National Network of Parent Carer Forums

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Secretary of State for Education announcements – NNPCF response

December 18, 2018

On Sunday 16th December, the Secretary of State for Education Damien Hinds made a number of key announcements relating to SEND, details of which can be found on the DfE website.

In response NNPCF Co-chair, Mrunal Sisodia said:

 We welcome the news that the Secretary of State for Education has responded to calls from the sector for increased resources for SEND services. Over the course of this year, the NNPCF have been consistently highlighting the impact of resource constraints on services for our children.

 We are also pleased that the role of parent carers in co-producing effective services has been recognised in the allocation of monies for capital projects.

 The extra monies announced are a start, and importantly the secretary of state recognises more is needed to deliver on the aspirations of families. We will continue to work with the Department for Education in the upcoming comprehensive spending review to ensure they can make the best possible case to secure the resources our children need.

So what does this mean for parent carer forums?

Forums may benefit from engaging their LAs to talk about how this funding could be used to improve local services. There is a requirement that parents are involved in how the investment in specialist placements in schools and the increase in capital funding is used to target where needs are greatest within the community. The upcoming evidence gathering into SEN support financial contributions is highly welcomed, we would hope this spotlight on the use of notional budgets will stimulate local discussions on how they are being effectively and creatively used to meet needs appropriately.

The Secretary of State also announces a SEND System Leadership Board which we hope will go some way in improving joint working processes which in theory should already be demonstrated locally through Joint Strategic Needs Analyses, Health and Well-being Boards, and SEND Strategic Boards. We hope the new focus on this leads to a stronger parent carer voice within these joint working groups improving local decision making.

 

For more details on NNPCF conversations with the Department for Education on this topic see:

Co-Chairs meet Minister Nadhim Zahawi – Jan 2018

Co-Chairs meet with DfE officials – April 2018

Special Education Consortium Position Statement on High Needs Funding – May 2018

NNPCF Steering Group meet Minister Nadhim Zahawi – May 2018

Minister Nadhim Zahawi meets Parent Carer Forums – October 2018