Transforming Early Education for Children with SEND By Building Inclusion

We are happy to announce that Manchester is one of the 30 local areas that are participating in the Dingley’s Promise Early Years Inclusion programme.

With the support of Comic Relief funding, Dingley’s Promise charity will be delivering a series of ten courses to Manchester’s Early Years practitioners, spread over 5 years, to improve inclusive practice when working with young children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). It is expected that the training and shared resources will increase learners’ awareness of the needs of all children, especially those with SEND, and their confidence in supporting the learning and well-being of all children in their setting.

As part of the project, Dingley’s Promise and our local stakeholder group (including the forum) will ensure that co-production with families is at the heart of what we do. We are therefore looking for parents and carers who would like to get involved with this promising initiative.

How can you get involved?

There are a number of ways that parents/carers can affect the project:

  1. Answer a short, 2-3 minute survey to tell us what is working and what could be better in Manchester.
  2. Become a parent/carer representative in the local stakeholder group. Representatives will be given support through an induction session, shared resources, and regular communication. Please scroll down this page for more information.
  3. Become a parent/carer representative in the National Parent Board. Representatives who join the local stakeholder group will also be offered an opportunity to join the National Parent Board to help oversee and steer the project.
  4. Tell your child’s Early Years setting (e.g., nursery, pre-school, childminder) about this project.

The role of parent/carer representative

We are committed to ensuring the voice of parents and carers are central in the design and delivery of this project. In order to achieve this, Dingley’s Promise has designed a supportive and rewarding role which involves:

  • Acting as a local area parent representative in our Manchester stakeholder group, which will meet twice in year one, and annually in subsequent years.
  • Collaboration with other parent/carer representatives across the country through participation in a Parent Board which will meet quarterly.
  • Representing the views of parents and carers on our national steering group which will meet twice a year.

All meetings will be held remotely and held at a time or day that suit the needs of our parents and carers.

We appreciate that the role entails both commitment and confidence. We are keen to support genuine engagement as well as (we hope) a great opportunity to part of positive change.

What Dingley’s Promise will offer: 

  • An informal induction meeting to bring all of our representatives together (online), to share understanding of the parent/carer representative role and help shape it.
  • Skilled and sensitive facilitation of all meetings to support participation.
  • A confidential Parent Board where honest feedback can be shared and agreed messages and actions taken forward.
  • Regular communication throughout the programme.
  • A highly skilled, experienced, knowledgeable and passionate team working with you throughout.
  • Representation at a national and international level in feeding back key learning and your challenges to decision makers whenever the opportunity arises.
  • A project which listens and will adapt as we inevitably learn more about you, your area, and what makes a difference to children and families.
  • A great opportunity for professional development in being part of an international project.

What you can offer:

  • That you are a parent/carer of a child or children with SEND (who are preferably under the age of 5 years), living within the LA area you will represent
  • Time to commit to the meetings (as far as anyone is able!).
  • The confidence and ability to share your experiences as a parent/carer of a child with SEND.
  • An objective and respectful approach to engaging in meetings.
  • A commitment to keeping open communication with us to keep us informed if your ability to take part changes.
  • A positive, can do, solution focus to help us deliver a brilliant project and improve outcomes for children and families.
Would you like to become a parent representative?