ESPaCC’s greatest achievements for the year of 2018/19 were the recruitment and retention of 13 new parent and carer representatives bringing the total up to 20 by the end of the year. We gained two new members to the Management Committee bringing the number to 8.
There has been an increase by 8% of ESPaCC membership through targeting parents and carers at coffee mornings in schools as well as the usual events and Focus Groups.
ESPaCC has developed new partnerships across SEND, including Health, Public Health, and the Voluntary Sector.
Progress was made in the setting up of a Partnership Board bringing together parents and professionals from a number of different areas to discuss issues in a wider context with the first meeting being held in early April.
During the year we held 9 events for parents and carers, in response to the wishes and needs of East Sussex families. 103 parents and carers attended and as result, we gained 47 new members from these events.
Wills and Trusts
Education, Health and Care Plans
4 focus groups on a variety of topics:
End of Life Care Planning
Children’s Disability Services
Supported Employment Pathways
We also ran a successful Parent Representative Recruitment Day and recruited 13 new Parent Representatives, a number of whom have already been attending meetings on behalf of ESPaCC.
Our Parent Representatives attended two day SENCO hubs training days where SENCOs were updated on a number of topics such as EHCPs and the Local Offer.
Monthly Enews were sent out to 1,068 families, schools, support groups and councillors and professionals. Of the 11 Enews received by families, 42% were opened each time on average, again well above the industry standard for non profit organisations, stated as 20.9%. Our Enews are well received and well read. Our click rate is 4.4% double the industry standard of 2.2%.
We represented families across East Sussex in many different areas, including:
Wheelchair Monitoring Group
Local Offer Working Group
SENDIASS Steering Group
Supported Employment Forum ESPaCC have been a member of the East Sussex Supported Employment Forum since the first meeting, having been part of the initial discussions looking at the issues for families once their young person leaves school. The forum is made up of representatives from across the sector and is an ideal opportunity to share learning and innovative practise, as well as to raise concerns. ESPaCC’s role in the forum is to ensure that the voice of families is represented, and current concerns are heard and listened to.
Recently, ESPaCC facilitated a very successful focus group for families looking at the current offer – pathways into employment/supported employment and how this can be explained more easily i.e. through better career education advice, resources, activities or events – and identified the main issues for families: •There is currently no support for parents and carers in helping their young people to employment pathways. •A database is needed to put all the resources and information together that is easily searchable.
SEND Transition The SEND transition group was established following concerns raised by ESPaCC about the lack of understanding and planning for young people with SEND during transition. Initial focus was on those young people with more complex health needs, which led to the development of a “process” to identify these young people before they fell into the gap between children and adult services. However, over time this group has developed to look at transition in its broadest sense, and how this can be improved for any young person with, or in some cases without, SEND. ESPaCC’s membership of the SEND Transition Group continues to have a positive impact for East Sussex families as new pathways and ways of working are developed and established.
We met with professionals from the Local Authority and in Health to discuss a number of issues including:
After Schools Clubs, Short Breaks, PAs
Inclusion Conference Planning
ESPaCC continued to receive enquiries via our website, email and telephone from professionals and parents. The enquiries included school transport, transitioning, exclusions and home schooling and all enquires were dealt with quickly and signposted to the correct department as appropriate.
Members of the Management Committee and Parent Representatives attended a total of 382 meetings through the year ranging from High level meetings such as SEND Governance, to APRIG, various steering groups and working groups such as the Local Offer with Health colleagues and the Local Authority.
The Chair was involved with and sat on an Interview Panel for the tender for a new Free School.
One member of the Management Committee attended 19 meetings on behalf of parent carer forums nationally and regionally.