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Manchester Parent Carer Forum is not responsible for the content of external websites.

This code contains the legal requirements and statutory guidance for education providers, local authorities and health and social service providers.

Sections 1.11 and 1.12 of the code focuses on involving children, young people and parents in planning, commissioning and reviewing services, while Section 1.13 discusses Parent Carer Forums.

1.11 Local authorities must consult children with SEN or disabilities, their parents, and young people with SEN or disabilities in reviewing educational and training provision and social care provision and in preparing and reviewing the Local Offer. It is important that they participate effectively in decisions about support available to them in their local area. Chapters 3 and 4 provide guidance on these duties.

1.12 Effective participation should lead to a better fit between families’ needs and the services provided, higher satisfaction with s
ervices, reduced costs (as long-term benefits emerge) and better value for money. Local authorities should work with children, young people and parents to establish the aims of their participation, mark progress and build trust.

They should make use of existing organisations and forums which represent the views of parents – and those which represent the views of children and young people directly – and where these do not exist, local authorities should consider establishing them.

Effective participation happens when:

  • it is recognised, valued, planned and resourced (for example, through appropriate remuneration and training)
  • it is evident at all stages in the planning, delivery and monitoring of services
  • there are clearly described roles for children, young people and parents
  • there are strong feedback mechanisms to ensure that children, young people and parents understand the impact their participation is making

1.13 Parent Carer Forums are representative local groups of parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities who work alongside local authorities, education, health and other service providers to ensure the services they plan, commission, deliver and monitor meet the needs of children and families. Parent Carer Forums have been established in most local areas and local authorities are actively encouraged to work with them. More information about Parent Carer Forums is available from the websites of Contact a Family and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.

Learn more at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
Download Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf

Every local authority has to publish and provide details of what services and provision they expect to be available in the area for children and young people with SEN and or a disability, this is their “Local Offer”. The Local Offer should include clear details of the expected provision in Education, Health Services, Social Care Services, Training, home to school/ college transport arrangements and available provision for assisting young prepare for adulthood and independent living. Services outside of the LA’s geographical area which their children and young people access should be included as well.

Learn More About Manchester’s Local Offer: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

Ashgate caters for children with Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD), Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD), and Autism.

Its wider curriculum helps children develop skills for learning and skills for life, with the aim of supporting the children in developing their communication and core skills whilst enjoying a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Ashgate believes in empowering children to grow in confidence and be as independent as possible.

Ashgate Parents and Carers Group meets once a week in school on a Thursday morning at 9:00-10:30am.

Learn More: http://www.ashgate.manchester.sch.uk/

IAS Manchester is the new name for the Parent Partnership Service. IAS Manchester offers independent information, advice and support to parents and carers to increase their involvement in the education of their children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

Learn More: http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/500132/special_educational_needs/628/information_advice_and_support_ias_manchester

Lifted is a user-led organisation that strives to make a positive difference and improve the health and well-being of carers using the service. The centre offers one-to-one support, guidance & advocacy and assistance with completing forms, among many other things.

Learn More: http://liftedcarerscentre.org.uk/

Talbot House supports parents and carers of people who have learning disabilities in Manchester. They are a one stop shop where carers can pop in for a cup of tea and a chat with others in the same boat.

Learn More: http://www.talbot-house.org.uk/

The Birches is a 143 place school that supports pupils with diagnosis of ASC, SLD and PMLD. Maintained by Manchester Local Authority, facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, a range of outdoor play areas, a sensory garden, two multisensory rooms and two soft play areas.

They hold Parent/Carer Drop-in and Support Sessions every Thursday 10:00-11:30am, organised by Peggy, the school’s Parent Support Advisor.

Learn More: http://www.thebirchesschool.org/

Cerebra is a unique charity set up to help improve the lives of children with neurological conditions through research, information and direct, on-going support. Included in their support services: Information and advice over the phone and via their website; face to face support through a regional officer (help with form filling, letter writing completing the DLA forms, meetings and location specific activities); a sleep service for advice and support on sleep issues; grants for up to 80% of the cost of some equipment and services; postal lending library; telephone counselling service; a holiday home; a wills and trust scheme; an innovation centre who design bespoke equipment; and a monthly e-newsletter.

Learn More: http://w3.cerebra.org.uk/

Contact a Family is a national charity for families with disabled children. They provide information, advice and support through a freephone helpline and website including parent resources, medical information, workshops and information sessions and their SENDirect service which is an educated website looking at SEND.

Learn More: http://www.cafamily.org.uk/

The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) is the umbrella body for the disabled children’s sector in England. They influence Government policy, work with local agencies to translate policy into practice and produce guidance on issues affecting the lives of disabled children.

Learn More: https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/

The Department for Education (DfE) is the ministerial department responsible for children’s services and education, including higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England. The department works to provide children’s services and education that ensure opportunity is equal for all, no matter what their background or family circumstances.

Learn More: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-education

The Dyslexia-SpLD-Trust is a collaboration of voluntary and community organisations with funding from the Department for Education to provide reliable information to parents, teachers, schools and the wider sector. It acts as the important communication channel between government, leading dyslexia organisations, parents, schools, colleges, teachers and the sector.

Learn More: http://www.thedyslexia-spldtrust.org.uk/

Equality Advisory and Support Service offers online advice, live chat, support and resources as well as a helpline if you believe you have been unlawfully discriminated against. The service is aimed at individuals who need expert information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights issues and the applicable law, particularly when this is more than advice agencies and other local organisations can provide.

Learn More: https://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. They provide grants for a wide range of items, such as washing machines, sensory toys, family breaks, bedding, tablets, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing and computers.

Learn More: https://www.familyfund.org.uk/

IPSEA is a charity which covers the whole of England. It does not accept any funding from government or local authorities. They provide families with independent information, advice and support based on the law. The website has free downloadable resources including letter templates, FAQs and a jargon buster.

Families can complete an online Information Service form to get a response clarifying legal position and signposting to possible support. They also offer an advice line and a tribunal advice line.

Learn More: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/

Mencap supports people with learning disability and their families and carers.

They provide support for education, employment and residency. Other services include personal support services, wills and trust service, business support services and training. They have Mencap Direct which is an advice and information line and has a translation facility if English isn’t your first language.

Learn More: https://www.mencap.org.uk/

nasen is a charity organisation that supports thousands of practitioners by providing relevant knowledge, training and resources required to enable staff to meet all pupils’ needs. Working with dedicated education professionals, nasen aims to ensure that practice for special and additional needs is both effective and current.

Learn More: http://www.nasen.org.uk/

The National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF) is made up of all of the parent carer forums from across England. The NNPCF ensures that local parent carer forums are aware of national developments. It promotes opportunities for the voice of parent carers to influence at a national level.

The NNPCF works closely with the Department for Education, the Department of Health, and other partner organisations to improve outcomes for children and young people with disabilities or additional needs and their families.

Learn More: http://www.nnpcf.org.uk/

Scope is a charity that supports disabled people, their parents and carers and professionals. They have a free confidential helpline and online communities online communities. They offer support, practical help and guidance and information on a wide variety of subjects and also have an online benefits checklist.

Learn More: https://www.scope.org.uk/

Special Needs Jungle is a website and social media based hub of resources, information, articles, news and research to support parents and carers of children with SEN and or disabilities and health conditions to help them on their SEN journey.

Learn More: https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/