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News and Updates

Latest News and Updates - For Parents, For Young People, Information.


Sutton Learning Disability Strategy

Sutton Council and the NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group have updated the Sutton Learning Disability Strategy. This sets out how they will work with partners to meet the needs of young people and adults with learning disabilities in Sutton, now and in the future.

The draft strategy was developed following conversations with young people and adults with learning disabilities, families, carers and health care professionals.

Please read the draft strategy and complete the online survey by 30 November to give your feedback.

Covid 19

Find Coronavirus (Covid 19) Information for Parents and Carers. 

The Big Ask

Over half a million young people answered the Big Ask survey. This was the largest ever survey for children in the world. Read The Big Answer (external link).  

For Parents

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  • A Preparation for adulthood virtual event for parent/carers of children and young people with SEND 

Join us to hear about our latest preparation for adulthood developments. Wednesday 8th December 10am to 11.30. Learn more about the event. 

  • Play and Stay Christmas Festival

Morning (10-12) and afternoon sessions (1.30-3.30) on Tuesday 21st December and Thursday 23rd December. Tweeedale Children's Centre, Tweedale Road, Carshalton, SM5 1SW.

These sessions are for children with additional needs and/or disabilities aged 0-10 and their parents/carers and sibings. You MUST BOOK by emailing suttonparentsforum@outlook.com

Find out more at SPCF website (external link). 

  • A letter to parents of secondary school and college students on Covi-19 testing and vaccines.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid have written a joint letter to parents of secondary school and college students to thank them for all their efforts in keeping education safe for all during the pandemic and talk about the importance of vaccinations and regular testing. Read the letter about Covid-19 testing and vaccines here (external link). 

  • Quiet Days at Whitehall Historic House

Whitehall Historic House will now be openoutside of regular hours on special 'quiet days' for visitors with Special Education Needs and Disabilities and their families and carers.

Pre-booking is essential. Visit Eventbrite to book tickets (external link). 

  • October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month

To celebrate, Positive about Down Syndrome UK is partnering with nurseries and primary schools to teach children a little about the condition. Find out more about Down Syndrome Awareness month (external link).  

DownsyndromeOK is an inclusive, parent led, registered charity, offering help and support to families, professionals and people with Down syndrome in Surrey, Sussex and South London. Learn about Down Syndrome OK (external link). 

Get on Down's hold a weekly support group that meet every Wednesday in the Playwise Hub, Sutton library at 9.30-11.30. Email getondowns@btinternet.com for more information. Visit the Get on Down's Facebook page (external link). 

  • Public Health England vaccination webinar - 16th August 2021

Public Health England London region held a COVID 19 vaccination webinar on the 16th August for parents of clinically extremely vulnerable children and young people. 

Find presentations and resources from the recent Public Health England webinar on vaccinations.

Download a PDF of the Public Health England webinar here (PDF 1.37MB).  

Download a PDF of the resources from the Public Health webinar here (PDF 1.11MB)

  • Free Online Courses for Parents in Sutton

The London Borough of Sutton have invested in a multi-user licence for 4 courses by the Solihull Approach (a national NHS organisation). These course are relevant for parents of all children, including those with special needs.

Read more about the free online courses for parents (DOCX 14.82KB). 

  • THE SENDCAST -Podcast for SEND

The SENDcast has made the shortlist of Learning Ladders’ ‘Best Educational Podcast 2021’ awards. Subscribe and listen to weekly shows here (external link). 

  • School holiday activities and food programme

Sutton Council has secured funding to provide enriching activities and healthy meals for families who are eligible for free school meals. Read more about the holiday activities and food programme here. 

  • Find the right support for children and young people

There’s a large amount of information available from different groups to help support children and young people, which is great, but may also be confusing. Sutton CCG have pulled together their preferred links into an ‘emotional well being resource hub’ to make it easy for children, parents and anyone supporting a child or young person in Sutton to access the right support. Access the emotional well being resource hub here (external link). 

  • Sutton Parent Carer Forum (SPCF) shares upcoming events

Read a statement from SPCF outlining the support they offer (external link).

For Young People

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  • Education Catch up

The Department for Education (DfE) is supporting catch-up programmes and fun activities for all children and young people in England. Get in touch with your school or local authority to find out what’s available in your area. Visit the website to find out more (external site). 

  • Off the Record - Support for young people

Off the Record have a programme of activites and support. This includes a support phone line on Saturdays at 10am -1pm, online workshop events on Thursdays at 5pm and Keeping Connected on Tuesdays at 5pm. Visit Off the Record to find out more (external site).

  • Education Untapped Podcast – Encouraging diversity in the world of disability

Ashlea Stephens (Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Post 16 Lead for Cognus Therapies) interviews Luke Fox, an autistic adult with a language disorder from Sutton. Luke was shortlisted for a Sutton Community Award in the category of Outstanding Young Person in February 2021. Listen to the Podcast on the Cognus website (external link).

  • Online Movie Club and other activities hosted by Springboard

Springboard is hosting a range of weekly online activities for for SEND young people / adults aged 14-25.

Find out more about Springboard's Online Sessions (external site).

