PACC Update - What have we Been Doing?


Summer is usually a quieter time for Parent Carer Forums like PACC, but not in 2020! Of course, Covid-19 has had a big impact, meaning that our role in ensuring that the Shropshire SEND community has access to clear and accurate information is more important than ever.  In addition to this the Written Statement of Action, resulting from the Shropshire SEND Inspection, has kept us busy and more recently we have been working increasingly with Severndale families to develop opportunities for them to contribute to decision making at the school.

As always, an increased workload brings challenges to our capacity, especially this year when parent carers have even less time to spare to support PACC.  With this in mind, we have had an increased focus on working in partnership with other organisations. A good example of this is the Shropshire SEND Newsletter, which is a combined effort from PACC, Shropshire Council and Shropshire CCG. We miss being able to produce our own newsletter ‘Participate’ and hope that at some point in the future we can start to produce it again, but for now we are pleased to be able to work with others to ensure that you get the information that you need.  You can read the most recent edition of the Shropshire SEND Newsletter here. To support the information provided by the newsletter, PACC has also produced a number of Myth Buster Factsheets, about key issues.  These Factsheets have been shared via our social media groups and will soon be available in the ‘Resources’ section of our website.

We are also very excited to be a founder member of the Actio Consortium, working with Energize and Ignition CIC.  Actio aims to ensure that SEND families in Shropshire have access to quality community-based activities, supporting mental and physical health of SEND families.  We will be sharing more about Actio and the opportunities it will bring for Shropshire SEND families, in the near future.

The Shropshire Written Statement of Action (WSOA) is progressing and the initial draft will be submitted for approval to Ofsted and CQC by the 25th September.  This will be a high-level strategic document, which secures the commitment from all parties, to address the significant areas of weakness identified by the inspection.  Once this document has been agreed, we can go on to produce specific action plans for each area of work.  You can find out more about the Shropshire SEND Inspection work here.  We are really pleased to have the support of a small group of Shropshire parent carers, who have expressed interest in being involved in this work.  We are hosting monthly online calls to gather feedback and discuss the progress of this work, along with sharing wider opportunities for any Shropshire parent carers to contribute to this work, it is essential that this work is co-produced at all levels.

Hearing from Shropshire parent carers is essential to PACC’s work and we now have regular ‘Check in and Chat’ sessions, led by Zara on Facebook Live, which have been very popular and have kept PACC in touch with what is important to the community we represent.  PACC has also now established a PACC@Severndale group, so that Severndale families have an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience of the school, which can then be shared with the school leadership to inform their decision making.  We are currently exploring establishing similar groups in other Shropshire schools.

It is a busy, but exciting time for PACC, we are seeing more parent carers following our work via our social media networks and we are building more relationships across education, health and social care services, so that the parent carer voice is heard by local decision makers.  PACC needs to ensure that it can continue this work and continue to grow and respond to an increasing demand for our input.  To do this we need the support of the Shropshire SEND Community.  At the moment, we are particularly keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in becoming a PACC Trustee.  This would involve helping to direct PACC’s work and ensuring that we remain focused on our charitable aims, which include information provision, the creation of a resilient SEND community and offering opportunities for parent carers to influence decision making. You would act as a sounding board for Zara and Sarah, as they deliver their paid roles for PACC and would help to set priorities for the day to day work of the organisation.  This role would include four meetings a year and some email communication.  If you would be interested in finding out more, please do get in touch.

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