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"You Said, We Did"

We want this Local Offer website and the information on it to be helpful and meaningful to you. Parents/carers, young people and staff worked together to design this website, and to test its content and layout to ensure that it worked for those people who it is aimed at reaching.

The views of parents/carers and of children and young people with SEND are crucial if we are to continuously improve the SEND system in Bedford Boroughand so we want to hear your views on what is working well (so we can do more of this and share the learning), what can be improved and any ideas you might have for services or support that you feel would make a difference in improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families.

We  use your comments and feedback to try to make things better.  

If you would like to get involved with developing Bedford Borough’s Local Offer website then please contact us

We publish responses to your comments here throughout the year.

The drop down boxes below show what has been done in response to previous feedback and queries raised regarding SEND in Bedford Borough in various forums.

If we get a comment about something that has not worked in a service we will tell the service managers. 


"You said, We did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 16th January 2020

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 16th January 2020 to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 2nd December 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised


At the meeting a concern was raised regarding the lack of a ‘Sensory OT’ offer in Bedford Borough

Bedford Borough Council and Bedfordshire CCG have jointly commissioned additional training for parents around Sensory Processing Difficulties. This training has also been delivered to school staff. So far 87 parents have attended this training and 47 school staff have attended or are booked on to attend.


In addition to this training, the Paediatric Occupational Therapy Service deliver training to parents and education staff for children who have been assessed as having a sensory processing difficulty which is impacting on their functioning.


We are working with the Parent Carer Forum and Community Health Services to coproduce further training on this topic and we are hoping to hold some focus groups in 2020 to start to coproduce the requirements that local parent and carers would like to see from a training offer.


A parent queried whether they would have to complete a school admissions form for their child who is due to start in Reception 2020. The child is in the process of having his EHCP finalised

I confirmed with the parent that as her child had an EHCP this process would name the school they attend and arrange the school place and that she did not need to go through the usual starting school criteria. Further information can be found in the ‘Starting school 2020’ booklet .


If you have not already had discussions with the SEND team regarding your school preferences it is helpful to do this first, however if you also notify school admissions of your intentions they can also liaise with the SEND team regarding your preferences.

Parents spoke about wanting to find telephone numbers for services more easily and in one place

We have added a ‘Useful Phone Contacts’ page to the Help and Advice page on the local offer

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback to Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group in 2019

Below are some of the issues raised to Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) through its working with the Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum as well as through other engagament and participation activities throughout 2019.

Concern / Issue Raised


The waiting list to be seen by a paediatrician was too long as it is was taking more than 20 weeks for your child to be assessed.


Thanks to our coproduction with Parent Carer Forums, this issue was highlighted through qualitative feedback even before the data being available at our regular contract meetings with the provider. Due to this we were able to address the situation before it escalated.


We worked with Cambridgeshire Community Health Services to develop a recovery plan to address waiting times.  More staff were recruited into the service to meet the increased demands. Saturday Clinics were also held to increase the number of children and young people who can be seen by the service. 


This has ensured that all those currently within the service and overdue a medication review have been seen and there is a plan in place to continue to reduce Referral To Treatment (RTT) waiting times for community paediatrics and complete a review of all those currently on the caseload who are overdue a review appointment.


You wanted more training and information on sensory processing difficulties

Working with our partners in the Local Authority and with Bedfordshire Community Health Services we have commissioned additional training on Sensory Processing Difficulties for parents and carers. This training has also been delivered to schools staff. In 2019 87 parents and 47 education staff accessed this training.


We are exploring additional training in 2020 and working with our parent carer forums to coproduce new training to be delivered by community health services in this area.

You thought the CAMH School Service was working well and wanted this to be made available in local primary schools as well as Secondary Schools

BCCG were successful in a bid for a team of Education Mental Health Support Teams. This team will be working with 10 schools in Bedford Borough with 90% of those schools being Primary Schools. This is in addition to the CAMHS School Service which will continue to provide a linked CAMHS worker for every Secondary School in Bedford Borough.

There was a delay for children and young people accessing the Speech and Languages Therapy (SALT) services.

Working in partnership with Bedford Borough Council we jointly identified additional resources to put towards clearing the backlog of children and young people overdue a Speech and Language Assessment as described in the provision of their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This project has now been completed and all children who were overdue an assessment have now been seen.


