Free Schools - Friend or Foe?
As so many of our families are aware, senior members of Clearly Speaking dedicated literally hundreds of hours supporting the directors and managers of the new, local ‘Free School’ to secure buildings, write key policies (to ensure the welfare of its pupils and staff, not only the managers of the school), support all during the interviewing for staff and nearer the start of term, delivering a detailed, specialist transition package for all pupils and building an effective, bespoke SEN department to support the needs of all pupils.
We were sold on the idea of being part of a school interested in its pupils. A school, as its director who was also connect to Clearly Speaking stated, that will value and really understand the needs of pupils who have special needs and/or disabilities. This school, we were told, would not simply aim to get all pupils to achieve their five GCSEs A-C at all costs. But this is a school which in partnership with Clearly Speaking, an organisation dedicated to providing access to appropriate and effective education for all pupils, including those who have SEN/Disabilities in Bucks, will be flexible, diverse and support of all the needs of its pupils. We were also assured that the school will provide accredited alternatives to GCSEs for pupils and all differentiation will be carried out by all teachers to ensure all learning is accessible. I am sure all parents shared our joy and enthusiasm in hearing this mentality(?) from both the directors of the school and its new head-teacher.
But sadly, the actions and behaviour of the directors and senior managers of the school since its opening in September have been extremely worrying and has led us to share the national concern about ‘Free Schools’.
You can see below for information on our Parent Support group, or alternatively download the document HERE
Parenting Support Group
For parents who have children aged twelve and above who are on the Autistic Spectrum (AS), or who have High Functioning Autism, or Asperger’s Syndrome and who’s difficulties or needs increases the difficulties experienced in supporting their children through adolescence.
This is a difficult time for all parents and young people, but for youngsters who find it a little more difficult to understand the World around them, or more accurately, the people they encounter around them in the World, adolescence becomes even more difficult and many parents suffer highly challenging behaviours which can place an exhausting strain on the whole family.
These specialist parent support groups are provided to all parents registered with Clearly Speaking, or who are put in contact with the organisation from those we are working with, e.g. local schools, Health services, GP’s or Social Workers and child or family Key-Workers, who would like to hear more about why their child thinks and feels so different from their peers and to hear more about the impact of ASD/Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome has on the way your child may behave or react to every-day situation or incidents. The group will also provide advice and information as to how you can help and support children and young people to change less helpful behaviours or reactions and how parents can help to develop more successful strategies to change outbursts of anger and frustration, or to better understand the social situations which may be causing these outbursts.
These Parent Support Groups provide parents and carers with the opportunity to meet other families who are often in a similar position to their own and gain a circle of friendship and support locally to ensure they feel less isolated and alone in the longer term. The Group Leaders you will meet are experienced parents and professionals who are expert in their field and are willing to share tried and tested methods for behaviour management and social communication skills which are known to have helped so many children and young people over the last twenty years.
We ask that at least two adults from each family are able to attend the course, this can be a parent, supported by a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or close family friend of if childcare is not an issue, then both parents are very welcome to come along. These times are difficult for all families and it is really useful if we can help to build a good and understanding support network for both parents and the young person involved.
To find out more or to book a place on the next Group, please call 01280 824871, or visit the Clearly Speaking website; www.clearlyspeaking.org.uk to find out more about our work and when the next groups
Next Clearly Cool Club Dates are as follows:
- June 16th
- June 30th
- July 14th
- Sep 8th
- Sep 22nd
- Oct 6th
- Oct 20th
- Nov 3rd
- Nov 17th
- Dec 1st
- Dec 29th
PLEASE BOOK YOUR PLACES!!
Even more good news...
This year we have already successfully applied for children to receive a Statement of Special Educational needs. We have enabled eight young people, aged twelve to nineteen to return to formal educational placements within their Local Authority. We have also provided accredited learning to twelve young people who have diasbilites and diagnosed mental health difficulties, and we continue to provide
specialist clubs and activities to children and young people who have any level of special needs, and, or disabilities. Currently 57 children and young people regularly attend the Clearly Cool Clubs based in Buckingham.
