"Inclusion in Shropshire" - PACC Conference 2023


Our conference "Inclusion in Shropshire" focused on how inclusive practice is experienced by families in educational environments (schools, colleges, nursery's etc). You can read our promotional material on the conference here:

PACC Conference 2023 – ‘Inclusion in Shropshire’ (paccshropshire.org.uk)


Following the conference, we have developed a report that explores what was discussed and our reflections and recommendations moving forward.  You can read the report in full here.

Report Executive Summary:

As always, we are impressed by the honesty of our community and your generosity to share your experiences to help improve local systems. With 44 Parent Carers in attendance, there were plenty of discussions to be had.

Our keynote speakers Karen Levell (Service Manager for SEND and Inclusion at Shropshire Council) and Jen Griffin (Designated Clinical Officer for SEND at NHS Shropshire Telford and Wrekin) delivered some key updates on who is who across the system and key LA SEND services. They also updated Parent Carers on the SEND improvement plans and changes that are being made to respond to the Local Areas SEND Accelerated Progress Plan that is now in place and being monitored by DfE and NHSE Midlands. This feedback provided some useful stimulation in discussions to understand how these changes have impacted parent carers experiences, or if they have not what changes need to be seen.

Keynote speaker Amy Chevin-Dooley (Director of Inclusions at Marches Academy Trust) presented The Marches Academy Trust Inclusion Plan. This detailed the journey of the Trust to explore how they can lay the correct foundations, behaviours, and expectations across their schools to ensure all children are included in education to meet their individual needs. Again, this information provided some extremely interesting discussions about how this approach could be replicated in other Trusts and across Shropshire more widely. Most importantly the presentation detailed how a top-down approach is essential and how getting the fundamentals in place across a Trust is much more valuable in the long term to developing better practice in schools for individual children.

After a much-needed lunch break, we reconvened the afternoon session exploring our tabletop discussions. Overall, the consensus among Parent Carers is that enough change has not happened, and their families are not feeling the benefits yet. Experiences with SEN Team remain challenging, with families reporting poor communication, poor etiquette from staff they engage with, and poor-quality plans. Parent Carers also spoke about their frustrations at the fundamentals of SEND not being embedded in schools and services with basic awareness of the law and rights of families being ignored or dismissed, with awareness of SEND in school communities being a barrier, and aspirations for our children being limited and managed by those providing care and support. Parent Carers also shared concerns around the Quality Assurance processes and how the system can ensure a child’s needs are being met well.

Please find attached the powerpoint presentation slides used by Karen Levelle and Jenifer Griffin here.

We will be providing a synopsis of Amy Chevin-Dooley's Presentation at a later date.

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