Solihull’s Local Offer for Special Educational Needs

Signpost Inclusion has been supporting the development of the Solihull Local Offer.

Solihull’s Local Offer will give young people aged 0 to 25 and their families easy access to a range of information about the support that is available for them. Over the next few months they will be developing their Local Offer in co-production with parents and young people. More information can be found on the Solihull MBC website.

The Local Offer should  provide information on what help and support is available in your area including

  • Leisure services
  • Special Education Needs services
  • Health services
  • Social Care services
  • Eligability criteria to access support from specialist services
  • How to obtain an Education, Health and Care plan and the processes involved
  • Travel arrangements
  • How to make a complaint

Solihull MBC wants to give you every opportunity to contribute to the development of the Local Offer. This is your opportunity to make a real difference to type of information that is available to you. There are two ways to get involved

Call the Family Information Service on 0800 389 8667 or email

Or get in touch with Signpost Inclusion on and let them know what you would like to see in Solihull’s Local Offer. They are helping Solihull to gather parents views on what kind of information you want and how you want it presented.

The Latest From Signpost Inclusion

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Volunteers Required! Signpost Inclusion needs you!

Signpost Inclusion needs more volunteers to help us out at fundraising events, activity groups and support groups. Big things are being planned for the next phase of our development and we will need lots of support from you to help us.

If you would to be involved as a volunteer or would like more information please contact us on

Signs of Inspiration – Help to support Signpost Inclusion

To help sustain Signpost Inclusion services we have set up an eBay shop called Signs of Inspiration. Our shop sells wooden plaques with inspirational messages and heartfelt quotes. We will also be selling these at fairs and local activities. To browse the selection of signs on offer please visit our eBay store on the following link

Signpost Inclusion Swimming Club

We have had a great response from you regarding swimming instruction and lessons. We have almost finalised our plans for a swimming club to start in September 2013. For more information and for an application form please contact me on

New Group – Baby play and stay

Signpost Inclusion is delighted to announce that we have started another support group for new parents who have babies with additional needs. The group will be held at the Renewal Family Centre in the Discovery Room once a month. It will start on October 8th at 12pm. Places are limited so if you would like to pop along or would like more information, please contact Nikki Reeves on

Dates for your diary and useful things to know!

Early Support Parent Workshops

The next set of Early Support Parent workshops will start on September 13th 2013. The venue will be Mill Lodge Childrens Centre, Aqueduct Road, B90 1BT. To book please email

Fundraising Events

Signpost Inclusion will be raising funds with fun and games at :-
Tudor Grange – September 22nd – check for more details

Dads On Saturdays meet monthly from 10am on the following dates

07/09/13 ~ 05/10/13 ~ 02/11/13 ~ 07/12/13
A chance for Dads and male carers to some time together with their children, having fun and meeting other Dads. For more details please contact Mark on 07746 057 752 or Mike on 07711 652 943


Please visit our Facebook page for regular updates (search Signpost Inclusion and don’t forget to ‘Like’ us!) also visit our website at

Parent Support Groups

Weekly (Term time only)
Mondays – Bentley Heath (B93 9AS) 0930-1100
Tuesday – Renewal Family Centre (B91 2JY) 10-1130
Wednesday – Chelmsley Wood Childrens Centre (B37 5UH)
Will resume on September 9th 2013


Teenage gaming club at Renewal Family Centre next on August 29th at 6pm
(Waiting list in operation)

Evening parent support group at Renewal Family Centre next on September 12th at 6pm

Young disabled filmmakers turn love story into an epic

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Children & Young People Now included an article about Early Support’s film resources:

In a Children and Young People article, young disabled people discuss their input into films on giving advice about sex and relationships, drugs and alcohol, getting work experience and how to say “I love you.” The films were created by Early Support, following an idea from its working group of young people that peer-to-peer information via other young disabled people would be more helpful than paper information.

Read the full article.

Sleep Practitioner Training, 7th/8th October 2013


Sleep Practitioner Training
Workshops for health professionals working with families of disabled children.

As part of the Handsel Project’s ongoing sleep initiative to tackle sleep deprivation in families of children with disabilities, they are offering a two-day Sleep Practitioner Training workshop. The workshop is an introduction to the principles of sleep assessment and management and will be especially useful to professionals new to this area of practice.


Purpose of the training

To provide a sound knowledge of sleep theory and equip professionals with the specialist skills to apply this to families of disabled children. The topics to be covered are:-

  • Mechanisms of typical sleep eg. sleep phases and cycle.
  • Different categories of sleep disorder commonly seen in disabled children.
  • Partnership working with families of disabled children.
  • How complex health needs associated with disabled children impact on sleep.
  • Understanding the role of medication in tackling sleep disturbance.
  • Preventing sleep problems and developing positive sleep habits.
  • Assessing sleep problems using diaries and questionnaires.
  • Understanding how different strategies for change work and knowing how to apply them.

The training is specifically designed for frontline health professionals who work with families of children with disabilities / special needs, including such public health practitioners as health visitors, community children’s nurses and school nurses. This is an opportunity to gain practical skills and develop best practice in sleep work with these families.

