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You said, we did

This page is currently being updated.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, Local Authorities have a duty to consult and co-produce the Local Offer. The Suffolk Local Offer launched in September 2014 and since then we have been working with and gathering feedback from parents & carers, children & young people and professionals to ensure we are offering the right support.

Our feedback tool on the right side of the page allows you to easily feedback on the website and, services listed within our Local Offer. This allows us and our partners to be responsive to the needs of children, young people and their families. Visit the “Your Feedback – What happens next?” page for more information.

You can also email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk to share your views.

Our response to your feedback

Latest updates

You said      We did

Developing a shared SEND strategy - Parent and carers and other stakeholders stressed the importance of working together to shape the vision, aim, objectives and priorities of the SEND strategy 2017-20. Strategy development workshops, led by the Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN), led to the production of a draft in March 2017. In April all stakeholders were invited to comment on the draft strategy and an overview of the responses is available.

117 individuals, ranging from parents and carers to school and healthcare staff gave feedback on the draft strategy. Based on the feedback a number of changes were made, in particular:

  • Include the wording “full potential” in stating the aim for children and young people
  • A recognition that not all individuals can be independent and some will not reach adulthood
  • A clear action to improve the Local Offer website and communication with all stakeholders
  • An action to improve the EHCP process.

84% of respondents felt that the vision and aims were the right ones, but many questioned how all organisations involved were going to make sure outcomes were improving for children, young people and their families.

July 2017 - The SEND Programme Board has published the new SEND Strategy for 2017-20.

In addition, we have published a detailed action plan, which supports the strategy delivery. Further information is available on the Suffolk's SEND Strategy 2017 – 2020 page.

The new strategy and action plan have been co-produced with the Suffolk Parent Carer Network and they will continue ensure that the views of parents and carers remain central in all that we do.

Requests for information following the Suffolk Parent Carer Network November 2016 Survey

You said

We did

Membership of the monthly County Placement Panel                                               

The panel includes;

  • Head of Corporate Parenting (Chair)
  • Finance (Health)
  • Assistant Director for Social Work Services (Adult and Community Services)
  • Head of Inclusive Services (CYPS)
  • Central Resource Team Manager (CYPS)
  • Senior Special Needs Officer (CYPS)
  • Head of Virtual Schools (Education)
  • Programme Manager for Children and Young People and Maternity (GYWCCG)
  • Clinical Effectiveness Manager, Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups (Health, West and East) 
Membership of EHC Requests for Assessment panel; The panel includes;
  • Operational Lead SEN or Senior SNO
  • CEPS rep

 Plus an open invitation to;

  • Schools
  • Social Care
  • Health Representative is attending all the panel meetings
Membership of In Year Fair Access 
Panel (IYFAP)

The panel includes;

  • School leaders both secondary and primary phase
  • PRU head teachers
  • Primary mental health workers
  • Children and adolescent mental health service
  • Early Help
  • Social Care
  • Police
  • Youth Offending Service
  • Educational Psychology and Therapies service
  • Behaviour Support Service
  • County Inclusive Resource
Job and Personal Profile (JPP) for Special Needs Officer and Assistant Special Needs Officer roles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Special Needs Officer JPP

Assistant Special Needs Offer JPP

Mental Health Practitioner

Mental Health Practitioner JPP

With timescales there is no sense of urgency, e.g. Transport 

On receipt of your completed form, your application will be processed and a request will be sent to passenger transport unit to arrange the child’s transport. The transport arrangements will take up to 10 working days. However, if additional information is required to complete the assessment you will be contacted by the Passenger Transport team and the assessment of your application may take longer.

Responses from 2016

2016 responses

You said

We did

Parents, carers, children and young people should be more involved with the development of the new website.

 

Included parent representation throughout the development of the new local offer website and provided links to the test website through our social media channels to gain feedback.

Information on Post 16 providers is not up to date.

We are in the process of updating these records, as part of the change over to the new local offer website.

This was an improvement however was still unclear whilst searching particularly if you were unaware of Access Unlimited or were directed to Suffolk Infolink first.

Worked with our partners to promote Access Unlimited as the home for the Suffolk Local Offer & tried to establish clearer links between the websites and where to find the correct information

Difficult to find information about the local authority’s transport policy

We have reviewed our website and launched a new platform. A separate Transport section which includes the Transport Policy has been created on the new site.

 

Not clear how to request an assessment for an Education, Health and Care plan

We have reviewed our website and launched a new platform. A separate page for Assessments and EHC Plans has been created on the new site, making information easier to find.

 

Searching for the Local Offer was still too confusing, with information being returned from too many websites.

Consulted with parents and purchased a new website URL - www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk and began a plan to ensure all information is clear available in one place.

Responses from 2015

2015 responses

In July 2015 we worked in partnership with SENDIASS and Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN) to produce our Local Offer Access to Information Survey. We wanted to find out how families were using the Local Offer to find the information and services available and whether they are able to do this successfully.

Read the full survey and results.

Following this, our development work continued;

You said

We did

The quality of certain information was poor / needed improvement

Conducted a full content review on the Access Unlimited website as we prepared to move this to the new website

That the information held on Access Unlimited was helpful however the directory of services is listed on another website.

We added a widget to the Access Unlimited website allowing you to search the database of services held within Suffolk Infolink

Searching doesn’t always display results

Amended the filters allowing you search more accurately and ensured services providers are listed under the correct categories.

We also added keywords provided by parents and carers to match up our key word search.

Difficult to find information about the eligibility criteria for the local authority specialist education service for deaf children, arrangements for referral and so on

We have amended the website so that individual records have a section to include their eligibility criteria. We have asked services already listed to update their records to include this.

Difficult to find information about specialist education provision for deaf children outside the local authority

We have links to our neighbouring local authority’s local offers on our website. Deaf provision outside Suffolk would not fall under our Local Offer. The SEN Team is happy to discuss local and national provision with you, either through your child’s Annual Review (if they have an EHC Plan) or by telephone. (SEN Team Link)

Lack of information on access to auxiliary aids and how these are provided

We have contacted our health colleagues and requested information is added to the local offer.

Unclear what families can do if they have a complaint or concern about provision

Please see this page which explains how parents/carers can raise concerns about education settings (https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/making-a-complaint-about-a-school/)

 

Lack of information on social care services for deaf children

A record has been created by our Sensory and Communication service.  If you have a specific question you can speak with an advisor from social care on the county council website.

No reference made to the National Deaf Children’s Society as a VCS body that provides support to deaf children and young people in your area

We have made contact with the National Deaf Children’s Society requesting a record is added to the site. We will continue to make contact until this is added.

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