We have continued to work with the community provider of Speech and Language Therapy and the Local Authority to review pathways to support and undertake a supply and demand analysis. We are delighted that our colleagues in Bedford Borough Council have committed funding to jointly commission additional Speech and Language Therapists and Therapy Assistants to work in the Bedford Borough schools and early years settings.

You were concerned that families had not responded to the invitation from the Speech and Language Therapy service (SALT) to contact them to make an appointment for an assessment.


Working in partnership with the Parent Carer Forums and Cambridge Community Services we co-produced a letter which was sent to families.  Arrangements were made for the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) for schools to contact these families and encourage them to respond to the letter so that their child could be seen by the service where appropriate.


"You said, We Did" Feedback from Oakley Primary School SEND Coffee Morning - 26th November 2019



Are OT’s  still going into special and mainstream schools?

Children with a physical disability – mainstream and special schools

  • School access visits when starting school, moving school or any changes in child’s condition
  • Monitor of  seating and toileting equipment that we have recommended.
  • Independence skills where appropriate – dressing, feeding, recommendation on hand activities to develop these skills where required


NB CDC OT’s have regular input into R’way, St John’s and Ivel Valley School based on the needs of the children at any one time.


Other mainstream children

  • o       Where required observe a child in school and share information with  school staff in supporting child’s OT needs following assessment or review


Is Bedford Borough providing Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) training for non verbal children?


CCS NHS Trust has 'Using picture exchange' and 'communication books' training as part of their core training packages. Staff and parents would be invited to attend if the therapist felt this was needed as part of the child's care but typically the training is provided to the key staff and parent/carer during visits to the school by a therapist or support practitioner. The training can then be specific to that child.

Is there any funding for schools to access training in schools such as Helen Long SENDCO in Flitwick who provides a 8 week programme with staff? 

Helen Long offers training on ASD. The Borough  offer this under our ASD team so  we would offer this rather than funding someone else to offer this input

Is there a phone list guide for CAMHS, CDC, SEND team on the local offer

One will be added to the Help and Advice page of the local offer this week.

Please let us know if we are missing any services from the list once completed.

Is the picture of me training being shared with schools across Bedford Borough

Not currently. This is training that can be bought in by schools if required. Bedford Borough is constantly reviewing it’s CPD and has a range of training from Autism Bedfordshire available to schools through the Early Help Workforce Development Offer, but it may be that ‘Picture of Me’ is training that can be considered for future CPD.

This will be discussed at the next SEND QA Board

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback from Autism Bedfordshire Conference, October 2019

Concern / Issue Raised



More Training for school staff


Autism training has been offered by Early Help as part of their CPD offer. Some was planned/delivered this term with more planned for the spring and summer term.

Specific CPD is also offered by Autism Advisory teachers.


To avoid duplication, the Early Help offer includes Autism training the same aspects have not been offered by SIT, but other aspects have been included in the CPD offer.


Specialist Educational Psychologists are also able to offer training which can be requested by schools to provide more bespoke CPD.


School Improvement Team projects involving Inclusion Expert or Whole Education are focussed on developing school practice to meet a range of specific needs, including Autism/Aspergers.  Input can also be accessed from Special schools e.g. St Johns via outreach agreed by the SEND team.


Talking Success has been commissioned as a program of training for all schools around Speech, Language and Communication needs. This will be rolled out to all schools in Summer 2020.


IPSEA and NASEN have been commissioned to deliver training to school leaders.


SEND CPD Offer being streamlined and coordinated.


More outreach needed to teachers and TA’s on PDA strategies for difficult cases


We (LA and NHS) do not see PDA as a recognised disorder so would provide strategies for ASD which is the disorder that would typically cover this area. 

The LA ASD team are  now offering TEACCH & SPELL available biannual at a cost


In addition the team now  offer bespoke training :


Autism Awareness & Practical Strategies

Sensory Perceptual Differences

Autism in girls

Social skills

Structuring the unstructured

Comic strip conversations



Note bespoke training tailored to the school and child in question.


Request can be made direct to the team to access the above when required

OT training required in special schools


OT Support for Children with a physical disability – mainstream and special schools

  • School access visits when starting school, moving school or any changes in child’s condition
  • Monitor of  seating and toileting equipment that we have recommended.
  • Independence skills where appropriate – dressing, feeding, recommendation on hand activities to develop these skills where required


NB CDC OT’s have regular input into R’way, St John’s and Ivel Valley School based on the needs of the children at any one time .


