SEN bulletin January 2024

Message from Madhu

Following an extensive recruitment and selection campaign in autumn, I am delighted to announce that Aretha Banton will be taking up post as Assistant Director SEND and Inclusion on 15 April 2024.

Aretha is very excited to be joining Ealing and to be building on the tremendous achievements of teams working to improve the lives of children and young people with SEND and additional needs. In this role, Aretha will be leading statutory SEND services, inclusion teams and working with partners to deliver the aims of our SEND Strategy.

Aretha is currently Strategic Head of Education, Quality and Inclusion in Medway where she has led the council’s transformation programme for SEND services. In her council based roles, she has led school effectiveness teams, SEND and EP services, Early Years, Commissioning and QA, Exclusions and AP and Fair Access. Aretha also took the lead in developing Medway’s self-evaluation for SEND and forward planning to secure sufficiency of places.

Prior to her work in Medway, Aretha was a vice principal in two large academy trusts. She has worked as a senior leader across all phases of education from EYFS to P16.

Aretha joins Ealing with extensive experience of working with services to ensure a holistic approach to education and inclusion. She is passionate about ensuring that children and young people have access to the right services at the right time.

Celebrate our pupils, schools and settings!

Let’s celebrate the useful, up to date and detailed App Bs schools have been providing at the point of statutory assessment. This makes a big difference to a pupil’s final EHCP. 0-14 panel has seen some great examples from St Joseph’s, Montpelier and West Acton primary schools recently.

Ealing SEND Information and Advice Support Service (IASS)

From 2 January 2024 Ealing Isaid will transfer from Family Action to Your Voice in Health and Social Care and will now be known as Ealing SEND Information and Advice Support Service (IASS).

Tel: 0203 886 2062

Early Start SEND and inclusion team

Almost every primary school in Ealing has at least one pupil in nursery or reception with complex needs – pre-verbal, early stages of toilet training, self-directed and or overwhelmed by the school environment. Please reach out to the Early Start SEND and Inclusion team for support at school, home and for SENIF; under 5’s can still access health visitor support for toilet training.

Early Start email:
Tel: 020 8102 5888

Find the referral form and dates of the Early Start SEND panel here: SEND and inclusion - early years | Ealing Grid for Learning (

Training to book/review this month

View the latest training via Ealing CP Online Development Opportunities | Ealing Schools CPD Online (

Here is a selection:

Springhallow Outreach Autism conference 9 February 2024

Book your place via CPD online

For further information or to request a booking form contact: Nichola Curran

Featured webinar from whole school SEND

This month’s featured webinar is Meeting the needs of every child (1.30pm - 3.30pm) | Nasen

This webinar is repeated through the year and is suitable for any staff in EYFS and in PVIs to gain a clear understanding of how to meet the needs of every child. Whole school SEND webinars are on zoom, so make sure this is set up. Any member of staff can set up a free individual NASEN account – why not do this as part of a staff meeting?

Intensive interaction and attention autism introductory sessions

Free introductory training sessions for early years staff on two essential interventions for children with SEND on Thursday 8 February, 1-3.30pm at the EEC.

Contributions for SENCO celebration conference 2024

This free to Ealing Senco’s conference is scheduled for Wednesday 6 March 2024.

A nourishing and invigorating programme is being planned and there will be a marketplace of local providers and charities for you to get to know face to face. If you have a project you would like to present, or speaker you would like to hear, please contact the Sam:

Annual review improvement project

SENAS would love to hear from you if you would like to participate in the project to improve the Annual Review process for our children with EHCPs.

Contact Sam and she will pass on your details:

Signposts for parents

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, which is providing Tier 2 MT support in Ealing, has a text based crisis helpline for anyone in need of support.

Speech and language therapy service

The programme for Spring SaLT workshops for parents is out now!

Progression and pathways event

The Progression to Level 2 event for Ealing students will be held on Wednesday 19 June 2024.

We understand that some schools will be bringing students who are interested in courses at level 2 and below to the event and if that is the case please complete the school booking link: Progression to Level 2 careers event 19 June 2024 - Booking form for Schools

However, we are also keen for parents to attend. Please circulate this information to parents/carers of students in Year 10 and 11 that you think could benefit.

Two new groups from Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support ( HACS)

Top Tip

Have you thought of using the United Nations Convention for the rights of the child (UNCRC) reflection tool to strengthen inclusion?

For example in one setting 2 EY children needed to wear eye patches for part of the day, so the staff bought extras and put them in the role play area for all children to access. This tip came from a session on Using the UNCRC to reflect on SEN practice.

Did you Know?

That an EP report is not required to submit a request for statutory assessment? Although an EP report will be part of any assessment, it is not required as part of a request, where there is other professional evidence available such as an ASD assessment, SaLT, OT or CAMHS reports.

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Last updated: 25 Jan 2024

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