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You said, we did | Community Directory

You said, we did

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.

Response to issues during the pandemic

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic - What has changed because of feedback from parents and carers?

Suffolk Parent Carer Network (SPCN) have presented the Local Authority with a Pandemic Report, this has been gathered by views of SPCN members on the impact of the pandemic on children and young people and their families. A number of these issues will have a going relevance for services outside the pandemic. We have summarised the areas that the report highlights and give feedback from the LA on how we have used this feedback and our plans to use this information to improve the support for children and young people and their families with SEND.

You Said

Response and changes as a result of the feedback:

Some schools are using fixed term exclusions inappropriately and not considering the child’s additional needs when making that decision

Since academisations, Suffolk County Council does not routinely receive fixed term exclusion data from all schools, and this makes it difficult for us to monitor the way in which exclusions are being used.


From September 2021 all schools will be asked to share their fixed term exclusions data in a timely fashion. A Whole School Inclusion Team as part of the LAs Specialist Education Services is being established. Specialist teachers will support school leaders and SENCos in implementing whole school approaches to SEND. Inclusion Practitioners will offer support where it is identified that more bespoke support is needed for a learner. This will include working directly with the learners, their family and other services, ensuring a joint up and multi-agency approach. The team will be increasingly interrogating fixed term exclusions as part of their remit.  


These links provide a guide to the legislation that governs the exclusion of pupils from maintained schools

Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Changes to the school suspension and expulsion process during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


In response to the number of fixed term exclusions and a rising number of permanent exclusions in the period to March 2020; Suffolk County Council undertook a deep-dive review of permanent exclusions including looking in detail at 15 case studies. Half of pupils who were permanently excluded had an identified SEND need.


An action plan following the deep dive review is being implemented:


  • Support education providers to develop good practice and become an inclusive education organisation.
  • Specialist Education Services to enable the development of best practice in identifying need and ensuring effective support for children with SEND across all settings. 
  • Develop an expert team of practitioners to support the development of and disseminate best practice across Suffolk settings in meeting the educational needs of children and young people who exhibit persistent disruptive behaviour.
  • Establish a Suffolk wide co-produced protocol, regarding the use of part-time timetables in mainstream schools for any pupils and seek the support of all academies and maintained schools in its implementation.
  • Routinely gather fixed term exclusion data so that pupils who need additional support can be identified more quickly. 
  • Develop and implement Suffolk protocols for the transfer of information / communication regarding managed moves and placement following PEX in co- production with school leaders and parents/carers. 
  • Develop a wellbeing and support offer for pupils who are subject to a PEX and for their parents and carers. 
  • Undertake a review of the current IYFAP process in consultation with school leaders to identify further steps that can be taken to strengthen the process and secure active participation from more schools. 
  • Communicate and share the latest information about the support offer, systems, and provision in place to assist them in meeting the needs of pupils with additional needs.



For more information regarding permanent exclusions please visit our website Exclusions from school | Suffolk County Council

This link from Suffolk SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) provides further support for parents/carers.

School exclusion - Suffolk SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service)

Some education providers have not offered sufficiently tailored learning materials to meet the needs of pupils with SEND during remote learning

Suffolk CC has used the feedback to raise awareness of this concern with school leaders and to develop further guidance for schools and families regarding personalisation of remote learning. Suffolk CC worked directly with alternative provision to develop policies and processes for tailored remote learning offers. We have also advised schools to consider the Oak National Academy materials developed by DfE where appropriate access here.  This site offers resources for children of all ages with features to enable a range of adjustments that make them inclusive to children and young people with a wide range of additional needs. The Suffolk CC outreach specialist education team have supported schools throughout the last twelve months to adapt learning materials to meet individual needs and will continue to do this for both face-to-face and remote learning.


Suffolk CC will support the development of provider feedback to record the impact that the support in policies and processes have had on pupils who have directly received tailored remote learning.


We know that a number of children that previously did not engage in education have successfully participated in an education learning offer via outreach remote learning.


