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Find feedback about the Leicestershire Local Offer from parents and people who care for and work with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Also find out what we have done in response.
We must publish feedback we have received about the Local Offer and tell you what we did in response, publishing a summary of comments at least annually. We respond to comments on an ongoing basis and aim to publish a summary of these comments twice per year.
Independent Travel Training for young people with SEN/disabilities - where on the Leics local offer does it give details about this?
We have a duty to provide ‘Home to School’ transport for SEN children who have been assessed and deemed eligible. We don’t have a responsibility to provide Independent Travel Training (ITT). We do have some limited information under “Transport” on our Local Offer
If you want more information you may be worth contacting the Safe and Sustainable Travel team on 0116 305 0002.
LO hard to find information and what specifically looking for. Hard to navigate
Stereotypical picture (wheelchair user) - people with a disability doesn’t have to be in a wheelchair, not all disability is like this some are not visible
We are taking this seriously – by understanding some of the key themes that our users are accessing, we will start to make changes to improve navigation and make things easier to find. This is work in progress and something we are aiming to improve soon. We have already started by improving subject matter icons on the Local Offer landing page.
As a result of ongoing discussions with parents/carers, young people and professionals that offer support, and keeping the Local Offer under review, this year we have made the following improvements:
Developed Local Offer Newsletter which will be produced quarterly
Developed and published SEND Standards documents covering the 3 key stages of education (Early Years, Schools and Further Education). These documents are aimed at providing parents and carers with a guide to the types of support their child could expect to receive. These can be found as further reading on What is the local offer
Developed a Professional Resourcesto aid educational staff and other partners find relevant forms to make referrals and receive advice
Planned future improvements include updating Preparing for Adulthood pages and getting more services listed on our Family Information Directory
I just wanted to say I like the local offer news.
It's nicely laid out (things are on the page in a good way, to make it interesting to read)
It's clear type/font
It's attractive in colours
It's straightforward, you’re not using tech language, jargon or acronyms too much.
It’s got pictures as well as type
Thank you! We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed reading our first newsletter and thank you for taking the time to share your views.
We would like also to remind readers that they should register their interest in receiving future copies by email, simply register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanted to be able to speak with a member of the SENA Team and to know who to speak to in regards to transferring my child from one special school to another within the school year and the process. Either an email contact form or direct telephone or switchboard plus extension and office hours would be really useful plus details of team.
Thanks for getting in touch, this feedback has been shared with the SENA manager and is being looked into. Meanwhile please find the following response which I hope you find useful.
The main SENA number is 0116 305 6600. Casework officers cover specific areas of the county so if the parent gives her address when they call, one of the secretaries will be able to direct you to the correct person.
Unless I'm missing something there has been no posting of feedback for almost a year and a half.
(11 August 2016)
Thank you for your comment, and please accept our apologies. You are correct, feedback pages haven’t been updated as quickly as they should have been. We should be including information on feedback received and updating this at least on an annual basis.
The Leicestershire County Council website including our Local Offer pages have changed significantly since April 2016 and we had decided to concentrate efforts to ensure the webpages, the content within them, any glitches found were updated asap. In addition to this we have updated our Family Information Directory (FID), and we have started to seek more SEND specific information from providers who register with us.
Can’t find much Health Information – don’t think that should be the case?
Yes thank you for your comments. It is something that has been raised before, and we are very much aware of this.
We are currently working together with a variety of Health colleagues and our digital team to improve the level of information that we provide. As a first step our Local Offer links to NHS Choices and more information is being developed.
Concerns raised by young people attending a specialist Youth Club:
Throughout my education there have been times when I have received unkind words or actions as a result of my needs or disability. I have spoken to the teacher – but sometimes that makes things worse.
We take this type of thing very seriously – no child or young person should face any type of discrimination or bullying regardless of their colour, cultural beliefs, or abilities. Our Bullying Local Offer page links to the Beyond Bullying website where you can find out information aimed at young people, parents and professionals.
How can I get involved in changing policies and getting my voice heard?
We have a link to Ensure Better Lives on our Local Offer. They often run events and forum groups for people with learning difficulties giving you a chance to participate in decision making and getting your voice heard.
County Hall need to simplify things, parents feel overwhelmed with information and documents none of which make sense. We don't have the time to read through things and need things in bullet points please.
(30 March 2015)
It is really important to us that documents are written in a way that best meets the needs of families. In developing the local offer we will be working with families to understand how information can be best presented. Many of the information and advice documents contained within the local offer have been produced or come about as a result of our engagements with families and parent/carer forums such as Leicestershire Family Voice. If you have any feedback on specific documents please get in touch email@example.com
I never seem to have time to reply to things, I can only reply to this as I am at my mums and the kids are at home with dad.
There is a lack of information and clarity in the information.
