Together achieving better decisions and brighter futures for Manchester families of children and young people aged 0-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

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This session aims to ensure that we have the right services and provisions in place to meet the needs of Manchester’s young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) in Post-16 education.

Below is a message from Tom Markham, Manchester City Council’s Strategic Commissioning Project Lead for Post-16 SEND Education:

Like all local authorities, Manchester has a growing Educational, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) population. Part of a commissioner’s role is to ensure we have the right services and provisions in place to meet the needs of our children and young people. We also need to make sure those services and provisions are good quality and achieve positive outcomes for children and young people, such as attainment, independence, life skills, and employment opportunities.

Whilst we review our current capacity and Post-16 provision in Manchester, we want to hear from parents what is important to them when thinking about college education.

We will be holding TWO focus groups. One will be virtual in the evening so parents can join after work (17 July, 6-8pm) and one will be in-person (this event – 18 July, 10am-12:30pm).

Lunch will be served at the end of this face-to-face session, with refreshments available throughout the session.

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The facilitator will be asking you the following questions during the session:

  1. What are your expectations for your child’s college education? Are there any specific goals or outcomes you would like to see?
  2. How do you envision your child’s transition from school to college? What support or resources do you think they will need during this transition?
  3. What factors do you consider when selecting a college for your child with SEND? Are there any specific features or services that are particularly important to you?
  4. What concerns or challenges do you anticipate for your child while attending college? Are there any specific areas where you think they might require additional support?
  5. Which of the following specialised services – such as assistive technology, tutoring, or counseling – are most important to you for your child’s college education? Are there any specific services would you prioritise?
  6. How important is it for your child to have opportunities for socialisation and integration with peers without disabilities?
  7. Have you had any previous experiences with colleges in Manchester regarding support for students with SEND? If so, what was your experience like, and what lessons did you learn from it?
  8. How do you perceive the role of the college in preparing your child for their future, including employment or further education? What skills or abilities do you think are crucial for them to develop during their college years?
  9. Is there anything else you would like to share about your hopes, concerns, or expectations regarding your child’s college education and their journey beyond?
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