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Network of SEND Champions

About us!

Our Network of SEND Champions is made up of friendly, passionate parents, carers and professionals all wanting to provide support and signposting for children & young people with SEND and their families.

Our Champions have developed a poster about how to get involved and listing useful Facebook groups offering support to families. Please share this poster with other parents/carers and professionals to encourage them to get involved. 

We arrange regular meetings to allow parents/carers to network with each other and with professionals who can help signpost and provide support. We are also looking into resources and training that Champions will be able to access. Many of our champions are also involved in co-producing area of work in our SEND improvement journey. You can read more about what our champions have been up to below.

Our next meeting will be at 11am on Tuesday 23/03/21. Please email if you'd like to join us.

Future meeting dates

  • Tuesday 23/03/21 at 11am
  • Thursday 22/04/21 at 1pm
  • Tuesday 18/05/21 at 5pm
  • Monday 21/06/21 at 10am
  • Tuesday 20/07/21 at 1pm
  • Wednesday 25/08/21 at 5pm
  • Wednesday 22/09/21 at 10am
  • Thursday 21/10/21 at 1pm
  • Tuesday 23/11/21 at 5pm
  • Monday 20/21/21 at 10am
  • Monday 24/01/22 at 1pm
  • Tuesday 22/02/22 at 5pm

To get involved, email us at SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk You don’t have to attend all the meetings, you might just be able to share valuable information with others. Join us, be a SEND Champion!

Meeting Outcomes 23/02/2021

At our meeting on 23/02/21, we had a check-in about famous people we have met or would like to meet! 

Our parent/carer forum PACTS (Parents & Carers Together Stockport) advised they are currently recruiting additional parent carer representatives to support the forum's work.

We started our discussion about encouraging young people to get more involved and the different groups that exist. A new group of Autism Ambassadors is just starting up and Champions are already thinking about how to engage with them for testing resource tool kits and wider support.

We had a detailed discussion about how the Local Offer website is still in development and about the type of information people want to access whilst they are on waiting lists or before the point of referral or aren't entitled to access certain types of support.

We also talked about how some of the language used by professionals can create barriers: things like 'early help' are confused with early years; linking support to safeguarding can put people off ringing our SEND and Emotional Wellbeing Hub.

We then chatted about the DfE's Holiday Activities and Food Programme and the planning that is underway for Easter. We will work together plans for the Summer Holidays over the coming weeks and months.

Another valuable session!

Meeting Outcomes 18/01/2021

At our meeting on 18/01/21, after a check-in about our chosen holiday destination, we reviewed some co-production tools developed by Oxfordshire to see how helpful they are in developing Stockport's own training and guidance. We were impressed with Oxfordshire work but very much want to make our own with more emphasis on education. We had more volunteers from the champions to support our co-production training and co-production effectiveness evaluation.

One of our champions then talked about support available for young people's mental health and wellbeing from Kooth. We then talked about activities for Children's Mental Health Week (1st-7th February 2021).

One of our champions also offered to run virtual workshops for parents/carers who may need support for using many of the apps which are supporting home learning and communication with schools and other services.

We also talked about whether we move to fixed meetings each month and that we will ask the wider network before deciding.

Meeting Outcomes 15/12/2020

At our meeting on 15/12/20 we discussed how parent/carers should be communicated with during the EHCP process and came up with some rich feedback that has been shared with the team (see more below). We also had brief updates on the new logo and the co-production charter pledge. View the presentation from the meeting (opens as a PDF).

Then we had a great presentation about online safety for children as well as adults that was really thought provoking. View the online safety for children presentation (opens as a PDF) and the online safety for adults and young people (opens as a PDF)

EHCP Feedback

The SEND Champions were asked to comment on a draft set of questions for gaining parent/carer feedback on the EHCP process. The champions welcomed the approach to ensuring ongoing communication saying ‘That is the main point, that you are communicated with’. 

They provided feedback on the type of conversation that workers should have with families and that it shouldn't be a tick box exercise but should be part of how workers actively listen to families and understand their needs throughout the process.

Meeting Outcomes 16/11/2020

Our meeting on 16/11/2020 was a 'Meet the Champions' session as part of the SEND Week of Action. We welcomed 7 new members and talked about what being a champion can mean and how it differs depending on what people are able to do.

