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You said, we did - school survey

In December 2021, we asked schools to complete a survey to share their views on Suffolk County Council SEND Services with the Department for Education (DfE).

Your views were shared by representatives from Suffolk Schools and the DfE commented although improvements have been made to SEND services, parent/carers are still to experience benefits from some of the improvements that have been made.

We appreciate the feedback from schools, and as a direct result from some of your comments we have made some changes and improvements, further details can be found on our ‘You said, we did’ page of the Local Offer.

The DfE will be back to visit SCC in July 2022, we are keen to ensure your views are included.

We will be undertaking a new survey with schools in June 2022 to gather your views for when the DfE returns in July.

Thank you for your feedback, as well as acting on your suggestions we want to acknowledge some of the areas you want to keep.

We will continue to communicate through Suffolk Headlines and SENCO News, so information is in one place and easily accessible.

You said,

We Did

You were not aware that the High Tariff Needs process had changed.

All changes regarding High Tariff Needs are communicated via Suffolk Headlines. All schools are invited on a termly basis to submit their High Tariff Needs termly spreadsheet. Here is the link to our High Tariff Needs Funding page https://suffolklearning.com/inclusion/high-needs-funding/


Collate all information into one email

SENCO News includes all updates regarding SEND in one place

Communication returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner or at all

We are working hard to address this. IMPOWER completed a Capacity Analysis and identified a staffing gap of 33 new members needed, 24 of these are in Family Services. With the injection of £1.1 million, we have started to recruit new staff to add capacity to ensure we provide timely responses.

Processes create repetition of form filling.

We are reviewing forms in light of this feedback and aim to reduce duplication. In reviewing our SEND Decision Making Panels, a focus area is to ensure that information is carried through the process to reduce duplication and re-referrals.

Training for class teachers would help

Specialist Education Services provide a training offer for all schools including class teachers. A survey for feedback has been sent out. Inclusion Services Training Survey – Suffolk Learning

Make the Local Offer website clear and easier to navigate.

We are currently in a procurement process for a new platform for the Local Offer website, the design and accessibility will be coproduced with children and young people, parent/carers and schools. This should be live in December 2022. The Local Offer has been amended, in light of feedback relating to ease of access for information, mental health services and clarity around contact information.

Key allocated staff for schools from Family Services.

As we increase staffing levels in Family Services, we will look to allocate staff as a point of contact for schools.

SEP/SAP referrals need to be better

A review of all SEND Decision Making Panels has been completed, a new process is being coproduced.

Timely support for schools if they need help.

The Specialist Education Service offers support via the SENCO Support line on a daily basis and  Inclusion Support Meetings, the new Inclusion Support Line will be launched in September which will enable school staff to access information, advice and guidance and this will link and sign post to existing support, which will enable quick access to support.

Schools need help to support children to receive a diagnosis to get the right support.

Children do not need a diagnosis to receive support. Please see link below for further information.


Frequently asked questions (SEN Support) - Suffolk SENDIASS

Suffolk (County Council) needs to work with schools

Suffolk County Council wants to work with schools. The Assistant Director Inclusion and the Head of Family Services are joining meetings with schools wherever possible including, Special Heads Network, Suffolk Primary Headteacher Association, Suffolk Association of Secondary Headteachers and Chief Executive Officers Network. A number of head teachers have also met with the Assistant Director Inclusion and Head of SEND Services on an individual school basis and in groups. We are listening to your views and making steps to learn and work with schools, including schools being able to participate in SEND Decision Making Panels in the near future.

Use social media when changes are made on the Local Offer website

Our communication team are sharing updates to the Local Offer via social media and sharing with SENDIASS and Suffolk Parent Carer Forum to further share the communication.

SENCO Support line is great, but I rarely get through as it is only open once a day

A new Inclusion Support line will open in September which will be open all day and be open to any professionals/practitioners across Schools, Social Care and Health. These officers will be available for schools to call all through the day to help schools, navigate the local offer, assist in improving the content of the local offer, signpost school-based colleagues to Inclusion Support Meetings, Solution Circles and arrange a call back from the SENCO support line.

More meetings, less emails.

Family Services staff are being supported to arrange meetings with schools and families wherever possible to coproduce Education, Health and Care plans.

Online portal where we can access information

We continued to explore how we can use portals for access to information, using our current database. Next year we will move to a new database, and this will have portal access.

The writing of EHCP’s needs to be improved

We are currently in the process of reviewing the training for plan writing.

Insufficient school places for children with special education needs and disabilities.

We have completed phase 1 of the SEND capital programme which has created 825 places. We are committed to deliver phase 2 of the SEND Capital Programme which will create a further 72 places. Work is ongoing to review the demand for Specialist Education through our sufficiency planning.

A termly CPD calendar would be helpful

SENCO Central was launched in April 2022, including a SENCO calendar, SENCO Central | Community Directory (suffolk.gov.uk)

We (schools) have to jump through hoops to sort out provision for children and are given no reason as to why decisions are made.

We are committed to ensuring our processes are transparent and want to ensure that everyone is aware of how we make our decisions. Schools will be party to SEND Decision Making Panels soon.


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