“Staying Connected, Staying Safe”

Information for Parents and Carers of students with SEND

Welcome to our webpage which is dedicated to parent carers of young people with SEND.

The college is always here to support you and your family.

This page is designed to let you know what we have done to get ready for the return to College and to give you any updates.

There are also links to external organisations who can give you guidance and support over the coming weeks.

News & Updates

Return to College Social Story

Returning to College from 8 March 2021

Frequently Asked Questions for Students with EHCPs and SEND

The College is getting ready to welcome your son/daughter back to learning on campus. Please see the most frequently asked questions which will hopefully give you the confidence and reassurance which you need to prepare your young person for a safe, supportive and successful return.

Provision for Children and Young People with SEND

East Sussex County Council Survey for Parent/Carers

East Sussex County Council is looking to improve the outcomes and life experiences of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


The college has a team of specialists who are here to support you and your young person at home, during transition and at college. Get in touch if we can help you and/or your young person with any of the following:

  • A regular phone call to see how you are doing
  • Support with homework and/or online work or activities to do at home
  • Support with therapy needs such as Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy

Contact our team if you need any advice or support:

If you need to talk to someone about learning support for your young person, simply email one of our Learning Support Managers:

If you need to talk to someone about therapy for your young person, simply email our Therapy Manager:

If you need to talk to someone about an Inclusive Learning Course (entry level), simply email one of our Heads of Curriculum:

If you need to talk to someone about a safeguarding concern, simply email one of our Safeguarding Managers:

Useful links

Resources, activities and ideas to support you and your young person to plan your time at home

Educational Resources and Activities

Gig Buddies

Gig Buddies is running online music festivals to celebrate young talent and creativity. You can support your young person to perform or simply tune in to see the performances. Our young people have the right to stay up late!

National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society has collected a number of resources to support autistic people and their families during the changes to learning and staying at home:

Special Needs Jungle

Special Needs Jungle has some really good resources to support people with more complex and sensory needs during their time at home:

Connexions 360

If you are starting to think about 'what's next' for my young person, the Connexions 360 page has lots of resources to get you thinking about progression

Sensory Needs You Tube Channel

The College team has created some videos for you to enjoy at home with your young person. Join in, sing along or simply listen to the songs and strories which have been created just for you:

Guidance on any exceptions to the Government rules for people with SEND

Your Rights

Autism Exemption for Travel Masks

People with autism will be exempt from new rules insisting everyone must wear a face covering on public transport.

Learning Disability Cards

Right click on image to save

Organisations that can you help you to manage your finances while you are at home



A national charity helping people when times get tough. They provide financial support to help people get back on track during Covid-19 and in the future.

Lots of places are trying to support you to stay at home. See what's on offer in your area.

Practical Support

Hidden Disabilities

Be visible when you want to be. Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you may need additional support, help or a little more time. The website has a range of affordable cards and lanyards which you can buy for yourself or your young person - hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

Foodbank is ready to help

If you need any support with food for you and your family, Foodbank is ready to help. It has created an online system of food vouchers which the college can complete for you on your behalf. Please contact your Safeguarding Manager (see contacts) who will talk to you about this. You should receive your delivery the next day.


If you or your young person are struggling during lockdown, there are a range of resources and information which are there to support you. The new STAY social media campaign is an e-wellbeing service for young people, support for young carers and advice for parents - Click Here.

Information Pack for Family and Friend Carers

Sussex Partnership Adult Learning Disability Services have created a booklet full of useful information to support you and your family during this very challenging time. There are tips and advice to keep you and your young person safe and well during this very uncertain time. Click here to download.

Positive Approaches to Support

This website has been created for families who care for children, young people or adults with a learning disability or developmental difficulty (including those who are autistic). Family carers will find information about positive approaches for supporting wellbeing and supporting choice, independence and communication for their relative. Family carers will also find information about how to support their relative if they display behaviours that challenge.

Supporting Autistic people as lockdown eases

In this booklet the National Autistic Society offer some further ideas and resources which may be helpful for professionals and families supporting autistic people.
Click here to download.

Awesome and Autistic in a post-pandemic world

Siena Castellon is 17 years old and autistic. You can listen to her talk about being autistic, lockdown, the cancellation of her A levels, advice for young people and her book, "The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide":

Managing Transitions

Moving from school to college or from one course to another can present challenges for young people in normal circumstances. The experience of the pandemic may bring up more complex emotions than usual. To respond to this, Mentally Healthy Schools has pulled together lots of resources to help parent carers talk to their young person about change. Click here to download.

