25 April 2024 SEND Guidance: Supporting children and young people from Black and Minoritised Communities

Our new SEND guidance focusing on supporting children and young people from Black and Minoritised Communities is now available.

All staff in Bristol Schools, Early Years Settings and Colleges are encouraged to read the guidance which is based on discussions with parent carers of CYP with SEND from Black and Minoritised Communities in the city. The guidance includes:

  • statistics about SEND in Black and Minoritised Communities in Bristol
  • the experiences of families from Black and Minoritised Communities and advice about:
  • implementing the graduated response
          • effective communication with parent carers
          • inclusive settings which understand and welcome CYP and families from Black and Minoritised Communities and
          • support for parent carers

9 April 2024 SEND AND YOU (SAY) recruitment

SEND and You (SAY) is recruiting an Information, Advice, and support line practitioner. Find out more and apply on the SAY website Go to https://www.sendandyou.org.uk/ias-practitioner/ (opens new window).

SEND and You (SAY) is recruiting South Glos Area Practitioner. Find out more and apply on the SAY website Go to https://www.sendandyou.org.uk/sg-practitioner/ (opens new window).

21 March 2024: Bristol City Council to receive over £50m in funding from the Department for Education as part of the Safety Valve programme

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that Bristol City Council (BCC) has been included in its Safety Valve (SV) Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) management programme.

The local authority will receive £53.79m over a period of seven years to address the historic DSG deficit. The DSG includes High Needs Block funding which funds services for children and young people (CYP) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

There are 34 local authorities across England that have already joined the Safety Valve programme to gain access to the additional support and funding offered by the DfE initiative.

The agreement with the DfE also means that BCC will invest up to £46.5m as part of the programme.

The full details of the Safety Valve agreement were under embargo by the DfE until announced on the 21 March, read more on Bristol City Council to receive over £50m in extra funding from the Department for Education.

7 March 2024: Together for SEND family and practitioner support day on 20 March 2024

Bristol Parent Carers are hosting a free day of learning and discovery. It's open to anyone, from families to school staff and health and care practitioners.

About the day

Date: 20 March 2024

Venue: BAWA Health and Leisure Club, 589 Southmead Road, Filton BS34 7RG

Time: from 8.45am to 4.45pm

The day will include:

  • 30 talks
  • interactive workshops
  • insightful clinics
  • over 50 exhibitors all under one roof

Bristol Parent Carers are offering to reimburse bus fares in cash on the day, and can support you if you need help with English.

Find out more and get tickets.

3 January 2024: Head of Service vacancy at SEND and You (SAY)

SEND and You (SAY) is recruiting a Head of Service. Find out more and apply on the SAY website.

8 December 2023: Top-up Funding consultation

Bristol City Council provides top-up funding for educational support provision for young people with SEND.

Top up funding goes towards supporting pupils in primary and secondary mainstream schools, and special schools.

The majority of the funding supports pupils with education, health, and care (EHC) plans with the highest levels of needs.

These proposals will not affect children and young people with SEND who have an EHC plan.

The aim of the consultation is to maximise the amount of the budget spent on education, and reduce the time and money spent on administration.

Your views matter. Respond to the Top-Up Funding Consultation.

The consultation closes midnight  Wednesday 13 December 2023.

4 December 2023: Home to school travel consultation

Bristol City Council provides home to school travel services to empower children and young people to travel to and from education safely and as independently as possible.

We regularly review our home to school travel policies to make sure they're:

  • still in line with current national guidance
  • fair for children and families
  • an effective use of available resource

We've recently reviewed our existing policies for home to school travel support. We're doing this to make our existing offer clearer for parents and carers. As part of the review, we've identified some things we think need to change. We're asking for your feedback on these proposals through a public consultation.

Your views are important to us. Respond to the home to school travel consultation.

The consultation is open until Wednesday 17 January 2024. Respond by then to make sure your views are taken into account before any decision is made.

23 November 2023: Short breaks service consultation

Short breaks are supportive family services that allow parents and carers to have time out from their caring responsibilities looking after children who have additional needs or disabilities. They also give children and young people with additional needs or disabilities the opportunity to visit places, take part in fun and enjoyable activities, and try new things.

Bristol City Council needs to make savings from the next financial year onwards, but intends to continue short breaks services across the city.

Respond to our short breaks consultation to find out more information about the proposals and have your say on the changes.

The consultation is open from Monday 20 November and will close at midnight on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

20 April 2023: Information published for applicant groups applying to open a new Special Free School

Contextual information for applicant groups applying to open a new Special Free School.

