this information. SENCo communications plan 2023-2024

We are also planning to include dates and venues for the Local SENCo groups taking place across each consortia and are currently working with our mainstream school SENCo Consortia leads to develop this – watch this space!

Delivering Better Value – Programme update

Thank you everyone who has taken part in this important project, supporting our work to improve the lived experiences of children and young people with SEND and their families.

  • Birmingham County Council is participating in the Delivering Better Value Programme. Delivering Better Value (DBV) is a programme working to identify and implement local and national opportunities to improve the outcomes for children and young people with SEND, commissioned by the DfE.
  • The evidence base developed will contribute to a grant application to the DfE for up to £1million.
  • We are now in the final module of the local programme working towards submitting the grant application by December 14th 2023
  • Over 600 parents, carers, children, young people, and professionals from all stakeholder groups have contributed to the programme so far through interviews, listening forums, completing surveys, case reviews, school visits and participating in a Stakeholder Engagement Day.
What we heard:
  • Parents did not believe mainstream schools could meet their child’s needs
  • They wanted to see more 1:1 support for their child to express feelings and support emotional needs
  • They want to see greater flexibility and adaptations to curriculum
  • They want their child to feel included and be understood
  • Schools told us they can’t meet needs of children in their settings
  • Providing additional 1:1 time was the top response to what would allow you to more effectively meet need. SENCOs spoke of trying to achieve a whole school approach to SEND and time need to support staff with this mindset shift.
  • Education professionals told us conversations with parents/carers are becoming more challenging, both in terms of them accepting SEN and not being able to offer everything they need
  • Wider facilities and funding were both raised as barriers to being able to more effectively support SEND in settings.

As a result it has been agreed we will focus on the following 2 areas:

  1. Developing a shared understanding across the local area including schools and settings about what needs can, and should, be met in mainstream, RB and special schools, in line with the expectations of the national SEND and AP Improvement Plan 2023 thereby further developing SEN leadership capacity across the SEND system, including in schools and settings.
  2. Reviewing funding arrangements, including SSPPs, to ensure that there is clarity for schools and settings about how much money they will receive for each pupil and how the decision regarding funding has been made
What will happen next:

Should the grant application be successful, we move to the implementation phase where we will begin co-production to design the changes under the key themes identified. All activity will be aligned with our wider work under the SEND strategy.

Area SEND Inspection explained – information for schools, parents and carers.

What is a joint local area SEND inspection?

In January 2023, OfSTED and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) adopted a new framework for jointly inspecting local area arrangements to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These inspections assess how effectively education, health, and social care services in the area work together to improve experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25 years, and their families.

The new inspection framework builds on the framework first introduced in 2016. This was focused on how effectively local areas deliver new statutory duties introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

What does the inspection framework cover?

The new inspection framework continues to assess how effectively education, health, and social care services in the area deliver statutory duties. However it also responds to the national SEND review 2022: Right support, right place, right time with some new features, as follows:

  • a greater focus on the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND and their families. Inspectors will meet with children, young people and their families, and they will also send a survey to every child or young person with SEND in the local area, and their family, asking about their experiences.
  • greater focus on partnership working, joint arrangements, and clear accountabilities across the local education, health and care partnership. Lead inspectors for education, for health, and for social care, will lead multi-disciplinary inspection teams.
  • a new focus on alternative provision (which provides education for children who cannot attend a mainstream school) and how it is commissioned and overseen locally.
  • a new cycle of inspections, based on 3 new judgements to be made by inspectors:
    • the local area partnership’s SEND arrangements typically lead to positive experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND. The local area partnership is taking action where improvements are needed;
    • the local area partnership’s arrangements lead to inconsistent experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND. The local area partnership must work jointly to make improvements; and
    • there are widespread and/ or systemic failings leading to significant concerns about the experiences and outcomes of children and young people with SEND, which the local area partnership must address urgently.
  • Each local area will be inspected at least once during a five-year period, with more frequent re-inspection for areas where arrangements do not typically lead to positive experiences and outcomes
  • Local areas are also subject to themed inspections, and to an annual engagement meeting.
 How are the inspections carried out?

