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Isobel Boolers letter to SEND parents (30/09/21)

To clarify communication regarding Isobel Boolers (acting Executive Director of Children’s Services), letter to SEND parents.

We are aware that parents have raised that BURY2GETHER distributed the letter, and that parents who aren’t members of BURY2GETHER may have not seen the letter.

We just want to make you aware, that the letter was posted via Bury’s SEND Local Offer, which is available for anyone to view.

BURY2GETHER were made aware that it was going to be uploaded onto Bury’s SEND Local Offer and shared it to our members.

We hope that this clarifies that this letter has always been available to all SEND parent/carers.

To view the letter on Bury’s SEND Local Offer please click the link below:

This leads us onto a wider issue regarding Communication with all SEND parent/carers.

BURY2GETHER is aware that we have been ‘bridging the gap’ for the LA and CCG SEND communications for a long while.

We have asked for a SEND Communication and Engagement Officer role to be created.

This was approved by the Local Authority some months ago. One of our Steering Group representatives was invited to be part of the interview panel. We are awaiting confirmation of the candidate selection.

Going forward, the SEND Communication and Engagement Officer will work holistically across Education, Health and Social Care etc, to provide better communication and to strengthen Bury’s SEND Local Offer.

A key component for communication flowing, is the LA and CCG having their own database of Bury’s SEND parent/carers to contact.

Currently Bury’s Disability Register is held by a third party company. This contract is now under review. You have an opportunity to have your say here:

BURY2GETHER has representatives on the Local Offer Strategy Group.

Both the forum and the Local Authority are in agreement that we now need a ‘Local Offer Working Group’.

There have been some initial conversations about different models that might be useful, such as a ‘Friends of the Local Offer Group’ or a ‘Parent Champion’ model. Both offer an opportunity for any parent/carer in Bury, to join the group and help review information/policies/strategies in Bury.

When the new SEND Communications and Engagement Officer is in post, this will form part of their job role.

In addition to this, BURY2GETHER recommended that Rotherham Voices (or Genuine Partnerships), be commissioned to support Bury, in implementing coproduction for all parent/carers.

Bury Local Authority agreed to commission this work. In addition to this, Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) worked with the Local Authority and BURY2GETHER to apply for a grant to support additional sessions with Rotherham Voices.

One of the suggestions from Rotherham Voices was to create a ‘Voice and Influence’ group for Bury, to enable communication to flow better. This has been agreed going forward.

If you are a SEND parent/carer and haven’t joined up as a BURY2GETHER member, please do so. We would love to hear your voices.

Please do this via our membership form at

We do provide lots of information via our active social media pages. However, we recognise that not all parent/carers access social media.

If you are signed up as a member, you will receive our important information via email.

Please join us. There is power in numbers.

Thank you for your continuing support.

BURY2GETHER Steering Group.

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