14 March 2023: New independent living centre opening at Ashley Down Campus, City of Bristol College

Following the success of the Brislington Centre Go to https://www.cityofbristol.ac.uk/support/additional-learning-support/the-brislington-centre/ (opens new window), City of Bristol College Go to files/documents/2791-post-16-education-directory-2022/file (opens new window) will be opening a brand new residential independent living centre for young people with disabilities at the Ashley Down Campus in September 2023.

The centre is for young people aged 18 to 24 with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. Students living at the centre develop independent living skills, and gain employability skills and work experience while having opportunities to socialise with other students.

If you have any questions or would like to book a place at an open event, contact Adam Metcalfe on:

Applications are open. The closing date is 31 March 2023.

8 March 2023: SEND and alternative provision improvement plan

The Department for Education (DfE) has set out its plans to change the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision system in England.

The DfE's plans explain what they will do to make sure more children and young people with SEND, or those in alternative provision, get the support they need.

See the:

15 December 2022: SEND peer reviews and training

From January 2023, we're introducing a new approach to SEND peer reviews for Bristol schools. SEND peer reviews involve leaders from Bristol schools working together to identify what's working well and what needs to improve in education settings.

We're doing SEND peer review training for Bristol SENDCOs and school leaders on 25 January 2023. Book a place Go to https://www.tradingwithschools.org/Event/187681 (opens new window).

If you have any questions about SEND peer reviews, email sendreviews@bristol.gov.uk

13 December 2022: Invitation to Black and Minoritised Communities to share their views about SEND in Bristol schools

We're writing guidance for schools to help them with their support of children with SEND from Black and Minoritised Communities.

This work is important because we know there are significant national differences in how children from Black and Minoritised Communities are identified as having SEND. Research from the University of Oxford in 2018 and feedback from parent carers has confirmed this is also true in Bristol.

We want to make sure that any guidance we give schools is based on the views and experiences of our local families. To do this, we need to hear from as many parents as possible about their experiences.

If you want to share your experiences, fill in our Parent carer survey Go to https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=pad4YyEPgkSu4Il-t94zHw8xD2Q74M5BhvlzNF-jbddUN1REOEtZNjU0NEI3NDRCVTQxQ1U5UEtUNi4u (opens new window) by 31 January 2023.

The information you share is completely confidential. We will not share your names with anyone at Bristol City Council or with schools.

If you'd rather talk to someone about your experiences, email gabrielle.stacey@bristol.gov.uk

29 September 2022: Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan performance data published 

Bristol City Council have published their performance data for finalised EHC plans on the Open Data website. 

An EHC plan is a legal, personalised document that sets out a child or young person's: 

  • education, health and care needs 
  • support they will get to meet those needs
  • aims for the next 12 months, as well as longer term goals

Each plan should be finalised within 20 weeks of being received. 

Find the performance data on Bristol's Open Data website.

7 July 2022: SENDIAS service consultation

We're inviting you to participate in our consultation process for the SENDIAS Service, by completing a short survey.

In addition to consulting on this proposal, we would like young people and their families to tell us how they find out about services, how they want to contact them and how they best access information.

We will use this feedback to help define the communication methods that we require providers to use as part of delivering the SENDIAS Service.

This consultation will close on Monday 8 August. 

Consultation events

We will be holding two consultation events, which are opportunities to find out more about the draft commissioning strategy and ask any questions:

  • Wednesday 20 July, 10.30-11.30am, in person at city hall. Come along to the main reception and you will be guided to the correct room.
  • Thursday 28 July, 7pm to 8pm, virtual. Find details of how to join online.

27 June 2022: Guide to Ordinarily Available Provision for parent carers

Ordinarily available provision is the resources and support we expect to be available for children and young people with SEND in mainstream education settings.

A guide to ordinarily available provision for parent carers is now available on our Ordinarily Available Provision page. Parent carers may find it helpful to talk about ordinarily available provision with their child's school or setting when they meet to discuss the support they need.

The latest updates about services and support for children and young people with SEND.

25 May 2022: COVID-19 vaccinations for healthy children aged 5 to 11 

COVID-19 vaccinations are available for all children aged 5 to 11 years at clinics across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Children aged 5 to 11 are eligible for two doses of a lower (paediatric) version of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine is given 12 weeks after their first vaccine. 

If your child has a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, wait 12 weeks from the start of their infection before they are vaccinated. If they catch COVID after their first vaccine, they should wait 12 weeks before having their second dose. 

