Key Working Training In The West Midlands

Three opportunities to take part in Early Support’s newly revised and free Key Working Training are on offer in the West Midlands led by the Regional Facilitator, Fiona Holmes.

General Early Support Photo

“Parents with disabled children are likely to face higher levels of stress and they value the practical and emotional support of key working”. – Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability (DfE 2011)

The course consists of 2 days of face to face delivery which is interactive, practical and practice focused, with a combination of short presentations, facilitated discussions and exploratory activities focused on case studies and scenarios.

For more detail about what Key Working is take a look at this useful information at our sister site.

The training is aimed at:

  • Practitioners and managers who work with disabled children and young people and others with additional needs, including SEN and complex health needs
  • Parent carers of disabled children and young people and children and young people with additional needs.

The training covers:

  • Early Support – A principled approach to the SEND reforms
  • Partnership in action
  • Working with different views of the world
  • Key working and the key working functions
  • Key working across the continuum of need
  • The key working process
  • Person-centred approaches for Early Support and key working
  • Person-centred thinking and the key working process
  • Problem solving and decision making tools and the key working process
  • Working together across services to improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND and their families
  • Key working across the 20 week process for the Education Health and Care Plan

The course will help participants to:

  • Use key working to achieve better outcomes for children and young people
  • Develop shared language and understanding and work more effectively with each other.
  • Support their local area to deliver effective and seamless services, in line with Early Support principles and the Government’s new SEND strategy and legislation.

So here are the all important dates and locations:

Elmbank Training Centre
March 27th & 28th 2014

Ketley Community Centre
March 6th & 7th

Network House
24th & 25th

All the sessions run 9:30am to 4:30am and there is such a thing as a free lunch!

To apply please email
You must book in advance to guarantee your place

Solihull Education Improvement Service, Learning and Achievement, Council House, Manor Square, Solihull B91 3QB Telephone Number: 0121 704 6620

Increasing The Capacity: Training For Trainers in Birmingham

On May 23rd and May 24th eighteen professionals and parents specifically invited by their local authorities and by the Early Support regional facilitator landed in Digbeth, Birmingham for Parent Carer Workshop Capacity Building Training.

Early Support Capacity Building trainees are all smiles in Birmingham.

Early Support Capacity Building trainees are all smiles in Birmingham.

The training aims to equip participants to deliver Early Support training directly to parents and carers, and as with all of Early Support’s Capacity Building Training the strategy is to ensure that training is available on local and even on a hyper-local level. An ideal outcome would be for every school and children’s centre for instance to be able to deliver its own training to parents, carers and professionals.

This vision may be some way off, so potential trainers that pass the Capacity Building training are then available to visit communities, organisations and agencies across the region, and country, to deliver training programmes.

For all of the eighteen participants in May’s event the most nerve-wracking aspect of the course was the requirement to deliver a micro-training session to their fellow participants. As is so often the case, delivering presentations to one’s peers, and being observed and assessed on this is far more daunting than delivering to a genuine audience in a real-life training event.

It was at this stage that all of those taking part realised that they were in supportive and positive company; what else would you expect from the Early Support family. Whilst one-to-one feedback provided a useful and honest critique for those hoping to be approved as trainers, participants lifted and energised each other. Everyone left wanting to do and learn more.



Planing For Your Child’s Future: Wills & Trusts

Wills & Trusts Workshop Flyer

Contact A Family are hosting a free workshop for families with disabled children: Planning For The Future – Wills & Trusts. It takes place on Wednesday 12th June 2013, from 10:15 to 12:15. To book your place or to find out more get in touch with either Jan or Angie at Contact A Family. You can call them on 0121 415 4624.

Contact a Family is a national charity.  We are running these events in the West Midlands (although they have recently increased our remit to the East Midlands).  Our office is based in Selly Oak, Birmingham.


Do You Want To Learn About Autism?

Solihull Autistic Spectrum & Information (SASSi) are putting on a talk designed to enlighten and inform about autism. John Simpson, a young man who has Asperger’s Syndrome will be talking about his life.

Learn Abour AutismThe event is absolutely free, and no booking is required, just turn up at Park Hall School in Castle Bromwich at 7:15pm on Wednesday May 22nd.

