Spring 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to the Spring 2024 edition of the Wakefield SEND Local Offer Newsletter.

1st – 7th April is Autism Acceptance Week. This issue features clubs run by a local autism charity.

1st – 7th May is Deaf Awareness Week. Find out more about local deaf services by visiting



We will be sharing more special days on the WESAIL and Local Offer Facebook page. Follow our page by visiting https://www.facebook.com/WakefieldWESAILandLocalOffer

We always appreciate your feedback. We use your ideas in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Please help us by filling in our quick survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7BMHJC3


Happy reading,

Wakefield Early Support Advice Information Liaison (WESAIL) Service

Find these services and groups


Flexi Totz Shining Stars Gymnastics https://bit.ly/3Sjlrw8

Things to do – gymnastics classes for children with sensory and development needs


Normanton Sports Acro Gymnastics https://bit.ly/3w4tN37

Things to do – rebound therapy and 1-2-1 sessions for children and young people with SEND


SPROUT Growing Works https://bit.ly/49ioPy2

Things to do -  gardening club for families who have a child or young person with additional needs up to age 12


Wakefield Parent Carer Forum SEND Soft Play https://bit.ly/49efdoc

Things to do – exclusive use of soft play for WPCF members


Epilepsy Society https://bit.ly/42tQ0nx

Service - research, advocacy, care and resources for people living with epilepsy.


Learn and Thrive - Learning for Life https://bit.ly/3vZ1umP

Service – relationships and sex education for young people with Down’s Syndrome.


Learn and Thrive - Teach Me Too https://bit.ly/3OpjY6p

Service – Early Years and Key Stage 1 teaching resources for children with Down’s Syndrome


Little People UK https://bit.ly/4bhHEU1

Service – National charity supporting people with dwarfism.


Wakefield Parent Carer Forum SEND Coffee and Chat https://bit.ly/3HJ6vCw

Service – Informal chat sessions with other SEND Parents and Carers


What does impartial mean

Impartial means not taking sides.

The Special Educational Needs and or Disabilities Information Advice Support Service (SENDIASS) is an impartial service. It offers information and advice based on facts and what the law says.

If a SENDIASS officer attends a meeting, they will listen and give advice. They attend the meeting to help everyone do what the law says.

SENDIASS try to provide enough information for people to make their own choice.

Find out how SENDIASS work with you by visiting



What is advocacy

Advocacy is where you get help from someone to communicate your views and feelings. An advocate will help you stand up for your rights. An advocate can help make sure that decisions about your future take into account your views and needs.

If you have an advocate with you at a meeting, they will help your ideas and wishes be heard. They can also help you feel safe.

If your child or young person needs advocacy, contact the Children’s Advocacy and Participation Service (CAPS).

Find out more about CAPS by visiting https://bit.ly/3O7JgWm


A Vision for SEND and Alternative Provision

The Government has a new Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan. The plan sets out a way towards a national system. This is to make a more inclusive society. The system looks to provide the right support, at the right time in the right place for children and young people with SEND, or those in AP, wherever they live in the country.

The Change Programme builds on this plan and sets the aim for the future of the SEND and AP system.

To reach this vision, the new system is planned to:


  • Fulfil children’s potential

Children and young people with SEND or in AP enjoy their childhood. They get good outcomes and are ready for adulthood and employment.

  • Build parents’ trust

Parents and carers have a fairer system that is easier to understand. This will be across education, health and care. Parents and carers will be confident that their child or young person gets the right support.


  • Provide financial sustainability

Local leaders make the best use of money in the high needs budget. This money is to meet children and young people’s needs and improve outcomes. Making best use of money will keep councils within budget.


The SEND and AP system will be joined up across health, schools and colleges and care.  These local SEND and AP partnerships will work together to produce an inclusion plan.  The plan will set out how they will work together to get and deliver support. The aim of the plan is for children, young people and their parent carers to have their needs identified and met.

Change Programme Partnership (CPP)

Throughout the country, the Change Programme is made up of 32 local areas. These are organised into 9 regional Change Programme Partnerships (CPPs). Each CPP has a lead Local Authority (LA), a partner Integrated Care Board (ICB) and up to 3 partner LAs. 

