Wolverhampton Parent Partnership Service

Providing information, advice and support

We are a statutory service providing impartialHappy child
information, advice and support to parents and
carers of children and young people with special
educational needs and other additional needs.

The support that you can access from us is free,
neutral, confidential and impartial.


IMPORTANT – SEND Reforms – Countdown to Change!

National changes to special educational needs and disability(SEND) will start to take place from September 2014. Our Parent Information Day on Thursday 19th June aims to inform parents and carers of children with additional needs about the changes, how they will be implemented in Wolverhampton, and what support there will be for parents and young people. Please visit http://bit.ly/1iCFQ6J to view the flyer.

If you have concerns or questions that you want answering on the day please tell us. Email ppservice@wolverhampton.gov.uk with SEND QUESTION’in the subject line.

Exciting news – Wolverhampton Parent Partnership Service chosen to trial Independent Support!

Independent Support is a Government funded programme until March 2016 to provide additional support to young people and parents during the implementation of the SEND reforms. The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) will commission a range of organisations to provide Independent Support locally across England.  Independent Supporters will be used specifically to support young people and parents through the introduction of the new assessment process and the development of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. Support will be provided to:

  • New entrants to the system
  • Children with a statement converting to an EHC plan
  • Young people with an LDA converting to an EHC plan

Initially, invitations to tender were invited for the ‘evidence and build’ phase of the work.  CDC has commissioned 25 organisations to provide evidence to determine the direction of travel at the next tendering point from June 2014 onwards.  Wolverhampton Parent Partnership Service is one of them!  See the CDC website for details of other selected organisations http://bit.ly/1pVfPUz.
The ‘evidence and build’ phase will run from April to June with programme delivery starting in September.  Watch this space for developments locally.
The Government recognises the key role of Parent Partnership Services in providing impartial Information Advice and Support (IAS), and the need for Local Authorities to build on them in order to meet their new IAS duties. Independent Support is, and will be seen to be, additional to PPS.   This phase of Independent Support is crucial to the development of the programme. It focuses on gathering evidence and reporting on effective practice models that achieve positive outcomes.   To see the CDC briefing on Independent Support visit http://bit.ly/1i45TSx.

Evaluation of the SEND Pathfinders published

The Department for Education has published the results from an evaluation of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) pathfinder programme.  This research includes:

  • Analysis on self-reported progress made by 31 pathfinder areas against a common delivery framework (CDF)
  • Data from the quarterly monitoring returns completed by pathfinder areas

Both the evaluation and the brief for the evaluation can be found at http://bit.ly/1h7mLwK.  For more information about the pathfinder programme, please see the Pathfinder web pages at www.sendpathfinder.co.uk

Launch of Home to School Travel and Transport consultation

On 25 March Department for Education launched a Home to School Travel and Transport consultation – http://bit.ly/PgIG8y.  The consultation will last for 10 weeks, ending on 3 June. The Department for Education are not proposing any changes to the existing legislation or to the overall school transport policy.. They are intending to update existing guidance to reflect the change in the educational landscape since 2007 when it was last issued.

Changing Our Lives
1st April 2014
Changing Our Lives

For the latest news from Changing Our Lives, including details of a job vacancy please visit http://bit.ly/1he0IhO.


Autism West Midlands Workshops- Growing up with Autism

 A new series of workshops for parents of children with autism.  The workshops will focus on six key topics, offering practical advice and guidance for supporting your child.  Running from Saturday 7th June through to Saturday 12th July.  Each session runs 9.30am-12.30pm apart from Saturday 14th June which runs 2-5pm.

Cost per session £12 – Full course £60 – A special rate of £5 for brothers and sisters of a child with autism applies for the siblings workshop only.

All sessions take place at: Autism West Midlands, Regent Court, George Road, Birmingham, B15 1NU.  Free parking is available. A three minute walk from Fiveways rail station.

Booking information: Email workshops@autismwestmidlands.org.uk for a booking form.    For more information visit their website http://bit.ly/1fF5XXy.

Autism West Midlands Training Course – Physical Intervention training

A six session physical intervention training course for family members of a person with autism.  The courses offer an introduction to autism and a low arousal and practical approach to managing challenging behaviour.

The course has been adapted from Studio III training and a special discounted rate of £60 per person for all six sessions is being offered.  Call: 0121 450 7582 or email training@autismwestmidlands.org.uk to request a booking form.

Session Dates

  • Week 1: Tuesday 29th April 2014 7pm-9pm – Welcome and introduction
  • Week 2: Wednesday 7th May 2014 7pm-9pm - Sensory issues and autism
  • Week3: Wednesday 21st may 2014 7pm-9pm – A low arousal approach in dealing with behaviour
  • Week 4: Wednesday 4th June 2014 7pm-9pm – Causes of challenging behaviour
  • Week 5: Wednesday 11th June 7pm-9pm – Causes of challenging behaviour
  • Week 6: Wednesday 18th June 2014 7pm-9pm – A personal perspective-Living with autism.

All sessions take place at Autism West Midlands, Regent Court, George Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 1NU.  For more information visit http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=7a6d85cd8a782422ab7a3c913&id=425cecafdc&e=01c9243e50.

Top Children & Families Bill Myths

Contact a Family have produced information sheets designed to dispel some of the myths associated with the progress and implications of the Children & Families Bill.    These information sheets are available to read at the links below.

