Transition to Adulthood Event

Free Workshop for Parent and Carers from Contact A Family

Moving to Adulthood Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Tuesday 9th December 2014, The Suite, St Thomas Centre 10:00 – 12:30

Find out what you need to know about Transition Planning & Process, The new Children’s and Family Act including EHC Plans, Equality Act 2010 including further and higher education, there will be time to ask questions

To Book a place please call “Contact a Family” on 0121 415 4624

Transition Chesterfield Dec 14 flyer final – Click the link for the flyer information.

Join Derbyshire Parent Forum Today

Membership is Free, Simply email or call 01629 533666 giving your Name, Address, Telephone Number and Email address if available  and we will add you.

Joining the membership ensures you receive all the up to date information, newsletters and invites.


We are looking for enthusiastic parents to join the Steering Group. Steering Group members help shape the information presented to the district forums, attend meetings on behalf of parents to ensure their voice is listened to within Derbyshire County Council and campaign for Jargon free publications.

In return for your support we will provide subsidised access to training to increase your knowledge of the new SEND legislations, minute taking , social media training, website design and many other opportunities that would help you in your role as a Steering Group member. We will also refund your travel and childcare expenses for work undertaken for Derbyshire Parent Forum (receipts will be required).

If you would like to know more please get in touch with Fiona Ross  on 01629 533666  or


Free training available in Derby

  • Have you heard that there are lots of changes ahead in the world of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
  • Do you want to know how you can be involved in looking at how this will affect families in your area?
  • This is what being a member of a Parent Carer Forum is all about – collectively having our voices heard and now really is a crucial time to get involved.

Contact a family are running two free training sessions are being held in Derby on Thursday, February 13, from 
10am to 1pm and 6pm to 8.30pm.
Click on the link below for more details and how to sign up.

Please act NOW on draft Code of Practice

Consultation ends next Monday (December 9) and it is vital that the Government hears from as many parents as possible about their views on the proposed changes to the Code of Practice.

With this in mind, Derbyshire Parent Forums Steering Group member Helen Bulaitis has completed the consultation document collating parental views gleaned at parent forum meetings and consultations, both locally, regionally and nationally and thoughts from organisations such as the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF), Contact a Family and the Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).

While the answers are in no way a comprehensive critique of the draft code, nor can they be said in any way to cover everyone’s individual circumstances, grievances and gripes, they do cover some of the most often raised concerns that Helen has come across at meetings in the last few months.

Please have a look and change, add, amend as you wish.

Helen asks parents to take particular note of question 19 which relates to Education Health and Care Plans (which will replace statements – but may not replace statements for all ).

Question 27 offers an Any Other Comments box in which you can add your personal concerns.

Question 53 asks for Any Other Comments on responding to the consultation. Helen has expressed her personal view here and, again, please change, add, amend as you wish.

Response to draft CoP

 If you feel happy to support the general tone of these answers we would urge you to send this document to the Department for Education. 

Send by post to: Ministerial and Public Communication Division (CSDSD Team), Department for Education, Area 1C, Castle View House, East Lane, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 2GJ.

Send by e-mail to:

We have also been given a draft copy of the response to the CoP consultation by Derbyshire County Council officers. See what they think below:

officers completed CoP draft Response Form v1 (1)

Alternatively, the Derbyshire Parent Forums Steering Group has issued an five-point general response to the consultation which you can find below:

A number of key concerns about the draft SEN Code of Practice have been raised by Derbyshire parents through the Derbyshire Parent Forums. I wish to add my voice to those concerns:

  • I am concerned about the intention to extend rights of appeal and decision-making to young people aged 16+. Although I appreciate that young adults need to have a voice in the decision-making about their education along with many other parents I believe that as a basic principle decision-making should rest with parents up to the age of 18
  • I am concerned that accountability in the draft Code is unclear. It is not satisfactory that there is no formal mechanism (other than school’s complaints procedure) for challenging the special educational provision that schools make either through their delegated budgets or through additional resources provided through the local authority. It is inadequate to identify Ofsted inspections of schools as a means of ensuring accountability – their infrequency means that a whole key stage for an individual might elapse between school inspections
  • The timescale for implementing these changes is unrealistically short – there has been insufficient time to gather and  consider carefully the evidence from Pathfinders.
  • Education, Health and Care Plans will be more costly to undertake than the current statutory assessments (statements) and section 139A assessments for  young people who have left school. At the same time local authorities are facing unprecedented cuts of 30% or more. We are concerned that this will put pressure on local authorities to change their thresholds for assessment so that over time only children with the most severe and complex needs will have the statutory protection that a statement currently provides
  • There needs to be some clear national guidance about how children in the new ‘SEN Support’ category will have their needs recorded, provision specified, outcomes identified – with a clear reviewing process. Without this children, young people and their parents and providers will be in vulnerable positions with a lack of clarity about what they should or could expect. This is essential if the stated intention of delivering high aspirations for all children and young people with SEN is to be achieved.

