Co-production logo.

What is Co-production?

Co-production should be considered as moving beyond involvement, participation, and engagement with SEND children and young people, parents and carers, towards something that is about people who use SEND services being treated equally and having a more powerful role in the services they receive, so that their experience of these services is more meaningful and more in tune with what they need.

There is no single agreed definition of co-production in the public services system, either in the UK or internationally. However, the Birmingham SEND Local Area Partnership has consulted widely with parents and carers to build a local definition that works for them. From this process, the following definition has emerged:

“For us, co-production is about placing equal value on the contributions of children, young people, parents, carers, and professionals in making decisions and improving the services received and the experiences and outcomes of those living with SEND in Birmingham. 

Co-production therefore requires involving people in an open and inclusive manner right from the very start of their experiences with public services, as a means of building and maintaining trust, so that they can contribute fully to the commissioning, design, delivery and evaluation of services and outcomes.”

The Birmingham SEND Local Area Partnership

The SEND Local Area Partnership, made up of different organisations around Birmingham, is committed to ensuring that children, young people, parents, and carers engage in the improvement of SEND services across the city. The partnership is comprised of the following organisations:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • The Birmingham Parent Carer Forum
  • Birmingham Children’s Trust
  • The Birmingham and Solihull clinical Commissioning group
  • Rise Youth Forum
  • Birmingham Children’s Partnership
Organisations that comprise of the Birmingham SEND Local Area Partnership

Co-production Framework and Charter

Agreement Poster

Framework and Charter

Training and Events

During May and June 2023, we organised six Co-production Skill Sharing Seminars

The sessions created a learning environment for practitioners to discuss:

  • How to overcome barriers to co-production and share learning and good practice
  • Become better equipped to champion co-production in their settings
  • Discuss how to effectively co-produce with children and young people and parents and carers
  • Raise awareness of the Birmingham Local Area Partnership Co-production-framework-and-charterand discuss how its principles and pledges can be embedded within everyday practice

Over 120 participants took part in these sessions with representatives across education, health and social care and voluntary sector.

You can access the session presentation by clicking the link below

Co-production Skill Sharing Presentation

We also record elements of the sessions which can be accessed below:

Birmingham SEND Co-Production Skills Sharing Seminars – Tuesday 23rd May 18.00pm-20.00pm on Vimeo
Birmingham SEND Co-Production Skills Sharing Seminars – Tuesday 23rd May on Vimeo
Birmingham SEND Co-Production Skills Sharing Seminars – Wednesday 24th May on Vimeo

Check out the Events and Webinars page on the Local Offer to keep up date with events related to SEND across Birmingham.

Events and Webinars | Local Offer Birmingham

National Co-production Week took place from Sunday 2nd July, running throughout the week until the following Sunday. This incredibly special week saw hundreds of officers, partners and citizens come together to share mutual learning and understanding of what co-production is and what difference it makes to the services we deliver and to the communities we support.

To commemorate co-production week, we asked our young people in the RISE Youth Forum what they thought of co-production in Birmingham

Resources for Parents and Carers

EHCP BookletBirmingham Parent Carer Forum Logo

Birmingham Parent Carer Forum (BPCF) collaborated with staff from the SENAR team to co-produce an EHCP booklet for parents and carers. The aim of the booklet was to guide parents and carers through the process of applying for an EHCP in a clear and easy to understand format whilst also informing them where they can seek support whilst in the process. BPCF is now in the process of Co-producing a booklet with SENAR that will look at annual reviews.

Local Offer Parent and Carers Hub

The Local Offer website has a central hub for parents and carers to access all relevant SEND information, from education, health, early years support, and much more . To find information for parents and carers, use the link below.

Parents and Carers 

Tools for practitioners 

The below frameworks, toolkits and award schemes can all be used to support practitioners and organisations capture evidence and demonstrate the impact of co-production.

This co-production tool kit has been developed by the SEND Local Area Partnership, the RISE Youth Forum, the Youth Empowerment Squad (YES! group) and Birmingham Parent Carer Forum. It is designed to help partners to create the best possible services for users.

Co-production Tool Kit Sway Document

The Community Of Practice (COP) have created a Co-production guide and presentation which can be accessed via the links below:

A guide to co-production

Co-production training

Rotherham Genuine PartnershipRotherham Genuine Partnership Logo

The Four Cornerstones (also known as The Rotherham Charter) were co-produced by Rotherham parent carers and practitioners and are based on stories of experience told by children and young people with SEND and their families. By embedding the Cornerstones in systems, policy and practice trust builds, relationships will be strengthened and co-production becomes more meaningful:


The RISE (Respect, Inclusion, Support and Equity) Youth Forum and The YES (Youth Empowerment Squad) joined together to meet the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Cllr Maureen Cornish JP.

The Young People said they felt privileged to meet the Lord Mayor and hear about her career to date. Members of the forum described this session as “incredible, memorable, informative, and perfect.”

