consultations Department for Education Education NNPCF work Parent Carer Forums SEND Review

NNPCF launch SEND Green Paper consultation survey for all parent carers.

The NNPCF have recently launched their parent carer survey on the SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper consultation.

They hope to collect as many responses as possible from all parent carers, not just those who are involved in their local parent carer forums.

The responses of the survey will help to inform the NNPCF’s own response to the SEND Green Paper consultation.

Co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia stated that, “The Green Paper is an opportunity to reset the SEND system after the 2014 reforms failed to deliver the improvements that families of children with SEND so desperately need. It is vital that every parent carer’s voice is heard and so we have launched a short, simple survey to gather parental views that we will use to inform our response to the Green Paper. We will, of course, also publish the survey results.”

You can complete the survey here:

The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete and remains open until the 30 June.

Committee Education Select Committee SEND Review

NNPCF gives evidence to the Education Select Committee

The NNPCF co-chair Mrunal Sisodia gave evidence to the House of Commons Education Select Committee on 24 May, when a session was held on the SEND Green Paper consultation.

Mrunal was joined by IPSEA chief executive Ali Fiddy, Local Government Ombudsman Michael King and Imogen Jolley, Head of Public Law at Simpson Millar.

In the evidence session Mrunal spoke to key points on the SEND Green Paper, including:

  • The need for the incentives in the overall education, care and health system to be aligned with the needs of SEND children, young people and their families.
  • The need for improved accountability in the sector to ensure that when needs were not being met issues could be addressed.
  • The need to listen to families and drive early intervention and stop families getting to crisis point before help is given. This increases needs, creates anger, frustration, mistrust, and costs more money.
  • The need for the Green Paper to say more about long term outcomes for young people with SEND beyond education such as employment, community inclusion and independent living.
  • NNPCF support for national standards in SEND provision that, if set properly and implemented effectively, would help to drive greater clarity in what families can expect and what services need to provide.
  • Parental concerns about naming a setting from a suitable list for children with EHCPs.
  • The importance of strong advocacy and independent support for parents, for example through SENDIAS services and keyworking.
  • The role of Ofsted and the desire from parents that no school should be classified as good or outstanding without being good or outstanding for SEND.

You can find a recording of the session here: The Government’s SEND Review – Committees – UK Parliament

Bills and legislations Department for Education Education NNPCF work Parent Carer Forums SEND Review

The SEND Green Paper: NNPCF briefing

What does it say and what does the NNPCF think about it?

The NNPCF co-chairs, Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia held a briefing on the contents of the long-awaited SEND and Alternative Provision Green Paper consultation for parent carer forums on 23 May.

A recording of the session can now be viewed by following the links below:

YouTube recording of the briefing

Slides from the briefing

Mentimeter survey results

The NNPCF have also published their parent carer survey.

They hope to collect as many responses as possible from all parent carers, not just those who are involved in their local parent carer forums.

The responses of the survey will help to inform the NNPCF’s own response to the SEND Green Paper consultation.

Co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia stated that, “The Green Paper is an opportunity to reset the SEND system after the 2014 reforms failed to deliver the improvements that families of children with SEND so desperately need. It is vital that every parent carer’s voice is heard and so we have launched a short, simple survey to gather parental views that we will use to inform our response to the Green Paper. We will, of course, also publish the survey results.”

You can complete the survey here:

The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes to complete and remains open until the 30 June.

consultations Department for Education Education Minister for children and families Parent Carer Forums SEND Review

SEND Green Paper engagement events with the Department for Education and parent carer forums

The special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) consultation was published at the end of March. The NNPCF have been working with the Green Paper team at the Department for Education (DfE) to organise a series of engagement events for parent carer forums to feedback and discuss the plans outlined in the Green Paper.