Some parts of children and young peoples’ EHCPs have not been fully implemented during lockdown periods

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed huge pressures on all public services, and a range of logistical issues which has meant that no service has been able to operate “normally” during the pandemic. Restrictions on face-to-face activity, staff shielding and illness and increased demand for some services have all affected what can be offered and this has meant that it has not been possible to deliver some parts of some EHCPs.  In response to the concerns raised by families in the first lockdown, Suffolk CC reviewed the situation regarding the offer being made to every child and young person with an EHCP through completing three separate EHCP cycles of provision review and risk assessment, the most recent in January 2021 at the beginning of the third lockdown.  We have worked to strengthen this process each time and as a result the third review had an increased focus on ensuring that parents and carers had been involved in the planning of the provision during lockdown.


In January 2021 there was an increase in responses as Local Authority Officers contacted every setting to seek the status of every CYP with an EHCP. Based on specific answers to our questions, some were then requested to submit a risk assessment. We followed this up by continuing to contact until we had spoken with everyone, we could prior to the March 8th back to school expectation.




The full implementation of EHCPs as part of return to school in September 2020 was very mixed. Some parents/carers raised concerns about pupils with SEND not having access to their full EHCP learning offer because of COVID limitations, and some schools said they could not meet all aspects such as:

  • bubbles, staffing challenges meaning lack of 121 support or usual staff teams
  • schools not providing access for visiting specialists/therapists.
  • Part time timetables


The return to school in Autumn 2020 saw each education setting needing to develop a whole school dynamic risk assessment for children and young people and staff to return safely to school. This alongside children and young people’s individual risk assessments saw the need to make adaptations to ensure the safety of all.


Any aspects of the EHCP that have not been adhered to because of the risk assessment should be monitored and a suitable forward plan put in place. If parents / carers remain concerned we would advise parents and carers to contact their education provider and ask that together a risk assessment is completed to find ways to meet the pupil’s needs. 


If a successful way cannot be agreed through a shared risk assessment, then please raise your concern through this link to our Local Offer website



Parents and carers did not feel confident that there is an effective process for raising a concern and get a response when an EHCP is not being fully implemented

It is important to Suffolk County Council that we receive feedback and know when a child or young person is not receiving services as outlined in a child’s EHCP. We have published the process on our Local Offer website.


This link will take you to the page with all the information about this process. If a parent or carer has a concern about the implementation of provision in their child’s EHCP we would encourage them to use this process to raise it. Our Family Services teams are very busy, but they will do their best to respond in good time.


As part of the co-produced draft SEND Strategy for 2021/23, we will review, in partnership with our parent/carer representatives, feedback, compliments, comments and complaints, mediation, and tribunal outcomes and processes and learning from this to improve our customer experience.





Digital poverty needs to be addressed.  Where services know that families do not have access to the internet, there needs to be alternative ways of communicating with them.

Digital poverty is a national issue and as a system we are committed to working with system partners to collectively prioritise this agenda. During the pandemic, schools and communities made tremendous efforts to provide computers locally. From Suffolk County Council, over 1300 computers (and wifi dongles where needed) have been provided to children with a social worker and care leavers through a DFE scheme and Suffolk County Council’s own resources. We are also supporting community schemes to re-purpose donated computers.


While remaining resources are limited, Suffolk County Council may be able to provide a laptop, where a child is being supported by Social Care or Early Help Services and does not already have adequate access, to a device to support engaging with education and keep in touch with services. A request for a laptop can be made via a Suffolk County Council Practitioner that is a case worker for your child (a Social Worker, Early Help Worker, Youth Justice Worker, Leaving Care Personal Adviser). In other circumstances your school may be able to help.


We will ensure that all services continue to utilise other means of communication with families when they are aware that the family does not have access to the internet. 


Parents and Carers have said they would like to see a ‘You Said, We Did’ Culture that focuses on outcomes for families, children and young people.

As a system we are already committed to this approach and we will continue to develop this further.


New services and service developments have been designed services based on “You Said, We Did”

The Local Offer website has been developed and content has been co-produced with SPCN for Education, Health and Care services. This work has included peer reviews from other local authorities to identify improvement areas & future development. The Local Offer Navigator has been launched, who families can phone to help identify what services are available, as well as our SEND Support Wheel, allowing families to use a simple tool to identify which services may be helpful.

The new Neurodevelopmental pathway (e.g. Autism & ADHD) has been co-produced and additional Voluntary Community Services support commissioned as a result of feedback from families.


The Mental Health Crisis Outreach business case and pathway has been co-produced with families and young people following feedback regarding poor outcomes when young people are in crisis.