Sensory Processing Difficulty Training has been commissioned to provide free training to all schools – over 36 school staff have booked on / attended this training already with future dates being arranged.

School not communicating properly


If the issue relates to a specific complaint parents are advised to follow school procedures and complaints processes in the first instance, as relates to all pupils, including initial meetings with the SENCO and /or the Headteacher. If the school is an academy/MAT prescribed processes should be followed which may include contact/complaints to the Trust Board.


The School Improvement Team, including SEND Advisers for Teaching and Learning (ATLs) work with schools in a number of ways relating to development of practice, including communication with parents. A school SEND self-review toolkit has been launched and provided to all schools. This includes questions regarding meeting a range of needs and communication with parents. Individualised input and follow up is being provided to all schools by SEND ATLs (Jon Foster, Sue Riley. This involves face to face meetings, support and challenge around a range of identified issues including closer communication with parents and their involvement as per the Code of Practice, CPD. A number of projects – Inclusion Expert, Whole Education also include a focus on working with parents. ). 

A number of schools have identified the need to develop parental communication and are looking at new ways of developing parent voice and then using it to develop SEN provisions – specific schools can be identified if required.


Furthermore a group of schools have identified this need through the SEN PSG and were looking at how parental voice can feed into schools Information Report. The schools held a common theme of struggling to effectively communicate with parents. There will be a small group of schools who are prepared to develop a novel and new system for sharing the Information Report on line but at this moment this was only at a general discussion level.


Where issues are of an Autism specific nature or relate to a specific child with Autism/Aspergers Educational Psychologists, ASC Advisory teachers, the SEND team and SENDIAS can also provide advice/guidance and promote improved communication.



Lack of SEN fitness club, need to approach mainstream clubs to offer training support to enable them to provide this service to SEN families individuals.  Means siblings can attend same club. 


Samsons Academy the registered charity arm of  Samsons Fitness  a gym in Midland Road are offering sessions for people with SEN and partnered up with BOLD


Bedford Borough has a SEND Leisure Group which focuses on increasing the range of activities available for children and young people with SEND. They are working with Bedford Borough Sports Development and Fusion Leisure to explore increasing the range of available clubs and activities.


‘No Limits’ is Bedford Borough’s inclusive sports programme for people of all ages with a disability.


The No Limits programme offers people with disabilities lots of opportunities to take part in regular sport and physical activity.

The waiting list to be seen by a paediatrician is too long; it is more than 20 weeks to be assessed.


Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Bedfordshire Community Health Services are aware of the issues around the length of time between referral to treatment for community paediatricians.

There is a project taking place to address this with Saturday Clinics being run to increase the amount of children and young people who can be seen by the service.

Increased staff have been recruited into the service to meet the increased demands and a review of staffing is being undertaken to explore whether a ‘skills mix’ of staff would be beneficial in better meeting the demands being placed on the service.

Regular updates on this position are being provided to BCCG by the commissioned provider.

Anxiety post 16 support needed


"Bedford Open Door offers up to 12 sessions of free confidential face to face counselling for young people aged 13-25 years experiencing anxiety, with a number of counsellors who are trained to work with young people with ASD and can support in transition between child and adult services"


MIND BLMK work with people with ASD but do not have a dedicated service for any age group.  People will attend any of the services so group activities, peer support, mentoring   as they will be addressing their mental health often due to their ASD and yes anxiety is one of the main issues but socialising and building relationships is also an area of need.  


CAMHS run a series of psycho-education workshops aimed at parents / carers and professionals to raise awareness in a variety of emotional mental health presentations.


Working with our CYPs we have trialled and tested a variety of self-help apps to explore coping strategies which we can also signpost CYPs when they would like to access self-help. These digital platforms are available using the links on our CAMHS website.


CAMHS have dedicated transition workers to support young people when they are approaching the age of transition from CAMHS into other services.

Social Care

Road safety course for autistic individuals and training for parents


Bedford Independent Living Team (BILT) offer bespoke Independent Travel Training to service users within Adult Learning Disability Team. We are currently exploring increasing this offer to support other children and young people with SEND who may benefit from accessing Independent Travel Training. This training includes information on road safety and awareness and it can be commissioned if required for individual cases within other social care teams.


As part of the work being undertaken to increase access to this training, guidance is being produced around how to prepare, plan and do independent travel training and steps that parents can take to prepare their young person for this.


