We are busy planning our third annual Parents' Conference, which will be taking place on 5th and 6th February 2019, and booking will be opening soon.
The conference includes an opportunity to hear from the Heads of the different services supporting SEND issues and join a Q&A session, a chance to book 1:1
For the workshop sessions, we are planning to run four different workshops (two choices for each of the two time-slots) each of which will last an hour (including time for discussion). We want to make sure that these workshops are useful for as many of our members as possible, and we would therefore like your input. Please go to our survey here and select any of the workshop sessions that you think would be useful for you, and add any topics that we have not included but which you would like to see.
We are busy planning our next for 5th and 6th February 2019 - make sure you save the date for this important event. For more information see our flyer.
More details to follow soon
The Autumn 2018 edition of the Our Voice newsletter has now been published:
We are busy preparing for our Summer birthday party taking place on 15th July - please make sure that you pre-book to secure your place.
Please join us for the Our Voice Summer birthday party to celebrate all our wonderful children!
Sunday 15th July
2.30 to 4.30 pm
Russet House School, Autumn Close, Enfield, EN1 4JA
Featuring: a fabulous magic show by Mr Marvel, a bouncy castle with slide, soft play, sensory room, playground, party food and cake, and party bags for the children.
The event is free but places are limited so please pre-book your place - tel 07516 662315 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details see the attached flyer.
A special thank you to our generous sponsors, A and R Design.
The Law on how we hold and use your personal data will be changing on 25th May 2018.
We are asking all current members to let us know if they would still like to hear from us. If you no longer wish to receive ANY email communications from us regarding services, activities, information, marketing and fundraising please let us know by emailing us email@example.com or calling on. 07516 66215. Alternatively, if you would like to change your communication preferences please complete the attached form here and email back to us.
We are pleased to attach the presentations and hand-outs from the Our Voice Parents' Conference 2018. The information within these presentations is correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
Booking is now open for the second Our Voice Parents’ Conference, on Friday 16th March 2018 at the Dugdale Centre, Enfield.
Following the success of the Our Voice ‘Meet the SEND Heads’ conference last year, we had overwhelming feedback asking us to repeat this event on an annual basis.
Acting on feedback received at last year’s conference, we have an exciting new format this year featuring:
· Updates from the Heads of SEND Services on progress since our conference last March.
· Workshops tailored to different age groups and interests:
o post 16,
o Pre-schoolers and transition to nursery or primary school,
o transition to secondary school
o community nursing, dietetics and SCAN – who they are, what they do and how to access
o Mini- sleep-training workshop.
· An opportunity to book one to one sessions with professionals.
· A panel Q&A session with the Heads of Service areas.
If you are interested in attending, please either phone us on 07516 662315 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the attached booking form by 5th March. Please note that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. We will email you to confirm your place and bookings for specific workshops and one-to-one sessions.
Attached is our leaflet setting out the key terminology that you are likely to come across regarding Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
We know that many of our members whose children use Transport Services to get to school have had concerns with aspects of the service, and are keen to see changes. As you know, Our Voice has been working with local Transport Services to try to improve the service, and many of you kindly participated in our large-scale survey last year. Our findings and recommendations were published in a report available on our website here.
Our umbrella organisation, Contact, the charity for families with disabled children (previously Contact a Family) have carried out their own investigations on a national basis as part of their School Transport Inquiry, (including input from our local report).
Their School Transport Campaign, the #SchoolRunCrisis campaign was launched on Sunday 10 September with an exclusive feature on BBC Radio5LiveInvestigates which you can download on this page (for the next 28 days): BBC Radio 5Live Investigates. Families with disabled children affected by poor school transport were interviewed for the programme.
Contact are pleased to announce that they have secured a major campaign win on school transport. The Secretary of State for Education has announced plans to review school transport statutory guidance. The decision has been made as a result of findings from Contact's School Transport for Disabled Children Inquiry. This is a major achievement for all the families and local parent carer forums that contributed evidence to Contact’s Inquiry.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: "We are investing £222million over four years to help local authorities improve special educational needs and disability (SEND) services and local authorities must provide school transport for all eligible children with SEND.
"In light of the findings by Contact, the department will review the statutory guidance for local authorities to ensure it is clear."
Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact, says: "This is a huge win for all of us, and we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who submitted evidence to the inquiry. We will work with you when the statutory guidance is reviewed to make sure disabled children get the school transport they need."
Key Findings of the Contact Inquiry report
The Inquiry report was published on Sunday on Radio 5 Live Investigates, and brings together evidence gathered from more than 2.500 parent carers. The key campaign findings were, that:
o Nearly half (48%) of parents with disabled children can’t work or had to reduce hours because of school travel arrangements
o 1 in 5 (23%) of parents say their disabled child struggles to learn because of a stressful journey to school
o More than half (51%) of local school transport policies include unlawful statements
For more information and to support the campaign:
Contact have produced new information for parents with disabled children about school transport and your rights and entitlements.
If you have been refused school transport or want to find out about your rights to school transport, please call the helpline for advice on 0808 808 3555 (Open Monday-Fri 9.30am-5pm)
You can follow and support the campaign by:
Reading the Inquiry report here.
Following the campaign on social media and spreading the word about the campaign on social media: follow the @contactfamilies twitter account and like the Contact Facebook page. Look out for posts with the #SchoolRunCrisis hashtag and please share as much as possible.