Children's clinics are being run by GPs, community pharmacies and the Vaccination Centre at UWE Bristol. All vaccination sites are working to make appointments convenient and welcoming for young children. 

To book an appointment:

Find out more about the vaccination and the effects of COVID-19 in young children on COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children aged 5 to 11 years.

25 May 2022: 5 to 11 year olds at high risk from a COVID-19 infection

Vaccination is particularly important for children who have health conditions that put them at high risk from COVID-19, because the benefits are greater. These children, and children who live with someone who has a weakened immune system, should already have been invited for vaccination by their GP or consultant.

The interval between vaccine doses for these children is 8 weeks. You cannot book a second dose appointment at 8 weeks using the  National Booking Service or by calling 119.

You must:

  • book an appointment through the child's GP
  • go to a 5 to 11 year old walk in clinic with proof of the child's condition
  • email bnssg.massvaccination@nhs.net to arrange an appointment

Find out about 5 to 11 walk in clinics in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Go to https://bnssghealthiertogether.org.uk/book-your-vaccine/covid/ (opens new window).

For more information about the health conditions visit COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children aged 5 to 11 years on or talk to your specialist or GP.

18 May 2022: Help shape the future of short breaks services in Bristol

We're in the early stages of recommissioning our short breaks services. 

We're seeking the views of parents and carers of disabled children and young people via an online survey.

The survey is open until Friday 22 July 2022.

Early engagement with parents, carers, professionals, and young people is currently underway to understand what their priorities are and what services they would like to access. 

The feedback will be used to develop formal proposals that will go out to public consultation later this year, with the aim to have recommissioned services in place by October 2023.

If you would like a paper copy of the survey or information in an alternative format, email jcu@bristol.gov.uk or phone 0739 210 8815.

18 May 2022: Avoiding mental health admissions

The South West National Network of Parent Carer Forums have made an online booklet to help parents or carers of young people with autism and or a learning disability with mental health concerns. It offer advice to find community support before your young person needs to be admitted to a tier 4 mental health hospital.

Read the booklet: Admission avoidance: how to avoid mental health admissions for young people with autism and or a learning disability 

17 May 2022: Children and young people's views about the SEND green paper

The SEND green paper ‘Right support, right place, right time' is currently out for consultation. 

To make sure that as many children and young people (CYP) with SEND in the city as possible have their say about the proposals, there are many ways that CYP can get involved.


The DfE have included 7 targeted questions for CYP in their online survey

Select the option ‘child/ young person (up to the age of 25)' in response to question (f) at the beginning of the survey to make sure that only these questions are available.


document Complete the consultation questions (24 KB) for inclusion in the city wide response to the Green Paper. 

Email your response to chris.duncan@bristol.gov.uk by Friday 22 June. 

All responses will remain anonymous and will be included in the city wide response.

The questions have also been sent directly to schools.


The Council for Disabled Children are looking for groups of CYP to participate in a consultation on the proposed changes. 

Full details of the approach are not yet available, however CYP, schools and parent carers can register their interest in taking part with Ga-Ling at ghardstaff@ncb.org.uk

10 May 2022: Disabled children and the Equality Act 2010

Schools have a range of duties under the Equality Act 2010:

  • to staff
  • as employees
  • to parents and others, where the school is providing a service to other people using the school
  • to pupils, staff and others who share other protected characteristics as well as disability

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has recently updated its guide to help teachers understand the legislation and how it applies to their work with disabled pupils in their school. It explains what the Equality Act requires of schools and of governors, trustees and others who are the ‘responsible body' for the school.

Find the full guide: Disabled Children and the Equality Act 2010: What teachers need to know and what schools need to do.

4 May 2022: New guidance for SENDCos

Three new documents that are now available for schools on the SEND Local Offer.

  pdf The SEND training offer for schools (390 KB) brings together all of the SEND training available across Bristol. This makes it easier for schools to plan what training they need and to know what is available.

As part of this focus on SEND workforce development in schools, we have also produced some pdf guidance on how to include information about the training and expertise of staff in your SEND information reports (233 KB) .

Guidance is also available to pdf help schools understand which tools to use to identify and assess SEND (391 KB)

If would like to give feedback on any of the guidance, email gabrielle.stacey@bristol.gov.uk

7 April 2022: Murmuration Community Therapy Group

Murmuration Community Therapy Group Go to https://www.murmurationcommunitytherapy.com/ (opens new window) has produced a video for professionals about improving relationships with parents. The video contains interviews with parents and carers of children and young people with SEND and recounts their lived experiences. Watch the video on the Murmuration website Go to https://www.murmurationcommunitytherapy.com/training (opens new window)

To find out more:

9 February 2022: Joint commissioning strategy for SEND services for children and young people in Bristol

We've published a new Local Area Joint Commissioning Strategy for SEND services for Children and Young People in Bristol with NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.