There are three different categories of events:

A national webinar hosted by NNPCF co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia – 12 noon 23 May

At this event Mrunal and Tina will share the initial NNPCF response to the proposals. The session will step through the Green Paper outlining which proposals the NNPCF supports and which we have concerns about. The session will be interactive, and we will be seeking flash feedback from parent carer forums on their views of some of the proposals in the Green Paper. We will also outline the different ways that parent carer forums as well as individual parents can respond to the consultation and have their voices heard.

To sign up for this event please use the following link:

Regional events hosted by the Department for Education for Parent Carer Forums

The DfE Green Paper team will be attending NNPCF regional events to share the thinking behind the Green Paper and to have a discussion with regional parent carer groups about their thoughts on the proposals. In these sessions the DfE team will offer a short presentation of 20-30 minutes and then will take feedback and questions relating to the Green Paper for the rest of the hour. The objective of these sessions is to offer parent carer forums the opportunity to have frank and honest exchanges with the DfE team. The sessions will not be recorded due to confidentiality reasons.

The schedule of events is as follows:

RegionDateTimeVirtual or in person meeting
North East26 May11am – 12.30pmVirtual
North West   
Yorkshire and Humber24 May10amIn person York
West Midlands16 May1pmVirtual
East Midlands8 June10amVirtual
East of England12 May10am-2pmIn person – Cambridge
16 May 10am-12.30pmVirtual
South East20 May10am-12noonVirtual
South West10 May12:30pm-2pmVirtual (Teams)
Please note, any gaps to the table will be filled once confirmed by the DfE.
Details of how to join these meetings will be sent out through the usual regional parent carer forum channels.

National SEND review briefing hosted by Minister Will Quince

We are currently working with the DfE to organise a national webinar. This will give parent carer forums the opportunity to discuss and feedback to the DfE on the proposals set out in the Green Paper. Children and Families Minister Will Quince will host this event. Once the dates have been confirmed we will publish the webinar, with more information including how to register for the session.

Bills and legislations consultations parent carer forum guidance

Proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice and implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards

Policy briefing for parent carer forums

The Government are consulting on the proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) Code of Practice, which includes guidance on the new Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) system. The consultation is also seeking views on the LiPS regulations, which will underpin the new system.

You can access the consultation here.

This is a joint consultation published by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The LPS will apply to people over the age of 16, and the Department for Education (DfE) has been involved in the development of this new system.

What is Mental Capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make decisions.

This could be small decisions like what we eat or the clothes we wear, or could be much bigger decisions, for example where we live and who we live with.

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) sets some important key principles. 

  • The starting point should be that a person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity.
  • A right to support in making decisions: “A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him to do so have been taken without success.” The right to make unwise decisions: “A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision.”
  • Capacity is based on a single decision at a single time, so some people may have fluctuating capacity, meaning they can decide one day and not the next depending on their wellbeing. Therefore, this needs to be taken into consideration when assessing capacity and considering a time when someone is likely to be at their most able to make a decision.

Provision is made in the Children and Families Act to deal with this.

Under the Act, lacking mental capacity has the same meaning as in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out what should happen when people are unable to make one or more decisions for themselves. It clarifies the roles that different people play in decision-making, including family carers.

Children under 16

For children under 16, the Mental Capacity Act does not apply.  Instead, a child needs to be assessed whether they have enough understanding to make up their own mind about the benefits and risks of treatment – this is sometimes termed ‘Gillick competence’ and means that the child has the competency to give consent and make decisions. The term ‘Gillick’ competence is usually used when considering medical treatments.

What is Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)?

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), referred to as ‘safeguards’ are part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005). They aim to protect people in care homes, hospitals, and the community from being inappropriately deprived of their liberty or that the appropriate process is followed if the person does not have capacity and is being deprived of their liberty. 

When considering a deprivation of liberty for a 16- or 17-year-old, where the young person lacks capacity to consent themselves to arrangements which meet the ‘acid test’ for deprivation of liberty (i.e., under continuous supervision and control and not free to leave), it is not sufficient for parents to consent to this arrangement. In such circumstances the Court of Protection will often need to approve such an arrangement.

