Dear PACC Member,
We hope that you are enjoying some spring sunshine as the weather improves. It has been a slightly unusual month for PACC with our monthly Board meeting taking a different format. On the 9th March we used our Board meeting slot to hold a workshop to discuss the formation of a Shropshire SEND Participation Network, more details are given below. Due to the Easter school holidays, we will not have a Board meeting in April either, so our next meeting and therefore our next open participation meeting, will be on the 18th May. Hope to see you then.
Don’t forget to keep sharing your experiences with PACC, the information that you share is key to our work. We have an active presence on both Facebook and Twitter and try to ensure a steady flow of interesting and relevant news for our followers. We also run three closed chat groups for Early Year, Post 16 and general discussion of SEND issues on our PACC Forum page. If you would like to join us on social media you can find us on;
Twitter - https://twitter.com/ShropsPACC
Main open page - https://www.facebook.com/ShropsPACC/
Closed Forum - https://www.facebook.com/groups/198288090337379/
Post 16 Chat Closed Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1703290999908562/
Early Years Chat Closed Group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1763186617247365/
PACC Activity Report
SEND Inspection Preparation
As part of the production of a Shropshire SEND Strategy PACC has created a ‘Plan on a Page’, outlining our key aims and objective, priorities and ways of working. Other Shropshire SEND services will also be producing a similar document, which when put together will provide an overview of how support for SEND families will be delivered locally. The PACC Plan on a Page is available on the following link https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23373615/PACC%20plan%20on%20a%20page.pdf
A Peer Review event took place on the 22nd March which included representation from education, health, social care and PACC. This involved all those present, providing feedback on what is working or not working in terms of supporting SEND families in Shropshire, identifying gaps in provision, and making recommendations about what should happen next.
0-25 Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service Development
PACC recently contact the project leads for the development of the Emotional Health and Wellbeing to request an update on the development of this new service. This resulted our Participation Co-ordinator, Sarah Thomas, having meetings with both the leads from Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Shropshire Community Health Trust for this work. A full update will be provided in the PACC Spring Newsletter but we are pleased to report that a PACC will now be attending the monthly Implementation Assurance Group meetings for this new service.
School Transport Enquiry
Contact a Family have launched a Call for Evidence around parent carers experience of school transport for children and young people with SEND. Further information is available on http://www.cafamily.org.uk/news-and-media/school-transport-is-the-straw-that-breaks-the-camels-back-a-report-from-our-parliamentary-hearing/ As part of the Call for Evidence PACC made a submission highlighting the key concerns that parent carers had raised with us about transport provision in Shropshire. The evidence it contained was cited in the recent parliamentary hearing on this topic. PACC has also sent a copy of this submission to all Shropshire MPs. You can read our submission to the school transport enquiry on the following link https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/23373615/Shropshire%20PACC%20response%20to%20SEND%20Transport%20Enquiry.%20V4.pdf
Meeting with the Director of Adult Services
Following feedback from parent carers of older young people with SEND, PACC arranged to meet with Andy Begley, the Director of Adult Services to discuss how families can be better supported to plan for the future. During the meeting we were informed that Adult Services are reviewing their approach to supporting young adults with support needs and are creating a specialist team for this group. PACC raised the need for the development of a specific strategy for supporting young adults with support needs, that would link to ‘Preparing For Adulthood’ outcomes of employment, community inclusion, independent living and good health. It was agreed that PACC would be invited to be involved in further discussions about this. We specifically raised concerns about the challenges families are facing in finding information about potential options for young disabled adults. It was agreed that Adult Services would work with PACC to arrange an opportunity for a housing officer to meet with parent carers to discuss the topic and the difficulties they are facing. It was also agreed that PACC and Andy Begley will continue to meet on a quarterly basis.
Children’s Social Care
We have recently commented on a draft Threshold document produced by the Shropshire Local Safeguarding Children Board. This document provides guidance on how families can access social care support in Shropshire and so is a key document for parent carers and those practitioners who support disabled children and their families. PACC’s response to this document included recommendations that the document should include further clarification on how the children’s social care system relates to disabled children and the specific issues that should be consider by practitioners in relation to disabled children and their families. Discussions with Shropshire Council about these issues are ongoing.
Establishing the Shropshire SEND Participation Network
PACC received additional funding this year from the DfE to establish a Shropshire SEND Participation Network. This Network is intended to bring together representatives of Shropshire SEND support groups, to help develop participation in Shropshire. Fifteen parent carer led support groups were invited to join us and on the day we were pleased to welcome;
Shropshire and Telford Asperger Carers' Support (STACS)
Shropshire Downs Syndrome Group
Shropshire Cerebral Palsy Society and
We also received apologies from a number of groups who couldn’t make the meeting, but were interested in joining the Network. There was a general agreement that increasing collaboration between parent carer led groups would be beneficial for all. PACC will be leading on developing a framework to support this to happen and a further meeting is planned for before the school holidays.
Meeting with ‘Little Rascals Foundation’ to discuss how our two organisations can work together.
Attendance at meeting about Free School Bid by Shrewsbury Multi Academy Trust
Carer Voice Conference – 25th May 2017, Shrewsbury Football Ground
This day will mark the launch of the report from the Carers Voice project, which has collected stories from carers in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. There will be an opportunity to hear directly from Carers about their experiences and to discuss the findings and recommendations of the project. The event is free and lunch will be provided. Book you place on the following link https://www.eventbrite.com/e/commitment-to-carers-the-carers-voice-conference-tickets-32288492751
Save the Date - PACC Spring Conference – 10th May 2017
Our spring conference this year will focus on the development of a multi-agency graduated approach in Shropshire. This will identify the support that is on offer across education, health and social care from the point of identification and will particularly be focusing on the support available for children and young people who are supported through SEN Support and do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan. More details to follow soon.
Help Shape the Shropshire Local Offer
Shropshire Council are looking to continually improve the Local Offer and currently are focusing on the information available about ‘SEN Support’. This is the level of support provided in an education setting when an Education, Health and Care plan is not appropriate. PACC wants to know what are the questions that you want answering about ‘SEN Support’ so that we can inform this work. Share your questions on the following link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/B6LZY2M
Contact a Family School Transport Enquiry
School transport is one of the top issues the Contact a Family helpline gets calls about.
School transport is an integral part of a child's education. If a child can't get to school or has a stressful experience getting to school, they are not able to learn and take part in the school day like other children. School transport is an issue that varies across the country, so Contact a Family want to build a clearer picture of the problems facing families with disabled children and look at the solutions. Share your experiences of school transport and help to show decision makers what they must do to improve school transport for disabled children in the UK. The survey is open until the 31st March http://www.cafamily.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns-and-research/school-transport-inquiry/
YoungMinds Parents Survey
Have your say on how well services support young people’s wellbeing!
YoungMinds and NHS England want to hear the experiences of parents and carers to help improve how family members are included in making decisions about young people’s care.
Please fill out this survey to share your views: http://ow.ly/FXOe309R8Fi
It will take about 20 minutes and you can enter a prize draw to win £50 of Love2Shop Vouchers.
Other SEND News
‘All In’ Spring programme
The ‘All In’ Spring 2017 activity programme is now available https://new.shropshire.gov.uk/media/3873/all-in-newsletter-spring-2017.pdf
New Funding to improve provision and facilities for children and young people with SEND
The Department for Education recently announced additional funding for all Local Authorities to improve provision for children and young people with SEND. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-funding-boost-for-pupils-with-send
Thank you for your ongoing support
The PACC Management Board