If specific road safety training is required this can be discussed at the Independent Travel Training Task and Finish Group to explore opportunities for delivering this.


This is a helpful website from Brake regarding road safety for children with SEN:



Cookery courses for autistic individuals

MIND BLMK did offer cookery classes but these have ceased due to funding changes.


BOLD offer volunteering opportunities in their café A Different Brew and this includes training in relation to cookery.  I think it is best to contact them directly to find out their current offer as their activity programme changes on a regular basis.


Green Light Community Food Workshops work with isolated people to expand their cooking and healthy lifestyle choices. They are working in cooperation with Bedfordshire Lifestyle Hub and this may be accessible for autistic individuals

LOAF summer scheme- great, need more holiday scheme set up.


Ongoing discussions between Local Authority and Autism Bedfordshire regarding the Holiday Scheme and its current capacity. Bedford Borough Local Offer working on promoting all available inclusive holiday clubs and activities to support families during the school holidays.

"You Said, We Did" - Feedback from October 2019 SEND Virtual Team Meeting on What's Working Well and What is not Working Well

What is working well

Improved training for both school staff and parents

Improved Communication

Co-production between services has improved greatly leading to better quality EHCP's

Parents are invited to be involved and informed

Much better joint working

Increased focus on SEND in main stream schools

Range of services available to support SEND

Director of Children Services, reply’s to emails and met in person

Virtual team meetings

Multi agency working

Parent Carer forum coffee mornings are so informative


Local offer user friendly website



What not going well


Use of Jargon and terms that hard to explain

We have a ‘SEND Glossary of Terms’ on our Local Offer which helps to explain any frequent terms or acronyms that are used.

We are auditing all new EHCP plans with one of the key questions being “Is the plan easy to read and understand” and we are targeting the use of jargon in EHCP’s to ensure that any acronym is explained and any description of strengths and issues is written in an easily accessible way.

Need to hear the voice of the child/young person

So far this financial year we have engaged with over 120 children and young people with SEND through our ‘Hub and Spoke’ Model of engagement. We have also created a Young People’s reference group for our Local Offer where we engage with groups of Young People to continually improve our Local Offer.

We are auditing all new EHCP’s with one of the key questions being “Is the voice of child / young person and family clear in the EHCP”.

We are planning a Pupil Voice Conference in 2020 with a focus on SEND.

Still issues with timescales when parents request extra advice like OT

Bedford Borough’s EHCP completion rate within the 20 week timescale is currently 100% both with and without exception this financial year.

CCS have now introduced a weekly Multi Disciplinary Team phone call to co-ordinate EHCP report completion for any complex EHCP requests i.e. multiple services and professionals involved. This is working well to speed up the process of gathering reports when advices are requested for children not currently known to a service.

Personal budgets understanding remit and how best these can be used to best effect

Our Personal Budget page on our Local Offer is the information that was coproduced with our Parent carer Forum. We have also created a new Personal Budget leaflet and reviewed our Direct Payment Policy. In 2020 we are looking at developing further workshops and training for staff around Personal Budgets.

SALT - not seeing children/young people not able to provide intense therapy needed

All children with SaLT written into their EHCP will have been seen for an assessment in the past 6 months. All those children who are under SaLT ‘Tier 2’ have been written to and offered appointments; in Bedford Borough only 39% of parents have responded to this letter to book an appointment. We are now writing to SENCO’s with a list of children who are being offered appointments to try and support with uptake of appointments – this was a solution coproduced with parents at BBPCF coffee morning.

Parents expecting similar provision from primary and secondary

“Transitions” is a focus of the work of the SEND Advisory Teachers within School Improvement Service and is on the agenda for the SEND Support In Education Group. At recent SEND Professional Study Group SENCO’s worked on an agreed set of values and principles to use when supporting SEND pupils to ensure consistency across settings.

Secondary schools refusing to provide the support that worked in primary

As above we are working on ensuring consistency across Secondary and Preimary settings and supported transitions between phases to include sharing of strategies to be used where possible.

Documentation for assessments/transfer to next school can be weak or non existent

SEND Support In Education Steering Group is exploring how we might be able to further support transition arrangements and documentations. Exploring the possibility of a ‘Transitions Fair’ for SENCO’s to meet and plan transition arrangements – this has worked in other areas.