Aiming Higher for Disabled Children, funding managed by Bucks County Council, has just agreed contracts for the year ahead for our Sunday Youth Club, eight additional holiday based Activity Days and our Specialist 'SEN/Disability Debate Forum.
We hope to be able to keep this website up to date with the many exciting, fun and specialist clubs and activities available to all children and young people within reach of our services.
Clearly Speaking have a private Consultancy Company, which provide Local Authorities, Schools and Agencies, as well as families with expert advice and support. Clearly Speaking Ltd provides cost effective, accessible consultant intervention to, assess children, young people and adults who have hidden Special Needs/Disabilities, or who require resources or specialist care and intervention, which are not being provided. Support is given to prepare for and attend tribunals when appropriate. However, every effort is made to avoid these stressful and costly processes as our consultants will try to negotiate and mediate an amicable solution which best meets the holistic needs of children and young people.
Expert reports and supporting evidence for appeals, legal cases and statementing are regularly prepared and submitted in partnership with parents, carers and young people and whenever possible with the co-operation and support of Local Authorities, Schools and Specialist services. We have been very successful and the progress of our children and young people is testiment to our continued commitment.
For details of our specialist, accredited learning program, suitable for young people who are; school refusers, who have experienced significant periods of time out of their educational placement, or who have mental health issues who need supportive stepping stone back into formal learning.
Cakes & Chill In The Garden Fundraiser
We are happy to say we raised £240 from this fundraiser in order to pay for new plastic panes in the green-house. Thanks to all who attended!!!
Activities for the summer holidays can now be seen here or via our Facebook page
We would like to say a great big Thank You to the Buckingham Ladies Circle for their very kind donation of £1,000 which has funded all of our Easter activities this year. The cheque was presented to Clearly Speaking by Elspeth Parkhouse on behalf of the Buckingham Ladies Circle.
Thank you Ladies !
Legal assistance - can you help?
From time to time legal questions arise and; while we have a great deal of experience on a range of issues, it would be useful if any solicitors or others in the legal profession would be able to give us pro bono support. If you can help then please contact Janet at the centre
Visit our new Duke of Edinburgh Award page and find out how you can take part in this exciting programme
Please visit our News & Updates Page
About Clearly Speaking
Clearly Speaking is a charitable, approachable, professional and caring support service for all families and front line professionals.
We provide an holistic approach to care and support for all children & young people 0-25 yrs of age with any level of Special Educational Needs or Disability.
We are often asked how children and young people make so much progress when they come to Clearly Speaking, or the Clearly Cool Clubs. Our aim is to Find a child or young person’s area of interest and helping them to come and enjoy time with others who have similar interests. Help to make friends, learn new skills, relax and have fun.
Contact us by telephone on:
01280 824871 for General Enquiries
Or by e-mail: email@example.com
We are now also on Facebook so please visit our page, tell your friends and family about us and join in (or start) a discussion.
More information is on our News & Updates Page
IMPORTANT NOTICE -
Clubs may be cancelled because of the lack of confirmed bookings.
Parents/Carers/Young People: You MUST book your place 2 or 3 days before the date that the club that you wish to attend would normally be running.
We can no longer afford to run clubs and activities if we only have a few people confirming that they will be attending.
We need you to help us to help you ! We want to be able to maintain our activities but we cannot run clubs and incur costs if we cannot be sure that people will be attending - and the only way that we know that you WILL be attending is by YOU booking your place.
Please voice your opinions to Laura Nankin of Bucks County Council, to Bucks County Council in general and to Councillor Adams.
Don’t forget to visit our News & Updates Page
We would love to have your help..
In order to develop and maintain the support and services that Clearly Speaking offers to families and individuals we would like to encourage more volunteers and session leaders to join us.
As you would expect, in the best interest of everyone visiting and being involved with Clearly Speaking, there are certain formalities that need to be followed before becoming involved with Clearly Speaking’s activities but if you think that you might like to become involved the please visit our Vacancies & Volunteering Page to find out more …Thank You.
Thank you to Aiming High for supporting the work of Clearly Speaking with funding for some activities... everyone at Clearly Speaking greatly appreciates your help.
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