We currently support several schools within Telford and Wrekin by facilitating informative coffee mornings and afternoons.
The coffee morning sessions are a good way for schools to communicate with their SEND parents and carers in a relaxed informal environment.
It’s an excellent opportunity for parents and carers to ask questions, share experiences and find out what is happening in school.
If you are interested in attending a coffee morning at your child's school to learn more about the support they can offer or speak with other parents, then have a chat with your SENDCo or contact our team on 01952 457176
Coffee Morning Case Study
During the summer holiday a flyer was sent out to all primary and secondary schools inviting them like to work alongside us to provide SEN Coffee Morning Sessions for their parents/carers who have or may have a child with Special Educational Needs.
I was contacted by Emma Plowman, Senco at St Peters Bratton and we arranged to meet to discuss coffee mornings further.
Upon meeting we talked about what the coffee mornings would consist of, some structured time where professionals would be invited to discuss their services and updates from school or consultation with parents in regards to the website/SEND policy and to gather feedback as to how they feel the coffee mornings are going etc. and some time for parents to have a chat and build relationships.
Emma was keen and excited to raise the SEND profile within school and since starting at St Peter’s she has made some positive changes.
When asking Emma about why she was so keen to have coffee mornings she responded as follows:
“Parental involvement in their child’s education at St. Peter’s is a priority. Becoming Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion at St. Peter’s enabled me to look into developing this further. I feel passionately that the child should be at the centre of everything, closely supported by family and staff whom should contribute to all elements and decision making for the individual child’s with SEND, provision."
Emma went on to say:
"Collaboration with parents and carers is key to creating the best possible support for every child who walks through our school doors.
When introducing Coffee Mornings at St. Peter’s the main purpose was to create something that was informative and helpful to the parents and carers.
It was also a way of enabling a network of parents and carers to meet up, have a voice, support each other, share ideas, concerns and good practice.
We want the coffee mornings to feel relaxed and welcoming so that parents can share their ideas and thoughts freely.
My aim is always to invite visitors along who I think will be informative and helpful to attendees.
I have found representatives from different services can signpost parents to services, websites etc. they were unaware of before and we gain positive feedback from this.
My main aim is that parents also leave the coffee morning feeling better informed about SEND provision at St. Peters, the wonderful work that is already in place and any up and coming developments, particularly those that the parents and carers can be involved in the decision making of.
My experience of Coffee mornings is that I always come away with an idea or suggestion from parents that I hadn’t considered. It is always helpful to me to hear what they feel should be a priority or they often come up with a suggestion that would help improve inclusion throughout the school."
My top tip...
"Always bring cake!”
When I attended the coffee morning Emma explained to parents what her role is within the school and why she wanted to set the coffee morning up. I gave an overview of the SENDIASS service and what our offer is and parents were able to ask questions.
During the coffee morning I am able to speak to parents on a 1-1 basis for individual questions.
Emma has introduced a book which features pictures and comments from parent and professionals
One parent commented following the first coffee morning:
“The coffee morning was really welcoming, informative and comforting. It was nice to have the extra time for communication with the staff in that arena and specifically with those that offer additional help to my child and others when she's needed that extra support. It was informative to learn about what is available as help too and It was fantastic to meet other parents and carers that you wouldn’t ordinarily meet too.”
Since September 2019 we have had interest from 12 schools both primary and secondary.
This enables us to have a wider reach within the community, support schools and parent with communication and building relationships.