Parent Carer Workshops

About our workshops

We paused our workshops in March 2020, never thinking it would be over a year until we returned! So, we are delighted to announce that we are returning to ‘in-person’ workshops from July.

Keeping everyone safe: Of course your safety is our priority, and all sessions will be run with covid precautions in mind. We will be in a large, well ventilated room, which will be cleaned thoroughly before our session. We will provide all attendees with their own workshop pack on arrival, so there’s no sharing! Our usual bowls of sweets will be replaced with wrapped biscuits and drinks will be provided in disposable cups, with coffee and tea in individual sachets. We know that for some people returning to group sessions may feel different at first, we hope that by taking these steps you will feel safe and relaxed.   

Our workshops are held at The Bolton Hub, in central Bolton, it’s location and directions can be found by clicking here.  

We work closely with Bolton Information Advisory Service to develop, write and deliver our workshops. This ensures that the content of our sessions is not just legally accurate, but it is also up to date with Bolton processes.

The sessions are held in small groups, this allows them to be informal and we can be responsive to plenty of questions during the session.

Sessions are hosted by Cheryl Wyatt from Bolton IAS and Nan Cooper from Bolton Parent Carers.

We use a mixture of PowerPoint presentations, anecdotes, activities and question answering during the sessions. We always have a break, and refreshments are available throughout.

Dates can be found on our calendar or by clicking on the workshop sessions below. Here you will also find our online booking form.

If you have any questions about our workshops, please don’t hesitate to email

We normally run a number of different sessions, but for now we are concentrating on two workshops that we hope will be the most useful for now. Click on the tiles below to find out more.


Understanding an EHC Plan

This session is for parents and carers who want to understand how an EHC Plan works in practice. Whether you have a new plan or an older one; also useful for those at assessment phase.

and the graduated approach

If your child or young person doesn’t have an EHC Plan, this is the workshop for you. It is an in-depth session covering the legal framework that supports pupils with SEN, but without a plan.


Answers to frequently asked questions about our workshops. Click on the question to reveal the answer.

Do you offer a workshop that will help us apply for an EHC Plan?

A: Not as such, the ideal session in this instance is the SEN Support Workshop. EHC Plans are for pupils who aren’t able to progress under the SEN Support framework, therefore we suggest parents and carers fully understand this framework prior to considering a plan.

Can you run workshops for professionals?

We are happy for a maximum of 2 professionals to attend our advertised sessions. We have had several SENCO’s and school staff already come on our sessions and they have offered excellent feedback regarding the content.

We are also able to run any of our sessions for a specific school, or team – and we can tweak the content to fit your needs, or we can design a bespoke session. These options would carry a cost to cover our expenses, please contact Nan Cooper to discuss further if you are interested.

Can I bring my child to the session?

To esnure we can remain covid safe, workshops are for adults only. 

We always discourage the attendance of children as the content is aimed at parents and we feel having children present means the adults can’t speak as freely as without them there. We have in the passed allowed small children to attend if there are childcare issues. However, whilst we are living with restrictions, we are unable to allow children at all.

How are Nan & Cheryl qualified to run these workshops?

Cheryl Wyatt is a fully trained, very experienced, IAS officer working for the Information Advisory Service in Bolton. She has legal SEND training that is offered to IAS officers through IPSEA.  Cheryl is also Mum to a teenager with SEND so has personal experience of the journey.

Nan is Chairperson of Bolton Parent Carers. She sits at a strategic level with a number of groups with Bolton Council where SEND is on the agenda and has input and knowledge of current processes and also future planning in Bolton. SInce 2019, Nan has also worked part-time at Bolton IAS and is trained in SEND law. Nan is also Mum to a teenager with SEND.

How do you fund your workshops?

We use funding from our parent participation grant that we receive as a parent carer forum. 

Do you run workshops on the weekends or school holidays?

We have trialed this option in the past and the take up was little-to-none.

The amount of information that is given in these workshops has helped so much. Helped to prepare for what is coming also what will happen next. You take away alot of the information and never feel alone on your journey. Nan and Cheryl are so helpful and make you feel so welcome. You don’t feel so alone and realise others are on the same path as yourself. 

Sue Murphy

The workshops I have attended have been really informative & very helpful of what support I can expect for my child, sessions are informal & both Nan & Cheryl are very friendly & extremely knowledgeable, I would definitely recommend these to other parents/carers of SEN children 

Parent to 9 year old

The sessions were very informative and armed me going forward with knowledge of the whole process and terminology. Nan and Cheryl were both welcoming and extremely knowledgeable 

Jayne, Autism Mum

These workshops have been an amazing help to me when it has come to providing the best support for my children and their education. You leave the workshops feeling like you can take on the world for your child. 


I found these workshops to be extremely useful especially as I had very little knowledge about what support was available for children with extra educational needs. By attending these courses, which are free of charge and ran at different times, it has helped to gain my child the extra support he really needs within school. Thank you for enabling us to access this invaluable information, advice and support. 


The session was fantastic. The informal, frank and approachable style made the information easy to understand, and there were plenty of opportunities for discussion and debate. It was great to meet other parents in the same position, but more than anything it was meeting and learning from Nan and Cheryl that made a difference to my confidence and ability to question the decisions that are being made about my child.

Matthew Barnes