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Suffolk Inclusion Week 2022

Suffolk Inclusion Week 2022

During the week 7-11 November 2022, we ran the first ever Suffolk Inclusion Week! The idea for the week came from our SEND Young Person's Network - a group of young people with SEND who help us shape services across Suffolk. They told us they wanted to feel safe, welcome and included within their local communities, to celebrate those places within their communities where they did feel included, and to encourage more organisations to learn from these examples.

Our Engagement Hub team worked with them to build the “Anyone is welcome map” - a map of welcoming places across Suffolk, and developed a “top tips” list to help businesses and venues become more welcoming to those with SEND. You can view the interactive map and top tips here.

We also shared lots of content created by content created by young people with SEND, their families and those working with them. You can view the content we shared here.

What worked well?

  • Young people were directly involved in shaping the content shared throughout the week
  • It was a great opportunity for teams from Education, SEND, Early Years, Health and Social Care to work together and learn more about what each other do
  • 7 more schools signed up to be part of our Inclusion Quality Mark Scheme
  • 9 teams or organisations made pledges towards becoming more inclusive
  • Families commented on our social media posts throughout the week; giving feedback and suggestions where information could be shared or suggestions for future improvements

What did we learn for the future?

Post 16 provision – we received lots of feedback from families on this topic; both about the provision that is available post-16 and the information we publish about it. We are currently working on the Post 16 section of both the Local Offer and Source websites to make the information clearer and more consistent, and as part of this have begun work with post-16 education, training and short break teams to look at what is out there, identify any gaps and make plans to address these. This will include apprenticeships and supported internships and updated information about what providers are available.

Transitions into adulthood – we are updating our transitions guide and hope to publish the new version by the end of February 2023 on the Moving Into Adulthood section of the Local Offer website.

We had feedback that information on the Local Offer website was difficult to find – this has been a longstanding issue, but we are embarking on a major project in 2023 that will see us moving the Local Offer to a different platform that will give us more control over the accessibility of our content.

We are also mindful that some families found the examples of good inclusive practice hard to watch, as they didn’t feel their child or young person had had the same experience or provision. It is our hope that by publishing examples of good practice wherever we find them, we can open up more conversations around the county about how we can all be more inclusive, and give families examples that they can share with their schools, communities and others about what can be achieved.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those colleagues and young people who put so much time and effort into running this first Inclusion Week. We look forward to working together again in the future!

For more information, contact localoffer@suffolk.gov.uk


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