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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

SEN conference for parents and professionals

(33 Posts)
LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 17:16:06

‘Towards a Positive Future’ is a two day conference which will focus on providing encouragement, information and hope for parents of, and professionals working with, SEN children. Attendance at the conference will encourage parents to take control, to share, inspire each other and make sure SEN children get the support they need and launch a new professional network that will empower, enthuse and enable practitioners to be heard and shape the future.

There will be a wide variety of seminars covering a whole range of special educational needs issues, including:
- what the health, education and social care reforms will mean for your children with SEN;
- how Academies can find ways to meet the needs of students with complex needs;
- the legal implications for children with SEN including current and future funding arrangements;
- how you can access independent experts;
- what Tribunals are like;
- how to prepare for a Tribunal hearing.
- transition to University for students with SEN

‘Towards a Positive Future’ takes place on 14 – 15 October 2011 at Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury.

To view the line up of speakers and to book your place, please visit:

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 18:29:23

Okay, well very impressed at the calendar dates. You obviously DO know something about parents with children with SEN.

But I'm still wondering 'who are you and what do you want with us?'

coff33pot Sat 24-Sep-11 18:41:17

Attendance at the conference will encourage parents to take control, to share, inspire each other and make sure SEN children get the support they need and launch a new professional network that will empower, enthuse and enable practitioners to be heard and shape the future.

hmmm tell me how they intend to build a network before I even click the link....

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 18:42:49

Hi StarlightMcKenzie,

I am one of the speakers at the conference and want to get good information out to parents. Even if parents can't make it to the conference, there are links on the website to professionals who can assist with tribunals, assessments, service provision etc - or just be able to answer questions.

I'm all for empowering parents and working collaboratively with other professionals to best serve parents and their children.

Kind regards,
Lidia Trojanowska

coff33pot Sat 24-Sep-11 18:44:05

That and the government are only at the piloting stage....nothing has been agreed. So it is all supposition rather than fact at present.

moondog Sat 24-Sep-11 18:46:23

Oh I know who you are!
Will message and let you know who I am. smile

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 18:47:31

Now you see, the trouble with most of us lot here is our frustration at not being able to get good information out to professionals.

You don't have one single parent speaker.

But thank you for explaining.

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 18:57:06

Hi Coff33pot,

I am just a speaker at the conference, not the conference organizer. Hopefully the website will be able to answer some of your questions, alternatively I can out you in touch with the organizers if you wish to speak to them directly smile

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 18:59:27

Starlight - you are 100% correct!!! and I agree with you.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 18:59:45

Yes, I'd be interested in how the network is going to be built.

But also, if this conference really is for Parents, what work have you done on finding out what parents would want from such a conference?

Have you a consumer panel/group?

I have no doubt that your extensive list of speakers are passionate about what they do, and what they speak about but their jobs and passions but one of the main issues with the current system is absolute lack of parent voice. At least, parents DO voice, but aren't heard.

And your conference seems to focus on provision provision provision. But we want to tell you what we need, and what our children need. That is how your 'services' can beat the current system.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 19:01:41

Oh I see you are a speaker rather than organiser.

Don't think I am against you or the conference. I am not. I want change as deperately as most of the other parents here. Change. Not more of the same but just funded differently.

moondog Sat 24-Sep-11 19:03:04

Lidia is a top person Star.
Closely associated with all the people you met in London at that conference.

She's one of the converted. smile

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 19:03:20

Extremely valid points Starlight. Can I put you in touch with the organizers? I am sure they would welcome a dialogue with you.

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 19:04:16

LOL thank you Moondog smile

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 19:08:01

LOL. I'm not having a go at her Moondog, she just happened to appear from nowhere and give me a platform to air some frustrations.

Lidia Yes absolutely. I would be happy to speak to the organisers.

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 19:13:36

Starlight - I will message you their email to you now.

I did not take your comments personally LOL I think its important that parents are able to express their needs and wants rather than just being told what is best for them and their child. I truly believe professionals need to listen more.

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 19:19:59

I must admit, I read the profile of every speaker and thought 'oh thank god' when I read yours.

But the thing is that when parents become consumers (which is what is being proposed) it is extremely good news for independent practitioners but ONLY if they have earnt the trust of a very disillusioned cohort of people.

This is also essential in order to make the 'proposal' become a reality, and drive it forward because at the moment, disillusioned parents are very scared of losing the very little they have, however ineffective, and are currently quite suspicious of change.

LidiaD Sat 24-Sep-11 19:27:02

Starlight, I agree with you wholeheartedly!

moondog Sat 24-Sep-11 19:32:08

I konw you aren't Star.
I just wanted you to know. smile

coff33pot Sat 24-Sep-11 20:38:20

I dont know (not at you Lidia as I can fully understand your enthusiasm on this conference smile)

But everyone speaking is "independent proffessional" for a start. Not one listed there is a "Mum or Dad" of an SN child. And parents views would probably help towards the goals this conference is about maybe?

This green paper has not fully been passed so either the independents KNOW its going ahead or are hypothetically talking about it and the Big Society change. Is the NHS going to disapear totally?

If it goes through it says parents would have a personal budget so that they can choose which therapy/interventions would suit their children. BUT sorry for being negative the way the government decides at present on what is considered an acceptable amount to live on is rubbish. (I am not unemployed btw or on benefits as yet). How does anyone know at present that this personal budget would actually be enough to hire independent help and to put it bluntly a lot of SN children need a lot of various therapies which are VERY expensive.

Perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree lol smile If I am just swear silently and say "silly girl" grin

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 24-Sep-11 20:49:10

I suspect that our LA will give the personalised budget to parents for NHS services, not education ones.

Can you imagine them allowing the parents to hire their own TA for in school?

Are personalised budgets for the long term, or are they just a way for the government to force people to be independent in the first instance, with budgets cut year after year until they are nothing and parents are expected to use their own non funds.

Will the redundant NHS service providers undercut the independent ones? Will the market be flooded and therefore more affordable for parents to fund themselves?

There are always opportunities as well as pitfalls in any change of cirumstance and we should hold on to that. But, for most of us, the future is uncertain and scary because of it.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 24-Sep-11 22:17:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 25-Sep-11 09:27:17

I'm not really sure what has been happening in adult services. I have kept my head in the sand.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sun 25-Sep-11 13:44:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wordswell Mon 03-Oct-11 14:30:00

I am one of the co-organisers of this conference and am a speech and language therapist and parent of a child with a life threatening medical condition and special educational needs. One of the reasons that I edited the book and organised the conference is that we don't know what the future holds legally or politically. The green paper is full of ideas but no detail of how these ideas could practically be put into practice. However, all the parents who have contributed their personal stories for the book agree on 10 things that make or have made a positive difference to their child and their family and it is these positives that we want to explore in the conference and focus on what we know works and how we can achieve this level of support regardless of the legal and political framework. One way is for parents and professionals from across helath, education and social care working together and share information on what is available and how to get it funded.

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