The SEND Strategy 2021-23 was informed through co-production and a public consultation.


Project Manager for SEND Strategy will be working with key stakeholders to ensure that the ‘You Said, We Did’ captures the lived experience of children and young people and will report this via the Local Offer website and other channels.


Again, as a result of feedback, we are developing a new ‘Outcomes Framework’ that will better help understand, and act on, children and families lived experiences and progress towards outcomes.


SEND Support Wheel - 2019

Following the launch of our SEND Support Wheel (May 19), we will be providing updates from the testing period and information on the changes we have made in reponse to feedback from families and professionals.

If you would like to feedback, please email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk.

You said We did
Information on short breaks and activities for children and young people with autism.  We have created a dedicated section within useful resources that list providers who can support young people with autism. This is featured under the early help and social care segment.
What specialist health services can I access? We have broken down the health serivces by age under the health segment. Criteria to access each service will be included within their record, along with contact details.
Add the Integrated Community Paediatric Services record to specalist health services

The record has been tagged within the relevant age groups in the Health segment of the wheel.

Please split special schools and mainstream schools to make it clearer

Different lists have now been created within the School, College or Alternative Education segment.

A seperate list is also available for alternative provision.

What about out of county? Out of county providers have their own list - this is also under the School, College or Alternative Education segment.
How can I feeback and esculate an issue?

A dedicated feedback form has been created to feedback on the support wheel. Click the organe tab on the right-side of the page.

If you wish to feedback on a service, a link to our feedback and escalation routes has been added to every resource list.

Feedback and responses from 2018

You said We did Feedback Received

I wasn’t aware of the local offer, how are you promoting it

We have sent postcards and posters to schools, colleges, providers, GP’s, health colleagues and council teams to ensure awareness and help with promotion.

Social media, newsletters,
Events and meetings, including SPCN family fun day, emotional wellbeing event, SENDIASS annual conference, Send Zone – international festival of learning, Suffolk Show, School coffee mornings and provider events.

SPCN ambassador have been visiting providers and voluntary & community groups, parents and carers across the county promoting the local offer website and the need to co-produce records and offering the services of SPCN to do this.

The ambassador also collects feedback about the local offer and we will shortly publish figures regarding the visits have taken place.

Website feedback form, email, SPCN

Difficult to find service records when searching using keywords

I looked for 'schools, autism, learning difficulties in Ipswich' - the first two search results were: Martin Limb Speech & Lang & Children's Community Medical Team - then 'The Bridge',

Never gives what I am Searching for it’s not fit for purpose

Never seems to give hardly any search details or local

Very hard to navigate.

Looked at site but just couldn't find anything relevant for someone not in mainstream

We are continuing to add keywords to service records to ensure the results are as accurate as possible and are using our analytics to see which terms parents/carers are using to ensure search returns are improved.

A co-produced guidance document has also been sent to all registered providers, detailing the type of information to include on their records to aid with searching.

We’re planning to offer a webinar on using the local offer and searching successfully. We will then publish this on our help page.

This piece of work will be added to our comms plan to ensure families are aware it is available.

We are creating saved searches to help families with finding service records. These can then be filtered by location to ensure more accurate results are returned.

Website feedback form, email, SPCN

The website can be difficult to navigate as there’s lots of information

It wasn’t very good. It wasn’t created by parents of send children.

The information is very vague & doesn’t explain properly what to do or who to contact when you have an issue

We have purchased a support tool which will help users navigate through the website.

We are co-producing this work with SPCN and hope to launch in 2019.

Content it continuously being co-produced to improve the information that is available to parents.

A co-produced guidance document has also been sent to all registered providers, detailing the type of information to include on their records and this includes contact details and who to speak to if there’s a problem.


Not sure what the local offer is and how it can help us

We have visited internal team meetings and circulated information to help staff with using and being confident in promoting the local offer to families.

Please email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk  if you would be interested in us attending your team meeting / event.

Website feedback form (professional)

Not all service records provide the specific local offer information I am looking for

The provider I’m looking for isn’t registered

Our co-produced guidance document will help with ensuring the correct information is being added.

We are also planning to make changes to our sign-up form for providers – this will be clearer regarding what to add in each field.

One of our focuses for 2019 will be ensuring individual services records include all information as required in the SEND code of practice. 