Wakefield Council are the lead LA for the Yorkshire and Humber Region Change Programme.  Our partner Las are Bradford, Calderdale and Leeds Council. We are also working with the West Yorkshire ICB.

CPPs are doing a 'whole system testing' of key reforms from the SEND and AP Improvement Plan. This means looking at how the reforms work together with current parts of SEND and AP systems. This testing will help stop unintended problems. If the reforms are rolled out nationally, testing will improve future delivery.​

The areas Wakefield will be leading and working on in partnership throughout the two year Change Programme are:

  • Local Area Inclusion Plans (LAIP)
  • Local SEND and AP Partnerships
  • Inclusion Dashboard
  • National Standards
  • Multi-Agency Panels
  • Education Health and Care Plan Template
  • Strengthening Mediation
  • Advisory Tailored Lists
  • Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforce

The Feedback Loop



When we test the SEND and AP reforms in Wakefield, feedback will be an ongoing process. Feedback will tell us about what is working and not working. This will help the Department for Education to get a true picture of what it takes to make these changes. It will also stop any unintended problems, to make a future nationally consistent system.


To find out more or keep updated, visit https://wakefield.mylocaloffer.org/change-programme-partnership/change-programme-partnership/


Anxiety Tips


Here are your tips for helping children and young people deal with anxiety. Thank you to everyone who sent one in.



Grounding technique. Name:

·       5 things you can see

·       4 things you can touch

·       3 things you can hear

·       2 things you can smell

·       1 thing you can taste




Watch a favourite film and eat popcorn




Put headphones on and listen to music




Tell jokes


For more information on anxiety visit:


Buzz Compass



Young Minds




Under 13 year olds


Over 13 year olds



Anxiety UK






With thanks to Wakefield Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for this information.

The CAMHS Eating Disorder Service supports young people with eating difficulties and disorders. CAMHS works together with their parents, carers and families too.

Our job is firstly meet with the young person and their family to understand the difficulties a young person is facing.

Then we decide the next steps, which is known as treatment or a care plan. This can include:

  • Signposting to other support
  • Guided self-help and coaching
  • Meal planning and support
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Invitation to group support (for parents, carers and family members too)
  • Ongoing physical health monitoring
  • Exercise and activity support


Most of our support is provided in ‘the community’. This means that a young person comes in to see us at our clinic or we visit them at home. We can also meet in an agreed community place such as a school or café.


During treatment, our team will work with the young person and family to set a recovery goal. The recovery goal is personal to each young person and could include;

  • reaching a target weight
  • developing normal eating patterns
  • seeing the return of a menstrual cycle (which may have previously stopped due to the eating disorder).


Once recovery is in sight, a relapse prevention plan will be created with the young person and family. The plan is created before they are discharged from the service. The plan will help to identify potential triggers. Triggers are things that could make the young person poorly again. The plan also supports the young person to use the skills they’ve learnt during treatment. This is to continue their recovery.


This information has been taken from the CAMHS Eating Disorders Service leaflet. To view or download the full leaflet, please visit the Professional Information section of https://www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk/services/camhs-wakefield/



Brilliant Birds SEND SESSIONS

Thursday 28 March and Friday 5 April


Castleford Museum, Carlton St, Castleford WF10 1BB

Drop in



Calling all little nature lovers.

Our fascinating flocks of birds have lost their eggs in the Museum.

Become a nature detective and help our brilliant birds find their missing eggs.

Make your own egg hangers, bird masks and neat nests to carry on the adventure at home.


SEND groups are always welcome at all of our sessions.

We are also running these SEND sessions for visitors who benefit from a more relaxed atmosphere.
The sessions will be run with more sensory activities and more focus on independent learning.
There will also be a lower light level and with a sensory tent and ear defenders available upon request


Facebook Event https://www.facebook.com/events/7068182619871062/7068182633204394/?ref=newsfeed



Relaxed Openings at Wakefield and Pontefract Museums


We have also recently launched Relaxed openings at Pontefract Museum and Wakefield Museum


Relaxed openings means that:

Any loud noises will be turned down or turned off.