In brief

The Sleep Practitioner Training provides delegates with a sound knowledge of the mechanisms of typical sleep and what can go wrong. The different types of sleep disorder which commonly affect children with disabilities will be covered in some detail. Participants will cover very thorough assessment tools which can be used with all children and will explore creative strategies for helping children sleep better

About the facilitator

Julie Sutton joined the Handsel Project in 2008 with the specific role of developing and delivering sleep practitioner training.

She is a learning disability nurse specialising in working with families of children with families of children with disabilities and is an experienced trainer.

She has many years’ experience of working with children and their families, both in England and Wales and abroad. Her experience includes five years as a Community Sister for children with learning disabilities.

The cost of the course

The cost of the two-day course is £330 which includes refreshments and lunch.

Next available dates:

Central Birmingham 7th and 8th October 2013
Booking form (PDF)
Booking form (Word)
Printable course details                              

If you would like to receive details by email, please get in touch.





A one-day conference running alongside the Autism Central aimed at exploring best practice around supporting people with autism who have complex needs.

Date – Tuesday 15 October 2013
Location – The Clarendon Suites, Birmingham

It is not uncommon for autism to be present alongside other conditions. However, unlike with other diagnoses, autism can exacerbate some of these co-existing conditions or make it more difficult to diagnose and support people who have them.


This conference will look at what we mean by the term ‘complex needs’. Our Keynote Speaker, Professor Emily Simonoff, will discuss the question of whether there is an increase prevalence of people with autism and complex needs and, if so, why that is.

The programme will also examine in more depth some of the more common co-existing conditions that can affect people with autism. Key speakers will give insights into a wide range of issues, including ADHD, epilepsy, visual impairment, hearing impairment and sleep disorders.

This event is a great opportunity to gain an understanding of complex needs in autism.  Join us to hear experts in the field and gain a wealth of knowledge, plus engage in stimulating debate and exchange new ideas.

Register for your place today.

Why attend?

Attend this conference in order to:

  • gain a full understanding of autism and complex needs
  • learn practical strategies for supporting people with autism and co-existing conditions
  • hear first-hand insights on the unique issues experienced by people with autism and complex needs
  • network with other professionals and experts in the field.

Who should attend?

  • clinicians across the professional field, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, paediatricians, GPs and nurses
  • commissioners for services for people with autism
  • education professionals form mainstream schools, special schools and local authorities
  • social workers and support workers
  • voluntary sector groups and not-for-profit organisations
  • individuals with autism and their parents, families and carers.

EPIC Artful Tasks Competition

It’s time to get your questions answered

Here’s a great competition opportunity for 11 – 25 year olds.

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EPIC want to know what really matters to you. If you could ask any question about the Special Education Needs and Disability reform plans what would it be? Perhaps there is something you want to know about Education, Health and Care Plans, or maybe you feel that something obvious is missing from the proposals that would make a huge difference to your life. Whatever it is we want to know about it.

It is really important to EPIC that they are able to represent the views of as many disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs as possible. They know that it can be difficult for voices to be heard so they are  launching a competition to find out what you think about the planned changes to special educational needs, which are part of the government’s Children and Families Bill.

However, just asking a question can be a bit boring so to make this competition fun and inclusive EPIC wants you to ask your question in a piece of Art. This can be any type of art you want – a video, short film, a song, photo, a collage – anything at all! The only condition is you will need to be able to e-mail the piece of art.

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The competition will run between 1st August to 22nd September 2013 and the winner will be chosen by the 14 members of EPIC. The winner will be announced by EPIC on 7th October 2013 and they will publicise the winner via EPIC, the Council for Disabled Children and the Department for Education’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So, what do you win?

The winning entry will meet Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, and get to ask him their question directly. You will be able to talk to the Minister and tell him how you feel about the reforms, what you think is good and what you would like to see changed. During their visit to Westminster the winner will also receive either a trip on the London Eye or a Thames River tour, and a visit to Parliament.

The winning entry will also be used by EPIC, the Council for Disabled Children and the Department for Education to promote young people’s participation in the Special Education Needs and Disability reform plans.

Other stuff to know:

All competition entries must be received by 6pm on 22nd September 2013.  Your entry should be e-mailed to Your entry should include your piece of Art and consent forms for all young people involved.

If you have any questions about the competition please send them to

The competiton rules can be found via this link.

You can find the consent form at this link.

To learn more about the Special Education Needs and Disability Reform plans you can click here to look at a PowerPoint presentation.

Stuck for a question? Here’s some ideas.

Need some more info about the competition? Check out our FAQs

Why this competition is important:

“Embrace your creative character by getting your message across and possibly change the future.” – Corey, EPIC advisor

“Art – A great way to express yourself and get your feelings and thoughts across.” – Tania, EPIC advisor

“These reforms will affect young people’s lives, so young people are the most important people to ask the questions; We look forward to seeing them.” – Christine Lenehan, Director, Council for Disabled Children

EPIC works in partnership with the Department for Education and is supported by the Council for Disabled Children.

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