Impartial information, advice and support on matters relating to a child or young person’s special educational needs or disability from birth to 25 years

Weekly E-Bulletin 231 week
ending 24.03.2017 

A round up of the week’s news and information from the Information, Advice and Support Service and our local parent/carer forum Voice4Parents Wolverhampton.  

 Don't forget to visit our website


Voice4Parents represents parents and carers in Wolverhampton to make positive changes to the local services families receive.  We are currently looking for parents and carers to join its core steering group.
Please get in touch to find out more!

To express your interest in becoming a Steering Group member please contact Alison Baggs Co-production Officer on 01902 550396.  Or email 
All expressions of interest will be treated confidentially and should be received no later than Friday 7th April 2017. 
Education Health and Care plans - parent/carer workshop

All you need to know about Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, the EHC needs assessment process and what outcomes may look like for your child. 
This workshop will be particularly helpful if your child is currently going through the EHC needs assessment process or has a statement of special educational needs.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Please email your details to to book a place. 
School Transport Call for Evidence

School transport is one of the top issues that the Contact a Family helpline gets calls about so they have set up an Inquiry to give families the opportunity to share their experiences in order to understand the issues and identify solutions. 

Voice4Parents has already highlighted some of the common issues that families in Wolverhampton have told us about and have responded collectively via the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.  You can also respond directly by completing this survey.  The survey asks questions about home to school transport across the age ranges from early years to post 18 and responses will form part of the evidence for the Inquiry.  Deadline for responses is 31st March 2017 and all evidence will be treated confidentially. 

Contact A Family will publish findings anonymously as part of their School Transport Inquiry.  This will help raise awareness with MPs, government departments, commissioners and the media.

Staffing Update

We are delighted to inform you that we have successfully appointed for our vacant Casework and Service Support Assistant post to replace Pauline Williams who left earlier this month.  We look forward to introducing our new colleague who will be joining us after Easter.  
Feedback on our service
We are keen to seek feedback about your experience of our service so that we can improve, and make sure what we offer is making a difference.  You can read what others have said about us on our website.  We would like to invite you to answer a few questions about your experience of using our service:
Parent and carer coffee morning for parents of children and young people with autism

      Friday 31st March 2017 9.30-11.30am

Tettenhall Wood School Coffee Morning is an opportunity for the parents/carers of children and young people with autism to meet, share similar experiences and gain information from experienced professionals. The meetings are informal and there is no need to book a place, just simply drop in for a chat any time during the session.  The coffee morning is open to all parents and carers and not just those who have a child who attends the school. 
Tettenhall Wood School, Regis Road, Tettenhall, Wolverhampton, WV6 8XF
Tel No: 01902 556519  Email:
Supporting families participation

The Special Needs Jungle has produced a great blog on supporting families participation. The blog, written by a member of Camden Information, Advice and Support Service, reminds us of the principles of the Children and Families Act 2014 and person-centred philosophy.  Read the blog here.

Easter Activities 

Give Us A Break is a charity providing activities for children and young people with severe and complex learning difficulties.  Find out what's on the Give Us A Break Easter 2017 program
Workshop feedback: Planning for the Future – a legal view.

Parents and carers were treated to another splendid WIASS workshop -  ‘Planning for the Future – a legal view’. What happens to a family member with complex needs, once you are no longer there to care for them? It may seem an impossible reality to face, but one best prepared for well in advance.
Donna Holmes, from Anthony Collins solicitors, gave an excellent presentation, guiding us around the complex topics of Wills, Trusts and Power of Attorney.
Deciding how to draw up  your Will is difficult enough for anyone, but when you have a child or young person with complex needs, the way in which you leave money can have unforeseen complications. Did you know that the money you leave, could adversely affect their access to benefits? Certain benefits are means tested, for example direct payments for care needs and housing benefits. Losing these benefits might make someone with a modest legacy, at risk of losing their home and their paid care.
Can you be sure money you leave to them is spent carefully and in their interests?
Some vulnerable people have been cheated of their savings by so called ‘friends’. Others spend it unwisely, not understanding the value of money or the need to budget.
Keeping your relative safe, and financially secure, after your death, can be best provided via a well written will and the use of a discretionary trust.
A discretionary trust holds money for your relative in a protected ‘pot’, which they have no control over. The money cannot be treated as theirs, so any means tested benefits are not affected. You should appoint people you trust to be your trustees, preferably 2- 3 people, but no more than four. Trustees can pay bills direct, or make payments in cash when they are needed.
Always use solicitors with specialist knowledge of trust and wills for people with disabilities. Make an inventory of what you own. You may want to think about how your assets are going to be divided. If there are siblings, do all children need to have the same proportion of your estate? Talk to other family members who may consider leaving money too. Well-meaning family members may leave assets which result in the loss of benefits to the disabled person.
Donna gave us some valuable advice about saving for the future and the importance of not having any monies in the name of the disabled person. If you want to put money by for them, save it in an account in your name and then dispose of it in your will via a discretionary trust.
There were lots of questions from delegates and a lively discussion in the comfortable surroundings of the Molineux Directors’ Suite. Here are some of the comments delegates made:

“Anthony Collins was brilliant – opened my eyes to a whole new world. Well done!”
“Great event.”
“Good information and advice. Excellent at answering questions.”
“I really enjoyed the training. Donna was really good.”
“Have learned a lot over the last two and a half hours.”
“Donna explained things on an easy to explain level and was very approachable and friendly.”
“Well prepared and very professional.”
“Need more sessions like this in the future.”

On behalf of all those who attended, thank you Donna for your patience, clarity and warmth in making this complex, sensitive topic accessible and engaging.

Your views are important to us!    

Please take a few moments to complete our short survey if we have helped you, it should take you no longer than 5 minutes, thank you.

Professionals - your feedback is import to us too.  Please complete a short survey, it should take no longer than 5 minutes, thank you.

To read feedback that has been left already, please visit our website.
Voice4Parents wants to know that the services and information provided through Wolverhampton’s Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability reflects the needs of parents, carers and young people.   Let us know so we can make it better for you.

How can you help to improved services in Wolverhampton? - The answer is, very easily!  Just complete a survey designed by Voice4 Parents to gather the views of parents and carers to try and improve services in Wolverhampton.
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Wolverhampton IASS · Gem Centre · Neachells Lane · Wolverhampton, West Midlands WV11 3PG · United Kingdom

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