All areas need to be preparing for adulthood at a much earlier age

EHCP Review forms being reviewed currently with a view to creating a Preparing for Adulthood Review template to be used when a young person is 14. Bedford Borough takes the approach that we should be preparing for adulthood from early years all the way through and this is reflected in the Early Years and School age graduated responses.

There is a task and finish group currently reviewing our Preparing for Adulthood guidance and literature to try and produce a PfA guide for parents / young people and practitioners.

PfA was the focus of the engagement work with Young People over the Summer Term with over 90 Young adults feeding back on what they would like more support and knowledge on regarding transition to adulthood; this has been shared with the PfA Task and Finish group to help steer their work.

Timing of the virtual SEND meetings going forward afternoon might be better

The next 2 Virtual SEND Meetings have now been planned with dates to be shared so that these can be booked into people’s diaries.

"You Said, We did" - Feedback from Bedford College Students October 2019

Concern / Issue Raised


Information about Santa Pod raceway


We have the below information from Santa Pod Raceway to the local offer

  • Disabled Access
  • Ambulant Disabled
  • Disabled Parking
  • Wheelchair Viewing Areas
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Personal Assistant Ticket Concession
  • Claiming your concession ticket 
  • First Aid and Medical Assistance

The page can be accessed here:


Information about Transport museum in Higham Ferris


We have added Rushden Transport Museum to the local offer the page can be accessed here




Information about model railway clubs 



We have added East Bedfordshire Model Railway Society who meet every Tuesday in Sandy on the local offer


Information about how to find a job / CV writing support


The jobs hub is an existing service on the local offer and can be accessed here

They offer the following range of services

  • Individual help with CVs, job applications and interviews
  • Access to job vacancies through our relationships with local employers, including apprenticeships
  • Free internet access for job searching and completing applications online
  • Weekly Jobs bulletin sent to your email with up to date vacancies available locally
  • Back to work events including jobs, skills and enterprise fairs
  • Access to training accredited and non-accredited
  • Help to access other opportunities including employment, volunteering and work experience
  • Linking to other partner services to help with specific issues, such as redundancy, housing, health, benefit or debt advice

There is also information on the the Disability Employment Advisers at Jobcentre Plus that can be accessed here


Specialist Driving Instructors

UPDATE 11th December 2019  - James Hinkins has registered his driving school Specialist Disability and Cognitive Driving Lessons on the local offer you can view his page here.

I have contacted 3 specialist-driving instructors, one is registered  on the local offer  in the next couple of weeks, the other two unfortunatly don't cover Bedford 

Star Wars and Comic Book Club

I have found a comic book store in Bedford so need to visit to find out if there are any clubs held locally.

How to find somewhere to live?

There is information on the local offer for supported living and residential homes.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum 9th September 2019

Concern / Issue Raised


A number of parents raised concerns around the difficulty in finding information about how to access support. It was asked whether it would be possible to make it easier to find:

  • ·        Criteria for each service
  • ·        How to access the support
  • ·        Information regarding thresholds to be easily accessible
  • ·        Whether a family requires Early Help or Social Care

This has been raised at both Children’s Services Departmental Management Meeting and with community health service providers. It was felt that Bedford Borough’s Local Offer should provide this information in a clear and accessible way for families.

A separate page on Bedford Borough’s thresholds has now been added to the Local Offer and can be found here

There will be Parent Carer Steering Groups for Bedford Borough’s Local Offer to consistently provide feedback and challenge on the Local Offer as well as developing new ideas as to what information should be included on the Local Offer.

Bedford Borough is introducing an ‘Integrated Front Door’ for all referrals into Children’s Services. This will streamline the process of identify the correct support pathway for each referral.

Some parents felt that they were having to direct the support their child received and that there were limitations in the support / knowledge they received from the school with regards to what their child should be receiving,.

The Local Offer should be used by all practitioners, SENDCOs and Families and is being raised and discussed with frontline staff, health professionals and at SENDCO conference and Virtual Team Meeting.

There is a wide range of training being developed for schools;

  • ·        Sensory Processing Difficulty Training for Education Providers
  • ·        IPSEA training for Headteachers and Senior Leaders in Schools
  • ·        SEND Toolkit being launched for schools in Bedford Borough
  • ·        Future plans to develop Speech, Language and Communication Needs training for all school staff

All of this should start to support with widening the knowledge of what support and strategies can be used as well as ensuring there is a common language being used by parents and those supporting their children (there are also parental training sessions on these topics)

Some parents raised concerns about the lack of ‘Post Diagnoses’ / ‘Post Assessment’ support. There had previously been a binder of information given that had been helpful but it wasn’t clear whether this was still used

Bedford Borough Local Offer will work with practitioners and the Parent Carer Steering Groups to ensure there is sufficient information on the Local Offer to support parents post assessment.

