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 needs 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 representatives from the South East, North West, London, West Midlands and East Midlands regions, but welcome applications from any parent carer forum representative.
For further information, please email email@example.com
Welcome to the Participation Summer update.
In June, our team came together, in person or online for our annual National Representative day, which this year was in London.
We started the day with a quick team building exercise, then our co chair, Tina Emery gave an update on the areas of work that the NNPCF are currently involved in.
Our Policy and Consultation lead, Claire Fisher, then asked what information the Nat Reps would find helpful to have to aid their roles on the different teams they are part of. She also spoke about adapting the Talking Points documents, which is usually shared on the website.
Melissa Chesman, our Communications lead, then spoke with the team about the best way of sharing what activities and meetings they are involved in with our wider parent carer community.
Over the last few months our Nat Reps have participated in a number of meetings including being a member on the judging panel of the Mental Health Awards, and then they attending the awards ceremony themselves (which was presented by author Michael Rosen). More information about the awards can be found here: https://www.rootofit.com/awards . They have also been involved in a large project to work to support our Policy and Consultation Lead. They analysed the 192 case studies previously shared by parents and carers where children and young people’s needs are not being met in school and don’t have EHCPs. We are currently working on how to best share this information.
We said farewell to Louise Engels,who was a new National Rep in the East Midlands, but sadly due to a change in the circumstances within her forum had to stand down from the role. However, we were able to welcome Dave Barnard from the London Region to the Nat Rep role, and we look forward to working more closely with him going forward.
The London Region now have a new Health Team and are already taking their first steps in identifying parent carer health priorities across London and improving co
If you fancy joining our team or would like more information about the role, please get in touch. In particular, we are looking for National representation from members in the North East, North West, South East and London
Email Jacqui, our participation lead, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Dave Barnard London Representative
Dave has worked in third sector (community and social care) for over 20 years in a variety of roles and services, from mental health day centre worker to CEO of locally based domiciliary home care charities, social prescribing and community engagement organisations.
Dave joined their local Parent Carer Forum in 2021 when their teenager was diagnosed autistic and was experiencing mental health issues.
Dave is keen on ensuring the voice of the young person and that of the family is heard and recorded.
East of England
Sylvia Jenkins – East of England National Representative
Sylvia has been the Finance Director and an active Rep for HPCI, her local Hertfordshire PCF, since co-founding it in 2010.
She also has a strong Regional commitment having been the Secretary of the Eastern Region of Parent Carer Forums (ERPCF) since 2015 and is a Regional Rep.
Sylvia has always focussed on helping to improve SEND services through co-production, bringing the voice and views of the wider parent body to the room and focussing practioners and service providers on the needs of the child or young person to allow our SEND CYP to achieve their best outcomes.
Sarah Conboy – East of England National Representative
Sarah has been CEO of Pinpoint, Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum since 2017. She is a mum of two boys – one with special needs – and likes policy documents! A former teacher and SENCo, she led a school moderate learning difficulties department. She has worked in various roles for the Department for Education, the Teacher Training Agency and Cambridgeshire County Council.
Julia Brunning – East Of England National Representative
I have 3 boys – all now young adults and with a range of additional needs. We have experienced both mainstream and specialist education and are currently negotiating the transition into the adult world.
Having been involved in establishing the current forum for Essex in 2017/18 – I now work as their Education and Social Care Lead and have, in 2023, been voted in as the Vice Chair of the Eastern Region. I truly believe that the collective voice of parents and carers is a powerful tool for influencing change.
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.
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.
Kay Henry- South West National Representative
I am CEO and Director of Cornwall’s Forum and have been for a number of years. Two of my children have a range of additional needs. I feel passionate about coproduction and empowering parents.
Rachel Hale – South West National Representative
Rachel is Chair and a Director of B&NES Parent Carer Forum which is in Bath and North East Somerset. She has two children with a variety of additional needs including autism and PTSD.
She worked for the local SENDIAS for 13 years before moving to work independently and with B&NES PCF. She is also Vice Chair of Governors and SEND Governor at a local mainstream secondary school. She believes passionately in fairness and equality of opportunity for all people, and in empowering parents to fully participate at all levels.
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.
Claire Powers – West Midlands National Representative
Hi I’m Claire and I’m married to Trevor and we have two children. My son attends an Independent Mainstream School’s SEN Unit. He was born extremely prematurely and has cerebral palsy, visual impairment and epilepsy. I also have a younger daughter who is full of life and really knows her own mind!
We live in Dudley and I am CoChair of our borough’s parent carer forum. I am also a Black Country Public Governor of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospitals, as well as the Finance and Operations Lead for the NNPCF.
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.