View the strategy.

26 January 2022: New person-centred Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment forms

We worked with parents, carers and professionals to design:

  • a new EHC needs assessment request form
  • a new family views form
  • 2 new child or young person's views forms 

The new and improved documents provide SEND professionals with a more person-centred assessment and planning tool, with children's and young people's (CYP) views at the heart of the process.

Find the updated information for:

The new template is part of the Time for Change programme which has the CYP voice at the centre of its developments. This is critical in identifying their hopes and where and how they would like support to achieve their aspirations.

Through workforce development, we'll work with the SEND community to drive a change in culture where the person-centred planning approach is fully embedded in SEND practice in Bristol.

17 January 2022: Review of Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) and Improvement Plan in Bristol

In 2021 Bristol City Council carried out a review into the effectiveness of ALP in Bristol.  We held engagement sessions with our community stakeholders and have published an Improvement Plan.

Read the report and plan.

For more information, email ALPHUB@bristol.gov.uk

11 January 2022

We've added information about the Community Dental Service to services that can help young people with SEND stay healthy.

6 January 2022

We've published 4 easy read guides to help understand SEND support in Bristol. You can find them to download at:

30 December 2021

We've added a new information page about the Inclusion service which helps children and young people with additional needs do play and leisure activities.

7 December 2021

Our get in touch page has been updated with where to get advice, how to give feedback and our SEND team structure.

We've also added more information about how to make complaints in the guide to resolving disagreements about SEND provision.

16 November 2021

Our project to build a new SEND top-up portal was selected by the Local Digital Fund.

We're excited that this innovative project has won Government support. This will make it easier and more consistent for our schools to apply for extra funding for pupils with SEND.

Find out more about top-up funding in Bristol.

8 November 2021

The final Written Statement of Action (WSoA) progress report is now available.

In 2019, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission carried out an inspection of SEND support in Bristol and identified a number of key areas for improvement.

We created the WSoA, setting milestones' every 4 months to achieve our aims. The final milestone was in July 2021, and this report looks at the progress we've made. 

21 October 2021

If you're looking for information about schools, special schools, or other education establishments with SEND resources, you can now use our new interactive map.

You can also find the map tool in the education section. We'll continue developing these features, so email any feedback to bristollocaloffer@bristol.gov.uk

28 October 2021: Specialist Provision Project

In 2020 we invited expressions of interest from schools in Bristol to increase sufficiency of specialist provision.

Phase 1 of the project has realised more than 68 specialist places so far and is ongoing. We're now ready to launch Phase 2. This will be more targeted to location, key stage and need type.

Our data has shown where we need to meet need across Bristol. We'll use this data to make sure the provision we develop meets the criteria based on the evidence.

More information will be available shortly. We'll contact education settings in targeted localities to see if they'd like to take part in the Specialist Provision Project. 

If you have any questions, please email the Specialist Places Manager at Jessica.Taylor@bristol.gov.uk. Further expressions of interest can be submitted until 1 December.

27 October 2021: Home to school travel service

We're experiencing escort staffing issues due to an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) and winter sickness.

There may be some temporary disruption to our usual service.  

We will inform you at our earliest opportunity if we need to cancel a route that supports your child in getting to and from school.

Thank you for your understanding.

25 October 2021: How can schools improve help for pupils seeking mental health support?

The last few years have been challenging for our pupils, and for some has had a huge impact on their mental health.

Educational providers are now acting as a key source of mental health support.

In a systematic review of the literature for her doctoral thesis, Educational Psychologist Fiona Marsh set out to investigate children's views of the facilitators and barriers to seeking support for their mental health needs in school.

Read a special pdf summary of the upcoming report for Bristol schools (241 KB) .

11 October 2021: Direct Payments feedback report

In March 2021 the Family Support and Inclusion Team contacted families about the support they had during the last year, as things had changed a lot for some families due to COVID-19. We've written a report of the feedback.

View  pdf the Direct Payments feedback report (130 KB) .

View the guide to personal budgets.

11 October 2021: you're granted your freedom when you are independent

Three young people from Bristol with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) share the stories of their journey to independence.

Each faced their own challenges and talk about how getting the right support at the right time helped them achieve their goals.