Through better advertising of the Local Offer more parents should be directed there to locate support

The Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Pathway is being reviewed currently and support for families pre and post assessment is a key feature of this pathway. Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum are key partners in developing this pathway and will be ensuring the views of Bedford Borough Parent Carers are heard and listened to when shaping any new support developed.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 1st July 2019

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 1st July to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 10th June 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised


A parent raised concerns regarding her child being permanently excluded in Year 11 and various circumstances leading to the child not sitting any GCSE exams. The Manager for Early Help and Intervention was present to hear this parent’s story.

The parent and her child were invited in for a meeting with the Head of Early Help and Intervention and the Inclusion Manager. The child was spoken to and their best hopes for the future were discussed. The young person has now gone away to think about what they want to do next year with a commitment of support from Bedford Borough to help him achieve his goals.

A parent spoke about the good support her child had received at their Primary School and the support the whole school puts in place. The parent spoke about the school bringing in a trainer to deliver training to the whole school around ADHD; and how even the lunchtime supervisors were present for the training. As a result the whole school has a greater understanding of her child’s needs and this has had a positive impact on her and her child. The parent wasn’t sure how the school accessed this training

This training was accessed through Bedford Borough’s Education Psychology Service. This training is available to all schools who buy back the service (96% of schools buy back the service) and there is a range of subjects that can be delivered to a whole school setting.

"You Said, We Did" Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum Coffee Morning 10th June 2019

As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency we now have a regular 'You Said, We Did' slot at Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum's Coffee Morning.

At this slot the SEND Programme Manager for Bedford Borough responds to any issues raised at the previous Coffee Morning and gives feedback on any action taken or any clarification points that may be needed.

Below is the feedback given on the 10th June to concerns that were raised at BBPCF Coffee Morning 20th May 2019:

Concern / Issue Raised


Due to funding cuts outreach staff had been made redundant who had provided positive support to a parent’s child. There had been a negative impact on this child when the funding and service had been withdrawn

The funding for this service was provided through the Education Improvement Support Grant (Bedford Borough Schools Funding agreed by a panel of Headteachers) which is a time limited funding source. Following the ending of this funding some staff did leave their positions, however the staff referred to by the parent query do have a service level agreement with the Local Authorities Early Help Service and therefore this support can still be received.

Access to this support is through an Early Help Assessment, which is the same referral route as how to access the outreach support referred to. Should there be any concerns around a child’s behaviour at school, risk of exclusion or additional support being required then an Early Help Assessment should be considered.

Concern that Carers in Bedfordshire have had to change the time for some of their sibling project groups depending on room hire. Due to this some siblings who had attended previously are now no longer able to attend

Carers in Bedfordshire have been contacted about this and their response is below:


‘Thank you for asking about Carers in Bedfordshire’s sibling carer support services.


Clubs for siblings and young carers in Bedford are held monthly for each age group – clubs for children aged 4-12 yrs meet from 5-7pm; clubs for young people aged 13-15 yrs meet from 5-7pm (those coming straight from school can arrive from 4.30); clubs for 16-17 year old young people meet from 5-7pm. Our club for young adults aged 18-24 yrs meets from 6-8pm.  Clubs are held at various locations to reach more sibling and young carers.


We also provide Workshops for sibling and young carers. These are one off events so times and locations will be arranged according to the activity.


Please ring us for more information on 0300 111 1919. We have an events booklet and also use text to keep in contact about clubs and events. We’d be very happy to answer parent’s questions, so do get in touch.’


Concern raised that a local adult respite provision had raised its fees to the point that the Local Authority could not afford to match the funding and alternative placement may need to be found

Commissioning services from both adult Continuing Health Care (CHC) and Bedford Borough have met with the Director of this provision and their concerns were highlighted. They were given a period of time to send through their business plan and revised costs.


During meetings with CHC they have given assurances that all BB adults accessing this provision will not be left without support.

Concerns raised regarding long waiting times to access Chums Wellbeing Service

These concerns have been passed on to Chums who have said that there is currently not a long waiting time for their resiliency groups, however there is currently a 4 - 6 month wait for 1:1 support. The service is still open for new referrals so this wait time is remaining static at this time but the service is recruiting sessional staff to try to meet the increased demand and reduce teh waiting times.