We are working hard to extend our reach and ensure providers in Suffolk have information on our directory. There are now almost 1,700 service records available.

The SPCN ambassadors have also been sign-posting providers to our website and supporting them to register.

Please notify us of a provider who isn’t registered by emailing localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk

SPCN survey

Website feedback form

How can I access the local offer without the internet

As part of our commitment to accessibility, our website includes a “share via SMS” tool.

This feature allows any professional to share information with a family, straight to their mobile phone. On every service record, you can type in the recipients’ mobile number and hit “Send SMS”. This will send contact information to the family.

Families can also call the Local Offer advisor for information, this has been distributed to schools in a book bag campaign to reach families, plus the SPCN ambassador.


The feedback form isn’t clear, and the star rating isn’t relevant if you just want to leave a comment

The form has been simplified and comments can be left without rating the website. The form is split into two parts: feedback on “website or “service provider”, you will only see relevant questions.

Parents and carers no longer need to sign in / create an account to leave a review for service records. They can submit this anonymously if they wish to

It has also been updated to ensure we are GDPR compliant, you will need to confirm you are happy for us to share your feedback, if you wish. 


What happens to my feedback, who is it shared with?

Your feedback will be shared with the relevant service or provider/setting if you wish for this to happen.

You can also submit feedback anonymously if you wish to. 


Webchat – is no longer available

Following discussions across Education, Care, Health and SPCN, we have decided to remove the webchat facility from the local offer as the uptake was very low. We have continued to promote the local offer advisor helpline, families can call this, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm for information and advice.

What support groups are available for parents?

We have created a saved search for families to easily view all of the groups on our local offer.

This button is on the homepage of the local offer website. Further work is taking place to ensure that it functions effectively.

This can be filtered by location and disability to find a local group.


Education landing page isn’t clear

We a currently updating this section of the website in co-production with SPCN.

We will circulate a draft of the content for parents and carers to provide feedback before publishing the information in early 2019.

SPCN Survey

There is very little information I can see about making an application to a SEND school. I understand that you try to put most SEN pupils in mainstream with support, but this is just not an option for my son. Finding any information about how I actually go about securing him the education he has a right to is impossible

If your child has an EHC plan. the Annual Review would be the ideal time to discuss provision, and appropriateness of school. You can request an early review if you have concerns.

Our Special schools and colleges in Suffolk page lists information on what schools are in Suffolk.

SPCN survey

From a school's perspective it needs to be much, much easier to navigate and find which services are appropriate to refer SEND or vulnerable children to. There is one good flowchart but more of this sort of thing is needed. It also needs to be far clearer which services are free and what exactly the costs are for traded services so that schools can budget and pitch for services that they can actually afford.

We have endeavoured to make services easier to find and have created the Inclusion Service Brochure for schools to get this information.

The brochure has been emailed out in our SENCo newsletter and can be downloaded here.

Website feedback form

Assessment and EHC Plans page isn’t clear

How to apply for ehcp plan

Correct contact information for moving into adulthood team for those with an ehcp living on the west side of the county.

Where are the ehc templates?

How to appeal refusal to assess

what to do when EHCP isn’t being implemented

The landing page has been co-produced and updated.

The page now includes contact details for each team and individual staff member. A further document is included outlining each Education setting and which team supports them.

A service record has also been added for the SEND Family Services team – detailing their offer to families.

All documents are downloadable from here - Education, Health and Care needs assessment and reviews documentation and guidance

Information is available on our Independent Support and Advice Page

SPCN survey

A downloadable EHCP form that can be filled out electronically would save time and be easier to access.

All forms are available electronically and can be downloaded here.

This is something we have been looking into principally through the new EHC Hub, which will speed up the referral process and break it down in a more user-friendly way.

SPCN survey

Still references Statement of SEN instead of EHCPs - noticed it on the page for enhanced provisions

Following the 31st March 2018 deadline to transfer Statements of SEN to Education, Health & Care Plans (EHCPs), we have reviewed information on the website to ensure that there isn’t confusion as Suffolk County Council only issue EHCPs now.

References to old systems are removed from our information sources, along with updates to team structures following the Inclusion Service redesign also carried out in March/April.

Website feedback form

Struggling to find relevant Health information and services

Emotional/mental health support

Therapy for anxiety and low self esteem age 12/13 not available.

