Who We Are

Manchester Parent Carer Forum (MPCF) is funded by the Department for Education and works in partnership with the Manchester City Council as well as Health and Education settings to shape and influence services, and to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and their families living in Manchester.

We understand the day-to-day challenges faced by parent-carers, as we are parent-carers too. The forum aims to give parent-carers a voice and make our collective views heard in the improvement of services for our children.

We Aim To:

  • be a united voice by providing a forum for views
  • work in partnership with those who provide services
  • enable children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities  and their families in Manchester to lead full lives, through seeking to improve services, and by providing informal support
  • encourage and promote inclusive attitudes and practice
  • promote disability equality and challenge discrimination
  • gather information from parents and carers, and highlight common priorities
  • find out what support/services children and families need
  • provide examples of good practice
  • be supportive to all families
  • be accessible to all
  • speak for as many parents as possible

What is a Forum?

In England, there are parent carer forums in almost all local authority areas. The 2015 SEN Code of Practice describes parent carer forums as “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.”

Manchester Parent Carer Forum has a steering group of parent and carer volunteers who lead this work and listen to the views of other parents and carers in the local area to make sure they know what is important to them. Manchester Parent Carer Forum is keen to hear from as many parent carers as possible.

Meet the Team

How Does It Work?

Manchester Parent Carer Forum works with those who provide services for children and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities and their families. The Forum shares knowledge, experience and what families tell them to help plan and improve the quality, range and accessibility of the services they use.

Partnership working with Health, Education and Social Services creates a culture that ensures families are at the heart of policy that affects them whilst realistically creating the best possible outcomes with the resources available in Manchester.

How Can I Make a Difference?

As parents and carers in Manchester there is a vital role to be played in shaping and developing services available to children.


  • are the experts on their child
  • are the primary teachers (educators) of their children
  • meet the needs of their children on a daily basis
  • see and experience difficulties encountered from gaps in services

Our Affiliations

We are members of the North West Regional Parent Carer Forums Network and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF). The aim of these Networks is to ensure that good practice, knowledge and shared expertise about parent participation continues to grow and strengthen, and to develop a cohesive and coherent structure to sustain and develop the effectiveness of parent carer forums across England, individually and as a collective voice.

National Network of Parent Carer Forums (NNPCF)

The National Network of Parent Carer Forums 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.

What We Can’t Do

The forum works best by working on general issues that affect a number of families, by representing the views of parent carers in the local area. Unfortunately, we are unable to undertake individual issues that parents and carers have about their own child so we are not able to offer a 1-to-1 advocacy service.

However, please contact us with any concerns or issues and we will support and signpost you to other relevant organisations.