Giving Families More Tools To Stay Involved In Education

Whether you are practicing communicating so you can express yourself to your family, learning about social rules so you can visit more places in the community safely or even preparing for big events like attending a wedding or going on holiday, being able to transfer your learning from the classroom to your home is an amazing achievement, and one that offers up so many more opportunities to enrich your life outside school or college. Working with families, carers and others who support our children and young people boosts their development, encourages better outcomes for their education – and recognises the important role families play in their son or daughter’s development.

For this reason, we are thrilled to announce that we are now working towards the Leading Parent Partnership Award, a national award that helps schools deliver effective parental engagement from early years to post-16. Our own parents, families and other carers will be consulted about their involvement with their son or daughter’s education – whether that’s with communication between home and school, support for parents to understand different aspects of their child’s learning, or the help available to deal with particular issues such as transition – and we will be working closely with our families as well as other partner organisations to improve our partnership working with families.

Some of our student’s most incredible successes stem from close relationships between Seashell Trust’s education team and their families. Seb’s family were initially worried about how Seb (who has autism) would cope during his sister’s wedding, and they spoke to our college team to see how we could help Seb prepare. Seb talked about the wedding and what he could expect from the day with Seashell Trust staff and his family, and college staff made arrangements to support him during the wedding. On the day, Seb not only attended – he was able to watch and participate in the whole ceremony, making the day very special for his family.

Another student, Catherine, was frustrated that her complex physical disabilities meant she was the only member of her family who could not help clean the house. By working with college staff to develop her daily living skills so that she could do more things without assistance, Catherine was able to master clearing plates and loading the dishwasher – a skill she was delighted to show her family she had mastered, and one which let her become more independent around mealtimes!

Being involved in your son or daughter’s education is an exciting opportunity and, for families of children and young people with complex special needs, recognises the vital role you play in advocating for your child throughout different areas of your life. We hope that by improving how we work and communicate with you, our students will reap the benefits.

For more information, or to be a part of this process, contact Debbie Rushworth on 0161 6100184 or email