It is recognised that in most situations, providers and families are working in the best interest of a young person. Often when a young person is deprived of their liberty, it is usually with the purpose to safeguard them from harm or harm to others. However, when considering any action, for example preventing a young person from leaving a home, thought should be given to what is the least restrictive option for the young person, whilst keeping them safe.

What are Liberty Protection Safeguards?

The Liberty Protection Safeguards were introduced in the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 and will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLs) system. The UK government is now consulting on draft regulations which will underpin the new system.

It is envisaged that the new LPS will provide a more streamline system to manage any deprivation of liberty. The implementation of these new arrangements has been delayed and so far, there is no confirmed date when they will be introduced. Therefore, the present arrangements will remain in place for the near future.

When introduced the Liberty Protection Safeguards will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.

People who might have a Liberty Protection Safeguards authorisation include those with autism and learning disabilities who lack the relevant capacity.

What does this mean for forums?

  • Forums should make their members aware of the proposed changes.
  • Forums may wish to respond to the consultation or share their views with the NNPCF Consultation & Policy Lead to inform the NNPCF response.
  • Forums should be aware of the how mental capacity is assessed and decision making supported in their local area for young people with complex needs.
  • Forums should consider how this may affect the education and wider outcomes children and young people with complex needs are achieving.

consultations Department for Education SEND Review

SEND Green Paper – response from the NNPCF

The long awaited SEND Green Paper was published this morning. In this article, the NNPCF steering group present their initial response and analyse where the Green Paper delivers what parent carer forums had asked for, where it doesn’t go far enough and where we have significant concerns.

You can find the Green Paper here: SEND review: right support, right place, right time – GOV.UK (

You can also download a copy of this response here:


The SEND review has been a long time in the making. It was originally launched in the summer of 2019. Delayed by general elections, government reshuffles and Covid 19, it represents an opportunity to reset and further reform the SEND system following the 2014 Children and Families Act..

The NNPCF have had a lot of input into the SEND review. When it was initially launched in 2019, the SEND review team met with the NNPCF steering group several times and they attended our 2019 conference where we devoted a whole afternoon to coproducing the NNPCF input. NNPCF conference gives SEND Review seven clear messages – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C

Following this the NNPCF steering group continued to engage with the SEND review and at our conference last year we presented our views on how the SEND system needed to change

We updated this at our conference last week

In Autumn 2021, the SEND review was re-set following the pandemic and NNPCF co-chairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia were invited to join the reconstituted steering group. After careful deliberation, the NNPCF board decided that Tina and Mrunal should join the Review Steering Group once we had been satisfied that it was an opportunity to coproduce solutions and not just rubber stamp proposals. This group first met in late 2021.

In this paper, we step through the key things we have asked for from the SEND review and assess to what extent it delivers on this. We will also look at some areas that the Green Paper is proposing things that we did not ask for and we disagree with.


The SEND review cannot be seen in isolation. There are three other major pieces of legislation / policy in train that will have a major impact upon the lives of children and young people with SEND. They are:

The Schools White Papera major change in legislation for schools. This was released yesterday – you can find it here (Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child – GOV.UK ( It focuses on quality of teaching, standards, targeted support and the schools’ system. We will publishing our initial response to the White Paper shortly.

The Children’s Social Care Reviewthis independent review is being run by Josh MacCallister. The NNPCF has had extensive engagement with the review NNPCF input into children’s social care review – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C including hosting a webinar The Children’s Social Care Review – “The Case for Change”

The Health and Care Bill – the bill that will establish Integrated Care Systems to replace clinical commissioning groups. The NNPCF have done a lot of work with NHSE to understand the changes and what they will mean for children and young people with SEND and parent carer forums.

We will be publishing an update on the Health and Care Bill in the next few days.