Inspections take place over three weeks. In weeks one and two, the local area must provide a range of local data and information. This includes person-level data (lists of all children and young people with SEND who live in the local authority area, including those educated out of area) and information about how local education, health and care services commission and deliver services for children and young people with SEND and their families. Inspectors will also select specific children and young people’s cases for ‘tracking’, and will require data and documents relating to those cases. They will aim to talk to all the children and young people who are ‘tracked’, and their families. They will also ask for surveys to be shared with all local children and young people with SEND and their parents or carers.

In week three, inspectors are on-site for fieldwork, including meetings with leaders and practitioners and visits to a sample of local education, health, and/ or care settings. During visits to settings, inspectors will evaluate children and young people’s experiences and outcomes by reviewing documents and records, and talking to practitioners. The settings visited are not subject to evaluation or judgement under this inspection, as they are subject to their own inspection arrangements, but their records and practice will be scrutinised. The joint SEND inspection is focused on how effectively local education, health, and care partners work together to improve experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND, with shared accountability.

How will inspectors judge local areas?

The inspection framework and handbook set out in detail the evaluation criteria inspectors use to judge the area. In brief: inspectors evaluate the effectiveness of the area’s partnership SEND arrangements in improving experiences and outcomes for children and young people with SEND, including the extent to which:

  • children and young people’s needs are identified accurately and assessed
  • children, young people and families participate in decisions about plans and support
  • children and young people receive the right help at the right time
  • children and young people are well prepared for their next steps, and achieve strong outcomes
  • children and young people are valued, visible and included in their communities

Inspectors also evaluate how effectively local area partners work together to plan, evaluate and develop the SEND system, including the extent to which:

  • leaders are ambitious for children and young people with SEND
  • leaders actively engage and work with children, young people and families
  • leaders have an accurate, shared understanding of the needs of children and young people in their local area
  • leaders commission services and provision to meet the needs and aspirations of children and young people, including commissioning of alternative provision
  • leaders evaluate services and make improvements
  • leaders create an environment in which effective practice and multi-agency working can flourish
Is there any information for parents and carers?

Ofsted and CQC have produced a video that explains the process for parent carers

Area SEND inspection explained – information for parents and carers – YouTube

Supporting SEND pupil attendance – webinar for schools

Part-time/reduced timetables

We all know that part-time timetables are generally unlawful and should be avoided wherever possible. Where these occur, any part-time/reduced timetable should be short-term (no more than 6 weeks) with a written integration plan to increase the child’s hours in school.  To support schools in understanding their duties around this issue, and to provide support and advice, you are invited to an hour-long webinar on ‘Part-time/reduced timetables’ to take place via Teams on Friday 8th December 2023 9-10am.  The session will be delivered by Edwina Langley MBE, Lead Attendance Officer and Sarah Scarr, Deputy Service Lead for the Communication and Autism Team.  It will cover updates to the local authority guidance, notification forms, including the new updates form and half termly nil returns (no new cases).  We will also look at equality issues and local authority/school responsibilities related to this area.

To book your place, please click on the link below:


Severe absence

The DfE introduced a new category of absence last year, ‘severe absence,’ which means a child of statutory school age has missed 50% or more of the available sessions.  Data for this category is now published for schools and more children with SEND in Birmingham have severe absence than is seen nationally.  Colleagues in schools are encouraged to identify the children in your school either with severe absence or at risk of it and consider multi-agency strategies to try to improve their attendance.  The children concerned will already be persistent absentees so schools should already have action plans in place to ensure they attend school more regularly (some children will be in receipt of palliative care where improving their attendance would be detrimental or inappropriate in the circumstances). 

For more information about Birmingham’s attendance procedures please click on this link:


Is my child too ill for school? NHS advice for parents 

Following the Covid pandemic, some parents have reported that it can be difficult to know when they should keep their child off school due to illness.  The NHS provides helpful guidance to parents on when its ok to send children to school and when it’s better to keep them at home. Schools are advised to circulate the link below to parents:

Is my child too ill for school? – NHS

The Balanced System is now live – updates from Speech and Language Therapy

In September 2023 the Children’s NHS Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)  Service in Birmingham began to implement ‘The Balanced System® framework’ across the city.

Thank you!

We would like to say a big thank you to Schools staff for your patience and understanding during this time of change and this period of adjustment. Many schools have been very welcoming and supported the SaLTs to understand the needs within the schools and to get started working with the children, parents and staff.

