Skip to main content

Establishing a new Parent Carer Forum for Luton


At the end of March 2020, the parent carer forum for the Luton area closed and we wanted to provide you with an update on what’s happening to establish a new forum.  The Department for Education have commissioned Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, to oversee parent participation throughout England and they are actively involved in facilitating the formation of a new forum.

Parent Carer Forums can help local authorities to engage with local families and understand the local needs so they can plan services for disabled children and their families effectively to meet these. This was highlighted in Luton’s SEND inspection of 2019. We are keen to see the new forum take on this role, but structures and support need to be in place before the group is able to do this effectively.

My name is Ruth Hobbs and I have 16 years of lived experience of special educational needs, having 2 teenagers with a variety of additional needs and having worked in education previously. Since 2014 I have been a member of my local parent carer forum and became chair of Directors in 2015. Since then the forum has seen rapid growth and has built effective working relationships with the Local Authority, Clinical Commissioning Group and education settings in the area. Contact have appointed me to work with local families to establish a new forum and I have held the first meeting with interested parents. A group will now be formed to start to work on shaping the new forum, by looking at the best options for the forum’s structure. It might be useful to know a bit about me.

On behalf of Contact, I will be supporting local families to enable them to have a voice and influence the strategic direction of SEND services in the area while the forum is being developed. Over the upcoming weeks we will work with the Council, Clinical Commissioning Group and families to find the best interim arrangement to meet these needs. I am sure you are as excited as I am about the positive relationships that will be formed with the new forum once established and being able to work with local families through this arrangement again.

If you would like information about parent participation and the development of a new forum please email Ruth Hobbs: or ring 07729 099576.

For details about Contact please contact Julie Singleton:

Join one of our online events

An introduction to Parent Carer Forums

11 June 9.30-10.30

Ruth Hobbs has been asked to by Contact the charity for disabled chi ldren to work with families to form a new Parent Carer Forum. If you would like to know more about the role of a Parent Carer Forum please join her online for this talk.

To find out more please

Luton Parent Career Forum

12 June 11.00 -12.00

Ruth Hobbs has been asked by Contact, the charity for disabled children, to work with local families to set up a new Parent Carer forum.

This is our second meeting to discuss how we can do this in the Luton area.

Don't worry if you didn't make the first one you can still join this one or anytime in the future.

We will be looking at:

  • what we want the forum to do
  • how we want the forum to do it
  • how we can make sure parent
  • carers still have a voice while the forum gets established

Not sure about attending? If you have never attending a online meeting before you may feel nervous.

  • the meetings will be online. You can access it from a computer, mobile or tablet. You can also call in if you prefer.
  • the software we are using allows you to make decisions such at having a camera or
  • microphone on, so you are in control.
  • if you want to talk through how it works before please text or call me on 07729 099576

To find out more please