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COVID-19. SEND Update from Jill Colbert, Chief Executive, Together for Children, Sunderland. 26.03.2020

Dear Parents, Carers, Families and Young People,

I attach a letter from Vicky Ford the Parliamentary Under Secretary for State for Children and Families.

She writes to inform us of the planned relaxation of some of the time lines with respect to Children and Young People with SEND as part of emergency measures due to COVID-19.

We find ourselves in extraordinary times as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential public servants like community health staff have now been deployed into hospitals and many other partner agencies are being asked to prioritise critical services. We are keeping our services running as far as possible but following Government guidance around shielding the vulnerable and social distancing, we have to make some changes during this crisis.

TfC want to reassure you that our SEND team are here to support you and that we are doing as much as we reasonably can while faced with putting public protection first. We continue to work diligently to ensure that our SEND processes and systems are maintained.

We are still holding SEND and Resources panels, albeit remotely, and will respond to questions and queries as usual.

General SEND enquiries relating to the EHCP process can be referred to and a full list of SEND Team email addresses is attached.

You can contact Sunderland SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) by phone on 0191 5375764 or by email at .

Sunderland Parent Carer Forum (PCF) is contactable by phone on 07393 129858, by email at and their website is The PCF web pages include resources and information that you will find useful in these challenging times.

Sunderland Carers’ Centre can offer information, advice and guidance to all unpaid carers by phone on 0191 5493768 or by email at

We will keep you updated on our developments.

With my sincere regards,

Jill Colbert

Chief Executive

Together for Children, Sunderland

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