ESCC COVID-19 Guidance: January 2021

An information guide for people with learning disabilities in East Sussex. Click here to download.

Keeping Safe Online

A guide for people with learning disabilities.

World Autism Awareness Week
29 March - 4 April 2021

Groups and organisations that will give you the opportunity to talk with people who are in the same position as you

Parent Power

East Sussex Parent Carer Forum

East Sussex Parent Carer Forum is run by people who are experiencing similar issues to you. They make sure that the views of parents and young people with SEND are at the heart of all decision making. They also have some great resources to use whilst your at home with your family:


NEW Parents and Carers Helpline

A new helpline has been launched to support parent carers of young people with SEND. An educational psychologist is available to support parent carers with a range of issues including anxiety and behaviour. Download details here.

Groups and organisations that will be able to give you the support you need to look after yourself so that you can continue to look after the people who rely on you

Well-Being and Mental Health

Southdown Peer Support Service

Please see the latest information regarding the Southdown Peer Support Service here:

We recognise that during this challenging time connecting with others is an important part of maintaining positive health and well-being.

As well as supporting current clients, the ESCN Peer Service are also accepting new referrals for 1:1 support. This can be ‘light touch’ , supporting you/clients to manage their mental health and well-being during this challenging time, or more long term support for up to 6-8 weeks.

Support will be provided by a Peer Specialist who draws on their own lived experience and recovery journey to mentor and guide others. The Peer Specialist will enable you/your clients to identify strategies/tools to help manage your mental health and promote recovery and well-being. Where needed, they will also signpost to relevant services.

Support will be provided over the phone, however, our team are also exploring new communication platforms and methods to meet the current needs of the community.

To ease the referral process, we have adapted our current referral form (
click here to download).

Please send completed referral forms to:

For further support/ information about this service please contact Michelle Trunchion (Team Manager) on 07772 613945 or by email at michelle.trunchion@southdown.org

Online Mutual Aid meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Cocaine Anonymous
All fellowships
SMART Recovery

Eastbourne Volunteers

Eastbourne Volunteers have launched a telephone befriending service –if you know anyone who needs support get in touch with Helen Burton at eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com.

Community Hubs in East Sussex

The contact point where residents of East Sussex can turn if they feel they need some extra help in coping with the effects of coronavirus or if they know someone else who needs help. Click here to download details.

Managing Anxiety


Are you a parent or carer who is concerned about the mental health of your child or teenager? Do you just want some hints and tips on working with your young person while you are together 24/7 at home? Visit www.minded.org.uk

East Sussex Mental Health Directory

The East Sussex Mental Health Directory has a wealth of information about supporting yourself or someone you know with their mental health. There are lots of useful websites and links to organisations who are there to support you and your family during this challenging time:

The Covid Vaccine

Find out more about the Covid-19 vaccine by clicking a video or question - www.keepsafe.org.uk

FREE courses that you can do while you are at home. Learn for fun, to gain a qualification or to simply pass the time

Learn Something New

New online, short course learning opportunities at East Sussex College

These courses are free if you are over the age of 19 and have lived in the UK or and EU country for the last 3 years. Please see the link below for information about all the courses, where to go for more information and how to apply. Please note that all applications and requests for further information are via Grasp Learning team on Tel: 030 300 39777 or Email: info@sussexskillssolutions.co.uk, not the Community Learning team.


As part of the enrolment process, you will be asked to do a short Information, Advice and Guidance questionnaire and will also be asked to complete a short maths and English assessment. These should be nothing to worry about and are to assess that you will be able to complete the course independently.

Future Learn

Free course on autism which has been updated to include information about the coronavirus:

Free Online PBS Awareness Course

Free course from BILD to raise awareness of the benefits of using Positive Behaviour Support with young people who have behaviours which challenge:

Community Learning at College

Community Learning is running a series of short courses to support you with well-being, mindfulness, assertiveness and managing stress. Have a look at the free courses and sign up soon as places fill up fast.

Supporting Parent Carers and Young People with SEND


Amaze host two of the Sussex parent carer forums. They work closely with the Local Authorities and health services to ensure that the voice of parent carers is heard and are involved in planning. They are a good way to link in with other families.

East Sussex College