Birmingham City Council

About the SEN Parent Partnership

Involving parents in SEN assessment and provision

All local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, have a Parent Partnership Service in order to ensure that parents of children with special educational needs are fully involved in the assessment procedures and educational provision for those children.

Although the Parent Partnership Service is part of the local authority, it operates independently from the council's SEN Assessment Team.

The Code of Practice sets out minimum standards for the local authority and the Parent Partnership Service. These concern:

  • Working with parents

  • Information and publicity

  • Training, advice and support

  • Networking and collaboration

  • Informing local policy and practice


The partnership has a telephone Helpline: 0121 303 5004.

Parents can call at any time for advice and information. Please contact the Parent Partnership Service.

The role of the partnership

The SEN Parent Partnership Service is expected to:

  • Provide practical support to parents, either individually or in groups, to help in discussions with schools, local authorites and other statutory agencies.

  • Provide accurate, neutral information to parents on their rights, roles and responsibilities within the SEN process, and on the wide range of options that are available for their child's education.

  • Inform parents about other agencies, such as Health Services, Social Services and voluntary organisations, which can offer information and advice about their child's particular special need.

  • Ensure that, where appropriate and working with parents, the views of the child are sought and taken into consideration.

  • Provide a range of flexible services including access to an Independent Parental Supporter for all parents who want one.

  • Provide neutral, accurate information for parents on all SEN procedures as set out in SEN legislation and the Code of Practice.

  • Interpret information published by schools, local authorities and other bodies with an interest in SEN.

  • Make available advice on special educational needs procedures to parents through information support and training.

  • Make available training on good communication and relationships with parents to teachers, governors and SEN sections of the local authority.

  • Work with schools, council officers and other agencies to help them develop positive relationships with parents.

  • Establish and maintain links with voluntary organisations.

  • Ensure that parents views are heard and understood, and inform and influence the development of local SEN policy and practice.

  • Regularly review the effectiveness of the Parent Partnership Service, by seeking feedback from users.