Work started in schools:

95% of schools have a SaLT allocated to them and most have started working in their schools at some point during this autumn term . The Initial visit has usually involved a meeting with school SENCo focussing on developing the Whole School Communication Plan

This has allowed us to review the whole school graduated approach to SLCN support using the 3 levels and the 5 strands of the Balanced System® framework, discussing what is currently in place, and devising an action plan for the term/academic year.

Other focus for this term has been on discussing and seeing the children/young people on the current SaLT caseload. We have also needed to prioritise providing advice for EHCPs as requested by SENAR. This work comes out of each school’s allocated hours and so the time in many schools has felt quite limited in the face of high need.

Please bear with us

It was difficult to predict, as we prepared for The Balanced System®, how long each part of this process would take.

It may be that things are not happening as quickly as you had hoped with regard to SaLT support in your setting. Please be assured that all of our team are working their very hardest to become familiar with the new processes and ensure that the transition to the new way of working is as smooth as possible for everyone.

Please continue to bear with us as we all work together to instigate and embed this new system which aims to achieve positive and long-lasting outcomes for children with speech, language, and communication needs. We welcome your support and all the collaborative working.

Wifi issues

Many schools have supported SaLTs to access their Wifi however in a few schools there are still issues with connectivity to Wifi which we are reliant on schools IT teams and our NHS IT team working together to resolve. Please continue to help us resolve these issues which are time consuming and take up some of the valuable time allocated to schools.

Schools with no allocation – Successful recruitment!

There are still a small number of schools without a link therapist, due to vacancies across the city, but following a successful recruitment drive, we have now recruited to most of these posts and these new SaLTs will be starting early in the Spring term and so we expect that most of these remaining schools will have met their link SLT  by the summer term .

School Age Coordinators (SACos) for each locality have kept in contacted with the SENCos in unallocated settings to keep them updated. Some of these settings have accessed advice meetings which have been supported by SaLTs.

In the meantime, these schools can call the SaLT Advice Line with any clinical queries on 0121 466 6231 or contact us via email at bchnt.sltcoreadmin@nhs.net

Feedback from schools

Finally, here are just a few of the many comments we have had this term:

“It is great having someone in school.”

“It feels much more joined up, it would be good to have more SaLT time”.

“I’m delighted to have quicker access to SaLT.”

Calling all new SENCos!

Following the success of our first briefing event for SENCos new to post or new to Birmingham, we are getting ready to hold our next briefing event on Thursday 1st February 2024. Places will be reserved for SENCos new to role as of the beginning of the Spring term ’24, and they will receive an invite in the new year to this event.

The first briefing was held on Thursday 26th October at the Council House and was attended by 29 mainstream school SENCos from across the city, as well as senior leaders within the LA SEND teams, colleagues from the SEND Locality SALT and OT, and two experienced school SENCo representatives from the Local SENCo Consortia groups.

The agenda published for the session offered an opportunity to:

  • Find out who the SEND teams are and what support they are offering,
  • Have an overview of the Birmingham funding system,
  • Understand the Local area SENCo groups,
  • Understand the LA communication process to SENCos,
  • Learn about the Balanced system approach to SALT across the city,
  • Find out who the SEND OT locality therapists are and what they offer,
  • Network with other SENCos.
Feedback from 23 of the SENCos who attended:

The participants were asked to rate the session between 1 and 5 (with 5 being high); 16 of the SENCos gave a rating of 5, with 7 others giving 4 and 2 giving 3, resulting in an average overall rating of 5 for the session. Feedback from participants about what they found most useful included an introduction to each team and what their offer is and how to contact them, as well as an overview of SEND funding systems in Birmingham. A number of additional comments were made around how useful the session was including:

‘This has been fantastic. I wish I had this at the start of my role. Very informative.’

Feedback from the presenters who attended:

All of the presenters rated the session as 5, with identified benefits of being the face to face aspect which facilitated rich conversations and networking opportunities. Additional comments from two of the school SENCos presenting the Local SENCo groups identified highlights such as:

‘just seeing how useful it was for new SENCos; I would have loved this when I first started’ and ‘Opportunities for the new SENCos to meet each other and start networking.’

