Monthly Archives: August 2019

Max Cards

What is a Max Card?

The Max Card is a discount card for families who have children / young people (aged 0-25) with additional needs. You can see the offers on their website:

How do I get a Max Card?

Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum has bought Max Cards to give to our members as an incentive to join and a thank you for participating in events / discussions / surveys etc.  They do cost us £3 each, so you will understand that numbers are limited to one per household and we ask you to please take care of them

If you are a parent carer to a child / young person (age 0-25) with additional needs and you live in Cheshire East, you can sign up to the members’ mailing list and apply for a free Max Card at the same time.

Click this link to sign up as a member of Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum and request a free Max Card You do need to agree to receive our members’ updates, but there is no further commitment (however if you are interested in volunteering with the Parent Carer Forum you can ask for more info here too – we’d love to hear from you!)

What happens when I have completed this? 

You will start getting members’ updates from the very next one

One of our volunteers will check for new sign ups every week. They will check that you meet all the criteria ( new member, agree to receive emails, child or young person with additional needs, living in Cheshire East….) and send you an email with a link to a (very short!) survey to complete anonymously

This survey will take no more than 3 minutes to complete.

It gives us information about our members that we need in order to apply for the grant that pays for everything we do (including buying Max Cards). We do it separately so that we can comply with GDPR by keeping it anonymous.

Once you have completed the survey we get a notification that you have done it , but not which answers are yours.

The next time our volunteers checks the Max Cards they will look for completed surveys and send you out your Max Card.  *Please remember we are all volunteers, and parent carers ourselves – we will do ourselves to make sure we get the cards to you promptly, but you as you know life can sometimes get in the way – please check junk folders and feel free to send an email to to ask if you’ve been waiting a long time)

What about renewing an expired Max Card?

Max Cards are valid for up to 2 years, so some members may find that their Max Card has expired. Every members’ update email we send has the instructions for requesting a replacement – we cannot generate the email link without sending  a members update, so you may find it quicker to search for a previous update if you need to renew.

If you have lost your card please feel free to get in touch – we know that these things happen. We would ask that you please have a good look and may have to ask you to pay the £3 they cost us if you need more than one replacement.


EHC needs assessment information pack

When the LA is asked to carry out a needs assessment for a child or young person they have 6 weeks to decide whether or not they will do so.

If they decide that they do need to carry out a needs assessment they will arrange to have a co-production meeting for the parents, young person, setting and SEND officer to meet face-to-face to talk about the child’s needs. At this meeting the family will be given an information pack with the following information:

1 Welcome letter

2 Extract from CE Toolkit for SEND EHC Needs Assessments

3 20 Week Process Flow Revised

4 One Minute Guide – SEND Team

5 Transport

6 CEIAS about-the-service-leaflet

and Websites

Services at Monks Coppenhall Children’s Centre (Crewe)

and book an hours slot to use the room. Families are welcome to come together but no more than 4 parents at one time due to the size of the room

Little Stars
 – Little stars is a weekly drop in group for parents who have children aged 0-4 with additional needs (no diagnosis is needed). This is a drop in group every Thursday between 1-2.30 so parents are welcome to attend at any time and stay for as long as they like. We have a variety of different activities set up for children including messy play and sensory activities. There is no booking required.

Sensory group – This is a 6 week programme that focusing on different sensory activities each week including messy play, mini spaces and lights and sounds. There will be a structure to the group including sit down time at the beginning and snack time, this is to support parents whose children may struggle with transitioning between activities as visual aids will also be used.
Parents would need to complete a referral form if they would like to attend the group and they are more than welcome to call the centre to speak to Sarah-Louise Sutton and she can fill this in for them.
These groups run term time and once a referral has been completed they will be added to our waiting list


Annual Review proposal – what’s your view?

As you may be aware, Cheshire East SEND team are struggling to make all amendments to EHC Plans suggested as a result of the annual review process.

They are therefore proposing to take a new approach to allow them to concentrate on making the most important changes within a timely manner.

When would the EHC plan be updated after an annual review?

  • When there has been a significant change to the child or young person’s need (this could include additional diagnoses’, change to presentation etc.)
  • At a key stage or phase change
  • When the child or young person starts an additional therapy (such as OT/physio), there are changes to an ongoing therapeutic programme or a discharge
  • Change to type of setting

What will happen at other times?

  • The setting should still carry out the annual review with the parent / young person and submit amendments to the SEND team
  • The SEND team will ensure that the EHC Plan review documentation and the letter explaining that we will make the changes on the next occasion is appended to the EHC Plan and becomes part of the advice listed in section K so that all that receive the EHC Plan are aware to look at the suggested amendments.
  • The SEND team will send a letter to the parents / young person stating that they have decided not to amend the plan
  • This letter will give parents / young people the Right of Appeal should they wish to challenge the decision

What if the parent / young person feels the EHC plan needs to be fully amended 

The SEND manager has said “Although this is what we would see as how we usually operate, if a parent carer had a specific reason why they wanted a change made we would be happy to discuss this further. “

This approach may only be a short-term measure until the new SEND staff are in place.

What do you think? 
Please email with your thoughts and any questions. We’ll pass them on and share the answers