On Wednesday 26th February, NNPCF Co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia attended a meeting with the newly appointed Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Children and Families, Vicky Ford.
In our meeting, we covered a lot of ground and shared the views of parent carers on the current state of the SEND across the country and what needs to be changed to improve outcomes and parental confidence in the system. It is encouraging that the new Minister is prioritising SEND in her first full week in the job. We passed on some key messages on behalf of parents and carers:
· We emphasised the importance of listening to the concerns of families and intervening early to stop concerns becoming problems and problems becoming crises.
· We discussed the value of coproduction and how the involvement of parent carers was key to all successful decision making. We urged the Minister to ensure that a wide range of views from parent carers is included in the ongoing SEND review.
· We shared our input into the SEND review and including the key points from our 2019 conference (http://www.nnpcf.org.uk/nnpcf-conference-gives-send-review-seven-clear-messages/)
o Listen to families and intervene early
o Make sure there is enough money and spend it well
o Align incentives for school and system leaders
o Increased accountability
o Right people, right knowledge, right skills
o Lifelong outcomes
· We discussed the work and reach of parent carer forums.
We will continue to work with the Minister and her team and we are in the process of scheduling further meetings with her. We will keep you updated.