Parent & Carer Forum

For some parents and carers, challenging the wisdom of education professionals or merely stepping foot inside their child’s school is daunting. SEND Code of Practice: 0 – 25 acknowledges that ‘parents know their children best’ and sets out the importance of listening to, and working collaboratively with parents.

The Parent and Carer Forum will provide a safe space for parents and carers to access support from peers who are themselves teachers and trainers and the parents and carers of children with SEN. Hear from visionaries, senior teachers, parents and SEN advocates.

These sessions are free to attend and cannot be pre-booked – so arrive early to get a seat.

Time Information
10:30 - 11:00
Becoming a parent leader
Carrie Grant, BAFTA award-winning broadcaster, vocal coach, leadership coach and campaigner,

Taking an equal status around the table, challenging thinking and re-imagining how we might get the best for our children.

11:15 - 11:45
Parental rights; What does co-production feel like when it’s really happening?
Sherann Hillman, MBE, Head of Family Services , Seashell Trust, Parents in Partnership Stockport (PIPS)

What do participation and co-production actually mean to parent carers as written in the Children and Families Act and SEND Code of Practice 2014? An overview of the principles of co-production including the difference between engagement, information, consultation, participation and co-production so that parent carers feel fully included in every aspect of their child/young person’s education. What are the barriers to co-production for parent carers? What does genuine co-production actually look like when it is embedded in everyday practices?

12:45 - 13:15
Parents as partners? : Is this too much to hope for in aspiring to achieve a co-productive relationship with schools, settings and other providers supporting our children with SEN?
Jane Friswell, SEND Consultant & Advocate, JFA SEND Consultancy

Partnership involves parent-carers, young people and practitioners working together to benefit children. Each recognises, respects and values what the other does and says. Partnership involves responsibility on both sides. This is certainly what most parent-carers would hope to achieve in supporting their child with SEN, however, this is not the consistent experience of the many and remains the preserve of the few.

13:30 - 14:00
Autism and mental health
Lana Grant, Specialist advisor and advocate for people with autism and their families, Lana Grant Autism Consultancy

Lana's talk will cover the impact of mental health conditions on autistic people. Using her own experiences, Lana will discuss the importance of empowerment and advocacy for people with autism. How can parents support their children? When is it autism and when is it mental health? What can parents look for and how can they help. With mental health services stretched, how can we help ourselves in the first instance. Lana will also briefly cover mental health issues that can be specific to autistic females such as post-natal depression.

14:15 - 14:45
Meeting the needs of children with autism and learning disabilities in the health system
Maureen Banda, Regional strategic lead (London), Learning Disability Programme, NHS England

Looking at the work that NHS England has been doing to address system change (culture and practice) in meeting the needs of children with autism and learning disabilities in the health system.  As part of transforming care, we have been working with the clinical commissioning groups, to define ‘good’ by producing a ‘service model’ for children and young people.  We are also looking to reduce and stop admissions into CAMHS T4 by supporting community development pan-London.