The local offer website is the weakest link. The main problem is it seems to me to be all about people with learning disabilities which is not relevant to my intelligent, anxious, sad son.

Mental health services, clubs and support services, support for me as a parent,

How to get help for my son with his OCD and Anxiety

The Health landing page has been co-produced with SPCN, the page is now split into universal through to specialist services. This includes saved searches to ensure families are directed to relevant service records which they can then filter by age, location, disability etc.

A “roles of health professionals” page has also been added, describing the different roles in Suffolk and when each professional may become involved with your child /young person

We are aware further work needs to completed on some individual provider records e.g CAMHS and we hope to complete this by summer 2019.

You can search our directory for services that support children and young people.

Links are included throughout the site to Suffolk’s Emotional Wellbeing Gateway, which also provides advice and guidance pages, plus information of services that can provide support.  

SPCN survey

Clearer information for Early help and Social care and what help / support is available

How to get a Carers Assessment and help from social care

OT assessment for dyspraxia. GP wrote to the address on local offer website being written back it's out of date pointed to outreach team which only schools has to refer to, not GP. Then said it's only for children under year 7

OT provision through local authority

We have updated the early help and social care content to provide clearer detail on what support is available.

We have published the threshold for the disabled children’s team and the link to the portal for individuals to self-refer.

For CYP who don’t meet this threshold, we need clearer guidance on what’s available and how you access it.

Further work to take place during 2019.

Information on Occupational Therapy for children and young people is available here.

SPCN survey

Preparing for adulthood

and employment – more information needed

We have co-produced a guide for families with young people in transition. This can be downloaded from the website here

Hard copies are also available, and we will be mailing these to schools, colleges and service providers to help us distribute. Families will also receive a copy when completing their annual review for an EHCP, and will be available through the SPCN ambassador.

Updates have also been made to the landing page in co-production with SPCN. 

SPCN survey

Independent advice and support – Mediation and Disagreement resolution and SEND Tribunal

Following the 2017 review of disagreement resolution arrangements, this section has been updated to include the Young Person’s guide to disagreement resolution, Plus, the two year trial for extended powers in SEND Tribunal in relation to health and social care.

Better information regarding travel and transport

Information on Wheelchair Services and School transport

We have updated the website with the new pre-& post-16 transport policies.

Further co-production is planned for this section in early 2019.

SPCN survey

Short Breaks and Leisure Activities

Is this the activities unlimited website that I’m thinking of?

There is a lack of anything for young people with PMLD, other 

than the AU budget, no activities suitable etc.

I was looking for an activity my daughter could do and be supported by trained staff. Unfortunately, there was nothing to suit her.

Activities suitable for a 10-year-old with asd and anxiety who is high functioning.

I was looking for local social groups my son could try, there doesn't seem to be anything suitable in our town

No, the Local Offer and Activities Unlimited have separate websites. We have tried to make this clear within the text provided on the Leisure Activities and Short Breaks website.

Activities Unlimited commissions short breaks for children and young people in Suffolk. These breaks cover a wide range of disabilities and locations in Suffolk.

The AU website is currently being redeveloped and will help families find services that are available, and suitable for their child / young person.

We will ensure this includes better sign-posting and links to the local offer and vice versa – 2019.

Records within our directory should include information on what training staff have undertaken and how they can support your child. Further work planned for 2019 will help to address information in records.

SPCN survey

Policies or difficult

Unclear what this feedback relates to

SPCN survey

Information on any services applicable to my child, short breaks availability, information about the EHCP process. This was NCC website though as we live in Norfolk but children go to school in Suffolk.

This feedback doesn’t relate to the Suffolk Local Offer website so has not been acted upon.                                                                                                      

SPCN survey                                                                                        

Suffolk's SEND Strategy 2017-20

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.

Feedback and responses from 2017

You said We did Feedback Received

If Health diagnosed quicker without having to fight, we could perhaps get refereed to the various services quicker'

More Sensory Integration Assessments and therapy

How do I get a Sensory Integration assessment funded?