‘It was a great indication of improved and open communication across the city.  Personally, as an experienced SENCo who has worked in Birmingham for a long time, I feel very heard that an idea I shared as part of my involvement in a Task and Finish group has come to fruition.  The session was very informative and provided the new SENCos with a comprehensive overview of the SEN support services, information and approaches available in Birmingham.  I felt that it was a lovely welcome to SENCos new to Birmingham and enabled them to know the key members of the services and what they do.  It was a well organised and informative event which gave a clear message of a cohesive approach from an informed, collaborative and supportive team.’

Next steps coming out of response to feedback:
  • Comms cycle for the academic year developed and published – see item for comms plan above.
  • Additional attendees to include PCF and Early Help colleagues.
  • Longer session to allow more time for Q&A
  • Briefing to be held earlier in the term.

Did you miss the November SENCo Briefing?

Following our updated communications framework, the SENCo briefings have been refined to a two-item agenda to allow time for questions and focused discussions. The briefings this termed focused on Preparation for Areas SEND Inspection and info that schools need to know, as well as launching the Ordinarily Available Guidance (OAG) with schools. The slide decks, FAQs and ideas on the OAG developed in the Breakout Rooms from the briefings held are attached for your information and we hope these will be of benefit to you in your role.

Look out for further updates on the OAG in the February Updates.

Support for Early Years pupils with autism

In recognition of the SEND needs of children in the Early Years, the Communication and Autism Team are repeating the Early Years Teacher sessions that ran in the Summer term ’23; this is to continue to support progress for current cohorts of pupils and to prepare for pupils next September. These training sessions are aimed at teachers working in the Early Years, nursery and reception classes, in Nursery and Primary schools. Each session allows teachers to build on their autism awareness and introduce specific strategies to enable the inclusion of autistic children in their classrooms.

There are eight, virtual sessions, ranging from one hour to one hour 30 minutes. Each session takes place on a Thursday after school over the Spring term ‘24. You can choose individual sessions or book all eight at a reduced cost.

Titles include: Increasing Joint Attention, Play and Language Skills in autistic children, Sensory Ladders: a Tool for understanding and Supporting Sensory Regulation, Developing and Enhancing Play Skills in autistic children, Early Communication for autistic children in the EYS and KS1, Using music to support engagement of autistic children, Developing independent work skills in the classroom through the use of work trays, Early Communication Tools (using visuals) and Planning in the Early Years to personalise learning to support children to meet their individual developmental outcomes.

Feedback from the 63 EYS colleagues attending the Summer ’23 training sessions:

“Lots of practical advice to implement into the classroom.”

“This will be of the most immediate use for us and the children in our setting. It was brilliant thank you. Gave a good understanding of when appropriate to use each type with the children.”

“All of it was fantastic!”

“This session has been very informative and given ideas of how to engage children through music. very useful.”

“I really found the work tray idea really fascinating and think this will be useful to use from next year.”

“Everything. Helped to secure what already knew and build on that.”

To book a place, please use the following link CAT – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

Supporting secondary school pupils with autism

 The Communication and Autism Team have recently delivered a full day’s ‘Autism Education Trust: Good Autism Practice’ training to a group of secondary colleagues consisting of delegates from 20% of all our secondary schools. Thank you to our secondary colleagues who invested in attending to further support their autistic young people.

The course enabled secondary school staff to develop their knowledge and understanding of good autism practice, based on current research into what works for autistic young people. It gave an opportunity to reflect on and share their practice with colleagues in other settings. The course also provided time to consider ways that they can involve autistic pupils and their families in shaping provision. In addition, colleagues heard from an autistic adult who attended settings in Birmingham who shared his journey from Special to Mainstream education and then on to University and the workplace.

Here are some of things people said following attending the training day:

“It will enable me to share my learning as part of whole staff CPD, share key   messages and make sure that we as a whole staff body are enabling our autistic learners. It was most effective to have the headspace to take in what you have delivered and evaluate our provision identifying areas for improvement.”

“Really informative, allowing me to understand autism even better and understanding how our children can assess a better learning journey through the knowledge provided.”

“Training was really informative and helpful towards me supporting my students even more for a calmer and more settled learning environment.”

We will be running further AET Good Autism Practice Training with a secondary focus in the Autumn term 2024. For more information, speak to your allocated CAT representative for your school.

