Contact for families with disabled children DCP NNPCF Steering Group

Disabled Children’s Partnership launches new campaign

On Monday 17th January, the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) will launch a new campaign to highlight the need for SEND to be prioritised and properly funded in April’s local authority budgets.

PCFs and this campaign share a common goal of improving services and outcomes for CYP with SEND and the NNPCF and Contact have been calling for the right prioritisation of SEND and the allocation of sufficient resources to deal with the growing crisis for many years – for example, the NNPCF raised this in the 2018 State of the Nation report (State of the Nation Reports – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C ( and this has formed a key plank of the NNPCF’s messages to the SEND review (Latest developments on the SEND Review – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C ( Local forums have echoed these messages in their meetings with local strategic partners in town and county halls across the country.

The NNPCF and Contact’s participation team have been working with our colleagues at the DCP ahead of the launch of the campaign to ensure that the work of parent carer forums is recognised and leveraged within the campaign, and so that individuals are signposted to their local PCF:

  • PCFs would agree with the core messages of the campaign that CYP with SEND and their families need greater prioritisation and resourcing in local areas
  • Forums and local campaigners could work together to achieve mutual aims – co-production and campaigning can be complementary activities
  • Much of the research compiled by DCP to support this campaign may be very useful to forums in their conversations with local authorities and health commissioners.

We recognise that the campaign may result in some forums experiencing challenge from local campaigners who may not understand the way in which forums work, so we want to remind you of some of the resources that Contact’s participation team and the NNPCF have produced on how forums can work with or alongside campaign groups when they have the same aim – you can find them via the links below:

co-production_and_campaigning_guidance.pdf (

Co-production, Campaigning & the Independence of Parent Carer Forums Webinar Recording – YouTube

The campaign may also result in parent carers who were previously unaware of their local PCF wanting to join, or local groups wanting to make links with the forum.

We wanted to make you aware of the campaign ahead of the launch.  Forums can then make informed choices about whether they wish to take part, or if they have the capacity to take part.

PCFs may also find the resource and research pack useful in their work with their local areas.

If you would like any further information or support, please contact your Contact Parent Carer Participation Advisor, or your NNPCF regional steering group member.

NNPCF and Contact

NNPCF Steering Group

Zara Bowden to step down as NNPCF regional representative

Zara Bowden has announced that she will be stepping down from her role as West Midlands steering group representative in February 2022.

Zara has been a member of the NNPCF steering group since 2015 and has served two terms of office. Her second term comes to an end in September 2022 but Zara has made the difficult decision to step down early to support her daughter through an operation planned for early 2022. Her last day as West Midlands steering group representative will be the 18th of February. Zara will continue to work for the NNPCF as a national representative.

NNPCF Co-chair Mrunal Sisodia said, “Zara was one of the people who welcomed me to the NNPCF when I joined the steering group in 2016. Back then, I was impressed with her enthusiasm and energy. Five years later she’s lost none of that verve and has made a big difference to our development over recent years. We would like to thank her for her work and wish her well in the future.”

Zara said, “Over my 7 years in the role I have seen forums change, grow, and flourish within the region, and the national steering group has completely changed with many new faces joining the team. In all those years I have always been blown away by the dedication and resilience of all parent carers within our network to keep raising aspiration and holding systems to account in partnership. You all inspire me every day to be the representative you deserve in the national steering group, but it’s time for someone else to be inspired by you all now. Whilst I have found parts of the role challenging at times, it’s been an absolute pleasure to serve alongside some of the most amazing parent carers I’ve ever met and have the honour to now call friends. While I am leaving the national team in good hands, I won’t be too far away as an active member of my regional and local forum networks still. I would like to take a moment to thank all parent carer forums and your communities for your support and contributions over the years. I feel privileged to have been a part of this journey with you all.”

We will start the recruitment process for Zara’s replacement in the first week of January. Please look out for an announcement of the timeline for recruitment of a new steering group member.

NNPCF Steering Group

Farewell 2021: A message from the NNPCF Steering Group

After the exhausting pace of 2020, it’s hard to fathom that 2021 has been even more strenuous for so many of our SEND families and forums. Covid recovery, and new variants, has often felt like a never-ending series of challenges, in which it is easy to forget what you have achieved.

As forums, we are constantly striving for the next improvement, the next service to engage with, meaning we rarely get time to reflect and celebrate the work that has been undertaken.

The impact that forums have had and our ability to continually raise profile of our work, nationally, regionally, and locally, is becoming ever more evident. No more so than the Ministerial Keynote speeches at our NNPCF/Contact Conference this year.

Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education said.

“Parent carer forums play such an important role. As the parent carer forums and through the NNPCF you bring the voice of parents to the table at all levels of Government and you make a real difference. You deserve your place around that table and you will always be welcome”

This year has been filled with ever changing national policies, school guidance, vaccine advice, and ensuring that the voice of our members has been heard in every area of our work.

We have engaged with many major pieces of work, some of these include:

  • The SEND Review – where the Co-Chairs are now part of the Steering Committee.
  • School Attendance and the impact on SEND.
  • Covid recovery.
  • Involvement with NNPCF Long Term Plan.
  • Autism in Schools Projects.
  • The Social Care Review.
  • Ofsted and accountability in the SEND System.
  • ECHPs, Annual Reviews, Transitions, Preparing for Adulthood.

The NNCPF has also finalised becoming a CIC, the management team have welcomed Jacqui Watt as the new Participation Lead, and the Steering Group Members have welcomed Richard Jaramba for the East Midlands and Jayne Fitzgerald for Yorkshire & Humber region. Our thanks go to Lara Roberts, Anna Norris and Julie Bruce for all their work and dedication to their roles, and we wish them the very best on their new adventures.

As ever, we rely upon your knowledge, experience, and wisdom, as we continue our work into the new year. Along with enormous gratitude for all your efforts this year and every year. We wish you all a very happy holiday season, with hopefully a well earnt break.

We look forward to an exciting new year and spring full of Green Papers!

The NNPCF Steering group

NNPCF Steering Group

Welcome to Jayne Fitzgerald to the Steering Group

We would like to welcome Jayne Fitzgerald to the steering group as the Yorkshire & Humber Regional steering group member.

Jayne has previously been co-chair of the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Forum and is currently the strategic manager of her local parent carer forum .

She has been a national representative for NNPCF prior to joining the steering group and is passionate about the lived experience of SEN children and their families having direct impact on policy and process.

Jayne has 10 years active experience of working strategically, locally, regionally and nationally within SEN circles to ensure the voice of the child/young person and family is central to developments.

She has 6 children, 4 of whom are diagnosed with a range of neurodiverse conditions, sensory processing disorder, autism, adhd, dyslexia. Jayne is also a long-term foster carer for a child with severe learning disabilities, autism, sensory processing disorder and trauma and attachment difficulties.

About joining the steering group

“After many years of watching the National Network grow and achieve outcomes for members and their families, I always felt part of something bigger and that not only am I not isolated as a parent locally and regionally, but nationally too. The opportunity to contribute and learn as a steering group member is both exciting and daunting and to play a small part in reducing the isolation often felt and further empower parent/carers to actively participate for better outcomes in partnership is incredibly humbling.

Yorkshire & Humber is teaming with incredible children, young people and families who come together through local parent carer forums to make up the regional parent carer forum. I feel privileged to be representing them on the NNPCF steering group and to be joining our Yorkshire & Humber Voice and lived experience in SENDworld with that of regions from across the country. Our collective voice, together, can make a difference to outcomes for those voices not yet heard and for future families who find themselves in the world of SEND. #StrongerTogether”

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank Julie Bruce for her time serving in this role. It has been a great time working with you, and would like to thank you for all the hard work you have put in both nationally and regionally. You will be missed.

NNPCF Steering Group

Welcome to Richard Jaramba – our new East Midlands Steering Group Member

The NNPCF steering group are pleased to announce that Richard Jaramba has been selected as the new NNPCF steering group member for the East Midlands . Richard is chair of the Leicester City Forum and is also co-chair of the East Midlands region of parent carer forums. Richard has also been an active NNPCF national representative for the last 3 years.

Richard joins the NNPCF steering group which is responsible for listening to and working with our regions and creating strategy and priorities of the national organisation.

NNPCF cochairs Tina Emery and Mrunal Sisodia said, “We are delighted that Richard has joined the NNPCF steering Group. Richard brings a wealth of experience in coproduction to the NNPCF at a local, regional and national level. Please join us in congratulating Richard on his appointment and welcoming him to the steering group.

Richard said, “Thank you for offering me the opportunity to join and represent East Midlands as a Steering Group member of the NNPCF. We will work together focusing on our aspirations with confidence achieve our desired outcomes.”

NNPCF Steering Group

NNPCF welcomes successful candidates to steering group

July 20, 2020

We are delighted to welcome both Kath Bromfield and Fazilla Amide, the successful applicants, to continue their roles as North West and London borough regional representatives respectively. We look forward to continuing the great work they have already been doing in their areas, and for the individual qualities that they each bring to the steering group.