  • Transition to employment toolkit launched by Ambitious about Autism and the Autism Education Trust

A new employment toolkit to support autisitc young people into the job market is now available. The toolkit aims to prevent autistic young people falling out of education, employment or training when they leave school. The toolkit is not just for young autistic people to use, but also to help professionals and employers better understand the needs and skills of young autistic people.  View the Toolkit here (external site). These services are NOT commissioned by London Borough of Sutton. 

  • Supported Internship - Are you 17 to 24 years old and looking for paid work?

WorkStart, a package of employment courses at Orchard Hill College has partnered with London Borough of Sutton to offer a Supported Internship.

Programmes starts in September 2021. 

Places are limited - find out more here (PDF, 101.32KB) (DOCX 20.65KB)

Read a Student Friendly version of the Supported Internship information (DOCX 43.79KB).

  • Are you aged 16-24, have an Education, Health and Care Plan and want to work?

Mencap's Supported Internship programme supports young people to make the important step from education into employment. 

Learn more about Mencap: Supported Internships (PDF, 19.46MB) (DOCX 64MB)


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  • Finding Accessible toilets. 

Use the Great British Public Toilet Map to find accessible toilets.

Use Changing Places toilets to find 'Changing Places' toilets. These have extra facilities including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist. 

  • SIASS' June Newsletter is available. 

Read the June 2021 Newsletter from SIASS (DOCX 2.62MB).

  • National Tutoring Programme – Subsidised Tutoring Available

All state-maintained schools can access tutoring subsidised by 75% through the National Tutoring Programme (NTP), to support pupils (aged 5 to16) who need extra help. Read more on the Education Page. 

  • Cognus Therapies Update May 2021

Read about Cognus Therapies in their May newsletter. Find out key facts and figures, staff news and more from the Therapies team. Download the Cognus Therapies Newsletter here (DOCX 491.45KB). 

  • Updated Guidance for Special Schools. 

May 2021 - Guidance for Special Schools (external link) - the Government has updated its guidance on what all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  • Sutton Local Offer has a Facebook Page!

Young people and their families are essential in developing and improving the Local Offer. The Local Offer now has a Facebook page which will enable young people and their families to receive up to date news and announcements easily and quickly. This is also a great opportunity to co-produce the Local Offer with our local families and work together to share information about what is happening in our community. Join the Facebook group - Sutton Local Offer. 

  • Updated information regarding face coverings in education. 

The DfE SEND division has updated the information about face covering in education. The update includes details on exemptions from the requirement to wear a face mask in an education setting. Read more about exemptions from face masks. 

  • Sutton Council: supporting the Hidden Disabilities Charity 

In the UK, 1 in 5 people have a disability and 80% of these are hidden. The charity aims to help make the invisible, visible. Read more about the Hidden Disabilities Charity here. 

  • An update on returning to Education in January 2021 (updated 31 December) 

On 30 December the Government announced a change to the start of the Spring term, i.e. the return to education settings in January 2021, together with the implementation of the Contingency Framework in areas where the rate of infection of Covid is high.

Find a summary of these changes on the Council Website. 

  • New resources from Cognus Autism Service  

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Crisis Duty Lines

Due to Covid 19 CAMHS have reduced face-to-face contact to a minimum. However, they are still here to provide support and will often do this by phone or using video. In a crisis young people/families/carers are encouraged to access support by phone. If you are considering the need to attend A&E for mental health reasons, please call the crisis numbers in the first instance.

South London Partnership (SLP) CAMHS Crisis Line: 020 3228 5980. (Mon-Fri: 5pm-10pm. Weekends and Bank Holidays: 9am - 9PM).

SW London and St. George's (SWLSTG) Mental Health Support Line: 0800 028 8000. (Mon-Fri: 10pm - 9am, Weekends and Bank Holidays: 9pm - 9am).            

CAMHS/Single Point of Access (SPA): for all young people and professionals: 020 3513 3800. (Mon- Fri: 9am - 5pm, excluding Bank Holidays).

Archived Material

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  • Anti-Bullying Week - 15-19 November. 

The theme this year is One Kind Word. The week begins with Odd Socks Day. Find out more here (external link). 


  • Voters with learning disabilities 

Learning Disability England has published a May 2021 local elections resources hub (external link) which provides a range of useful resources to support voters with learning disabilities to engage in this year’s local elections. It includes information about the right to vote, accessibility, events, easy read guides, videos, and a survey to gather insights into why people do not vote.

  • Results days - support for parents and carers

The National Careers Service is providing a series of webinars for parents and carers whose children are receiving results this August, to give advice on options and tips for helping their child prepare for results day. Please share this with parents and carers in your school community. 

                      Friday 30 July, 12pm

                      Tuesday 3 August, 4pm

                      Wednesday 4 August, 12pm

  • Rediscover Summer

The Government has launched a campaign to promote leisure activities for children and families this summer. Use the guide to plan ways you can safely rediscover summer with your family (external site).

  • Health and disability green paper - two weeks to go!

Don't miss the chance to shape the future of the benefits system by responding to the Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper consultation. The consultation closes on 11th October. Visit the Government website for details of the green paper (external link). 

  • Lockdown Lesson Winners

Over lockdown, Cognus Limited launched the ‘Lockdown Lessons’ competition for young people in Sutton. Read more about Lockdown Lesson Winners.