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Understanding the Mental Health of Children and Young People Event

We are very fortunate to have secured a key note address from Professor Samuel Stein, a Consultant in Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry. http://professorsamuelstein.org

View Event Details

SEND Inspection

The Departments for Education and Health have instructed OFSTED and the Care Quality Commission to inspect all local areas (in our case Buckinghamshire) over the next five years to gauge the impact of the SEND reforms in terms of the positive outcomes they are producing for children and young people. Whilst there is concern that the inspections could be a little early for changes that are not to be fully embedded until 2018, FACT Bucks (along with other parent carer forums) has welcomed the intervention as it will be an external measure of the systems and processes as they operate in the lives of our children and young people.

We are currently part of an Inspection preparation group developing a Self Evaluation Framework that will provide a good snapshot of progress to date and the work to be done.

FACT Bucks will be asked during the inspection to provide opportunities for the Inspectors to meet with and gain feedback from parent carers. In the test areas, this has been a major area of interest for the Inspectors. We will be asking for your help to ensure this feedback is thorough. Unfortunately the current proposal is for the inspection to happen with only 2 days notice – this is being challenged – and it could happen this July or any time until April 2021 – we just don't know – so we will need patience and flexibility. However, the process of preparing for the inspection is a good opportunity for us, on your behalf, to be critical friends to colleagues in the area who deliver the systems in education, social care and health. As always if you have feedback we are very happy to hear it or join us for one of our regular forums and let us know in person.


A key part of the SEND reforms is the focus on outcomes. For children and young people with additional needs to reach their potential it is essential that Education Health and Care plans contain outcomes that make this a reality. The scale of the shift in emphasis is clear in the struggle that professionals and schools are experiencing. So it is vital for parent carers to be fully aware and focused on the task of preparing outcomes. For this reason we have worked with SENDIAS and a consultant to develop a training programme specifically aimed at parent carers.

Details of the next term’s event are below and they will be led by Olga Hamer a FACT member, a parent carer and a professional in this area. Those who have attended our initial events have felt empowered to participate more fully in their child or young person’s transfer reviews. The courses are free so please sign up today.

2 day training

Tuesday 1 March and Tuesday 8 March 2016 10am – 2.30pm
(attendance on both days required) - Aylesbury

1 day training

Saturday 19 March 2016 10am – 4pm – Aylesbury

A sandwich lunch and refreshments will be provided.
If you are interested in signing up please contact Bucks SENDIAS on 01296 383754 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible, as places are limited.

Home to School Transport

In our last newsletter we reported on this major review in which we have played a significant part. Your views through the online survey and those of you who have played a part in the online consultation group have been instrumental in guiding the review. The idea of multi pick up points, which was not very popular with parents, was to be the subject of a pilot study but there were no volunteers and the logistics proved to be too onerous, so the idea has been shelved. The proposal to provide transport training for young people to increase independence was welcomed by parents but it requires additional funding and so there are no definitive plans to move ahead at this time.

Alongside the review, the taxi provision has been retendered and we have worked hard to ensure that you have been kept informed of changes as they have been agreed. We are currently working on a parental guide to the subject which we hope will be made available to all parent carers whose children or young people have home to school transport.

Chances to participate in shaping services

A. Local Offer providers

As part of the Local Offer, coproduced with parents, carers and young people, we have a duty to demonstrate how feedback is being used to improve services: so we created a ‘You said, we did’ page to demonstrate how feedback on the information is being used to improve the Local Offer! We would now like to trial a new feature of the website called ‘Rate and Review’. This allows people to provide feedback and to rate a service they have used. We have three providers who have signed up to the trial: Thomley, Action for Children and Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

In order to leave a review, users must create an account or sign in to the BFIS website then search for the service they want to review. All reviews will be checked and the service will have the chance to respond to any negative feedback before the feedback is published along with the response from the service. This should be a simple way for people to give feedback and to show how services use that information to improve.

We intend to trial the ‘Rate and Review’ function for three months until the end of March to see how well it works from both a service user and a provider’s perspective. If you leave a review we may contact you to ask what you thought of the service and whether you have found other people’s reviews useful. If the trial goes well, we may look to extend this to other providers.

B. Therapies

A working party led by the County Commissioning team and involving parents have been seeking out our views on one or more of the following services for children and young people up to the age of 25:-

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy

These services are provided in Buckinghamshire on contracts which will shortly be due for renewal. This gives us the chance to change things for the better but before we can do that, we need to find out what people think of the current services. Thanks to all who attended an event and/or completed the online survey

Work is now in hand to review this feedback and to begin to prepare a strategy for future provision that seeks to address he challenges while maintaining those things we value. There will be more opportunities to be involved as the work progresses and we will keep you informed.

Remember help is at hand

Short Breaks Parent Advisory Group

A new group of parents has recently signed up to the Short Breaks PAG and the first meeting will be this month.

CAMHS & Local Offer

Advisory Groups for the recommissioned CAMHS service and also for the oversight & development of the Local Offer are in the process of being constituted. If you are interested in these areas, please let us know.

Buckinghamshire Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support (SEND IAS) Service (formerly Parent Partnership)

Is available for children and young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their parents/carers. They work alongside Independent Support and provide advice and support pan disability and across the breadth of education, health and social care. They are independent from the SEND team and are there to help us through a whole range of issues relating to special educational needs and disabilities. Please call their helpline 01296 383754 or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and they will do their best to help you whatever your query or situation.

More specifically the Independent Support Service, offered by Adviza, continues to offer support to parents and Young people as they transfer from Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans – and they can help parents and young people to make sure that their views are central to the process, and that they end up with a Plan that reflects their views and sets out provision accordingly. So far Independent Support has helped over 180 parents and young people individually, and supported over 450 parents and young people with information and advice. If you are coming up to transfer don’t leave it too late – call Independent Support on 01296 383754 (ask for Independent Support)

Help make County planning more effective & save money on Days Out

Pinpoint is the Disabled Children Register, a voluntary database which aims to capture information about all children and young people aged 0-25 years with disabilities or special educational needs who live in Buckinghamshire. The information is used anonymously to show the use of and demand for services in Buckinghamshire. Without an accurate view of need it is very difficult to plan, monitor and develop facilities and services for disabled children and their families.

If you register now you will also receive a Max Card, a national discount card for looked after children and children with additional needs aged 0-19 years. The scheme enables families to visit hundreds of attractions across the UK at a free or discounted rate. Current partners include Merlin Entertainments, Virgin Experience Days, Tenpin Bowling, Go Ape, Reel Cinemas and Namco Funscape. A full list of partners can be found by visiting www.mymaxcard.co.uk. Those who are already registered should have received their Max Card by now – if not drop Ena an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and she will follow it up.

Jobs and Getting Involved

We have various new positions with FACT and Bucks CC if you are able to get involved. Read More!


Service commissioners and other professionals often need to get input from parents and carers and struggle to know how to get in contact with relevant people...  Read more

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07548 095363

PO Box 1032
HP22 9NL



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FACT Bucks is a Registered Charity

Charity Number 1155067