What is wrong with the SEND system

Before any solutions, there needs to be a clear understanding of the problem. The DfE Green Paper adopts the problem analysis as put forward by parent carer forums.

The 2014 SEND reforms were based on the right principles – coproduction, person centred services and joint working. However, they were implemented into an environment that meant that they could not be effectively implemented. The problems included:

  • Incentives and accountability of leaders
    • Schools aren’t incentivised to be inclusive
    • SEND is too often a low priority across health and social care
    • Poor accountability and few consequences for failure
  • Leaders, managers and staff aren’t equipped and supported to deliver
    • They don’t know the law
    • The system hasn’t made the cultural changes needed
  • Money – There just isn’t enough money in the system and the money that is in the system isn’t being used effectively
  • Not enough coproduction is taking palace – both strategic and individual

This has led to a vicious circle of services not listening to families and seeking to protect scarce resources or prioritising other measures (e.g. school league tables). This leads to families not getting the services they need and because accountability and redress in the system is confused more time passes which results in the situation worsening whilst trust declines and anger increases.

We are pleased that the SEND review has agreed with and adopted this problem analysis.

What needs to change?

Based on this, forums outlined seven things they said needed to change at the 2019 NNPCF conference. These are:

These are the things that parent carer forums believe need to change. We need to coproduce with the system to identify the levers that will actually deliver these changes.

How do we change it?

Following on from this, the NNPCF steering group worked with system partners (most notably the Department for Education and NHSE) to identify the practical steps that needed to be taken to deliver these changes..

We identified five key areas:

In the remainder of this paper, we analyse where we got what we asked for, where we have had partial success and / or need more clarity and the areas that we are very concerned about.

The Green Paper contains a lot of what we asked for

A set of minimum standards

The Green Paper proposes to create a single national SEND system with national standards and promises to review the SEND code of practice to ensure it is fit for purpose. There will be a standardised and digitised EHCP process and templates. We would like to see this go a little further and specify the reasonable adjustments that children and young people can expect.

Clarity on joint commissioning and who pays for what

It will establish new local SEND partnerships across education, health and care that must produce a local inclusion plan. There will be greater clarity on who pays for what based upon more rigorous understanding and analysis of local needs that is coproduced with families. This will formalise the joint planning, working, and commissioning that is needed in the system.

There is a greater focus on workforce development in schools

The Green Paper proposes the introduction of a new NECO NPQ in schools and increase the number of SEND qualified staff in schools. This needs to go further and include health and social care practitioners as well and must ingrain the values of coproduction.

A greater focus on implementation

The Green Paper proposes a National SEND delivery plan. One of the failings of the 2014 reforms was inadequate planning and focus on how the reforms would be implemented. Because the key data gathered focussed on the conversion of statements to EHCP, this became the objective of the reforms. We welcome the role of a new national SEND Delivery Board to oversee this process.

The additional money going into the system

The Green Paper outlines more money to be spent on education generally and SEND in particular. This is much needed investment – we have consistently been calling for more money in the SEND system and for it to be spent more effectively.

There are many areas where we need more clarity

We do not understand how responsibilities, powers, accountability and regulation will work in the new system.

We welcome the increased focus on accountability in the Green Paper and we are encouraged by the new requirements on ICSs in the latest version of the Health and Care Bill. However, we do not yet have sufficient clarity on how powers, responsibilities, accountability, and regulatory oversight will be organised across local authorities, schools, DfE regional directors (replacing schools commissioners) and health systems. There is a danger that in a confused system, the needs of children and families are lost. This was one of the greatest failings of the 2014 reforms, the perverse incentives and mis-aligned accountability in the system meant that different commissioners and providers did not prioritise or work together effectively enough.

New national system of banding and price tariffs

The Green Paper proposes a new national system of funding and tariffs which will include funding levels for all provisions including the independent special school sector. We do not know how this will work – whilst we welcome greater clarity on funding arrangements and bandings, we must ensure that the bandings and tariffs set are sufficient to meet needs and do not discourage education, health and care providers from supplying these services that families need.