YES Group Lord Mayor meeting Newsletter

If you are 11-18 years old and would like to join the RISE Forum, please contact

If you are 18-30 years old and would like to join YES! please contact

Birmingham City Council commissioned Red Quadrant to deliver a Co-produced review of day opportunities in the city. They wanted to engage a wide range of people involved in day services – the people who use them, families, carers, providers and other professionals. They wanted to understand the impact of the pandemic on people and services and wanted to hear what people valued about day opportunities and importantly how they can change for the future. This report will provide the foundation for the next steps in planning for day opportunities in Birmingham. Access the full report below:

Full report here

SEND Surveys and Engagement

A huge part of Co-production is making sure that parents, carers and young people have a say in the improvement of SEND services across Birmingham. In order to collect their thoughts and feedback, a Parent, Carer Survey is created yearly. See the final report and summary of the survey from 2022, published below.

The 2022 Parent Carer Survey Final Summary

Parent Carer Survey Report (2022)

There were also workshop engagement events held with parents and carers to hear even more about SEND services in the city. See the full report below.

Parent Carer Engagement Workshops full summary report

Between July 15 and September 12, 2022, two online surveys were carried out of young people identifying with additional needs aged 12 to 29 in Birmingham. One survey was for young people aged 12 to 18 still at school or college, and the other was for young adults aged 19 to 29.

Children and Young People’s Survey Report (2022) 

Report Presentation

The first phase of this project (October – December 2021), mapped and analysed 48 current and recent Co-production activities in Birmingham relevant to children and young people (0–25 years) with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families. This report contributed to the development of the Birmingham SEND Co-Production Framework and Charter.

Report: Mapping SEND Co-Production in Birmingham: The Current State of Play (Tony Bovaird and Maria McCaffrey, February 2022)

Building on the first report and the Birmingham SEND Co-Production Framework and Charter, between January and July 2022, Governance International was commissioned to map the options for embedding co-production in Birmingham SEND services and support systems. It also looked at widening and deepening it and making it more effective, working with children and young people with SEND, their parents, carers, children, young people, professionals and community members.

See the list of reports below:

Executive Report

Full Report

PowerPoint Presentation

In their visits in 2019 and 2021 Ofsted inspectors found the parent and carer engagement is weak in Birmingham. This strategy sets out a plan to improve that and ensure that parents and carers are:

  • communicated with effectively
  • fully involved in decision making
  • understand how to make their voice heard

Communications and Engagement Strategy


As part of the place based workstream being led by EI&P (Early Intervention and Prevention), EY are conducting work to understand how BCC can most effectively co-locate community services to support citizens in dealing with key issues.

To ensure the work is well-informed and sustainable, EY is looking to engage with citizens and community leaders from across Birmingham for either 1:1 interview or a group workshop to understand individual experiences in relation to these key issues, and to co-design how co-located services to tackle key issues might look.

Sign up here – Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

participants will be offered a £25 voucher for completed interviews

SEND Policy and Strategies

We want parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities to be confident in the services provided to them. View the page below to find further information about the policies that shape these services as well as information about the work we are doing to improve SEND across the city.

Our Vision, Policy and Improvements | Local Offer Birmingham

SEND and Inclusions Strategies

Launch for the SEND and Inclusion Strategies 10th July 2023, in line with Birmingham’s Children and Young People’s Partnership: Change for Children and Young People 2023-2028’

Co-production Award Scheme

The purpose of developing this Birmingham Co-Production Award Scheme is to:

  • Raise awareness and create practical steps to embed the Co-production-Framework-and-Charter across all Birmingham Services.
  • Strengthen the voices of children and young people and parents and carers.
  • Capture, recognise, measure the quality, and celebrate co-production activity.
  • Fulfil our legal responsibility under the Care Act 2014 Statutory Guidance states that ‘Co-production should be a key part to implementing the Care Act’. Co-production should therefore be ‘built in’ and not ‘bolt on’!

 To find out more about the Award schemes and is varying stages, please click onto this presentation link

Next Steps

  • Further co-produce the ‘SEND Co-Production Award Scheme’ with children and young people and parents/carers so that the Co-production Framework and Charter can be firmly embedded across the city.
  • Ensure more active involvement of parents and carers and children and young people in the co-production of SEND services across education, health, and social care.
  • Continue to make improvements to the internal and external communication mechanisms between the Local Area Partnership and SEND parents/carers and children and young people.
  • Develop the parent/carer voice – continue to work with and strengthen the reach and capacity of the Birmingham Parent and Carer Forum and other parent support groups across the 10 localities of the city.
  • Embed more co-production working across the SEND workforce through continued training and skills sharing seminars, examples of good practice and lessons learned.
  • Enable SEND parents and carers and young people to Co-produce with senior leaders and Cabinet members so that Co-production takes place at all levels.
  • Ensure that education, health, social care, and voluntary sector providers continue to work with young peoples’ groups such as RISE Youth Forum, the YES Group, the Youth Service, Think4Brum, Youth Ambassadors and other voluntary sector youth forums.
  • Together with parents, carers, children and young people, co-produce a SEND conference highlighting achievements and impact (July 2024).
  • Support the priority work areas of the Birmingham SEND Co-production Champions Group.
  • Continue to support co-production within the Learning Disability and Autism (LDA) Framework for Change 2023 -2033 and other initiatives such as the Youth Service Youth Ambassadors and UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Award.