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Guide produced to help young people with special educational needs get ready for adulthood

A guide to help young people with special educational needs (SEND) get ready for adulthood has been published following feedback from young people, parents and carers across Sefton.

The ‘Preparing for Adulthood Guide’ was produced by staff from Sefton Council, Buddy Up and Sefton Carers Centre in partnership with young people and the Sefton Parent Carer Forum.

Aimed at young people with SEND who are approaching their latter school years, it gives information on the preparing-for-adulthood process, what to expect, what they should be considering at each stage and who to contact for support and information.

Parents and carers can also use the guide to find more information about the future options for young people in their care.

Topics covered in the guide include further education, training and employment, independent living, healthy lifestyle choices and how to participate in our communities.

The new guide has been developed following feedback from young people, parents and carers across Sefton.

Tanya Wilcock, Head of Communities for Sefton Council, said: “This guide has been co-produced and co-designed with young people and their families and will be a valuable resource for them.

“I’d like to thank our partners across the social care, voluntary, education and health sectors for their contributions. Thanks also to the team for coordinating and supporting all the work that went into its production.”

Andrew Jennings, from Sefton Council’s Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team, said: “This guide has been produced to help children and young people with SEND enjoy meaningful, independent and fulfilling lives and give them useful information and resources to help them achieve as much as they possibly can.

“We’re really proud of it and we hope that children and young people across Sefton find it helpful as they transition in to adulthood.”

The guide can be accessed and downloaded at Sefton’s Local Offer website . It will also be made available to schools and colleges.

Stephen Evans, Preparing for Adulthood Manager for Sefton Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion Service, said: “The Sefton ‘Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Guide’ provides key information on the four key PfA themes – Community, Health, Independent Living and Employment.

“Developed in conjunction with Sefton Parent Carer Forum, the guide will help young people and their families prepare for the transition to adulthood.

“It gives information on the preparing-for-adulthood process, what to expect, what young people should be considering at each stage and who to contact for support and information.”

Emma Lambert, Sefton CVS Buddy Up Coordinator, said: “Sefton’s ‘Preparing for Adulthood Guide’ is a useful tool to help young people and their families think about what they want their future to look like and find out what support is available to get them there.

“Having the right Information and being made aware of their options is the key to these young people reaching their full potential.”

 

Sefton Council to provide free school meals during half-term

To meet the needs of local children and their families during half-term, Sefton Council will be providing free school meals. You can apply using the e-form provided on the dedicated October half-term free school meals webpage 

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member – Communities and Housing said:

“Sefton Council are putting in place a scheme to support children and their families accessing free school meals in the borough during this half term. We will be sharing more information on how to access the scheme as soon as possible.

 “We will also continue to provide additional funding and support to our local voluntary sector partners, including the local food banks who are well stocked to enable them to help some of Sefton’s hardest hit families during these difficult times.

 “Our family wellbeing centres in Talbot Street (Southport), Marie Clarke (Bootle) and Netherton also remain open to families who need their support during half-term. We have also increased the funding available to our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme, and would encourage anyone in Sefton who may need extra support at this time to contact the council on 0345 140 0845.”

A message from the Sefton Director of Public Health to parents and carers during half-term 

Dear parents and carers,

On 12 October 2020 a national system of local COVID alert levels was introduced.
Central government imposed ‘Very High’ (Tier 3) alert level regulations for Sefton and the rest of Liverpool City Region on 14 October 2020.

With schools and educational settings due to break for half term, we wanted to provide some information about what these measures mean so that you can consider these circumstances when planning half term activities. It is now more important than ever that people follow these latest measures.

Health care leaders from across Merseyside are also encouraging all residents to play their part by:

1. washing your hands
2. avoiding crowds
3. keeping your distance
4. not meeting other households in houses or indoor venues, e.g. restaurants
5. using face coverings – these should cover the nose and mouth
6. staying at home and getting tested if you have symptoms no matter how mild – the main symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Tests should be booked at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
7. following self-isolation advice if you are the contact of a positive case or a household member of a symptomatic individual Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do the measures mean?

The measures state that it is now against the law to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as restaurants. You must not have children from other households or families to stay in your home, for example for dinner or a sleepover. You must also not meet with people outside of your household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in groups of 6 or less, including children of any age, in certain outdoor public spaces. These outdoor public spaces include parks, beaches, outdoor sports facilities and public gardens. Please remember HANDS, FACE, SPACE when out.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles. Children can also spend time with another parents as part of a joint custody arrangement.

Further information about measures can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19

 

Can children and young people take part in Halloween activities?

October half term is usually a time for family activities and to enjoy the Autumn period.

Sadly, this year, in Sefton and other parts of Merseyside we are asking people not to take part in traditional trick or treating. ‘Trick or Treating’ can increase infection risk by increasing social mixing between different households. Furthermore, Halloween parties with children and adults from different household are not permitted. We know that it is a difficult time for children and young people, especially as they will not be able to take part in some usual Halloween night activities. Further guidance, and advice on suggested alternatives, will be available over the coming days.

What are the rules around childcare?

Registered childcare providers, including nannies, people in your support bubble and people in your childcare bubble can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must always be between the same 2 households. Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare.

Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.