We do not know how the new redress process will work

Currently, too many families have to go to tribunal to get what they are entitled to. Streamlining the redress process to prevent this from being necessary is clearly welcomed. But without further clarity on how mandatory mediation and independent review will work, we fear that families could still end up in tribunal but simply having had to wait even longer. If mediation and independent review is to work, it must be shown to be truly objective and must have some powers to compel local authorities, schools, health and care services to follow rulings.

Relationship with other key pieces of legislation and policy development

It is hard to assess the impact of the SEND Green Paper on its own. Much of the environment in which it will operate will be determined by the Schools White Paper, the outcome of the Independent Review into Children’s Social Care and the Health and Care Bill. We must ensure that the system created for children and young people with SEND is coherent across all of these areas of policy development – most notably the incentives, powers and responsibilities of different players across the system – for example, the schools White Paper must stipulate that a good school is a truly inclusive school.

There are some things we are concerned about

We are very worried about the process for naming a place with an EHCP

The Green paper will amend the process for naming a place within an EHCP, enabling parents to name a preference from a tailored list of appropriate settings.   

We understand that this is an attempt to cap spiralling costs of expensive specialist provision. The root cause of cost pressures on the system are a result of inadequate services that force families to seek more specialised support for their children. At a minimum these lists must be coproduced with parent carer forums and individual tailored lists must be coproduced with families. Most importantly, families must retain the right of redress through mediation or tribunal in the case of a disagreement (as they do now).

The Green Paper is silent on those young people not destined for further education, training or work.

The Green Paper focusses very heavily on educational and employment outcomes. Whilst we welcome the ambition, we must recognise there is a proportion of young people with SEND for whom that is not the right outcome (e.g. those with complex needs). The Paper must recognise the need to provide the right outcomes (e.g. independent or supported living) for this group.

Not enough about Health and Social Care

The Green paper is very focussed on schools and local authorities. It says little on health and care providers and commissioners. If we are to create a joined up system, we must have clarity on what is expected from other key sectors.

Next steps

The Green Paper is a consultation document. The consultation will run for 13 weeks and close on 1st July 2022.

The Department for Education has committed to holding a national event with the NNPCF and events in each of the regions for parent carer forums to feed into the consultation.

In addition, we will be hosting independent events to gather PCF views. We will share details of these are they are set up – there will be a mixture of regional and national events.

We are also working on a large parental survey with other parental groups such as Special Needs Jungle, the Disabled Children’s Partnership and Let us Learn Too. We want to gather thousands of parental views on the proposals and ensure that the parental voice is loud and clear and cannot be ignored through the consultation process. We will be sharing the survey in the next few weeks.

We will also continue to coproduce with the Department for Education and other partners through this period. In particular:

  • We have asked the DfE to ensure that the powers, responsibilities, incentives and accountability of ALL of the commissioners and providers in the new proposed system are understood and mapped. These must also be tested with individual case studies to see how children and young people will be treated in the new system.
  • We must also continue to monitor the development of the Schools White Paper, the Health and Care Bill and the Independent Review into Children’s Social Care and understand the impact this will have on the SEND system.

Appendix 1: How do we change the SEND system?

The detail from the NNPCF “Skunkworks” sessions.

consultations Department for Education

Opportunities to change school systems for Children and Young People with SEND

The Department for Education have published several consultations which set out their proposals to improve school systems.

The NNPCF are working on our consultation responses to ensure that the issues most important to SEND families are reflected in proposed changes across admissions, attendance, and behaviour.


Changes to the school admission appeals code

Closes 3rd April 2022


School attendance: improving consistency of support

Closed 28th February 2022


Revised behaviour in schools guidance and suspension and permanent exclusions guidance – GOV.UK (

Closes 31st March 2022

Forums feed back to us all the time about the issues that children and young people with SEND face in the current school system and how the pandemic has affected children and young people with SEND in different ways.