Watch this Space – leaflets for schools about different eye conditions

The Vision Support Team have developed a series of information leaflets about eye conditions that are extremely common within all schools. These are for eye conditions where a referral for a Teacher of Vision Impairment would not be suitable, as the child/young person is not deemed to have a vision impairment, but they have an eye condition that means advice and guidance may still be required.

The leaflets include information on: the diagnosis and what it means, how the diagnosis affects the child/young persons vision and strategies for what can be done by parents/carers and school staff to help the child/young person to have the best vision he/she can.

They will be available on the Local Offer by the end of December and can be downloaded by parents/carers and also by school staff and shared across your wider school staff.

Training and advice from the SEND OT Locality Therapists

Online training and webinar sessions are available to book via the local offer website throughout the academic year on a range of occupational therapy topics. Face to face training sessions have been piloted with early years colleagues across the sector; please get in touch if you would like to be involved in these.

Sensory Circuits training

Half day face to face training available to mainstream nurseries, primary and secondary schools; 20 spaces are available, one per school.

The training is part practical looking at how to run a sensory circuit in an education setting and the theory behind sensory circuits.

Attendees receive a resource pack following attendance which allows them to have information to allow them to run a sensory circuit in their setting. For further information or to book a place, please contact Lorraine Griffiths and Sarah Gallagher at bchc.sendtherapy@nhs.net

OT Champions

This is a 6 week training programme aimed at mainstream primary and secondary schools. Schools will identify a member of staff to sign up to our training programme. In the first 2 weeks they will learn about occupational therapy and strategies through online webinars. We provide a variety of topics including fine motor skills, handwriting, gross motor skills, core stability and independence skills. This is followed by 4 weeks of in person support from an occupational therapist to support the school to set up an OT group of their choice.

Staff are supported to gain outcome measures pre and post group, which will help  show the impact the group has had on the children involved. Staff will then have the skills to put in place further groups based on the principles learnt. For further information or to book a place, please contact Lorraine Griffiths and Sarah Gallagher at bchc.sendtherapy@nhs.net

SENCo Advice sessions

Mainstream nursery settings and primary and secondary schools are able to contact their designated occupational therapist within their area. They can do this by emailing our service and requesting an advice meeting. This meeting will allow the SENCo to discuss a child’s occupational therapy needs within their setting. Both school and home can attend the meeting together or a SENCo alone. Universal strategies will be discussed during the meeting to support the child within their setting. A follow up session can be booked 3 months after the initial meeting to review progress and offer further support if needed.

Q&A sessions for families

Online occupational therapy Q & A sessions are being offered to families across Birmingham. Families are able to book their free ticket via Eventbrite, they are required to submit an occupational therapy related question which will allow occupational therapists to discuss strategies and signposting during the session on a variety of topics.

Multi-systemic Therapy – referral pathway

 What is MST?

Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a comprehensive treatment programme designed to address problematic behaviour of young people aged between 11-17 years of age. Typical referral behaviours include:

  • Serious and/or persistent criminality and anti-social behaviour including criminal exploitation and gang affiliation
  • Educational difficulties (risk of losing educational placement/permanent exclusion)
  • Substance or alcohol misuse
  • Absconding and missing
  • Aggressive and defiant behaviour at home, in school or within the community.

MST is an intensive ‘edge of care’ service demonstrating clinical and cost-effectiveness for young people with complex needs with its ultimate outcomes aiming to:

  • Avoid out of home placements such as custody or care so young people can safely remain at home.
  • Support young people to remain in education, training or employment.
  • Avoid further arrests or charges for offending behaviour.

What does MST do?

  • A complete functional assessment of the young person in the context of their family, school, and community.
  • Seeks to understand the “fit” between the child’s problems and the factors which contribute to them
  • Focuses on helping parents build supportive social networks
  • Empowers parents to address the needs of the youth more effectively
  • Emphasises long-term change that families can maintain after the program has ended.
  • Using strategies from family therapy and behaviour therapy, MST intervenes directly in systems and processes related to antisocial behaviour (for example, parental discipline, family affective relations, peer associations and school performances) for young people.

