National Reps

The National Representatives Team provide vital support to the NNPCF by attending meetings and events on behalf of the NNPCF and its member forums feeding back key information and actions required. The team has a collection of skills and experience that range from public sector services (including social service staff and teachers) to information technology specialists and nurses. All of them are, of course, parent carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

Between them they represent the views of our member parent carer forums across many meetings and events that the NNPCF are invited to be part of. They are supported by our Participation Lead who offers them guidance on the meetings and events to help them prepare effectively and works closely with the Co-Chairs to manage the work streams we participate in.

The National Reps Team is made up of all the NNPCF Steering Group Members and a selection of parent carer forum representatives from within each of the NNPCF membership regions.

How to become a national representative:

To become a national rep you need to be a strategic member of your local parent carer forum. This could be in any position, such as chair, treasurer, or parent carer representative, paid or voluntary. You do need to have the support of your forum when applying to be a part of our national representatives team. This is because of the nature of the role, you may need to travel and have portions of time where you are not available to your local forum. Although we support you to balance this, your forum need to be aware of the commitment this role may require of you. You will also need the support of your Regional Steering Group Member.

We are currently seeking expressions of interest from the West Midlands and East Midlands regions in particular, but welcome applications from any Parent Carer Forum Representative.

For further information, please email


East of England

Carol Kelsey – East of England National Representative

In 2009 Carol helped to found her local forum, motivated by the experience of raising two sons with SEND, and has been actively involved ever since. In 2013 Carol also became a National Representative for the NNPCF. Carol is also currently the Chair of Governors in a maintained special school and a Governor in a mainstream secondary school. 

Jo Harrison – East of England National Representative

Sylvia Jenkins – East of England National Representative

Sarah Conboy – East of England National Representative

Karen Russell – East of England National Representative

Karen is mum to three children, and has one disabled daughter with complex medical needs.

She has been a member of her local Parent Carer Forum since 2014, of which she was Chair for three of those years, and is still actively involved.

Karen is currently the Chair of the Eastern Region of Parent Carer Forums, and is also on the Board of Trustees for a local Multi Academy Trust made up of three Special Schools.

She is passionate about improving life outcomes for children and young people with SEND, as well as supporting and empowering families.

South East

South West

Ruth Hobbs – South West National Representative

Ruth is CEO of her local forum. She has a child with a range of additional needs.

She is also and SEN governor and strives to improve lives for families in her local area. This has led to her involvement in regional activities.

Richard Hobbs – South West National Representative

Richard has a background working in health and social care.

He has a particular interest in Autism, ADHD, and related additional needs.

Richard has been a parent carer representative since 2015 in his local area.

Claire David – South West National Representative

Claire has been an active member in her local forum since 2015 and is the Vice chair of the steering group. She has a child with a range of needs she is very keen on helping families to improve their children’s lives in education.

Jacqui Watt – South West National Representative

Jacqui was Chair of her local parent carer forum for almost 4 years before stepping down to become Participation Lead for the NNPCF. She has a background working in Early Years and as a Post 16 Student Support Worker.

When she was pregnant with her youngest son she found out at the 20 week scan that half of his cerebellum in his brain was missing. This is a rare condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia, with the affects being similar to someone having a stroke. He attends a mainstream primary school with an EHCP.

Jacqui is extremely passionate that all children deserve to reach their full potential and live their best possible lives.

Kenton Mee – South West National Representative

Kenton is CEO and Director of North Somerset’s Forum, he has three children, one with Autism.

Kenton is passionate about developing a forum that best represents and supports local parent carers whilst working together with stakeholders to improve outcomes for all children and young people with additional needs and disabilities.

East Midlands

West Midlands

Sarah Thomas – West Midlands National Representative

Zara Bowden – West Midlands National Representative

Zara supports our communications and media channels. She provides support in managing our social media platforms and websites, alongside developing our annual conference and annual report in coproduction with our partners.

She is currently co-chair of her local forum and has been an active representative for them since 2012. She has a daughter with Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus in mainstream education.

Heather Delaney – West Midlands National Representative

Heather is the Chair and a Director of her local forum. She has two children with a range of additional needs. Heather is passionate about working together to improve outcomes for all children.

North East

Carla Scaife – North East National Representative

Carla Scaife is a mum of 3 girls from the North East of England, with a background of working in Education and Health services for over 16 years and has been in the leadership team of her own local area forum for 7 years where she is now a Director.

Helen Bailey – North East National Representative

North West

Sam Jones – North West National Representative

Yorkshire & Humber

Kayleigh Harrison – Yorkshire & Humber National Representative

Kayleigh is a mum of 2 neurodiverse young people, who both have a range of additional needs.

She has been an active member of Rotherham Parent Carers Forum since 2016, her current role is Volunteer and Engagement coordinator.

Kayleigh is passionate about coproduction, ensuring all voices are heard as equals, as lived experience helps to shape the future for young people with SEND and their families. She is also part of the Genuine partnerships team, who work with national partners to promote coproduction within local areas.

Karen Hoe – Yorkshire & Humber National Representative

Karen has over 10 years experience working in the health and social care sector.  She has been part of her forum for a number of years.

Her working background has ranged from retail management to charity sector support work.

Karen is coordinator for her local forum as well as an active parent representative.