Topics included:

  • SEND awareness for supply teachers - provided by one of our champions in the school they are currently working in
  • Working well with schools and what works for creating good relationships for person-centred planning to get the best outcomes for young people
  • Work at the hospital to raise awareness with staff and consultants, as well as re-design work for the ground floor and how this will be co-produced
  • One page profiles for every child and whether this would work across all professions or would need to be tailored to each type of service

Logo Contest Oct/Nov 2020

Champions Logo Contest!

In October/November 2020, our champions held a competition for children and young people to design them a new logo. They chose the winner during the SEND Week of Action in November 2020. The winner is our new logo. Prizes go to the winner and runnerup. We love our new logo!

Meeting Outcomes 04/11/2020

At our meeting on 04/11/2020, one of our champions/volunteers gave a presentation on Preparing for Adulthood. From real work play in the early years to apprenticeships and getting a job or volunteering, we learnt why planning goals from an early stage is so important. View the PfA presentation from this session (opens as a PDF).

We also talked about creating SEND Champion social media profiles to share during the SEND Week of Action in November 2020.

Actions

  • Social media profiles for SEND Week of Action
  • Escalation / resolution process follow-up
  • Preparing for Adulthood info to families
  • Raise awareness for SEND Week of Action

Meeting Outcomes 13/10/2020

After sharing what has made us smile recently, we had a great discussion. View the presentation from this session (opens as PDF).

Access to community physical activities led by Stephen Pearson

  • insights about barriers to accessing swimming, youth groups and some voluntary groups
  • training for staff and volunteers to adapt their offer may be a barrier
  • toilets and changing facilities are often an issue too
  • good practice at some pools and athletics settings
  • inclusion for activities can mean different things to different people, depending on their perspectives
  • need for more activity groups that are not ‘team sport’ focused
  • need to share this perspective with our providers and explore how the offer can be improved

 Working Well with Schools

  • some videos have now been sent in, some still to come
  • consent forms will be needed for those sharing videos
  • ‘escalation’ guide is drafted and being reviewed
  • champions checklist is drafted and needs to be reviewed with the co-production charter

 SEND Week of Action

  • Meet the champions session to be run
  • SHAPES Alliance week of challenges

 Actions

  • Chat window to be shared with Stephen Pearson
  • Recording of physical activity session to be shared with sports and community sector for consideration
  • Explore impact of using personal budgets for sports activities on 1:1 in schools
  • Videos to be sent through on WhatsApp
  • Consent forms for video to be issued and completed
  • Launch competition for children and young people to design a logo for the champions

 Future Items

  • Preparation for Adulthood in November
  • Action planning in November
  • Meet the champions during SEND Week of Action in November
  • Key worker in December

Meeting Outcomes 28/09/2020

We had a really good meeting, looking at the focus of the group. View the presentation from this session (opens as PDF).

Our champions are really keen to start moving things forward so we explored how we could do this and agreed the following actions:

Lived experience video

  • All willing parents/carers to record a video message 45-60 seconds long (ish) about working well with their school for training video by Friday 9th October 2020 (please let me know if you are taking part so I can send details)
  • Recording tips sheet to be provided
  • One of our school reps will record as joint school / young person / parent/carer perspectives case study 

Other actions

  • Escalation guide for working with schools without having to raise formal complaints;
  • ‘Champions checklist’ for schools;
  • Promotional material for schools to publicise, get more schools involved and more parents involved via schools;
  • Explore case study standing item on SENCo Network agenda

Future items

  • October meeting to have a focus on championing physical activity for children and young people with additional needs
  • November meeting to have a training focus on preparing for adulthood so champions have some background for supporting other families

Thanks to everyone who attended for all your input and your take-aways!

If you would like to join our Champions, please email SEND-IP@stockport.gov.uk.

Meeting outcomes 10/08/2020

At our meeting on 10/08/2020 we revisited the Outcomes Framework to think about how the local area can measure the I Statements for our children and young people.

We talked about the data measures that organisations use and that they don't always reflect whether children feel 'safe' or 'happy'.

We then talked about how we can capture qualitative information. Champion suggestions included surveys, a portal, an app. We thought parents should have options as some may not be comfortable feeding back directly to professionals. We also need to think about those without digital access - could be paper copies, EHC team already issue papers so include with those?