MST Leaflet

MST E-Leaflet

We wanted to share with schools the referral pathway for accessing MST, which would begin with emailing the MST Business Support officer for your area to discuss potential new cases. Following this:

  • Complete the Request for Support Form and email to CASS CASS@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk
  • BSO will make contact with the referrer and set assessment date with referrer, caregiver and MST Supervisor
  • MST Supervisor completes an initial suitability assessment with caregiver & referrer
  • Decision regarding suitability made by MST Supervisor
  • If suitable, confirm outcome and MST Therapist allocated
  • If unsuitable, decision relayed to referrer regarding rationale.
The contact details for the area MST Business Support officers as follows:

Bethaney Everill (North Team), 07867358589 –  Bethaney.Everill@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk

Siobhan Godwin-Edwards (South Team), 07703373046 –Siobhan.godwin-Edwards@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk

Bernadette Rawlins (E team), 07840 712 485 – Bernadette.Rawlins@birminghamchildrenstrust.co.uk

Drop-ins and courses for parents of CYP with autism!

Each term, the Communication and Autism Team offer parent drop-ins and autism awareness courses for parent carers:

  • CAT PAC is our parent autism awareness course designed to share knowledge, skills, and strategies to enable parent carers to further support their autistic child/young person. There are 3 courses aimed at parent carers of Early Years, Primary age, and Secondary age children and young people available each term.
  • Parent carer drop-ins are available at different venues each term in different areas of the city. Themed presentations are delivered at these drop-in sessions with plenty of time given for questions and discussion. Parent carers do not need to book and can simply “drop in” on the day.

Information will be sent to SENCOs prior to CAT PACs and drop-ins taking place. Please share with parent carers when you receive these, thank you.

For further information, speak to your CAT representative.

PCF Update – Calling all parents of pupils with SEND

Thank you to all those schools and settings who shared our flier with parents following the October ’23 SEND Update. We are keen to recruit more parents to work with us in the Parent Carer Forum so please keep on promoting our service with families of pupils with SEND in your setting.

As a voluntary group of Birmingham Parent Carers (whose purpose is to become the bridge between services and families and a collective voice representing all members and all disabilities), we have been working hard over the last few months to make sure we are reaching families across the city i.e. attending coffee mornings, visiting parent support groups and schools to make sure we can reach the voices of as many Parent Carers as possible.

We still need Parent Carer Representatives to join our team and help us expand our reach across Birmingham to listen to and collect the voices that may not always be heard. New recruits will work alongside existing PCF reps in playing a vital part in the strategic direction of the services provided for SEND children, young people and their families in Birmingham.

As a thank you for time and expertise, we offer all of our Parent Representatives vouchers for attending meetings as well as covering mileage and expenses such as lunch, drinks and childcare. When you become a Parent Representative you become part of a community and collective voice to bring about impactful and meaningful change. You will have your voice heard in a way that connects locally, regionally and nationally. As a Parent Representative you will have access to training programmes, wellbeing activities and social engagements. 

Please see the SENCo Information flyer for more details

Supporting parents to Be Empowered!

The Be Empowered team warmly invite parents of pupils with additional needs to a series of workshops next term. These workshops are for parent/carers of children and young people of any age, with any additional need, with or without a diagnosis, and are there to support parent/carers through times of change and at whatever stage of the journey participants may find themselves.

The 6 workshop sessions, written by parent/carers of children with additional needs, are facilitated by parents/carers alongside colleagues from the SEND Advisory teams. Rather than being a parenting course, these sessions are about providing parent/carers with the skills to navigate the journey and to empower them as individuals, as well as to connect to other people and create friendship groups that last well beyond the end of the workshops.

Please share this invite and attached flier with parents of pupils with additional needs in your setting.

For further information, please contact Christine Legore or Nathalie Messanvi.



Deejaying for CYP with autism

Step Up is a free to access DJing and Production project. We deliver workshops, developing key musical skills in DJing, electronic beat making and live studio recording to autistic children that are attending mainstream schools. The lessons are in an alternative setting in the school, where we are able to differentiate the learning resources, space and sensory triggers to enable learners to make excellent progress.

B:Music – Step Up Flyer

Consultancy Group

We are keen to develop our project further in providing these lessons for more children with SEND in Birmingham. We would like to speak to children with SEND, as well as organisations that support SEND work with children. We wish to expand our project to more children, as well as looking at how we bridge the gap to adulthood with our project. We are also looking for potential partners with other organisations that can help improve the project further. We are keen to build a consultancy group at the start of January, of both SEND children, parents and representatives from organisations to help build on the project.

