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Suffolk SEND Strategy 2021 – 2023 | Community Directory

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Suffolk SEND Strategy 2021 – 2023

We've begun work on our new SEND Strategy for Suffolk for 2021-2023.

In 2017, we wrote a list of priorities - the areas of SEND provision in Suffolk that we most wanted to improve between 2017 and 2020. We called this our "SEND Strategy", and you can view it here: SEND Strategy 2017-2020

We believe that over the last three years we have made great progress; improving our SEND provision and strengthening our joint work between Education, Health and Care, but over the next three years we want to go much further. We want to provide services that work for every child and young person with SEND in Suffolk, but in order to do that, we need your help.

In February 2020 we launched our “Time to listen….about SEND” campaign; asking you to get in touch with us and tell us what you thought our priorities should be in our next strategy. We had to pause this in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we are ready to restart and we still need your help.

We know there is a lot of information on these pages, but at the heart of it is this: we want to know your thoughts on how we could continue to improve our SEND provision in Suffolk, and what you think we should prioritise over the next three years.

Here's a quick summary:

1. Our vision

We are proposing to keep the overall vision the same: "Working together, we will support children and young people with SEND to meet their potential and live healthy, fulfilling lives in their community." 

What do you think? Would you suggest any changes?

2. Our aims

We are also suggesting keeping the same aim: "Children and young people with SEND and their families have access to the timely information, services and support they need to enable them to achieve their potential."

Do you think these are still the right aims? Would you suggest any others?

3. Our progress

We think these are good ways to measure our progress:

  • Our children and young people with SEND will make good progress and be successful
  • Our children and young people will have timely access to good quality services
  • Feedback from our children, young people and families will show they feel supported by education, health and social care services
  • Our children, young people and families will trust our SEND system

What do you think about these progress measures? Would you suggest any changes or additions?

4. Our priorities

We have four priority headings. What do you think we should add under each of them? What actions would make the biggest difference to you and your family?

Priority 1: The SEND Local Offer

For example: Do you know what the Local Offer is?

How can we improve our communication of the local offer?

What would you like to see on our website? 

Priority 2: The SEND Journey

For example: how can we improve the support in our schools, GPs and care services?

How can we better support children and young people to achieve their goals?

Priority 3: Developing inclusive education, health and social care provision

For example: do we need to develop our specialist provision further? If so, how?

How can we make our schools more inclusive?

How should we improve our health services to better meet the needs of children and young people with SEND?

Priority 4: Preparing for adulthood

For example: do we have the right post-16 courses in place to support young people with SEND? If not, what should we think about?

How can we better support young people with SEND and their families through their transition into adulthood?

(You can find more question examples under each priority in our Time To Listen infographic.)

5. Tell us your thoughts

If you'd like to, you can fill out our Feedback survey here. You don't have to give your name (though you can if you want to) and you can fill it out more than once if you think of something additional you want to tell us - we want to hear it all, good and bad.

Your voice matters, and we want to hear feedback from as wide a range of people as possible, in order to shape our services around what Suffolk families want. 

Thank you for your time.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Will my contribution to the strategy make any difference?

Yes. We want to get as many people involved in co-producing the new strategy as possible, to make sure that our new SEND strategy is a reflection of the needs of all those who have an interest in SEND. This includes families, children and young people, professionals and practitioners who deliver provision and service and leaders.

To do this we need to ask as many people as possible for their ideas and feedback. In the early stages of this work, over 35 school representatives signed up to be SEND champions, we received 53 responses to the online survey, we attended forums and events to gather ideas, ran drop in sessions, attended team meetings, distributed posters and flyers across Suffolk and worked closely with our young person’s network and Suffolk Parent Carer Network to start reaching people. However we want to reach even more people, so we need your help.

Q: What is a SEND strategy champion?

A SEND strategy champion is someone who is willing to talk to other people about developing our new SEND strategy, get their ideas and feedback to us. 

Q: Who can be a SEND strategy champion?

Anyone can be a champion- parents, teachers, social workers, young people etc – we want as many people as possible to have a conversation about the SEND strategy and gain ideas and feedback. 

Q: How do I have a conversation as a SEND strategy champion?

Once you have familiarised yourself with the SEND information by watching the video you can use the infographic guide to help you. A conversation can be over a cup of tea, in the playground, at a meeting… you can then capture the ideas and feedback you gather through your conversations by filling out the online survey.

Q: How do I provide feedback or ask others to?

You can use the infographic page to guide your thinking and conversation if it is helpful, and then you can either complete the online survey yourself or send someone else the link to complete it in their own time:

Q: What will happen with this information?

Once we have gathered all the feedback from all the conversations, we will start creating some themes and project areas. We will work with a range of representatives including parents and carers, children and young people, and professionals from health, social care and education to develop a draft strategy. This will then be shared again to gain further feedback.

Q: Who will develop the final strategy?

The final strategy will be co-produced by representatives from across the SEND system as above, and will be informed by all the feedback gathered through this process.

Q. What are the timescales on this?

We began this work in February 2020, but had to pause it due to COVID-19. However we believe the time is now right to restart it. We want to collect feedback during November, December and January 2020, and then use this to develop a draft strategy document to share in February 2021. We will then incorporate any additional feedback into this, to produce a new 2021-23 SEND Strategy for April 2021.

Q: Who will ensure the strategy is delivered?

Once the new strategy is in place there are a number of ways that we make sure the work/projects are delivered through very structured project management and governance. We are held to account by families through SPCN and other groups, politicians oversee how we are making progress and we also have a SEND board where all work and progress has to be reported. We also communicate as often as possible with all parents/carers, staff and leaders on progress. Surveys and feedback on progress will also be in place to make sure we are delivering what we should be.

Q: How do you make sure you are getting people's views on the progress made?

We are always asking for feedback on the services we deliver the work we do. This is done via surveys, feedback, meetings, directly from families, through our young persons network. We will make sure we continue to seek feedback as the strategy is embedded.

Q: What do you hope to achieve with the new strategy?

We want to build on the progress achieved in developing SEND services and provision to families over the last 3 years. Making sure we are focussing on what is really important to families and improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND. We want a strategy that is easy to understand, achievable and incorporates the views of all those across the SEND system, making it truly owned and delivered by all. Overall, we want a strategy that demonstrates we have listened, provides clarity on what needs to be delivered or be different and what difference it will make to families lived experience.

Q: How will you know you are doing well and achieving what you said you would?

There are many ways we can measure the success of the strategy. This will be different for different parts of the projects/work e.g. if we were working to improve communication with families – we could measure success by gaining feedback directly from families on how we are doing, we can look at how much families are using our website and social media and we can also get sense by how good our information is by the number of additional queries we get.

The range of measures that we currently use (data, surveys, complaints etc) will be reviewed and we welcome feedback on any other ways you think we could measure success.