Bristol's new Outcomes Framework is designed to help young people achieve their aspirations, whatever their needs are.

Find advice and support for parents and carers.

6 October 2021: Ignite Bristol disability sports

What's on in Bristol? The October guide to inclusive sport and physical activity from Ignite Bristol is now out. Download the guide.

30 September 2021: Annual SEND survey

Earlier this year we did our second annual SEND survey with Supportive Parents and the Bristol Parent Carers forum of over 200 parent carers to understand their experiences. This helps to shape the new SEND Partnership Plan and keep improving SEND services in Bristol.

We've written a report of the findings and a statement of what we're going to do.

View the report and response at You said, We did: SEND event feedback.

29 September 2021: Alternative Learning Provision: take part in co-producing the Statement of Action

Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) is for pupils who cannot attend mainstream educational settings because of health, emotional or behavioural reasons.

Last year, we carried out a review of the effectiveness of ALP in Bristol. 

We've written a report of the review and a draft statement of action to show what we're going to do. We want you to help make the final version.

We're holding sessions online via Zoom on 6, 7, 12, 14 and 15 October.

We'll also have sessions which look at other areas of the ALP report, which will be posted on the SEND events page.

Read the report and find out how you can get involved.

28 September 2021: School admissions

Is your child due to start or move school in September 2022? Applications are now open. 

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan use the EHC plan key stage transfer form instead, so they can be prioritised.

View the guide to choosing a school for a child with SEND.

23 September 2021: SEND support events

A wide range of support groups and engagement sessions have been announced for the rest of 2021.

Find a SEND support event in Bristol.

31 August 2021: Lessons learnt from lockdown

Visit the Council for Disabled Children website to read the Lessons learnt from lockdown report.

This a report on the highs and lows of the pandemic's impact on disabled children and young people. There's a full detailed version, a children and young people's summary and an easy read version.

Over 600 children and young people, 128 parents and 110 professionals have been surveyed by the Making Participation Work programme, funded by the Department for Education and delivered by the Council for Disabled Children and KIDS.

18 August 2021

More options have now been added to the Ignite Bristol 2021 Inclusive Sport Summer Guide (PDF).

If you're a sports club, or a professional or volunteer working in the disability, sport, education or health sectors then join the Ignite Bristol Network. There are events upcoming in August, September and October.

26 July 2021

The national rules around Coronavirus (COVID-19) changed on 19 July. Healthwatch Wakefield have shared an accessible pdf easy read guide to help understand these changes (1.93 MB) .

19 July 2021

The summer holidays start this week, and we've created a guide for families of children and young people with SEND.

You'll find information about: 

Download the summer holiday guide Go to https://mcusercontent.com/bdd9b30e294c49b13539af43e/files/a6e08af6-4e2d-cb1c-0390-6f229c58c343/Bristol_s_SEND_Local_Offer_Summer_Holiday_Guide_2021.01.pdf (opens new window).

You can also follow updates on our Facebook page with #BristolSENDSummer.

24 June 2021: Alternative Learning Provision survey

Help to shape the Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) 2022 to 2027 strategy in Bristol.

If you're a school age young person, or you support someone who is, tell us what you think of the strategy so far in this short questionnaire.

The survey is open until 23 July and can be found in standard and easy-read format.

Your comments will help get the right support to young people who need an alternative to mainstream school, some or all of the time.

Watch a short video about the survey.

22 June 2021: New SENDCo training

We're working with NASEN and Whole School SEND to offer 2 sessions for new, or nearly new, SENDCos:

  • Identification and Assessment: 30 June 2021, 10am to 12pm
  • Strategic Leadership of SEND, a practical guide: 6 July 2021, 2pm to 4pm

There may also be limited spaces for experienced SENDCos who are prepared to mentor new SENDCos next year. 

To book, or register future interest, email Marilyn.Acford@Bristol.gov.uk

22 June 2021: SENDCo training

Emerging needs to EHCP: A graduated response and using the new Ordinarily Available Provision (OAP) guidance
Monday 5 July, 10am to 12.30pm via Zoom

This new training has been designed to support SENDCos to work effectively with Bristol systems from the early identification of SEND through to applying for an Education and Health Care needs Assessment (EHCA).

Attendees will look at case studies and match these to OAP and more specialist provision.

The session will also launch and use new cheat sheets' for the OAP (the short, essential version).

The session will be delivered by SEND Assessment Team Manager, Verity Goodchild, SEND School Improvement Officer, Emma Lloyd and Assistant Principal Educational Psychologist, Jenny Maxwell.