If you are interested in taking part in a consultancy session in January, please do email me with your expression of interest to toni.grehan@bmusic.co.uk

Autism in Schools project – developing a positive identity

Have you signed up for the Autism in Schools National project? Going into its third successive year, this project supports mainstream schools to provide environments in which autistic students can thrive, while supporting good mental health and promoting a sense of belonging.

Vital in ensuring Autistic children and young people experience a better educational outcome, we’re inviting schools to take part in the project. Spaces are limited to 30 secondary and 12 primary schools, so an early response is recommended. 

You can find out more about the project by reading the article on pages 4-5 of the BAAPB Oct newsletter attached or speak directly with your school’s representative from the Communication and Autism Team.

We look forward to hearing from you!

BAAPD newsletter October 2023

Developing Life skills – support for young people age 16+ with Autism.

Did you know about the All Age Autism Support Service, funded by NHS England and managed by Landau Ltd, working in partnership with NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB? The purpose of the service is to enhance the range of autism services available in the community & provide opportunities for support & early intervention.

As part of a grant-funded project through AAA support services, the voluntary organisation DUJ has developed a programme aimed at developing life skills to individuals aged 16 + who have autism. This joint project with Landau, is geared towards addressing these challenges by offering a comprehensive program tailored to the specific needs of this age group, looking at independent living to enhancing skills already gained to increase confidence and to gain independence – see attached flier.

For further information, or to support an aged 16+ young person referral to this programme, please contact the All Age Autism Team at aaa@landau.co.uk

To view ALL autism community support services and events available across Birmingham & Solihull please view our Service Directory here Home Page | All Age Autism (aaadirectory.co.uk)

Training Events coming up for the Spring term ‘24

Educational Psychology:

Supporting Schools Using the SCERTS framework

SCERTS (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transitional Supports) is an evidence-based approach that can be used in all settings with children with communication and social interaction needs and children with Autism.

SCERTS is a strength based, multiagency approach, building on what is already working and bringing together parents/carers and professionals who support the child. SCERTS utilises an assessment process that allows the most important outcomes for the child to be identified and then follows a plan/do review cycle.

This training session is suitable for staff working directly with pupils as well as SENCOs. This training is taking place in person across 1.5 days at Oakhill Centre, Oakhill Close, Birmingham, B17 8BB.

Day 1: Wednesday 17th January 2023, 9:30 – 3:00

Day 2: Wednesday 7th February 2023, 9:30 – 12:30

The cost of this training session is £250 per person. Reducing to £190 if there are 2 or more who attend from the same school or setting.


  • Understand the theory behind social communication and emotional regulation.
  • Use pre and post assessments.
  • Identify critical skills to work on and strategies to develop these and involve parents in the process.
  • Establish the differing options for delivering SCERTS in your school.

For further information, please contact Lauren Thomas (Assistant Psychologist) lauren.thomas@birmingham.gov.uk

To book a space on this training session please visit: https://www.birminghameducationsupportservices.co.uk/Event/208984

Communication & Autism Team:

The Communication and Autism Team is a Regional Partner with the Autism Education Trust and offer a range of courses for Early Years, Schools and Post 16 settings. The following courses for the Spring term ’24 are now available to book via the Access to Education website: CAT – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

For more information, please speak to your CAT representative.

AET Early Years Good Autism Practice: Autism Education Trust Early Years Good Autism Practice 6th February 2024 at Oakhill Centre – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

AET Early Years Leadership, Inclusion and Structural Reasonable Adjustments: Autism Education Trust Early Years Leadership, Inclusion and Structural Reasonable Adjustments 20th February 2024 1-4.30pm at Oakhill Centre – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

AET Schools Good Autism Practice: Autism Education Trust Schools: Good Autism Practice at Oakhill Centre, Oakhill Close, Birmingham, B17 8BB – Tuesday 27th February 2024 – Access to Education

AET Schools Leadership, Inclusion and Structural Reasonable Adjustments: Autism Education Trust: Schools Leadership, Inclusion and Structural Reasonable Adjustments 6th March 2024 – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

AET Autism and Anxiety: Autism Education Trust Autism and Anxiety Module Wednesday 13th March 9-12.30 Oakhill Centre – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)

AET Using the Progression Framework: Autism Education Trust Progression Framework 20th March 2024 9-12.30 Oakhill Centre – Access to Education (birmingham.gov.uk)