“It is wonderful to see how far Action Cerebral Palsy has come in such a short space of time,” stated Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in a speech given at Speakers House 27th January 2015, as part of the launch of Enabling Potential – Achieving a new deal for Children with Cerebral Palsy. This was a report produced by Action Cerebral Palsy (ACP), launched in an audience including MPs from both sides of the House of Commons, including the Shadow Children’s Minister Steve McCabe, the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, the Department for Education Director of Special Educational Needs Ann Gross, and the dozens of parents, practitioners and experts who have been involved in the ACP’s inquiry into cerebral palsy.
The report demonstrates that more must be done to support children and young people with cerebral palsy in the “golden years” post diagnosis for 0-2 year-olds, when intervention is at its most effective but also most absent. The report made a series of recommendations on how to improve education and health service provision for children with cerebral palsy, including for the Government to establish a task force of health and education cerebral palsy experts to vastly increase awareness of cerebral palsy among education, health and local government professionals.
The report was the result of a parliamentary inquiry into cerebral palsy launched by Paul Maynard MP, with Action Cerebral Palsy in April last year. The reception would not have been a success without the comprehensive Parliamentary engagement programme that saw us secure meetings with MPs Nicky Morgan, Steve McCabe, Mark Hoban and several others. With Mark Hoban going on to lead a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament in December on cerebral palsy, which secured a meeting with the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson to discuss the findings of the report on 2nd February.
The reception and the report was the culmination of a significant body of work undertaken by the Whitehouse Consultancy on behalf of and with Action Cerebral Palsy. Since Whitehouse announced that ACP won its tender for its pro-bono scheme in late 2013, we have been on an impressive journey that has brought a coalition of schools together into formalising as a charity in its own right and – more significantly – created a movement for change.
Whitehouse hopes to support ACP to build on this momentum in the future, as we are determined to continue to help drive this movement forward and change the lives of children with cerebral palsy.