Working Together (Co-production)

Together is Better

In Central Bedfordshire there is a collective commitment to joint working and implementing best practice when working with SEND children, young people, and parents across three key areas: effective communication, empowering people and being solution focused. 

Our shared vision for SEND is to ensure:

  • Everyone working with children and families are communicating and working together to achieve the same outcomes.
  • Everyone understands what we are trying to achieve and what families are asking for.
  • Families can see evidence of everyone communicating and working together for the benefit of their child and other families.

 The term co-production refers to a way of working where service providers and users, work together to reach a collective outcome. The approach is value-driven and built on the principle that those who are affected by a service are best placed to help design it.

Our definition and first co-production charter was launched in July 2021, developed in partnership with SNAP Parent Carer Forum, and following feedback, views, and input from over 35 parents/carers, 145 young people with SEND from 17 different schools and settings, and professionals from health and social care services.


Working together consistently as equal partners to design, develop, implement and review services, recognising the value of working together as a way of maximising the chances of getting the services right the first time.

As part of our process, the children and young people chose a strapline of Together is Better and requested an illustrated version of the charter.

As a result of listening to the children and young people, we have established a resource of Top tips for professionals, incorporating the voices and words of the young people, together with a short accompanying video.

A 'Live event illustrator' captured the listening activity creating a mural which illustrates the voices of our Central Bedfordshire's SEND families. 

The Chiltern School Co-production video

Co-production in Central Bedfordshire podcast

In this CAMHSTalk Podcast, our Service User Participation Lead Niki Scott talks to Lydia Rosseter from Cambridgeshire Community Services, Lisa Leonard, head teacher of The Chiltern School and Marcia McKnight from Central Beds Council. We talk about how co-production enables, empowers and supports better outcomes for children, young people, families and professionals in Central Bedfordshire.

eLearning: A guide to Co-production

In order to improve our services, we have been working in partnership with parents and young people. This is called co-production, and we’ve co-produced an e-learning course in partnership with practitioners and the SNAP Parent Carer Forum to help people learn more about it. This training supports everyone to understand the importance of co-production in the lives of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

We’re sharing this course with all our Children’s Services staff – but it’s also available to you. Visit Learning Central to sign-up for an e-learning account and then search for ‘A guide to co-production’. 

The SEND Collective

As part of our commitment to working together with families and organisations providing services to families, referred to as co-production, we would like to introduce an important group.

The SEND Collective is a network of organisations who provide services to young people with additional needs and disabilities and their families. The group meets regularly to develop and progress its objectives, to improve user-led support for young people and their families.

The meetings are divided into two sections:

  • The first section gives an opportunity for providers to share successes, best practice, service development opportunities and sector concerns.
  • The second section allows information-sharing between our staff and practitioners from health statutory bodies to give young people a voice and inform at a strategic level.

Organisations offering services in Bedfordshire and with a focus on children, young people and families, are welcome to join the SEND Collective. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the SEND Collective Chair, Rose McHugh:

SNAP Parent Carer Forum (SNAP PCF)

As part of our commitment to working together with families and organisations providing services to families, referred to as co-production, we work closely with Central Bedfordshire’s SNAP Parent Carer Forum (SNAP PCF), who are the strategic voice of parents.

SNAP PCF work closely with us and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) to inform SEND service improvements. SNAP PCF listens to the voice of parents and carers in Central Bedfordshire, providing valuable input and feedback through a range of channels.

Who is SNAP?

SNAP is a pro-active group of parent carers who all have children or young people with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND). This group of parent carers work with other individuals and organisations to help influence and improve the local SEND services that are provided for children and young people within Central Bedfordshire. Their focus is on helping to raise the standard of social care, education and health services within Central Bedfordshire to ensure that they are provided in a way that meets the needs of children and young people and their families.

What does SNAP PCF do?

As parents of children and young people with SEND, SNAP PCF brings a real-life perspective and experience to the planning and development of the services that families use. SNAP PCF work constructively alongside Central Bedfordshire Council and other services to help plan future service.   

 If you are interested in finding out more, please contact SNAP PCF