The NNPCF will include these messages in our consultation responses. The points that we will raise will include:

  • The need for cultural change in schools where inclusion and diversity are valued by ALL. This should be reflected through attendance, behaviour, SEND and Medical Needs policies that are coproduced with children, young people, and their parents/carers.
  • Schools should consider how a whole-school approach can meet the needs of all pupils in the school, including pupils with SEN or a disability so that everyone can feel they belong in the school community.
  • Some behaviours are more likely to arise from types of SEN or disabilities. There is a need for the environment to adapt rather than the individual child. Understand the causes of poor attendance/behaviour and use reasonable adjustments.
  • Better early intervention and more targeted support to meet individual pupils’ and families’ needs would help to reduce absence for many children and young people with SEND.
  • Poor attendance and/or behaviour is not just a school’s responsibility – needs social care and health (including mental health) engagement.
  • Each child or young person has unique needs and family circumstances will vary; parents of children with SEND need support not punishment. Fixed penalty notices (and other sanctions) must only be used appropriately as part of the suite of wider of measures.
  • Must link to wider Government legislation, policy and funding constraints e.g., School’s White Paper, SEND Review, Care Review – enshrine culture of listen, understand and support NOT punish. For example, the Care Review reports that families who need support are automatically translated into children who need protection – they often don’t qualify for CWD support so safeguarding teams become involve.
  • Reality is that SEND families often face ‘escalation ladder’ to punitive measures.
  • Families feel disillusioned and become disengaged – based upon years of not being listened to and believed. This leads to poorer outcomes rather than helping children get back into school.
Department for Education NNPCF work SEND Review

SEND review – engagement opportunities for parent carer forums

The NNPCF steering group has been working with a variety of stakeholders to offer parent carers and forums the opportunity to be briefed and engage in the SEND Green Paper. This post updates you on what we are planning and how you can get involved.

The SEND review has been a long time in the making. It was originally launched in the summer of 2019. Delayed by general elections, government reshuffles and Covid 19, it represents an opportunity to reset and further reform the SEND system following the 2014 Children and Families Act.

The latest information we have suggests that the resultant SEND Green Paper will be published before the end of March. Although, this is subject to last minute change, we are hopeful that the conference will provide a platform for Ministers and the Department for Education to share the contents of the Green Paper just after its publication.

This post outlines this and other engagement opportunities we are planning to ensure that Parent Carer Forums are briefed and our voice is heard as clearly as possible through the Green Paper consultation process.

7th March 2022 – Children and Families Minister Will Quince will be presenting a webinar that is jointly hosted by the NNPCF, Special Needs Jungle, Contact and the Family Fund. The Minister will share some information about the work of the review and will answer some questions set by parents. NNPCF Cochair, Tina Emery will be one of the joint facilitators of this event. Booking details for this event were shared on Tuesday 1st March. All 200 places have already been taken. If you have booked and are unable to attend, please let us know so we can offer your place to someone else. Note: because this is BEFORE the publication of the Green Paper, we do not believe Minister Quince will be in a position to share details of its content.

23rd March – Minister Will Quince is booked to appear at the NNPCF / Contact virtual conference. We are hopeful that the Green Paper will have been published by this time and so Minister Quince will be able to comment on the details. If so, this will be one of the very first engagement events after its publication.

24th March – we are in the process of planning a full-blown engagement session with the Department for Education at the joint NNPCF / Contact conference. We are hopeful that the SEND review team will be able to join the session and it will be an opportunity for parent carer forums to give some early feedback on the contents of the Green Paper. At this session NNPCF cochairs Mrunal Sisodia and Tina Emery will also share their initial thoughts and response – to what extent does the paper incorporate the things that PCFs asked for?

Please look out for the conference booking link that will be circulated shortly to book onto these events.