In recognition of the demand for ‘Tier 2’ mental health and wellbeing services Bedford Borough’s Early Help Services have a strong offer around this:

o   A SLA with Relate for 1:1 Talktime counselling, Family counselling or Relationship counselling

o   All staff trained to deliver 1:1 Solution Focus Brief Therapy

o   2 Trained staff in CBT informed ‘Enhanced Evidence Based Practice’ (part of the IAPT training delivered to Mental Health Teams)

o   6 staff within the local area undertaking training in 0-5 Mental Health

o   An embedded CAMHS worker within Early Help Services

o   All staff trained in Protective Behaviours


If a child requires support around their wellbeing and it does not meet the criteria for a CAMH’s referral the above is a pretty strong offer on what could be put in place to support them. This was recognised by the CQC who identified Bedford Borough Local Authority as an area of good practice and came to inspect the work that is being done

"You Said, We Did" Children and Young People with SEND Concerns and Feedback (January - April 2019)

Between January and April 2019 39 children and young people with SEND were engaged with to discuss their views on the support they receive and what changes they woudl like to see made. Below is the list of issues / concerns they raised and the response from the Local Area:


You Said – We Did

Issue / question raised by CYP

LA response / plan

When will this be done by


Children and young would like more outside of school activities


  • Bedford Borough have launched their new Local Offer site to help and support CYP to identify more activities outside of school. The Local Offer was coproduced with children and young people with SEND. The Local Offer will be continuously updated and reviewed through the Local Offer Operational Group and we are also keen to develop a young people’s steering group for the Local Offer
  • As part of the Preparing for Adulthood Task and Finish Group there is a working group dedicated to enhancing the local provision of leisure activities for young people with SEND.
  • A review of both Short Breaks and Personal Budgets will be taking place over summer 2019 which will identify any gaps in provision and ensure families have the opportunities to access provision via a personal budget if they meet the eligibility criteria

Ongoing review of Local Offer through quarterly operational group.

CYP Local Offer Steering Group to be set up September 2019

First meeting of this working group is on Friday 12th July.


October 2019


Children and young people would like to know more about independence and life skills

  • There is a preparing for adulthood section of the Local Offer. We also have a preparing for adulthood task and finish group with various working groups to ensure there is good quality advice and support as well as provision for children and young people around independence and life skills.
  • Preparing for Adulthood is the theme of this terms engagement with children and young people with SEND; in particular what information children and young people themselves want to know about preparing for adulthood.










August 2019


Children and young people want their voice heard especially within school

  • A whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing toolkit was launched in 2018 for all schools and settings which enabled schools to self assess their performance in enabling all children in their setting to have a voice. This document also directed schools to the training and support in this area that is available both locally and nationally.
  • Bedford Local Area has coproduced and launched a coproduction charter with the expectation that all schools will sign up to this charter by the end of the Autumn Term
  • A new toolkit for schools around SEND is being developed which places an emphasis on CYP and families coproducing their support plans as part of SEN Support









December 2019



October 2019

Initial Coproduction session for new Local Offer Website - 12th February 2019

On the 12th February 2019 we hosted a day of coproduction sessions with Children and Young People with SEND, Parents and Carers and key stakeholders from frontline services supporting children and young people with SEND and tehir families.

At this session we started to think about what people would want to see from our new Local Offer, we tested various Local Offers from different authorities and discussed what we liked and didnt like and we also started to think about what categories / age ranges and content we should have on our site.

The young people helped to start to think about a new logo for the Local Offer. There initial idea has now been made into a reality and we are delighted with the Local Offer Logo they helped to create (see top of the page)

An artists was present for the whole day capturing the discussions and we have used the artwork from these discussions throughout this website.

You can read more about this initial session here

"You Said, We did" Feedback from St. Joseph's & St. Gregory's Coffee Morning

St. Joseph's & St. Gregory's Coffee Morning 



How do I apply for the Card that enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema

Cea Card

Vue Cinema (Autism showing details)

Cineworld Bedford (Autism showing details)


How do I obtain a Bedford Borough Children with Disability Register card

Information on the register and the form to apply


How do I apply for a carers in Bedfordshire discount card

Carers in Bedfordshire discount card



How do I apply for a concessionary bus pass for my child/young person

Bus passes