SEND parent participation

As parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), you're the most important people in your child’s life. By working together with us, you can enhance your child’s learning and development.

We want to work with you and make sure you can influence our services. We want to get better at doing this so we’re working with you all of the time, not just some of the time. 

What you’ve told us

Parents and carers have often told us that the Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) does a great job in supporting them to get their voices heard for their child.

You've also told us that communication needs to be better. But since 2016, we haven’t had a parent and carer forum in Barnsley. This has made it harder for you to influence the planning and delivery of services, or the kinds of services and support that are available for you.

What we think would work well 

There are several thousand parents and carers in Barnsley whose children have Special Educational Needs and/or a disability and whose voices need to be heard. We’re looking at asking an expert independent organisation to help to support all parents and carers to become more involved in Barnsley. It will be an organisation that can promote the voice of parents and carers, including those who aren’t able or willing to speak up for themselves.

We’d like you to help us choose the successful organisation. We expect that the successful organisation will be able to:

  • work with parents and carers to create a parent and carer-led approach
  • make sure they reach and represent the views of as many parents and carers as possible
  • support parents and carers to work with the Children and Young People’s Trust to make sure their voices and views are reflected in our plans
  • be sensitive to the circumstances of families
  • access grants to help develop participation in Barnsley

Importantly, to be successful the organisation will need to be:

  • expert in how to support parents and carers to be involved in a way that suits them
  • independent of the local authority, the NHS and schools
  • able to promote the voice of parents and carers with key decision-makers in all our services
  • inclusive of all parents and carers

Getting your views

We asked parents and carers for their views on this idea through a survey that we launched on the Council’s UEngage consultation portal on 15 November 2017 and which we wrote to you about in early December. The deadline for responses was 7 January.

You can read about the results on our SEND parent participation - survey results page.