If you’d like to know more you can contact Jan Bradshaw on 0121 227 6267 or visit the SASSi web site.


Key Working Training: Spread the word!

Early Support Logo

Tell colleagues, friends and family:
We have the current available Midlands dates for

Key Working Training
(Please note:
This is not to be confused with
Key Working Training For Trainers
Capacity Building
which is available by invitation only).

  • Parents & Carers will be better equipped to get what they want and need for their family.
  • Professionals will gain the skills to do their jobs, and enjoy doing them!
  • Both will find a way of bridging the gap between their worlds.

This is delivered over 2 days, and also includes some distance learning. There are a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 people on each course, and it is completely FREE.

Over the two days participants will:

  • Explore their understanding of working in partnership and the key working function.
  • Reflect on how the key working functions look and feel in practice for disabled children, young people, their families and practitioners.

Once you’ve taken part in this training you will be eligible for
Key Working Training For Trainers Capacity Building.


8th & 22nd July

3rd & 16th May

20th May & 3rd June

7th & 21st May

4th & 18th September

17th & 26th June

20th May & 3rd June

2nd & 16th Sep

3rd & 17th July

16th May & 6th June

3rd & 17th July

West Midlands Early Support and Key working: Capacity Building ‘Training for Trainers’ events 2013

Who Should Attend?

Regional Facilitators will be working with the Early Support leads in each area to arrange places on the training, as free places are very limited. To help you decide whether you are well placed to attend this event or not, you must be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:

1. Are you familiar with the Early Support approach?
2. Have you attended at least one of the Early Support training courses?
3. Have you already delivered training or been involved in conferences or contributed to training events?
4. Will you be delivering the training you are being trained to deliver, both locally and possibly across your region?
5. Are you able to access and download online training materials?
6. Have you the experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications and capacity to offer the majority of Early Support’s training and promote it across your region?

Note that this training for trainers will not provide generic training skills support. You will be expected to do some preparation before the training for trainers and to familiarise yourself with the training materials, which you will have access to as soon as you complete the booking form for the training.

As places are limited (just 20 per course to cover all of the West Midlands), booking will be via a dedicated link, which will be provided to you once places have been agreed. Initially please contact your local Early Support lead, who will then liaise with the Regional Facilitators to arrange places. However all participants, if approved by the Early Support Consortium QA process will then be able to cascade the training in their local area and to local training teams and will go on the website as an approved trainer. Participants must be able to attend all of the days of training for any selected course.

What The Training Covers

Each of the capacity building events will:

  • Go through the purpose and contents of the training.
  • Ensure you understand the aims and objectives of the training
  • Ensure you are familiar with the approach taken by the training
  • Give you the opportunity to practice elements of delivery for the course
  • Provide tips and advice on delivery issues and give you the opportunity to ask questions

For details and to enquire about booking a place please contact the Early Support Regional Facilitator for the West Midlands, Fiona Holmes.

Keyworking Training

Keyworking training is filling up fast now but there are still some places and it is important that you do not miss the opportunity to take part in this free training. Currently there are places available for key working training events in Herefordshire and Derbyshire in March, in Lincolnshire and Nottingham in May and in Staffordshire in May and June.

Click here to find a date and venue that works for you.

Solihull Early Support/Short Breaks Workshop

Parents in Solihull came together for a buffet lunch, limitless latté and assorted biscuits on Monday February 4th – oh, and they did a significant amount of work looking at Solihull MBC’s Short Break Statement. The first version of this statement was published in 2011 and the authority is committed to reviewing it annually. This day was part of the process.

Early Support Short Breaks Workshop

The day centred on using the Early Support principlesin order to gauge the effectiveness of existing provision, and to frame the statement itself. The day was led by Early Support Regional Facilitator, Fiona Holmes, Julie Hackett from Solihull MBC’s Education and Children’s Services and In Principle’s very own Editor, Dave Howard. Fiona said that:

We got a lot of information from the 12 participants who were able to come. It was quite an emotional day as it was very powerful to hear the very strong messages that the group needed to share with us. We identified some issues to take forward as well as getting information about what we need to change and/or include in our Short Breaks Statement.