The I Matter Team and Information Sharing Arrangements

Children with additional needs are best helped when adults work together with some shared understanding of key priorirties.  The intention of the I Matter Framework and tools is to support this process of helping adults to work more effectively together - notably between home and school.  We are however a very small project and are looking to grow our services in a slow and steady fashion with a current priority on the needs of residents of Kendal and the Morecambe Bay area.

Parents and professionals can pursue I Matter Training in two fashions:

i) independent - self-help learning - funded by yourself - with no input from any other of our team other than at beginning and end of your account period

In this process we will gather your name and address and email, and status as a professional or as a parent (but we do not need any further information)

ii) supported learning - this is delivered and funded through contribution funding within your local member community hub and via a member school or service.

In this process we ask you to complete an initial registration questionnaire which helps us to make decisions about the support you are likely to need individually but it also helps us to think about the needs of the local I Matter community and supports our planning process at this community level. 

In supported learning the following information sharing arrangments apply

When you register with the I Matter Project for a supported and subsidised learning option, you will complete an I Matter Q. 

Your registration information will be accessible to:

i) Your local member project Lead Professional (eg at a school or service)

ii) A named study supporter if agreed between you and your school Lead Professional

iii) Your Integrated Care Community Hub or Outreach Hub Lead Professional

iv) The Central I Matter Hub Lead Professional

This information will be used to support you individually with your child AND will be used to support the I Matter Project in thinking about the development of support options in the local community.  For example it can help us plan the need for local workshops etc.   The I Matter Q information is retained in order to support you and member projects in taking a longer view on supporting your child.    We also use it in an anonymised fashion to be able to demonstrate the impact of the courses that we run to those who provide funding support.

When you take part in an A Course - your online entries can be read by the Central Hub professionals but are not ordinarily read.  The content is not accessible to the school Lead professional or to any Study Supporter.   The A courses are intended to provide a reflective learning space for you. You will not get a response to your online entries.    Due to data protection requirements,  the course and all content will usually be deleted at the end of your course period, though you may pay for an extension or take out a subscription to extend access.  Otherwise, if you wish to retain any record, we advise that you record you reflections in a journal and/or that you use one of our workbooks.

When you take part in a B course - either 1:1 or group support, there is more online interaction.  There will be a minimum of two named  I Matter coaches who will have access to your learning account.  Due to data protection responsibilities, at the end of the course period the account will be deleted.  .  

Therefore the only access that your Lead Professionals or named Study Supporters will have is to your I Matter Q registration information.  This I Matter Q enables us to track your progress through the courses and helps us to support and advise you about the study support options that will facilitate you in getting best value from your training.  

At the end of a period of supported learning you will have one of following options:

i) Take out an extension or a small monthly membership to join your local community and retain access to your online A accounts.  We hope to be able to provide some supportive events at this level.

ii) Ask for your records to be deactivated and stored securely but not deleted - as you think you would like to become active again sometime in the near future

iii) Ask for your I Matter Q information and your course information to be deleted.

If you decide to have your I Matter Q record deleted or archived, you will also be given the option of remaining on our email mailing lists only/

At present we have the the following Community Hub structure for our own operations

i) Kendal Integrated Care Community  - Dr Amy Lee,  GP Lead for Kendal Integrated Care Community and Trainee Lead Professional

ii) Outeach - Distance Learning Program - for self-help or supported professional CPD but only for self-help parent learning at present.

Within the Kendal Integrated Care Community we have an I Matter Steering group comprising GP's and Headteachers and are working with the following member schools

Ghyllside Primary School - which is now the first school to be running a parent study support program - Gill Mason, Reception Class teacher and Trainee Lead Professional

Appletree School

Old Hutton Primary School

St Marks Primary 

Settlebeck Secondary School 

Post adoption support 

What is needed to set up an I Matter Supported Parent Education Program?

Our experience of successful practice in parent education and support is that a Community Hub needs participation from GP's and Schools with a good understanding of their local patch and positive interagency practices.  Individual schools need to have inhouse staff members who have an active interest in parent education and support who have completed at least Level 1 A and L1 B and successfully applied to join the Trainee Professional Practttioner Program.  Therefore in order to work with communities outside the Kendal area we would need evidence that these structures were first in place.   

How can Funders Support the I Matter Project?

The I Matter Project is run as a social enterprise and we have a strong view that parents should contribute to the costs of their own training and support.     However the full costs for most families can be highly prohiibiive so online supported learning can be a really empowering way forward that enables us to offer discounted prices in exchange for participation in a local network of support.

We ask all parents and professionals to contribute towards the cost of their training AND to take part in some fund raising activities.  However we are also very glad to receive donations as this makes it possible for us to create employed positions for professionals who have the expertise to provide really good quality study support for famlies and training professionals. 

If you are interested in supporting our work there are a number of key ways forward.

i) A donation that can be put towards reducing the costs of courses being run or resources being offered within a specific school, or community hub

ii) Support for a specific  type of provision eg a series of workshops or webinars in a locality

iii) Support for a dedicated part of our operational team (eg Help desk, research development, 

iv) Support for a dedicated post for the development of this work in your locality (the recruitment of this professional is by shared agreement with the I Matter Project)

v) General support - that you trust us to use wisely according to the evolving needs of the project.

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It's quite simple really - we offer resources and encourage people to take time to think and learn about what is happening around them..

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We carefully gather evidence of the impact of I Matter Training using a variety of formats and will be presenting more here very shortly.

Get Started: Learn why healthy adult-child relationships and healthy communities matter for mental health, positive behaviour and healthy child development at home and in school. Then.. Take Stock and Go for Results.


If I had understood these ideas earlier

I could have been a lot more effective

Family Support Worker



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