Autism Diagnostic Services in Suffolk? What training have they got in diagnosing girls presenting with anxiety and depression?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

“The CCGs, Suffolk County Council and SPCN are together developing an action plan which involves reviewing services highlighted in the Ofsted inspection as needing to improve such as ASD diagnosis delays, Occupational Therapy services including CAMHS support for ASD. The development of this plan will enable us to identify where delays in the system are happening and the gaps in services for children with SEND. Everyone involved wants the necessary changes to happen so that the best outcomes can be achieved, and the involvement of parents and carers is integral to the success of this review. If you would like to be involved with the work that will be happening over the coming months and be kept informed, please send your contact details to wsccg.suffolksend@nhs.net or gywccg.SEND@nhs.net”

Sendiass Conference SEND Moving Forward

March 2017

Have Stanton CP school had the County Inclusion Support Service presentation?

All Suffolk schools have received 7 update letters re County Inclusion Support Service since June 2016 via Suffolk Headlines, Stanton Primary School would have received these letters. All Suffolk schools were also invited to information sessions re County Inclusion Support Service across the county. Stanton were invited but did not attend the twilight session in their locality. Schools can find out more about County Inclusion Support Service by contacting the member of County Inclusion Support Service staff that comes into their school or by leaving a message on 01787 468925 and a member of County Inclusion Support Service will get back to them.

Sendiass Conference SEND Moving Forward

March 2017

How does County Inclusion Support Service intend to define between higher and lower level of intervention if behaviour is not the main issue?

Behaviour will not be the sole criteria that defines whether or not a pupil is assessed at being at a core (extension) or core (foundation) level of County Inclusion Support Service provision. Staff from school and County Inclusion Support Service will look at how vulnerable the pupil’s placement is and this will guide the decision as to whether the pupil is core (extension) or core (foundation). A pupil’s placement can be vulnerable for a wide variety of reasons that are not always solely to do with behaviour, for example a pupil may be experiencing extremely high levels of anxiety and as a consequence be at risk of complete school refusal.

Sendiass Conference SEND Moving Forward

March 2017

How will County Inclusion Support Service service manage yo-yoing of those young people who might be on the cusp of higher lower tier?

County Inclusion Support Service staff will work closely with school staff, encouraging schools to communicate immediately with County Inclusion Support Service staff if that has been a significant change in how a pupil is presenting. Advice and guidance will be given if a pupil's needs increase and if both school and County Inclusion Support Service staff agree the pupil could move to a core (extension) level of provision.

Who makes the decision as to higher / lower support County Inclusion Support Service or school? If no behaviour issue but ASD why would entitlement lessen?

The decision about where a pupil is placed in terms of County Inclusion Support Service provision will be made jointly by County Inclusion Support Service and school staff, using the County Inclusion Support Service criteria re vulnerability of placement to guide decisions. Entitlement will not lessen for a pupil who has ASD but no behaviour issues. Entitlement to support will be linked to vulnerability of placement. A placement could be vulnerable due to high anxiety and school refusal.

Sendiass Conference SEND Moving Forward

March 2017

Currently it is very difficult in Suffolk to access high quality services, especially regarding mental health and SALT therapy.  This causes issues when you need support for a student within school as sometimes trying to get support can be extremely difficult.

The emphasis on emotional well- being in young people needs much more focus and resourcing, including strong preventative approaches eg: raised presence of Primary Mental Health Worker (PMHW) role in the primary sector.

In relation to mental health – The Emotional Health & Wellbeing Gateway is now live for families to access information. The Hub will go live for families to contact in new year.


Joint working arrangements established between Primary Mental Health Worker Team and County Inclusion Support Service Team PMHW worker lists for each locality shared with County Inclusion Support Service Health Q&A checklist to support local authority Q&A visits to independent schools developed and shared with teams.

Suffolk’s Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND) Strategy


May 2017

We desperately need more services for our SEND pupils. There are huge gaps in provision for pupils with behaviour difficulties, ASD FASD, Speech and Language at Key Stage 2 and above, SCC provision for Key Stage 3 and beyond…


GYWCCG have recently presented a paper regarding ASD to the GYW HOSC which has demonstrated significant improvements in the ASD Diagnostic pathway following a community paediatric service review. GYWCCG are also having their first parent carer forum regarding community paediatric services in the GYW area on 11 September 2017 and this forum will be key in ensuring co-production going forward of any services changes etc.