Again, send by e-mail to:

Urgent request for action

The Government’s consultation on changes to the SEN code of practice ends on Monday (December 9) at 5pm.

It requires responses to 53 questions based on a 176-page draft code. A Derbyshire Parent Forums steering group member has completed all 53 questions based on information gleaned from other parents at meetings held locally, regionally and nationally. This is in no way a definitive response to the draft code but an attempt to address some of the key concerns that have cropped up over the last few weeks and months.

A filled-in response document will be posted on this site by Wednesday (December 5) at the latest and if you are happy to put your name to it and send it in to the Department for Education before next Monday we would strongly urge you to do so.

The Steering Group has also come up with a five-point general response to the consultation which will be emailed out to all those on its database. Please respond by sending this in too if you can.

Separate consultation is being conducted for children and young people with SEN. Consultation for under 16s and 16- to 25-year-olds closes on Friday, December 20 (5pm).

Simply put SEN code of practice consultation under 16s or 16 to 25 into a search engine to access.

Consultation on new draft Code of Practice

The Government’s consultation on the new draft Special Educational Needs Code of Practice – all 174 pages of it! – closes on December 9 so any comments must be with the Department for Education by that date.

This is a daunting ask for all us busy parents but help is at hand. To assist parent forums and families to get to grips with the changes outlined in the draft the Steering Group of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums has issued a briefing paper about what it thinks about what’s in and what isn’t in the code with some suggestions for changes and inclusions it would like to see.

This is a really useful starting point to concentrate your thoughts about the proposed changes.

The briefing paper can be found at – then look in the section headed news and consultations.

Also take a look at which compares the rights in the draft regulations and draft code with those currently in place. Really helpful format because it uses blobs to highlight what’s missing.

You can send your views direct to the NNPCF – – or to Derbyshire Parent Forums co-ordinator Lisa Buttery – – or Derbyshire Steering Group member Helen Bulaitis –


Date for your diary – next Thursday, October 24

Please support this very important event.

Ho support is delivered to children with special educational needs and disabilities will change in September 2014.  We want parents to be well-informed about the changes in the law and ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in how Derbyshire County Council will implement these changes.

This is a chance for you to have your say about your child or young person’s future education, health and care plan.

Derbyshire Parent Forums is organising a conference to inform and update you about what is happening.

It is being held on Thursday, October 24, from 10am to 2pm, at The Derbyshire Hotel, Carter Lane, South Normanton, DE55 2DY (just off junction 28 of the M1). There will be a free creche and transport available if you need it.

So, why do I need to be there?

This is your chance to have your say and talk to other parents in workshops about the new Education Health & Care Plans which will be phased in to replace statements from next September. If you can’t stay for the whole thing, that’s fine, but do please try to come along. See below on how to register.

Guest speakers include Sally Savage – Derbyshire County Council’s Assistant Director of Commissioning and Daisy Russell – Co-ordinator of National Parent Partnership Network (NPPN)

The conference agenda is:

10am Arrival Registration, tea, coffee & biscuits

10.30 Introduction – Lisa Buttery

10.40 Support & Aspiration Presentation

11am Daisy Russell – NPPN

11.20 Question & Answer

11.45 Workshop – SWOT Analysis of Support & Aspiration (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)

12.30 Lunch (provided)

1.30 Swot Analysis Round Up & Steering Group

2pm Finish

What do I need to do to attend?

To book a place contact Lisa Buttery on 01629 533666 and leave a message

or email

or post your details to: Derbyshire Parent Forums

c/o Chesterfield Register Office

New Beetwell Street, Chesterfield, S40 1QJ

We need the following information:

o Your Name

o Telephone number

o Number of places required

o Any special requirements (i.e. vegetarian, mobility etc.)

o If you would like to request transport (please leave your address so we are able to organise a suitable pick-up point)

o If you require a crèche place

o What school placement your child/young person has i.e. statement/mainstream/special school/diagnosis pathway/private

Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday.