Voice and Influence

Information about the voice and influence offer for professionals.

The voice of children and young people is at the heart of everything we do in Leeds and our ambition for Leeds to be a Child Friendly City. Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have lots of opportunities to have their say in service review and development, and this short video provides information about these.

Having a voice and influence means that children, young people, parents and carers are supported to have their voices heard, to enable them to have an influence over decisions and actions that affect their lives and services they access.

It is the process in which children, young people, parents and carers are asked what works, what does not, what could work better and how they want to be involved in delivering the solution so that their voice can influence decision making and bring about change.

The Voice and Influence Team within Children and Families service have the responsibility for ensuring the voice of children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers are listened to and responded to when reviewing and developing SEND services in Leeds.

Voice and Influence

Voice and influence offer to services

Click here to view a downloadable version of the voice and influence offer to services. 

Voice and Influence of Children & Young People

 

Our offer Why we offer this How we will do this
Provide information, advice and support to services to engage with children and young people with SEND.  To share our engagement knowledge and experience with services. Support from the Local Offer and SEND Voice and Influence Coordinator. 
Promote opportunities for children and young people with SEND to have a voice and influence. 

Support services to reach a wide range of young people. 

 

Support links with other teams and services to reduce duplication. 

Article in the bi-monthly LLO ebulletin 

Article in the 1/4ly VIC ebulletin

Share on Leeds Youth Voice instragram 

Share with the Leeds SEND Youth Council 

Share on LLO facebook group 

Host on the LLO website 

Access to our network of young people Provide services with access to established Leeds Youth Voice groups, who have experience of giving their views and providing feedback.

SEND Youth Council 

Leeds Youth Voice instagram 

Leeds Local Offer facebook and website

Schools including specialist

Consult at the annual SEND Summit

Share consultation reports.  To provide young people with feedback about what has happened as a result of their sharing their views.  Host feedback and consultation reports on the LLO website
Share key issues raised by children and young people.

Increase knowledge of issues raised by young people with decision makers. 

 

Support partnership work with other teams and services where young people are raising similar issues. 

Share with relevant services and strategic boards

Include in 6 monthly VIC report card

Support involvement of young people with SEND in recruitment and selection / commissioning panels. 

To provide access to young people who have experience of being involved in recruitment and selection / commissioning panels. 

 

To share our knowledge and experience of involving young people in panels. 

Support from the Local Offer and SEND Voice and Influence Coordinator. 

 

Resources to support the involvement of young people in panels can be found here

Voice and influence of parents and carers

Our offer Why we offer this How we will do this
Provide information, advice and support to services to engage with parents and carers.   To share our engagement knowledge and experience with services.  Support from the Local Offer and SEND Voice and Influence Coordinator. 
Promote opportunities for parents and carers to have a voice and influence. 

Support services to reach a wide range of parents and carers. 

 

Support links with other teams and services to reduce duplication. 

Article in the bi-monthly LLO ebulletin

Article in the 1/4ly VIC ebulletin

Share on LLO facebook group 

Share with the Leeds Parent Carer Forum 

Share with SEND parent carer support groups

Host on the LLO website

Access to our network of parents and carers.  Provide services with access to a wide range of parent carer support groups. 

Leeds Parent Carer Forum

SEND Parent Carer Support Groups 

Leeds Local Offer facebook and website

Share consultation reports.  To provide parents and carers with feedback about what has happened as a result of their sharing their views.  Host feedback and consultation reports on the LLO website
Share key issues raised by parents and carers. 

Increase knowledge of issues raised by parents and carers with decision makers. 

 

Support partnership work with other teams and services where parents and carers are raising similar issues. 

Share with relevant services and strategic boards

Include in 6 monthly VIC report card

Support involvement of parents and carers in recruitment and selection / commissioning panels. 

To provide access to parents and carers who have experience of being involved in recruitment and selection / commissioning panels. 

 

To share our knowledge and experience of involving parents and carers in panels.

Support from the Local Offer and SEND Voice and Influence Coordinator. 

 

Resources to support the involvement of parents and carers in panels can be found here.

For further information email VIC@leeds.gov.uk 

Voice and influence offer to all schools

The Local Offer and SEND Voice and Influence Coordinator has the responsibility for ensuring children and young people with SEND have a voice and influence in key service development and reviews in Leeds.

