I suspect most of you have, like me, been feeling that combination of excitement, nervousness and pressure of getting together more in person over the last couple of months. And on top of that, we have been dealing with the unpredictability of Covid isolation and staff absence, as well as the disease itself. I had Covid at half term and was only lightly affected, while other colleagues have been really knocked out.
But amidst all that, we were absolutely delighted to host our first in-person PaCC Awards in nearly three years. As always, it was very moving to hear what a difference individual workers have made to families’ lives. Read more about it here, including the list of those who received awards.
We also hosted a focus group in Moulsecoomb, to ask the parent carer attendees about what ‘disadvantages’ they face. And indeed, whether they like the expression ‘at risk of disadvantage’ to describe certain categories of people. The conclusion: not really, and services should be designed to be inclusive of everyone to make sure no-one is disadvantaged in the first place. This work will feed into the Council Disadvantaged Strategy (if it ends up being called that) and you can read the report here.
PaCC members have fed back that difficulties attending school, including related issues such as part-time timetables and school suspensions and exclusions, is a real issue for families. This has been the case for years, made worse by Covid. We have therefore prioritised working on these issues, which are also high up the agenda nationally. So we hosted our first Hidden Children surgery which focused on part-time timetables including Brighton & Hove City Council reduced timetable guidance, co-produced with PaCC – find out more here.
PaCC also took part in a ‘deep dive’ on School Attendance led by the Children’s Commissioners Office using the wealth of feedback we’ve received from parent carers, which you can read all about here. This piece also includes some useful information shared by BHISS about the ATTEND form which we know some schools are starting to use with young people struggling to attend school.
For this month’s PaCC Rep Profile, we’re introducing Pippa, our Home to School Transport (H2ST) PaCC Rep. She has made such a difference to families in the city through all her work, including being integral to the improvements in the home to school transport service.
And finally, our new group for parent carers who have a disability or diversity is taking shape and the first meeting is happening in June; read more here.
So it’s been a busy couple of months as you can see. We couldn’t do it without your feedback, so please do continue contacting us, and if you’re not a member, do join!
Diana Boyd – PaCC Chair