3:40 pm, Thursday, 18th January 2024

SPACE Forum takes off

On Tuesday 16 January the Settings Parents and Carers for Education (SPACE) Forum officially launched.

At the event there was a great turnout of 15 parent carers and 24 practitioners.

The launch of the SPACE Forum introduced parent carers and settings to each other and outlined how to Forum evolved from the Autism in Schools project.

All attendees were asked to suggest themes and topics for future Forums and how they would like the Forum to be shaped moving forward.

There were attendees from Early Years through to Post 16 settings. The varied interest of individuals from every setting will provide a valuable range of views and experiences going forward.

Karen Hoe from Autism Central gave an overview of her role and the training and support parent carers can access.

The NELPCF introduced themselves and how they can support not only parent carers but also settings.

Jack a speaker who shares his experience as an individual living with Autism introduced himself and will be the guest speaker at the Forum on the Tuesday 9 February 2024.

Questions asked included:
“Parent information on Disability Living Allowance, support completing applications, and how it can be used.”

The Carers Support Service leaflet was included in the information pack which was provided at the Forum. Home – Carers Support Service (carerssupportcentre.com)

“Can we have a one-stop-shop for NEL Early Years providers including private, voluntary and independent settings.”

We are planning a pop-up event on 9 July this year, the last SPACE Forum for the academic year.

“Parent carers would like guidance for when they feel settings aren’t listening to concerns; what to do, where to go, and the SEND Code of practice.”

A ‘handling meetings’ workshop has been planned for the 19 March at the SPACE Forum, flyer will follow shortly.

The upcoming dates and topics for the forums are:

  • February 9 2024: A Lived Experience – Jack’s experience
  • March 19 2024: Training – Contact’s Growing Up Workshop
  • April 23 2024: Small changes…. Big impact….
  • June 11 2024: To be confirmed
  • July 9 2024: Pop-up event

Previous topics include:

  • September 19 2023: Discussing the final audits with parent carers and school champions for the AiS project
  • October 17 2023: Understanding Myself training (to showcase the programme and make amendments through collaboration with our parent carers)
  • November 21 2023: NAVIGO/YMM and Access Pathway Team will be attending to look at the new referral form.