There will also be a further session in term 1 next year.

To book, or register future interest, email Marilyn.Acford@Bristol.gov.uk

Review of Alternative Learning Provision

We carried out a review into the effectiveness of Alternative Learning Provision (ALP) in Bristol.

See the review report and draft Statement of Action.

18 June 2021: SENDCo survey

As we approach the end of the academic year, Sirona Care and Health would like to gain some insight on the service your school has received from its Sirona Children's Therapy services during this last year.

The feedback helps to shape the way services are offered in the future. 

Complete the survey.

Bristol Parent Carers (BPC) annual event

BPC recently held their annual event. They covered:

  • Bristol's Local Offer
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN)
  • Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans
  • transitions to adulthood
  • social care
  • the Autism Hub
  • mental health support

Bristol Parent Carers Facebook page Go to https://www.facebook.com/Bristol-Parent-Carers-167635869967928/ (opens new window)

Families, Local Offer, Resources and Advice (FLORA)

Contact the new FLORA team to speak to someone about your child's additional needs:

  • call 0117 352 6020
  • email flora@bristol.gov.uk

Find out more about FLORA and other support services for families with children who have SEND.

Supportive Parents May bulletin

See the latest newsletter from Supportive Parents Go to https://www.supportiveparents.org.uk/resources/newsletters/ (opens new window).

Supportive Parents provide information, advice and support about SEND to children, young people and their parents and carers.

Youth Matters 16-25 newsletter

See the latest Supportive Parents newsletter for 16 to 25 year olds Go to https://www.supportiveparents.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Youth-Matters-SP-16-25-Newsletter-3.pdf (opens new window).

Wellbeing webinars for parents and carers

We're running free, online webinars for parents and carers of children with SEND. The sessions are led by an experienced psychologist and will have a mix of useful content, engaging activities, reflection and discussion with practical tips and techniques.


Exploring the way our minds can generate anxiety and how it can dominate our day. We'll look at different ways to relate to anxiety, leaving us with a bit more choice to pursue what matters to us.

Book online through Eventbrite:


Many times our own self-care can slip way down our to-do lists. Here we'll explore the cultivation of a compassionate attitude towards ourselves and our wellbeing.

Book online through Eventbrite:


We'll explore the impact of isolation and practical ways to take small steps towards building connections with others.

Book online through Eventbrite:

Contact jessica.pennack-thomas@bristol.gov.uk for more information

Murmuration Community Therapy

These groups connect parent or carers who are concerned about disability or potential disability due to a diagnosis or developmental differences in their child. SEND parent nurture groups gather together parents of children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) to break isolation, share experiences and foster a sense of belonging and connection. Over 8 weekly sessions, a small group listen to each others' stories, explore shared challenges and process the emotional impact of parenting a child with additional needs.

Find out more on the Murmuration Community Therapy website Go to https://www.murmurationcommunitytherapy.com/ (opens new window) or email hello@murmurationcommunitytherapy.com.

Call for volunteers

Are you a parent or carer of a child with SEND? Would you like to help other families?

We want to make some short videos about your lived experience. What helped when your child was first identified with SEND? And what still helps? 

We hope this will provide reassurance for other families and an alternative to all the written information.

This would involve 1 hour of your time, wherever you feel comfortable.

To find out more, email stephanie.lynch@bristol.gov.uk

pdf Download our poster (672 KB) .

Help to shape the Young Carer and Young Adult Carer strategy in Bristol

If you're a young carer aged 14 to 25, or you support young carers, tell us what you think in this short questionnaire

Your comments will help make sure we offer the right support to young carers and young adult carers.

Bristol SEND support plan

Following feedback from users and work with the SENDCO group, the Bristol SEND Support Plan (BSSP) has been reviewed, revised and simplified. Find the 2021 version in our guide to SEND support for education settings.

Sensory Support Service training course

The Sensory Support Service are delivering an introduction to supporting children and young people with Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI):

  • to gain an understanding of CVI and its causes
  • to understand the implications of CVI in completing daily activities and accessing the curriculum
  • to advise on practical strategies to support access, participation and inclusion

If you're a professional or a parent or carer with an interest in CVI, this online course may be for you.

Date: 24 June 2021 1pm to 3.15pm
Venue: Online (Teams)
Cost: £20 professionals, £35 for 2 from same organisations, £10 parents or carers 
Closing date for applications: 10 June 2021

pdf More information and application form (162 KB) .

