Categories
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: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/J63QX22

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

Categories
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: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/J63QX22

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

Categories
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: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModeCvrTwoGNUve-OwXisL0SQaUniHSchz

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
London
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.

Categories
NHS England

NNPCF concerns about the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan

The response and recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic and implementation of the NHS Long Term plan are critical to parent carer forums and are key priorities for the NNPCF.

We have been hearing very clear feedback on issues in the health system and around the implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan from parent carer forums and the regions.

NNPCF steering group members Kath Bromfield, Jo Gilliland, Ros Luff, Mrunal Sisodia, met with NHSE leaders Phil Brayshaw and Lorraine Mulroney on 18 March and shared some concerns with them.

1. Capacity across the system to deliver the key LDA projects.

We are aware of several capacity issues which are impacting ability to deliver on some of the key LDA projects. Factors include, in no particular order:

  • Community health services have huge waiting lists
  • Schools are struggling to remain open with the various Covid impacts. This includes staff sick absences and keeping ahead of the DfE contingency plans for exams and any future peaks in the pandemic.
  • Whilst there is willingness to engage with the Autism in Schools project, on a practical note schools may not be able to prioritise this.
  • Parent carers may be under extra demand with their caring responsibilities with children off school with covid related issues.
  • There is pressure on forums time resource where the projects overlap, and it is the same parents involved (see also co-production paragraph).
  • This has been compounded where some projects have been slow to start and are now being rolled out at pace, putting increased pressure on forums.

2. Disconnect between the regional implementation and the national team

There are differences between the national team vision and regional implementation. Whilst this will always be the case due to regional differences, sometimes it seems there is little link up. Regional teams are reporting that whilst the flexibility on how to implement projects is welcome and allows for regional / local implementation, they would appreciate more of a structure and framework on how to implement projects.

3. Quality of coproduction is very varied.

Feedback from forums indicate a very mixed picture around co-producing. Some areas were involved late on in a project whereas others were fully involved from the start.

We have heard that some experienced good co-production or engagement at the early expression of interest stage but then less involved as the project commenced. Some forums report only being involved at an interview stage but not in helping shape the role or service.

The increased use of virtual platforms has given opportunities for parent carers to be involved in a greater number of meetings & events. However, there has been a gradual drift away from involving their voices when organising these meetings. Often these are held at times which clash with school runs and other caring responsibilities. There is also a lack of recognition that parent forums work across partners, and this can lead to unreasonable expectation regarding availability.

There can be high expectations placed on parents to deliver presentations etc, often at very short notice.

One of the issues which impacts opportunity for good engagement or co production is that many health partners do not understand the nature of parent forums. i.e. forums are neither a supplier nor individual patient advisers. This issue is impacted further by high churn of staff.

On points 1-3 we agreed with Phil and Lorraine that we would work with the NHS LDA and SEND leads to coproduce a national, regional and local model of engagement and coproduction

4. Designated Clinical Officer / Medical Officer

DCO / DMO role remains very variable across the country. The resourcing issues post Covid and the move to ICS Integrated Care Systems is exacerbating these differences.

The roll out of ICS’s along with the changes has served to push SEND to a lower priority. It is hard for forums to keep abreast with the changes and navigate the new structure. This can also result in staff changes where relationships & understanding of forums need to be rebuilt.

Lorraine agreed to work with her SEND leads to cascade the key requirements of coproduction to the DCO

5. Strain on services in the wake of the pandemic

The pandemic has exacerbated the pressures on community health services (therapies, CAMHS, paediatricians). The already lengthy waiting lists have increased with higher demand from cohorts who are new to the services. This is causing extreme stress and increased harms in the system with families often waiting over 6 months for basic services

The loss or reduction of service during the pandemic has seen some of the existing users deteriorating and needing more specialised services. This is further impacted by many targeted / specialist services being on hold.

As a result of extra pressures in the system there is a struggle for services to manage EHCP and annual review workload. In turn, it is likely there will be greater demand for EHCPs and more looking to tribunal to obtain support.

Lorraine updated that work is ongoing at the senior levels of government to address these issues. She agreed to host a webinar in June to update parent carer forums. This has been scheduled for noon on 7th June.

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkc-2vrDopHdRMCCc73dx_tDaFZrcUEnW6

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Categories
consultations Department for Education SEND Review

Latest developments on the SEND Review

NNPCF to join SEND review steering group

The SEND review has now been running for over 2 years and there has been increasing frustration and speculation about the progress of the work.

When the review was set up in 2019, we were not invited to join the review in a formal capacity. At the time, we highlighted the review would lack legitimacy without direct parental input.

However, we have now been asked to join the SEND review steering group. Because we continue to believe that coproduction and a strong family voice is essential, we have decided to accept the invitation.

We will be sharing the same messages we have been for the last two years

Even though, we haven’t been a formal member of the review until now, we have made strong and consistent representations into the review for the past two years.

 In its initial phases in 2019 we arranged a series of local, regional and national events to ensure that the parent-carer voice was heard by the SEND team and insisted that parents should have simple routes to contribute. You can find our representations on WHAT needed to change here: NNPCF conference gives SEND Review seven clear messages – National Network of Parent Carer Forums C.I.C

After this, we have continued to work on our input into the review (via the many groups, boards, and established relationships we have access to) and in March 2021, we presented a webinar at our conference on HOW we should deliver the improved outcomes for children and young people with SEND through changing minimum standards, funding, accountability and reporting in the SEND system. You can find this webinar here: NNPCF input into the SEND review – YouTube. The presentation is here Microsoft PowerPoint – NNPCF input in to the SEND review.

We will continue to be transparent and seek to work with colleagues in the SEND sector to influence the review

We have met with other SEND groups including the Special Educational Consortium, the Disabled Children’s Partnership and the Let us Learn Too campaign – all of these groups are asking for similar changes to the system as the NNPCF. These and other groups also do important work representing families. We believe these messages should be heard through as many channels as possible via both campaigning and coproduction

Categories
Department for Education Minister for children and families

Minister Ford’s open letter on return to school

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford has put out an open letter to all families on the return to school.