Would be good if professionals as such did work together

We actually need to work together as teams. Some of us endeavour to do this but this doesn't always seem to be the case for some of the teams we work closely with

How can Suffolk be claiming to be working in partnership when they let down so many of the people they are there to help? Nothing changes

It needs to be clear who is working together with families and communities? Should education and health be included in this vision.

On the whole yes, although I would like to see more emphasis on partnership - perhaps "Working in partnership with…" the client voices need to be acknowledged up front.

I think integration is particularly important for SEND children with complex needs as they cross over different sectors and have multidisciplinary and multi-agency involvement throughout their lives.

Good event, was glad I could make it.  Interesting to hear about new EHC ideas and looking into Local Offer and how to navigate.

Brilliant very helpful was shocked about the amount of great information in different areas. 5* Thank You

Found information received helpful and positive.  Look forward to receiving extra info via email, thanks.

Would have preferred presentation as advertised.

It was really lovely to see and speak to so many people who are hopefully going to make improvements after the recent Ofsted.  Changes need to be made as children and families' needs are not being met and as an SEN parent it’s a really hard and exhausting place to be.

Found this event very helpful. It has been great to gather information and learn new outcomes. Worth coming and found everyone very helpful. I hope all the new online improvements take hold and all changes look exciting.

Great to be able to access those people in the know directly

Has given me more confidence that my son is entitled to help - Just needed a bit of guidance to access it.

Thank you for holding this in Lowestoft. We do often feel a bit forgotten up here.

Children, young people, young adults should feel confident in their Local Offer and have a range of options and choice.

The current system does not have the resources available within education, health and social care to support their needs. There is a mismatch between what is needed and what is available which needs to be addressed.

I’m not completely sure what it means to identify through the Local Offer, but having access to services and support to achieve their aspiration is good.

The Local Offer should be advertised more so that families and young people with SEND know exactly what it is and how it can help to inform them to help achieve their full potential.

The Local Offer should be clear for all parents and carers. There should also be clear links to professionals in the voluntary and statutory sectors who can assist the parent, child or young person to access these services and access advocacy where needed.

Improving the Local Offer would be preferable to communicating it. No point in communicating something that doesn't work.

The Local Offer needs to explicitly show what is available. If you don’t know what is available or what it is called you don’t know what to look for.  I think we need a directory of services for specific areas of need. I also think that the above priorities should be and need to be delivered timely and not time limited.

As part of our response to the SEND inspection, the Inclusion Service has reorganised the way it works and now has a new management team in place.  The service is now organised into three separate aspects:

SEND Development and Delivery led by Georgina Green, includes all aspects of provider relationships and development of specialist provision; family services, including EHCPs, managed moves and alternative provision, assessment and pupil progress

Specialist Education Outreach Services led by Jan Welsh, bringing together all our specialist services that support settings including the County Inclusion Support Service, Dyslexia Outreach, Sensory & Communication Service and our Alternative Tuition.

SEND Strategy and Operations currently a vacancy for the lead, leading on strategy and policy for SEND, commissioning and contracting, high needs funding and finance, local offer communications and SEND data and intelligence. View.

Work has been extended to incorporate a full review of panel processes within SCC Inclusion Services, and in part with inform the funding consultation scheduled for Autumn.  Guidance to providers will now be published following consultation. However, the implementation date remains aligned to the opening of the multi-agency assessment centres.

There has been progress made in establishing the framework for key working practice in Suffolk across E, H & SC. The investment in front line staffing and key working will be at the heart of a reformed family key working team to oversee e, H & SC in the future.

SCC realise that it is important to meet with parents/carers face to face.  SCC held a number of engagement events across Suffolk and from this learning we will continue to meet with parents / carers at pre-arranged events / coffee mornings.  We are also going to be trialling a Webinar which we will be on specific SEN topics.  A Local Offer Newsletter is also in development stages.

SEND Training developed for Health Professionals. 156 staff trained

to date.


For parents / carers who are unable to find their way / navigate their way around the Local Offer website.  There is a Local Offer Navigator in post since August 2017 and dedicated phone line and a web chat facility to help and assist families in finding services within Suffolk.

Suffolk’s Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND) Strategy


May 2017

I think the first priority should be to ensure that the Local Offer meets the needs of children and young people and that provision is consistent across the whole of the county.  Families should not have to fight to get the provision their child needs. Our experience of the EHCP process has identified that this needs serious improvement.  There needs to be long term planning for provision across all stages of education, our experience has been one where there has been the correct specialist provision in the primary phase and nothing thereafter.

