July has been a whirlwind of activity, with many new connections made. 

In order for Local Authorities to deliver choice and control for parents, so there must be a commitment to co-production of the local offer in each authority, an active enagement with parents and parent-partnership groups and an understanding of what makes up that market-place mix of provision.

I have been in discussions with commissioners, school heads, parent partnership organisations and more to discuss and share a vision for the local offer that truly engages with all aspects of a child's special educational needs provision.

An holistic approach to addressing SEND should encompass provision for social, leisure and sporting activities that support the child within the context of the family, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are clearly a long way from attaining that goal, but there are some great strides being made in some regions, and within some organisations. 

Towards that aim, I am pleased to announce that Commissioning & Contracting SEND Services, a half day conference on Wednesday 1st October at Missenden Abbey, Buckinghamshire, has gained three excellent presenters, with more speakers to be confirmed shortly. .

Debs Aspland, Co-Founder of Bringing Us Together, an independent and proactive community, championing the voices of disabled children, young people and their families and Special Needs Jungle, will be speaking at the half day conference on Wednesday 1st October at Missenden Abbey, Buckinghamshire. 

For more information about Bringing Us Together, please follow this link - http://bringingustogether.org.uk/

Nigel Utton, a former Headteacher, SEND Consultant & Director of Dragonfly Training, will also be giving his perspective on Commissioning & Contracting SEND Services. For more information on Dragonflye Training, please follow this link - http://www.dragonfly-training.co.uk/courses-conduct-by-nigel-utton/72

Joy O'Neill, founder of the Service Children Support Network, an independent social enterprise that works in collaboration with the MoD and military welfare organisations, will be hosting this first event and also presenting. I am very grateful to Joy for her support and incredible energy and productivity. For more information on SCSN, please follow this link - http://www.servicechildrensupportnetwork.co.uk/

For more information and to book a place on this event, please see http://www.thelocaloffer.co.uk/commissioning-send-services-conference

Further event dates for Commissioning & Contracting SEND Services 

North West Regional Event
Tuesday 21st October 2014.

West Midlands Regional Event
Thursday 6th November 2014

East Midlands Regional Event
Wednesday 26th November

London Regional Event
Tuesday 9th December 2014

Interest is being sought from providers wishing to host an event, exhibit or present at the events. Venues and further details to be added soon.

I look forward to meeting you at a TLO event in the near future, and to working with you!

With very kind regards and best wishes for a glorious Summer