Our champions suggested that they could help people who might struggle to fill in their survey. A pilot scheme was suggested with really good champion support through the Werneth and Brinnington programme.

Smiley faces were seen as a way that would definitely work well.

Other feedback from the meeting

One of our Champions has taken forward work with Team Around the School to develop plans forchild to see whether social care should be involved and whether intervention can be supported without referrals.

Another really great discussion!

Meeting Outcomes 21/07/2020

This session was an opportunity for people to ‘meet the champions’ and we welcomed several new champions… welcome! View the presentation from this session (opens as PDF).

We also talked about how we can work well with schools to make sure needs are addressed in the best way through good relationships. Training for staff was seen as an area of need, particularly around working together on outcomes for children and young people. It was felt that the offer is not consistent across all schools. Some parents/carers don’t know what they are entitled to around reviews, child-centred approaches. A presentation was shared after the meeting about child-centred approaches (opens as PDF).

Meeting outcomes 07/07/2020

Our session on the 7th July included a webinar for our Champions to help co-produce the Outcomes Framework and it was brilliant, thanks to everyone who was involved! View the presentation from this session (opens as PDF)

After that we had another really productive discussion about:

  • SEND passports for the hospital
  • the e-learning module needing wider circulation
  • a platform for Champion profiles and other information for the group
  • ‘Meet the Champions’ & Speech & Language virtual drop-ins
  • Setting up a Whatsapp group for quicker contact

Another long list of actions we are taking forward!

We also welcomed some new champions to our growing network.

Meeting Outcomes 23/06/2020

This week’s meeting was a busy one with 20 champions attending!

We reviewed some fantastic resource lists and top tips for surgeries/clinics/schools that have been developed by a group of our parent/carer Champions. We will develop these further so they can be shared widely to signpost parents/carers and professionals to a wealth of helpful information.

We also talked about auditing practice against the Co-production Charter and at the hospital there is already an example of one of our Champions rolling this out. We will share this to try and develop a standardised method that we can use to compare and support improvement as well as report to our SEND Board.

We also had an update on GM Autism Transitions Group from Helen Hayes who are working with Manchester University on a transitions guide and tool.

Thank you for all your valuable contributions again!

Meeting Outcomes 09 & 12/06/2020

We had our session in two parts this week to meet availability. View the presentation (opens as PDF). After checking in with our favourite childhood films (nostalgic moments!) we had some really rich discussion about:

  • Photo/video tours of schools
  • Impact of lockdown on wheelchair measurement services
  • virtual speech therapy & paediatric appointments
  • school bus passes
  • future transformation of the Speech & Language Therapy Service
  • survey for young people by young people about EHC Plans
  • co-production charter – rolling it out and making everyone accountable to it
  • updates needed to resource lists for support services

Our take away actions were:

  • Ask more schools to arrange video / photo tours of what school will be like when children go back
  • Organise a webinar on speech & language
  • Get bus pass information updated on Local Offer (single page flow chart)
  • Update specific groups’ Facebook pages
  • Promote and attend webinars
  • Keep up to date with PACTS information and sharing their resources
  • Liaise/network to improve and involve parents/carers with changes at the hospital
  • Promote ‘stay & play’ scheme to support parents/carers
  • Share SAYS EHCP survey as widely as possible for young people
  • Review documents about services for parents/carers
  • Review the co-production charter and how we can make professionals in different organisations accountable for the principles

All that in just under two hours!

If you weren’t there, you could still help:

  • I will send a copy of the co-production charter – please consider how different organisations might be held to account for upholding it and email any comments back to me
  • I will share a copy of the young people’s survey for young people with EHCPs – please share widely with young people who have a final or draft EHCP and encourage them to respond. This will feed into our quality assurance and co-production ensuring the voice of the child/young person is embedded
  • Please keep up to date on via our social media sites: Twitter and Facebook as well as our Parent Carer Forum PACTS website and share widely with families and young people

History

We held two scoping meetings in December 2019 and January 2020 which were well attended and really energetic. Parents, carers and professionals talked about what they could do as SEND Champions, what qualities a champion might have and the support they would need.