Online EHC Portal is in live testing and will be up and rolled out early 2018. An online system to enable families to take more control of their EHC Plan and increase transparency and improve timescales.

Suffolk’s Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND) Strategy


May 2017

I think the Local Offer is incredibly confusing: I think it would help to send of copy of it by email or such like to parents who have their children registered as disabled in the county.

Have only a vague idea that this is where we go to access appropriate support services for our family needs. Have not directly accessed any via this site. Have now bookmarked the website and will investigate further.

I have no idea what it means for my family.  This is where families who are not receiving support or input miss out and left to try and understand what it actually is and for me I have no clue.

A little confusing to use sometimes

There has been a Local Offer Navigator in post since August 2017, a dedicated phone line and a web chat facility to help and assist families in finding services within Suffolk. Full details are available here. You can also email localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk with any queries.

Activities Unlimited Customer Survey


Sept 2017

There needs to be updates and feedback opportunities for SENCO's, in order for provision to continue to improve, especially as it is likely that further changes/improvements are likely.  Maybe a SENCO forum could be set up so professional dialogue between schools and LA can take place with the aim of reflecting and improving provision.

The SENCO Newsletter was launched in October 2017 - 3 weekly information bulletins are now going out to all SENCO's in Suffolk schools providing updates and articles regarding current research. SENCO's are encouraged to give feedback and share good practice examples from their own schools with the ultimate aim being that the bulletin will be proactively owned and led by the SENCO's.


Oct 2017

Identifying more precisely where the gaps are and a triage plan to fixing them would be useful.

We desperately need more services for our SEND pupils. There are huge gaps in provision for pupils with behaviour difficulties, ASD FASD, Speech and Language at Key Stage 2 and above, SCC provision for Key Stage 3 and beyond…

The key focus needs to be developing services and provision.

"A Stakeholder group has been established to agree and sign off education, health and care data sets, so this is a collection of information about current services and provision available which have informed the development of the SEND Sufficiency Plan. The plan will detail actions and priorities to enhance and develop provision and services."

 A data presentation delivered by the intelligence hub provided an initial evidence base for the projected demand of a range of needs. However, this will need to be combined with the health data and post 16 data before any firm conclusions can be made.

A strong focus is required on the developing of services available for students moving into adulthood. Students often struggle when services are reduced once turning 18.

Transitions/Moving into adulthood - good to include help and support the young person to become more independent. Appropriate career advice should be given by qualified professionals. All staff in mainstream schools are trained and accept SEN and don’t treat them differently which can lead to bullying.

Transitions from school to college are so important and this is an area which is really letting our students down.

Involvement and input from children, young people and young adults especially young adults with plans and parent’s views can be listened to over the young person at times.

Work is being undertaken to contact providers of 16-25 years old to ensure they have the same contact and communication process as all other providers. A consultation was held on a transition planning tool which included a workshop with stakeholders which included young people.  The group have committed to completing a test of the planning tool. Methodology for 'Training in Transition' has been written by workforce development, this will include training of SENCO's and Post 16 settings, Health, Social Care and Family Service Co-ordinators. Task & Finish arranged for November 2017 to develop and implement awareness raising campaign of LD checks for 14 - 25 year olds. GAP Mapping has been completed for specialist provision across Suffolk for 16 - 25 year old, from that this has been shared with providers for their response of proposals and ideas for development. Work is ongoing to develop best practice transition models for Post 16 learning to share with providers.

Suffolk’s Special Education Needs & Disability (SEND) Strategy Consultation


May 2017

Improving the early intervention and support as part of the Local Offer should be a priority.

Workshop was co-presented by Education, Health, SPCN and Senior Leaders from education, CCG and care were present, can commissioned health and education providers attended.


  • Identified members of core assessment centre team
  • Identified possible reporting structure based on CDC model
  • Identified referral routes and some of the criteria for referral
  • Identified some of the functions
  • Flexibility of delivery

First workshop attended by health, education, and early help have identified ASD pathway to focus on initially with the County Inclusion Support Service service and early help attending monthly health ASD referral meeting.  This will reduce duplication and joining up three services.  Workshops have continued to develop the model.

Feedback and responses 2015-2016

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.

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.