  1. Children & Families Bill Myths, visit http://bit.ly/1gwpdx5
  2. Children & Families Bill Myths, Statements and EHC Plans, visit http://bit.ly/MS7SSb

The Bill is due to have Royal Assent in April, with the changes set to be implemented from September 2014.

REMEMBER - To find out more about how the changes will affect you and your child in Wolverhampton, the Parent Partnership Service is holding a Parent Information Day on Thursday 19th June, 9.30am-2.30pm at Molineux Stadium. For more details and to reserve a place at the event contact us on 01902 556945 or emailppservice@wolverhampton.gov.uk


SEND Reforms – Wolverhampton’s Local Offer

Elaine Westwood from the Parent Partnership Service, along with Alison Baggs and Jane Smith from Voice4Parents attended the first meeting of the Local Offer Partnership Board this week. There were representatives from schools and services from across the Local Authority, the voluntary sector and Health including the Clinical Commissioning Group. Alex Johnson from Changing Young Lives represented the views of young people in the City. 
The group agreed terms of reference, and members signed up to work on the various work plans that the Local Offer will encompass, including education, health, social care and    preparing for adulthood. The Local Offer Partnership Board will oversee and coordinate the development of the Local Offer in Wolverhampton, ensuring that information is  included from all relevant services to cover birth to 25.  You can find out more about the Local Offer in the article from Lucy Harris in the Spring edition of the Parent Partnership Service magazine.

Government ministers’ letter to Local Authorities re SEND reforms

On Monday 9th December Ministers Edward Timpson (Department for Education) and Dan Poulter (Department of Health) wrote to local authority and health leaders about the special educational needs (SEN) reforms.  In their letter the Ministers request these individuals work to ensure that the SEN reforms are implemented in a way that will deliver maximum benefits for local areas and for families and young people.  

You can read their letter, and more about how the pathfinder programme will be extended until March 2015 on the Council for Disabled Children website at http://www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/news/july-december-2013/implementation-pack-on-sen-reforms-sent-to-all-local-areas

Must see film clip. A different perspective

The award-winning ‘Talk’ portrays a society in which non-disabled people are a pitied minority and disabled people lead full and active lives. Jonathan Kerrigan, of BBC’s ‘Casualty’ fame, plays a business executive whose negative preconceptions of disability are dramatically shattered.  To view this film visit:

Information, information, information – What? Where? How?

Parents and carers have been telling us for years that access to information is a challenge.  We know that all too often, parents hear about services and opportunities through other parents.  We have been looking for a way to address this for some time.  Well, now there is going to be a way to ensure parents and carers can access the information they need in a manner they would like to receive it. Furthermore, this will be embedded in law.
As part of the reforms to Special Educational Needs and Disability services, each Local Authority will have to produce a ‘Local Offer’ which will set out in one place information about provision they expect to be available for children and young people in their area.
The Local offer will have two key purposes:
•         To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the provision available and
•         To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEN, parents and carers in its development and review.
The Local Offer will include information about services and provision in relation to all aspects of special educational needs and disability.
This is all good news for parents and carers!
I am delighted to tell you that I shall be leading on the Local Offer for Wolverhampton and officially start my work as Local Offer Project Manager this week.  I shall still manage the Parent Partnership Service but will be spending most of my time concentrating on the Local Offer which is a huge project.  Elaine Westwood (Parent Partnership Officer) will be overseeing the day to day work of the Parent Partnership Service in my absence, until March 2014. There will be some other temporary cover arrangements which we will share in the near future. 
I will need your help!  It is essential that the Local Offer is created with parents, carers and young people right from the start. I shall be working closely with Voice4Parents to develop some of the early principles of Wolverhampton’s Local Offer but we will need to seek the views of parents, carers and young people across the City to ensure it meets local needs.  Please watch this space for information about how to get involved.
The Parent Partnership Service is delighted to have such a prominent role with Wolverhampton’s implementation of the reforms and that we will have the chance to influence such an important piece of work for children, young people and their families.  The Parent Partnership Service will ‘host’ the Local Offer once it is established.
If you would like to see what the Draft SEN Code of Practice says about the Local Offer please click here to visit www.gov.uk. I will keep you informed of developments.
Lucy Harris (Parent Partnership Co-ordinator and Local Offer Project Manager)

Important development for CYP with long term health conditions

 Following months of campaigning by Diabetes UK and a number of other charities the Government has announced that it will amend the Children and Families Bill so that all schools, including free schools and academies, will be required by law to make appropriate arrangements for supporting pupils with long-term health needs. This will be supported by new statutory guidance that will be issued next year.  http://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/News_Landing_Page/Diabetes-UK-welcomes-major-step-from-Government-to-improve-support-for-school-children-with-health-needs/

Video to explain the changes to SEN funding

You will now be aware of the national changes to the way in which SEN funding is arranged in schools which came into force on 1st April.  Here is a short video that helps to explain the changes further.  The presentation is by Philippa Stobbs, Assistant Director at the Council for Disabled Children.  To view the presentation, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ7mVQsPinM.


View archived newsView current news

If you would like to comment on any news items, please visit our feedback page

show comments












View comments and give feedback about the
Parent Partnership Service




Register here to receive
our e-mail alerts & be
included on our mailing list

sign up for email alerts


Read our latest magazine


EVENTS 2013/2014