Childcare Sustainability and Development Survey

If you're a parent or carer that uses childcare, or have thoughts on how childcare is provided in Bristol, we want to hear from you.

We're looking for feedback from parents and carers to shape how our Childcare Sustainability and Development service is delivered.

This service aims to ensure there is sufficient childcare for working parents in the city, and that childcare providers are supported and trained to deliver the safest and best quality childcare possible.

The survey runs until 25 April. 

You can find further information and complete the survey online at Childcare Support Consultation. 

10 March 2021: Public Health England (PHE) launches new Psychological First Aid training

The online training, developed by PHE, is now available for those supporting children and young people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

People who care for or work with children and young people aged up to 25 who have been affected by COVID-19 (or other emergencies or individual crises) can access a new online Psychological First Aid (PFA) training course.

For more information visit PHE launches new Psychological First Aid training (GOV.UK).

March 2021: March 4 SEND

Instead of our usual SENDCO conference this year we'll be offering a range of virtual events.

SENDCos will come together online to understand the most recent developments about SEND. 

Go to March 4 SEND to see the timetable of activities.

1 February 2021: Supportive Parents Wellbeing Hub

Supportive Parents have launched their new Bristol Wellbeing Hub.

The Hub is an online portal which provides young people with access to information about local services that can support wellbeing.

It contains videos and information from organisations across Bristol, showcasing a range of activities and opportunities to get involved with. 

18 January 2021: Take part in our SEND surveys

We want to hear your views about SEND services in Bristol. We need to know what is working well and what changes you would like to see, to help with our ongoing improvements to SEND services. 

Both surveys are open from 18 January to 5 March.

5 January 2021: Home to School travel arrangements for Bristol pupils.

Following the government national lockdown announcement on Monday 4 January travel arrangements for Bristol pupils were cancelled for Tuesday 5 January. 

The Home to School Travel Team are working closely with schools to make arrangements for all children who will be attending school during the current lockdown. Transport will run from Wednesday 6 January where schools have confirmed arrangements.

1 December 2020: You said, We did: SEND event feedback

SEND feedback events have been recently held.

Find out what you told us and what we've done on SEND event feedback.

25 November 2020: Alternative Learning Provision Parent/Carer survey

This is your chance to tell us about your experiences of Alternative Learning Provision (ALP).

ALP is somewhere your child can learn when they are unable to remain in school. There are a number of types of ALP including hospital education, a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), tutoring or mentoring, or a programme a child attends outside of the classroom.

Bristol City Council wants to know about the experiences of your child, or the child you care for.

Follow the link to complete the survey Alternative Learning Provision - Parent/Carer Survey.

Survey closes 11 December 2020.

19 November 2020: Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan performance data published 

Bristol City Council have published their performance data for finalised EHC plans on the Open Data website. 

An EHC plan is a legal, personalised document that sets out a child or young person's: 

  • education, health and care needs 
  • support they will get to meet those needs
  • aims for the next 12 months, as well as longer term goals

Each plan should be finalised within 20 weeks of being received. 

Find the performance data on Bristol's Open Data website.

6 November 2020: Disabled children and their families survey from WECIL 

Tell WECIL about the challenges you have faced during coronavirus (COVID-19). 

WEIL and the Voice and Influence Partnership want to know about the experiences of disabled children and their families during coronavirus. 

Your experiences will help to inform services and promote local and national change.

Fill in the short, accessible survey on the WECIL website.

22 October 2020: Free early education for two year olds 

If you're the parent or carer of a two year old and you receive certain benefits you could be eligible to apply for a free early education place.

We're prioritising applications from families who have children: 

  • with special educational needs and disability (SEND)
  • with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan
  • who have sent a request for a EHC plan assessment

If you're eligible you could receive up to 15 hours of free childcare a week during term time, starting in January. 

Find out if you're eligible and how to apply

21 October 2020: Test and Trace Support Payment scheme launches in Bristol

Applications now open for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Bristol City Council has opened applications for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, to help residents affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Payments of £500 will be given to eligible low income workers in the city who have been asked to self-isolate and are unable to work from home.

29 September 2020: New eco-apartments for SEN students open at City of Bristol College's Brislington Centre

The eco-apartments are complete with two bedrooms, a living space with cooking and washing facilities and a bathroom. The homes are a joint project between the college and Bristol City Council, with the council financing the venture to better support special educational needs (SEN) students in Bristol.

The Brislington Centre is managed in partnership with Bristol City Council and offers week-day accommodation for up to 13 students with SEN. The centre's team support the students to develop skills for independent living, including cleaning, cooking, washing as well as learning how to budget and use public transport.

