Meeting the Minister

If you have not heard about Special Needs Jungle follow the link below to see what they have been up to – this week it was meeting Edward Timpson, the minister responsible for all the SEN changes that come into play in September.

SNJ is a blog run by parents of SEND children. Worth a look, especially this one because they are asking for feedback from other parents.

Post-16 education and transport

The following Webinar on ‘What parent carer forums need to know about the law to influence the provision of post-16 education and post-16 transport’ has been provided by Contact a Family.

Watch the recording of social care and human rights lawyer Steve Broach’s webinar which took place on 19 September – please note that this link takes you to a pdf document containing a disclaimer, further reading and the link to the webinar which is at the bottom of the page. This webinar was for members of parent carer forums and those who work with them around “What parent carer forums need to know about the law to influence the provision of post 16 education and post 16 transport.” View the presentation associated with this webinar.

Latest information packs on SEND reforms

If you want to keep up with the very latest on how things are progressing towards the September deadline for the introduction of SEND reforms then the following packs pull together information from the 20 Pathfinder authorities who are blazing the trail for reform.

There is a mountain of stuff to wade through here, but each pack has a contents page so you can, hopefully, skip to the bits you may be interested in. These packs are being used by the workstreams in Derbyshire to guide thinking about how to implement the reforms here.

For information:
the EHC Plan will replace statements; parents and young people with SEND will be able to apply for a Personal Budget if they want to; the Local Offer will be a guide to what services are available in your area; Joint Commissioning relates to education, health and care working together to provide services; Preparing for adulthood addresses provision up to 25 and not 18 as at present.Please click on the links below to access the following information packs:

0 – 25 Coordinated Assessment Process and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) Plan – Version 3, December 2013

Appendix 1 – CDC EHC Plan Checklist and Example Plans

Appendix 2 – Example Job/ Role Specifications

Appendix 3 – Cornwall Coodinated Assessment and Planning Pathway (16-19 years)

Personal Budgets – Version 3, December 2013

Appendix 1 – Essex Provider Communication Resources
Appendix 2 – Essex Combined RAS and Guidance

Local Offer – Version 3, December 2013

Appendix 1 – SE7’s ‘Local Offer – Not a Directory’ Document
Appendix 2 – Solihull’s Local Offer Documentation

Joint Commissioning – Version 3, December 2013

Engagement and participation of children, young people, parents and carers- Version 3, December 2013

Appendix 1 – NNPCF, Contact a Family and Pathfinder Champion Co-production Workshop Resources

Preparing for adulthood – Version 2, December 2013

Appendix 1 – North Yorkshire’s Personalised Learning Pathways


New £30m fund for independent supporters

The Department for Education has announced a new Independent Support fund which will be managed by the Council for Disabled Children (CDC).

The £30 million will be used to recruit and train a pool of ‘independent supporters’ – champions drawn from independent voluntary, community and private organisations – to help the families of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) through the new legislation which comes into effect in September.

CDC will be overseeing the recruitment and training of the independent supporters.

Click on link below to read the Government’s press release:

Click below to  CDC’s news story and our Q&A on Independent Support at the following link:

If you have any queries about Independent Support, please

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.

Parents working with professionals

This short video has been developed to support local areas as they plan and transform their services for disabled children and those with special educational needs. It is based on experiences from parent carer forums and local authorities and health providers in the SEND pathfinder areas, and demonstrates why ensuring there is co-production between parent carers and professionals is essential. It gives real examples of how this has worked, and the impact it has had, and why those who have worked in this way would not go back.

This video was produced by Contact a Family, the National Network or Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) and South East Seven pathfinder in collaboration with the Department for Education and Mott McDonald.

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 –