The annual Parent Carer Satisfaction Survey, in relation to education, health and care services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, showed that families are still finding it difficult to get the information that they need. As a direct result of the survey findings, Suffolk County Council and the Clinical Commissioning Groups asked SPCN to come up with a range of questions based on the most common themes from the 2017 survey.
Questions and Answers
QUESTION: Where can I go to find out what services/ provision may be available for children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and their families?
ANSWER: Suffolk Local Offer website is the place which contains information and records on provision, services and support available for children and young people with SEND and their families. There are over 1400 organisations with a record on the Local Offer as well as council and health services. The Local Offer website can be found on the following link www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk If you are unable to find what you are looking for then please contact the Local Offer navigator for assistance and use the feedback form on the website to let us know how we can improve and we will address it.
As well as the local offer website, children, young people and their families can find out what is available by contacting the Local Offer Navigator on 0345 606 1490
In addition, family key workers, the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) in your child’s school, other practitioners, or SENDIASS (the special educational needs information advice and support service) can access the Local Offer website to support discussions with children, young people and their families.
QUESTION: What can I do if I feel the GP/Health professional isn't listening to me/taking my concerns seriously etc?
ANSWER: Initially if you feel that your child/young person’s GP is not listening you can:
- Speak to the GP and raise your concerns with them if you feel able to do.
- Contact the practice manager for your GP’s surgery and express your concerns.
- Request to see a different doctor who may have a special interest in special needs.
- If you are still unhappy you can make a formal complaint with the GP surgery.
- You can also register at another GP practice if this is practical for you
- If any of the above have not resulted in a positive outcome for you, you can report your concerns about your GP to the General Medical Council (GMC) who will look into your concerns.
Initially if you feel that your child/young person’s health practitioner isn’t listening to you, you can:
- Speak to the health professional and raise your concerns with them if you feel able to do so.
- Request details of the Service manager and make contact, expressing your concerns.
- If you are still unhappy with the response you can use the NHS Complaints procedure to make a formal complaint to the organisation that employs the practitioner.
- You can also report your concerns to the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Ipswich & East and West Suffolk CCGs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCG: GYWCCG.PALS@nhs.net
QUESTION: What can I do if I want a particular professional at my child/young person’s annual review to contribute and they won't/don't attend?
ANSWER: If a professional is actively involved with your child/young person and cannot attend the review meeting, they should contribute a report, their most recent update or communication setting out recent involvement, changes of need and their ongoing involvement. If you have specific questions you wish to ask, you could ask these directly and share the responses at the meeting or you could ask the SENCo to follow this up on your behalf. You may also want to make the Special Needs Officer or Assistant Special Needs Officer aware of the information you are seeking.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM SPCN: You may information on these websites useful:
QUESTION: Can I find out what interventions the County Inclusive Support Service (CISS) have implemented at school as they might be useful at home?
ANSWER: The county inclusive support service (CISS) are Suffolk council’s outreach service to support schools to work inclusively and supportively with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. To find out more about how CISS support for your child, please contact the school SENCO in the first instance. Where appropriate, a meeting between home, school and CISS to discuss support can be arranged by the SENCO.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM SPCN: Information about CISS can be found on the Local Offer.
QUESTION: My child/young person attends school out of County - we don't receive any local information relevant to where we live, only where they attend school - How can I receive this?
ANSWER: Information about services and support relevant to Suffolk can be found by visiting the Local Offer website. The website contains a directory of over 1400 organisations who offer provision, support or services for children and families with SEND needs. However, it will not contain all the inclusive community based activities in your area. In order to access this information, we would recommend that you try some of the following routes:
Try local community website and other sources such as children’s centre information Social media platforms such as other parent carers on the SPCN Facebook page, local schools’ websites.
ADDITIONAL INOFRMATION FROM SPCN: www.suffolklocaloffer.org.uk
QUESTION: How do I apply for school transport? (What can I expect and when?)
ANSWER: To find out if a child is entitled to school transport they would need to check entitlement and apply via
There are changes to the administrative process for SEND transport which will be implemented in the 2017/18 school year to proactively work with schools (once the school place has been confirmed) and to inform parents of SEND pre-16 transport entitlement and transport details by 14/7/18.
For post 16 SEND transport, parents will need to apply using the link above by the deadline of 31/5/18 to enable transport to be arranged by the start of term in September 2018.
For post 16 SEND transport applications sent after the deadline will be processed however may not be in place for the start of term in September 2018.
QUESTION: Who can I contact for advice and guidance on SEND?
ANSWER: The first port of call should always be the school. Every school must have a SENDCO (Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator) who may be able to answer your questions, also schools must have a SEND Information report on their website which can be a useful starting point.
SENDIASS is an impartial and confidential Information, Advice and Support Service (IAS) They are trained and overseen by the National IASS Network and can be contacted by –
Helpline: 01473 265210
Text: ADVICE4ME to 87007
QUESTION: Is it true that Post 16 Education is only for 3 days a week?
ANSWER: Further Education providers receive place funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency. For 16 and 17-year olds and students aged 18 and over with high needs, education providers receive funding for 540 hours per academic year. The Department for Education recognise this as ‘full time education’. An average FE academic year runs for 38 weeks, therefore, providers divide their funding allocation in hours, by academic weeks to result in c14hrs per week, which typically equates to 3 days. Programmes of study may be designed to run for more than 540 hours across the year, but Education providers will not receive additional funding for additional hours.
ADDITONAL INFORMATION FROM SPCN: You may find this information useful.