 

I was previously shielding/was identified as extremely clinically vulnerable, what do the measures mean for me?

The Liverpool City Region, including Sefton, have had local restrictions imposed but Shielding has NOT been reintroduced across the region.

It is however advised that clinically extremely vulnerable people do take special care for example by avoiding busy areas to minimise the chance of coming into close contact with others, staying at home as much as possible and where possible working from home. Where there is no alternative, people can still go to work but their employer is required to take steps to ensure your workplace is COVID-secure.

If you have any concerns or queries regarding medical needs, please check with your GP or Consultant.

 

My child or the child I care for was previously identified as extremely clinically vulnerable, what does this mean for them?

All pupils and students should continue to attend education settings within Sefton under the new regulations, unless they are one of the very small number of pupils or students under pediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend an education setting.

Is there any support for my child’s health and wellbeing?

It is important that we take care of the health and wellbeing of children and young people across Sefton during these challenging times. That means that we as parents  and carers must look after our own mental health. If you would like some advice or information on help available visit www.sefton.gov.uk/miscellaneous-pages/health-andwellbeing-for-children-and-young-people-during-covid19.aspx

Finally, I would like to address a worrying rise in the spread of misinformation about COVID-19. Suggestions that the pandemic is a hoax, or caused by 5G, and the refusal of some to wear a mask or comply with the new guidance serves only to cause confusion and puts lives at risk.

COVID-19 and its effects on people’s lives and livelihoods is very real. While I completely understand the frustration that many people feel at further restrictions, I plead with every resident in Sefton to protect one another by following them.

If you have any questions about the virus, or the restrictions please do visit our website where you will lots of information and advice at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19

Many thanks for your support in helping us through these difficult circumstances.

Yours Sincerely
MARGARET JONES
Director of Public Health
Sefton Council

Borough’s teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and pupils praised

Cllr John Joseph Kelly Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding has praised the Borough’s teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and pupils themselves for the all that they are doing to ensure children can safely attend school.

Cllr Kelly said: “As with the rest of the region, it is a rapidly changing picture with as many as one third of schools in Sefton having been affected in some way.

“We have had class and year bubbles and the staff who work with them sent home while others are returning following periods of self-isolation.

Rumours

He continued: “Schools have done a great job informing parents and reassuring them that every effort is being made to ensure that children can safely attend school and to quell any rumours that may be being spread.

“Schools have also been also following Department for Education and Public Health England guidelines and we are all doing everything we can to ensure that our children and young people do not miss out on their vital education.”

“I would like to say a personal ‘thank you’ to teachers, schools staff, parents and carers and to the pupils themselves for working with us during this challenging period and also to wish a speedy recovery to anyone who is unwell.”

Symptoms

Cllr Kelly went on to emphasise the importance of anyone with coronavirus symptoms of a raised temperatures, new constant cough or a loss of taste or smell, booking a test as soon as they are able.

He said: “Testing is key to helping prevent the spread of infections and with the current pressure on accessing appointments, we would remind people that they should only book a test if they have the coronavirus

“They should not be trying to book themselves a test because their child has symptoms or has been sent home from school.”

Details of the latest restrictions affecting the region and how people might be affected by them can be found on the Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk/coronavirus along with a list of Frequently Asked Questions. These Questions cover a range of areas including people’s households and social life, their support bubbles and childcare, support for vulnerable people and education.

Easy-to-follow guide for parent & carers on COVID-19 procedures for pupils

To help reassure parents and carers who are concerned about what will happen if a pupil or student becomes unwell with COVID-19 at a school or college, Sefton Council has produced a new, easy-to-follow-chart, which maps the process.

Symptoms

It explains that if a pupil is ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 – a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell – they must stay away from school or college.

Parents and cares should inform the school or college and book an appointment for a coronavirus test at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.

The child should isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms start and other members of the household including any brother and sisters should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptoms began.

If the child is not showing coronavirus symptoms, parents and carers should follow the normal sickness procedure for the school or college.

Positive test result

The chart explains that if the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a positive test result, they must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days and their school or college should be informed immediately. After the 10 days are complete, if their symptoms are only the cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, they can go back. If they still have a high temperature, they should continue self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the 14 days.

Negative test result

If the child with COVID_19 symptoms receives a negative test result, they can return to school or college and stop self-isolating when they are well and free from symptoms. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating too.

Becoming unwell while at school or college

If a pupil becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms at school or college, they will be sent home and should follow the ‘stay at home’ guidance for households with possible or confirmed ‘coronavirus infection’ along with other with members of their household.

While the pupil is awaiting collection, actions to improve ventilation and minimise contact will be taken and once they have been collected, staff will follow hand hygiene processes and will clean any affected area.

The school or college setting will inform parents, carers and pupils if additional actions are required.

When a pupil or staff member has tested positive, parents and carers will be informed about any actions required.

Testing positive after attending school or college

If a pupil or member of staff tests positive after attending school or college, parents and carers will be told if any additional actions are required.

If an outbreak is confirmed in a school, Public Health England advice will be followed. This may include larger numbers of pupils and staff members having to self-isolate.

Anyone who is contacted by Public Health England as a contact of a case, must self-isolate for 14 days even if receive a negative test result.

 

 

 

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