Children with special educational needs and/or disability

Information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs and/or disability

The information on these pages has been put together to enable parents who have a child with disabilities and/or special needs to find the information they are looking for in one place. 

There is information on a wide range of subjects and organisations. It has been arranged alphabetically so hopefully you can find what you want easily.

Video of the parent conference

On March 2nd 2017 Sandwell Parent Voice held a conference to look at the Sandwell SEND Local Offer and other issues that are important to parents and families. We have produced a video record of the day.

Benefits and financial support - Information about the benefits you could be entitled to including housing benefit, council tax benefit, education benefits as well as where to get advice and support. As well as the GOV.UK and Money Advice Service websites there are also a number of voluntary organisations that can give advice about benefits including:

Changing Places Toilets - Toilets that have been specially adapted to meet the needs of people with significant disabilities. In Sandwell there are Changing Places toilets at:

Childcare - Find out about the different types of childcare, how to find local childcare, free childcare places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds and working in childcare

Children's centres - Find out where your local children centre is and what they have to offer

Children with Disabilities Team - Are a social care team that supports children and young people with disabilities up to the age of 18, and their families.

Connexions - Provides information, advice and guidance on making choices about learning jobs and careers

Contact a Family is a national organisation for families with disabled children. It has a wealth of information, advice and support that families can draw on. 

Diagnosis - Find here information and useful websites that can help you and your family through the process of diagnosis

Inclusion Support Early Years  - The Inclusion Support Early Years team support children in their early years who have individual or special educational needs (SEN) / disabilities.  

Family support - All sorts of children and families can have problems. This could be because of disability or family breakdown or from difficulties that many parents face in responding to their child's changing needs. It could be from domestic violence, or issues of drug and alcohol misuse. 

Food safety - Find out about how to prevent food poisoning at home. 

Getting around - Find out about public transport, concessionary travel passes, school travel passes, where to find timetable information for all local buses, trains and the Metro and other schemes in Sandwell and nationally that can help you and your child get around.

Healthy Sandwell, healthy you - Find out about quitting smoking, alcohol and drugs support, getting active, mental health and wellbeing, local health services and healthy eating.

Housing - Find out about getting a council house, paying your rent, reporting a repair, housing associations, benefits and help for the homeless or at risk

Inclusion support - Works across Sandwell to improve the education, learning, development and mental health and wellbeing of all children and young people (ages 0 - 25) with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable and / or have special educational needs.

Leisure, parks and events - Find out about your local leisure centre, parks, libraries, museums, community centres, markets and allotments.

Local Offer - This is the term used to describe information about services which are available locally to support children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their families

Becoming an adult - Find out here what choices your child has when they leave school

Road safety - Find out about staying safe and keeping your children safe on Sandwell's roads

Sandwell Autism Group - a parent participation group that feeds into Sandwell Parent Voice about issues that are more autism specific. To take part and to get more details contact Rebecca Harris, Family Outreach Worker at Autism West Midlands on 0121-450-7582

Sandwell Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) - A local independent service, delivered by Action for Children, offering advice, information and support for parents and carers of children aged 0-19 with special educational needs. The service feeds information about the issues raised by parents into Sandwell Parent Voice.  

Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children (SPDC) - Sandwell Parents for Disabled Children's (SPDC) core function is to provide play, leisure and social opportunities for disabled children with the inclusion of siblings and parents/carers and to work with other service providers to ensure that disabled children are included.

Sandwell Parent Voice - every Local Authority has a parent forum which encourages the participation of parents in the development of services for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities. Sandwell Parent Voice is the parent forum in Sandwell. If you would like to be part of the group it can be contacted on SandwellParentVoice@outlook.com  or by phone on 0121 555 1821. 

Sandwell Special Educational Needs Service - Find out how the Special Educational Needs service can help you if you are worried that your child is having difficulties learning at school

Schools and learning - Find out about the special schools, primary and secondary schools, pupil referral units and colleges in Sandwell, school admissions, term dates, school closures, adult learning, teaching, school meals and milk, special educational needs and school holiday activities

School holiday activities and events - Find out about the fun activities to do in Sandwell during the school holidays

SEND - This stands for Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. The abbreviation is used to describe the children and young people who are served by the Local Offer (see above). The terms have specific legal definitions. More details can be found in the SEND Code of Practice

Short breaks - Can give you a break from their caring responsibilities and your child with a disability the opportunity to spend time away from their family and experience positive activities and form new relationships.