Read the full story on City of Bristol College's website

22 September 2020: Written Statement of Action update 

Find the latest update about the Written Statement of Action (WSoA) on the Ofsted/CQC updates page

The WSoA is the detailed plan to improve key areas identified in the Ofsted/CQC inspection report, which was published at the end of last year.  

15 Sept 2020: Full SEND survey report for children and young people

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services. Altogether, seventy seven children and young people took part in the survey.

Read the pdf SEND services children and young people survey full report (595 KB) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

7 Sept 2020: Accessible SEND survey report for children and young people

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services.

77 children and young people took part in the survey. Find the pdf accessible report (70 KB) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

28 August 2020: Home to school travel service update for children that require an escort

If your child is allocated a school place and we usually provide travel with an escort, you may find your child has a new escort for the new school term starting September 2020. This is because many of our escorts are unable to return to work because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

We also have a reduced number of escorts. If your child's escort is unable to work, we will not be able to replace them. If this happens we will either:

  • ask if it's possible for you or a household member to accompany your child
  • see if it's possible to arrange a later run with another escort

We are seeking to resolve this issue by recruiting new escorts and will provide an update in October.

If you have any questions or concerns call us on 0117 903 6328 or email passengerservices@bristol.gov.uk.

25 August 2020: Proposals to invest over £28m in Bristol's special schools

The SEND Sufficiency and Capital Proposals outline an investment of over £28m for Bristol's special schools. The proposals will be reviewed at Cabinet in September. If approved, the proposals would enable the council to deliver more specialist provision for children and young adults with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.

pdf An open letter from Councillor Anna Keen and Director for Education and Skills, Alison Hurley (101 KB) outlines the proposals.

20 August 2020: Changes to Bristol Autism Team Education Hub 

The Bristol Autism Team (BAT) Education Hub has become an Autism Education Trust (AET) Training Hub and is changing the way it will deliver its services from September 2020.

Currently, BAT and the Educational Psychology (EP) team write joint Education Health Care Needs Assessments (EHCNAs). From 1 September, the BAT Education Hub will no longer provide this service for children and young people who are not active cases for the team.

This will avoid a duplication of services with the EP team, and more effectively manage the number of assessment visits for both parents and carers, and educational settings.

This will also enable the BAT Education Hub to focus on early intervention and training, which will make their specialist advice more widely available for the benefit of a far greater number of children and young people.

BAT will continue to provide joint EHC Needs Assessments with the EP team for the families and young people they are already working closely with to ensure specialist advice is developed jointly for families and young people.

The BAT Education Hub will have greater capacity to provide specialist advice and information to schools and education settings, as well as delivering a nationally recognised program of AET autism training, endorsed by the Department for Education.

Key changes to BAT

  • The BAT Education Hub will be able to work more closely with schools to offer specialist advice clinics, to provide advice and support for individual children and young people, and to deliver AET training across the city.
  • The BAT Education Hub will not automatically be asked to provide joint advice with the EP team for all EHCNAs where there is an autism diagnosis, but will continue to do this for children and young people they are currently working with.  
  • Where BAT input is requested for other EHCNAs, we will support the EP team in providing these assessments. There is no statutory requirement for BAT to provide assessments for EHCNAs
  • The EP and BAT team will continue to work closely to ensure specialist advice is developed jointly.

From September 2020 BAT Education Hub will:

  • provide a nationally recognised program of autism training  for all educational settings, endorsed by the Department for Education
  • hold annual cohort meetings with educational settings to agree what support is needed tailored to the needs of the setting and its pupils
  • hold regular drop-in clinics for both education staff and parents and carers to gain informal advice
  • continue to offer a package of consultation, including observations and discussions with staff and parents, to fully assess children and young people's needs, providing written recommendations for outcomes and provision
  • offer follow-up visits in line with the SEN Code of Practice

Find more information on the Autism support section

If you've any questions or concerns contact the BAT hotline email on: bristol.autism.hotline@bristol.gov.uk

The BAT are a term time only service, and will respond to your email as soon as the new school year begins. 

2 July 2020: Bristol's SEND survey report published

In February and March 2020 we ran an online survey for parents and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND), to find out more about your experiences of SEND services.

370 parents and carers took part in the survey. Find the pdf Bristol's SEND survey report (1.18 MB) .

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. Your feedback will help to inform our improvements to SEND.

The report also contains the results for the children and young people survey.

An accessible, easy-read version of the report is being developed, and will be published here soon.