Parents come together for SEN conference

5 February 2014

A big thank you to all the parents and carers who came to our special educational needs (SEN) conference at the civic centre on Wednesday 29 January.

We were delighted at the huge interest in the event which was attended by nearly 200 delegates, one of the biggest turnouts for a conference since the civic centre opened last summer.

The focus for the day was to help prepare parents and carers for the introduction of new national SEN reforms which will be implemented in Brent over the coming months. Guest speakers included the SEN and disability specialist Brian Lamb OBE, and representatives from education, health and social services who talked about how different agencies will work together to deliver co-ordinated support for children, young people and their families.

There was also a 'market place' of stalls where parents could get information about national and local organisations that support SEN.

One of the most popular parts of the day was a panel discussion in the afternoon which prompted over 50 questions from members of the audience. We ran out of time to answer them all and we are currently collating responses so we can feed back personally to parents and carers by the middle of this month.

We also had an overwhelming response to a new SEN parent support group, with over 100 delegates signing up on the day. We will be contacting everyone who expressed an interest with a view to organising a first meeting.

Meena Mehta and Sharon Bourla from Brent Parent Partnership, which organised the conference said: "We felt it was important to organise an event that involved parents and carers and gave them as much information as we currently have about the up and coming changes.

"We were overwhelmed by the support on the day and we like to thank everyone for giving up their time to attend. Feedback from the conference has been largely positive and it's encouraging to know that people found the event useful and informative. We will be looking at everyone's comments about the new reforms and organising a programme of events for people to be able to be able to participate and give their views ahead of the changes."