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Parent and Carer Support

The provision of help and support for the parent/carers of children with SEND and for those who think they have SEND. Providing help and information for parent and carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities and gives parents and carers opportunities to have a say and get involved in improving local services.


Head Teachers / School Leaders, Pastoral and Support Staff, School Teachers, Trusts

Aimed at

Early Years Foundation Stage, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5


Community Support, Inclusion and SEND


Place Based, Student/Family Support, Whole School

Why was the project needed?

There was a lack of support across the area for parent carers which left them feeling isolated and they wanted more information and guidance about some of the issues that were important to them and their children. They needed the knowledge to be able to navigate the range of service that were available to them.

What happened and what was the impact?

The Opportunity Area worked alongside PINPOINT, a Cambridgeshire-based organisation which provides help and information to parents/carers of children and young people aged 0-25 with additional needs and disabilities. Initially 4 separate community-based groups were set up within the local area that could meet, they are known as Tea-Hubs, at least once a month to engage parent and carers and let them know that they were not alone; the sessions allowed them to discuss the support that was available to them and to receive training. In response to COVID-19 the sessions quickly moved online which allowed them to be offered more regularly and led to a marked increase in attendance. A number of PINPOINT champions were identified who could support and train others parents and carers on a more local basis. Parents/Carers now have more of a voice locally and the sessions have allowed parents/carers to receive the necessary signposting to the help and support that they require; essentially an all-round support network.

What did and didn't work?

The best thing to come out of the programme were the information workshops which allowed parents and carers to access new and workable strategies that they could use at home, giving them a more informed approach to dealing with the issues they faced – particularly in the uncertain time of a global pandemic. With hindsight, offering only in person sessions did not bring about the best levels of attendance. Having to make the offering online actually led to a significant increase and attendees and, therefore, a more wide-ranging spread of the benefits the programme has brought about.

How did you measure success?

Parents were asked to complete surveys so that we could measure confidence and knowledge of local services and support networks.


Ingredients For Success

The non-negotiable is the need of a local provider with the knowledge of the range of local service available. Having some level of representation with local government (SEND services, Education etc.) allows for feedback to be directed into the correct location. IT skills were a key requirement once the delivery programme moved entirely online. On-going annual project costs of approximately £25k, initial set-up costs are variable based on whether the meetings, “tea-hubs”, workshops are in person or virtual. From the perspective of the parents/carers, face-to-face does not necessarily mean in-person but dedicated 1-2-1 time – this gives them a clearly feeling of support.

Is the Project Complete or Ongoing

The project is on-going

How is the Project Sustainable

The recording of workshops can be accessed continuously as can the active guides that have been created. We are looking at alternative funding streams to ensure “tea-hubs” can continue into the future.

What are the Long Term Impacts

It is hoped that parent/carer champions will continue to support families who are new to the SEND environment – they care – by Parents for Parents!

Working parents tell us it’s great as many can get permission from employers to join a session in their lunch time or in a work break.

Area Most Impacted

Inclusion SEND

See how others have implemented this Big Idea

Pinpoint SEND

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