PaCC Round Up February 2024

Welcome to PaCC’s February round-up!

It’s always such a difficult time of year, with January seeming to go on forever, but this year it feels even more so for parent carers and their families. PaCC continues to raise the many issues and difficulties families face with officers working in Brighton & Hove City Council and health, as well as highlighting the areas that are going well. Any feedback about your experiences would be most welcome and will help to inform the discussions we have with the council, health departments and others we work with. Please email any feedback to: admin@paccbrighton.org.uk.

PaCC’s February round-up brings together some of the key areas of work that have updates for the community.

SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Change Programme

You may have heard discussions about the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Change Programme. Read more about this, including the article written by Amaze, which provides information about the Change Programme and what its aim is.

PaCC will ensure that parent carer views are included in the trial of the reforms and the evaluation of the programme, such as advisory tailored lists and a national EHCP template. We will facilitate opportunities for parent carers to share their views and experiences through focus groups and surveys. The feedback we receive will be shared with Brighton & Hove partners, the South-East Partnership and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.

PaCC will be creating a dedicated space on our website for updates and news about the Change Programme. We will be working with the South-East Partnership and the Brighton & Hove lead for this area to ensure that regular communications are released to families.

Lastly, please remember that the law has not changed and will not change during the testing of the proposals and the legal obligations for local authorities and schools remain the same.

Family Hubs

For the past year, PaCC has been helping to shape the new Family Hubs in the city through the engagement opportunities we have facilitated for parent carers. Read more about how PaCC has contributed to the development of these essential hubs and the SEND training Family Hubs staff have been receiving.

Social Care

PaCC continues to be very busy with our social care work, an area that we know continues to concern many families. Fiona England, PaCC social care lead, has written an update about our activities around social care, here.

Neurodevelopmental

PaCC continue to contribute to the ongoing work across Sussex and in Brighton & Hove, to address the long waiting times for autism and ADHD assessments and to create a needs led approach for neurodivergent people, whilst promoting the positives that come from receiving a diagnosis. The pace of this work continues to be slow and we continue to challenge health leads that the significant ongoing delays in this area of work negatively impact children and young people’s futures.

PaCC has been feeding back to the National Network of Parent Carers (NNPCF) about the impact the national ADHD medication shortage is having on families. The NNPCF have recently written to the Secretary of States for Health, Social Care and Education to raise their concerns with them and to ask what steps they will be taking. You can read the NNPCF letter here.

Last week, PaCC attended an ‘Addressing Inequalities in Education’ conference at Brighton University to deliver a workshop titled ‘Educational Inequalities for Neurodivergent Females’. Our audience was made mostly of secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and Year 2 BA Maths students as well as primary and secondary apprentice teachers and further education training teachers. The presentation covered topics such as masking/internalised presentations and how they can present, how they create inequalities and the outcomes they can lead to. It was delivered to 72 people in three workshops and a copy of the presentation was sent to all 120 people invited to attend the event. The conference was an inclusive event with PaCC recognising the positive impact our presentation had on the students who attended and for the pupils they will teach in the future.

School Attendance

Last term, PaCC attended an event focusing on school attendance, alongside representatives from the local authority, schools, SENDIASS, BHISS, the Access to Education Team, the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service, the Virtual School and the Department for Education. During the event, PaCC delivered a presentation about attendance based on the views and experiences of parent carers. The presentation covered areas such as what attendance is, the impact of low/non-attendance on parent carers, what helps a pupil to attend school, what hinders attendance, attendance campaigns and resources and the importance of home and school relationships. Parent carer quotes were included throughout, to highlight the points made in the presentation and PaCC received feedback during and after the event about how thought provoking our presentation was. Thank you to everyone who provided PaCC with feedback and quotes.

Emotional Based School Avoidance (EBSA)

PaCC are working alongside different representatives in the city to create an EBSA toolkit for children and young people, parent carers and schools. You can read more about this important piece of work, as well as PaCC’s report about EBSA here.

 PaCC Awards 2023 and Balancing Act

One of PaCC’s favourite events has to be the PaCC Awards and this year it is more important than ever. Our panel met last week to discuss the 48 nominations we received – a record number of nominations, thank you to everyone who nominated! It is so important to recognise and celebrate those who make such a positive difference for our families. This year, the PaCC is sharing our event with Amaze and the launch of Balancing Act, find out more here.

Become a PaCC member!

If you’d like to become a member of PaCC, here are some details of how you can join.

Thank you so much for reading PaCC’s February newsletter, please keep an eye on our Facebook page for more updates about the work we are doing.

Best wishes,

Becky

Chair of PaCC

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