It will not be busy.

You can be yourself.

We have fidget and sensory objects to help you relax and explore.

There is a pop-up tent quiet space if you need it.

You can also try our activity sheets and crafts.


Entry is still free. You do not need to book. Everybody is welcome.



Relaxed openings Wakefield Museum

Every Thursday from 4pm – 6.30pm at Wakefield Museum is a relaxed opening session.


For more access information about Wakefield Museum go to https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/museums-and-castles/wakefield-museum/access-to-wakefield-museum/


Relaxed Opening Pontefract Museum

Every Tuesday from 2pm – 4pm at Pontefract Museum is a relaxed opening session.


For more access information about Pontefract Museum go to https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/museums-and-castles/pontefract-museum/access-to-pontefract-museum/


Email any suggestions for our Relaxed Openings to museumslearning@wakefield.gov.uk


Beat Autism – Kids Groups and Clubs


Beat Autism are a charity that run clubs for autistic children and young people.


Clubs on offer are:


Gaming Group – age 10+

Eastmoor Rugby Club, 110 Woodhouse Road, Eastmoor, Wakefield, WF1 4RD.

This group runs every Wednesday evening, 6.15pm - 7.30pm

Cost: £3.00 per child




Eastmoor Rugby Club, 110 Woodhouse Road, Eastmoor, Wakefield, WF1 4RD.

This group runs every Wednesday evening, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Cost: £3.00 per child


Soft Play

Cloud 9, The Old Auction House, 6 Illingworth Street, Ossett, WF5 8AL.

This group runs every Monday, 4.00pm-6.00pm

Cost: £4.50 per child

Booking is essential for each club.


Find out more and book at https://beatautism.co.uk/kids-clubs/



LaserZone SEND friendly sessions


LaserZone Castleford offer SEND friendly sessions each month. These run on the second Sunday of each month at 10am and 10.20am.


LaserZone make changes to the game to support children and young people with SEND. These include:


  • Additional lighting inside the laser tag arena
  • Reduced music levels inside the laser tag arena & foyer
  • Reduced special effects including artificial smoke limited to a light haze
  • Reduced player numbers, capacity limited to two-thirds.

They also make changes to support those who may be anxious about the competitive element the game. LaserZone will:

  • Give every guest a certificate of participation
  • Switch off our score screens
  • Only provide scorecards if requested. These will be provided in an envelope to be opened in private after the event has finished.


Find out more and book by visiting https://www.laserzone.co.uk/send



The Wakefield SEND Local Offer Live event is happening on Wednesday 8th May 2024.


It will take place at the Education Exchange, Spawd Bone Lane, Knottingley, WF11 0EP. The event is from 1pm until 7pm. It is for parents, carers, children and young people and professionals.



This event is free and you do not need to book.


Local Offer Live is a chance to see what SEND provision is available across the Wakefield district. There will be services, groups and activity providers. You can meet staff, ask questions and find out about what there is in Wakefield.


There will also be workshops running during the day. A workshop is where you can find out more about services and support.


You can find out more about the event, including the services attending, by following us on Facebook.





Thanks to the parents and carers who sent in more suggestions about where to go with your Max Card:

Monkey Maze, Garforth


0113 2872766


Rainbow Playrooms, Wakefield


01924 682135


National Coal Mining Museum


01924 848806


The Secret Garden, Horbury


01924 270011  


Swithens Farm


0113 282 8828


Have you got a Max Card? It can help you go on days out for free or with a discount. A discount is when you get money off the usual price. A Max Card lasts for 2 years. A Max Card is free if you join the Information Network. This is also called the IN. You can join the IN by visiting https://wakefield.mylocaloffer.org/informationnetwork/how-can-i-join/

For places you can visit, go to https://mymaxcard.co.uk

 If you have lost your card, or it has expired (this means the date has run out) then contact the IN. They will help you get a new one. You can email them at informationnetwork@wakefield.gov.uk

You can also ring them on 01924 302471.

Last updated: 3/27/2024