Our offer is to coordinate the following programmes/projects:

Leeds SEND Youth Council 

A group of 15 young people aged 11 to 25 years old with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Members serve a 2 year term. 

The group meet once a month either online or in person to work on their own campaigns and projects as well as share their views with services. 

More information about the Leeds SEND Youth Council can be found here.

Make Your Mark 

Make Your Mark is the largest youth consultation in the UK. Young people 11 to 18 years old are asked to vote for the issues they think should become the national campaigns for young people in the UK – this is a bi-annual ballot and will not take place within the 2024/25 academic year.

Takeover of the SEND Partnership Board 

Takeover Challenge is a national initiative which enables young people to takeover the role of adults during the month of November. 

Each year students with SEND are invited to takeover the Leeds Area SEND Partnership Board to speak to them about issues that are important to them. Students gain skills such as planning, team work, public speaking and working with professionals to achieve outcomes. 

Information about Takeover can be found here.

SEND Summit 

The SEND Summit provides an opportunity for students with SEND in Leeds to come together at Leeds Civic Hall to participate in consultations, share their school council successes and learn about services available to them within the city. 

Information about the SEND Summit can be found here.

Democracy Sessions (available all year round)

The Voice, Influence and Change Team offer 60-minute democracy sessions which can be delivered within the school setting at any point during the school year. The sessions focus on local democracy and introducing young people to voting. 

Compass House 

only available to specialist settings. 

Compass House is a work experience project for students with SEND in Leeds. Students come together to plan and host a pop up shop, making all the decisions about the shop and creating handmade products to sell. Students meet (with staff support) from September to December each year, and the shop is open for one week during the month of December. 

Taking part in the Compass House projects provides students with meaningful work experience as well as gaining skills such as working as a team, organisation, dealing with customers and working with money. 

Information about Compass House can be found here

For more information and to get involved in any of the projects contact vic@leeds.gov.uk 

You can download the voice and influence offer to schools here

Voice and influence of parents and carers

The Voice, Influence and Change Team work in partnership with the Leeds Parent Carer Forum to ensure the voices of parents and carers are represented on strategic boards and in service reviews and developments. 

Click here for more information about parent carer voice in Leeds.

Voice and influence resources

Working in partnership with children and young people to review and develop SEND services in Leeds Toolkit

Click here to open the toolkit

Involving parents and carers in recruitment and selection

The Voice, Influence and Change Team can support services to involve parents and carers of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in recruitment and selection.

Follow this guide to identify how you would like to involve parents and carers in recruitment and selection panels.

If you have any further questions you can contacting the Voice, Influence and Change Team at VIC@leeds.gov.uk 

Involving children and young people with SEND in recruitment and selection

The Voice, Influence and Change Team can support services to involve children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in recruitment and selection.

Follow this guide to identify how you would like to involve young people in recruitment and selection panels.

If you have any further questions you can contact the Voice, Influence and Change Team at VIC@leeds.gov.uk 

Voice of the child or young person school resource pack

This pack explains the why and how of eliciting pupil’s views/perceptions about school and their learning and asks practitioners to ask the question ‘what is the outcome?’.

The pack consists of questionnaires and activities designed to support practitioners in schools. They are designed for pupils with special educational needs.

Click here to download the resource. 

If you would like any more information after reading the resource pack you can contact the SENIT team on:

Voice and Influence models

The voice of children and young people is at the heart of everything we do in Leeds and our ambition for Leeds to be a Child Friendly City. Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have lots of opportunities to have their say in service review and development, and this short video provides information about these.

Having a voice and influence means that children, young people, parents and carers are supported to have their voices heard, to enable them to have an influence over decisions and actions that affect their lives and services they access.

It is the process in which children, young people, parents and carers are asked what works, what does not, what could work better and how they want to be involved in delivering the solution so that their voice can influence decision making and bring about change.

The Voice and Influence Team within Children and Families service have the responsibility for ensuring the voice of children and young people with SEND and their parents and carers are listened to and responded to when reviewing and developing SEND services in Leeds.

Children and young people

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Youth voice model in leeds

Parents and Carers

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Parent carer voice model