Note: please be aware that all these plans are subject to change. As you know the SEND review has already been delayed many times and it is possible there may be further changes that are beyond our control.

After the above events, there will be other engagement events planned by the Department for Education. The schedule has not yet been finalised or published but we will share this with you as soon as we have further details.

In addition, we are planning a large parental survey to ensure that as many families as possible have the opportunity to input into the Green Paper proposals. To maximise its reach and ensure that the key messages are amplified, we are planning to coproduce and distribute the survey with other parental representative groups including Special Needs Jungle, Let us Learn Too and the Disabled Children’s Partnership.

Minister for children and families SEND Review

NNPCF Steering Group meeting with Minister Will Quince

On Tuesday 18th January the NNPCF Steering group met with the Parliamentary Undersecretary for Children and Families Minister Will Quince.

It was a 45-minute meeting where we gave the Minister stories of why and what we need to be included into the SEND review. The subjects included:

  • The importance of national clarity about what should be ordinarily available and how this feed into every aspect of a child and young person’s outcomes.

o What happens when these ordinarily services available aren’t clearly set out.

o The importance of services working together, our example was transport

o How local variations can damage outcomes and services

  • The need for clear accountability in the system, between local authorities, schools and regional schools commissioners
  • The need for listening to families on local decisions and the importance of coproduction at all levels.

We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to feed into the review and the consultation that follows. We have asked that communications for the consultation is made clear and the process that follows.

We have offered to support the communications, to enable as many people to engage with the consultation as much as possible.

Jo Gilliland, the NNPCF steering group member for the North East said after the meeting, ““We are all aware of the need for clear accountability in the system between local authorities, schools and regional schools commissioners, I had the opportunity to inform Minister Quince of a situation within my region (North East & Cumbria) where the impact of the lack of accountability, is having wide reaching implications for a cohort of young people and their families. Not only is this situation leading to distress, but the reality of the situation is such that there may not be any further suitable post 16 provision in borough, which in turn leads to families seeking more costly suitable provision (and transport) out of borough. The impact upon the education, life skills, peer relationships, mental

health and future prospects of these young people is great, especially if no suitable provision can be found. Minister Quince, agreed that systems need to be held accountable for such decisions and the need to work together jointly to ensure accountability is paramount.”

Sarah Clarke, the NNPCF steering group member for the South East commented that, “The Minister too was onboard with how a well-defined Ordinarily Available improves how local services work together, increases family’s confidence when speaking to services and allocates clear areas of responsibility across the services.”

To see our SEND review updates, check out:

Education NNPCF work SEND Review

SEND Review Update: NNPCF

NNPCF Co-Chairs continue to attend SEND Review Steering Group and represent views of parents and forums but the NNPCF is also heavily involved in the wider sector response to the review.

One example of this is our work with the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) of which the NNPCF is a member.

SEC is a group of organisations who protect and promote the rights of disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEND) and provide a unified voice for the sector. They work with the government, the Department for Education, members of Parliament and other organisations when there are proposals for changes in policy, legislation, regulations and guidance that may affect disabled children and children with SEN.

We believe it is really important that all parental and sector voices are heard by the Review Team and at the last SEC meeting, members were joined by Charles Lang from DfE who is leading the SEND Review. The following key areas were discussed:

  1. Keep it early: early action to identify and meet needs
  2. Keep children in school: focus on the quality of universal provision in settings, schools and colleges
  3. Keep children local: an integrated approach, locally delivered
  4. A recovery programme for all

SEC had compiled a list of 20 asks of the SEND review that the NNPCF have contributed to and which aligns with the messages that the NNPCF have given the SEND review. What we need from the SEND review: NNPCF co-chairs brief Children and Families Minister Will Quince – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C

We encourage parents to keep talking to their local forums and forums to keep feeding back to NNPCF top ensure that your views are represented in the SEND review. Please share your views with your regional NNPCF steering group member and you can also send your thoughts to