(30 March 2015)
We are in the process of developing guidance documents for families and professionals as to what they should reasonably expect to find across each stage of learning i.e. Early years, schools and post 16 or further education.
SEND Voice Report - Feedback gathered from Children and Young People with SEND and their parent and carers in relation to how they felt about services and support in Leicestershire under the Local Offer.
In February 2018 at our SEND Pop-up at Twycross Zoo we met with 160 individuals who gave their views on the LO Newsletter. We wanted to find out from families what they felt about the current format of the newsletter in regards to topics covered and length of newsletter. Here are some of the comments we received:
Interesting - covered topics I’m interested in such as employability
Would like more articles aimed at young people, such as Makaton and events, kid puzzles, games/competitions
Is informative and full of useful articles and signposting
Most families felt the style and content was great and that the length of articles and the newsletter itself was about the right length.
We have 382 signed up to receive copies of “Spreading the Word” Local Offer Newsletter. By the end of March 2018 we had 411 page likes and 446 followers on our Facebook page page.
Other co-production activities
Jan 2018 representatives from Leicestershire Parent Carers Forum attended an event aimed at improving the engagement of Children & Young People opportunities. Activities have since been replicated across our SEND Young Peoples Groups seeking opinions about the Local Offer and where improvements can be made
Feb 2018 – Parent Forum Representatives and Service Providers attended our Local Offer Steering Group to give the views in regards to improving Local Offer access and publicity as well as about commissioning services
Parents were keen to be involved in the development of the new Early Help Short Breaks service
We have met with parents to gather their views on the new Early Help Short Breaks Services and EHC Process at a range of sessions across the county.
Understanding that there are so many opportunities and ways that we can engage with parents/carers and young people to help co-design and make improvements to the Local Offer, in May 2017 we recruited a Family Voice Worker (SEND) – Karen Hall. Karen’s role aims to work together with local youth and community groups, children, young people and their families and Parent Carer Forums in gaining their views to help influence services.
Summer playschemes – we are really confused who’s responsible for these?
You’re right, there have been lots of changes to short breaks and how places can be requested are allocated.
Leicestershire County Council has been working with Menphys (voluntary sector organisation) to provide the Early Support and Inclusion Services since 2003. From January 2018, we will be providing this support in-house through Early Help with SEND Family Support Team who had previously worked with Menphys.
Maplewell Post 16 – gave lots of feedback on information and areas they would like to see on the Local Offer pages. Such as Go Learn, taster sessions, apprenticeships and traineeships and how to find bus timetables. They also shared lots of ideas for activities they would like to do in the community such as drama, art and reading clubs.
Thank you, the Preparing for Adulthood pages are due to be reviewed and we will ensure these will be taken into account. Some areas suggested are already featured on the website.
We are also working hard in encouraging services to register on the Family Information Directory so hopefully some of the groups suggested will feature on there soon.
How will you ensure the continued engagement of families and young people with specific Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
We have a few plans in progress that will help with this:
developed a SEND baseline survey – covering all aspects of the SEND reforms. Feedback gained from this will help us to consider gaps in provision and where we need to focus on improving systems in place.
developed a Young Person Survey – based on their specific areas of interest and concern
working directly together with Young People with SEND in their own environments ie schools, youth clubs and colleges to develop and produce a range of you tube type clips focussing on aspects of the SEND reforms. Videos will include the young person’s views shared in their own words. It is our ambition to ensure that these clips are subtitled and have “signed” versions to better support those with hearing impairments.
Personal Outcome Evaluation Tool (POET) a national survey developed to get the views of parents, young people and professionals views in relation to the EHC Plan Process – promoted at forums and via the web
we shall provide opportunities for service users to test our new look Local Offer. Based on users experiencing the new site, we will consider how easy it was for them to access the information, establish if there is content gaps and make recommendations to the digital team to help improve user experience and search facilities
we are keen to continue links we have already made with Leicestershire forums, youth clubs and colleges. We would also like to engage more directly with users specific needs or disabilities including Visual and Hearing impairments – if you are interested in getting more involved please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com telling us your specific need/disabilities.
Update June 2016 - more opportunities advertised to test our Local Offer
Have you engaged with any specific groups of families and young people with specific needs and disabilities?
Yes, we have engaged with families and young people with a wide range of different needs. Examples include those with autism, hearing and visual impairment, and specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia, as well as those with a variety of physical difficulties.
What have you done so far to engage with families and young people to help achieve the ongoing co-production and development of the local offer?
Over the last year we have actively sought to gather the views of children and young people with SEND and their families and professionals that support them. This is so we can better understand how they access the Local Offer and how we can develop it further to better meet their needs.
We have done this by:
holding regular Local Offer work-stream meetings with family representatives, external agencies and professionals who support SEND. These groups have helped us to develop various policies and documentation including our Local Offer Accessibility strategy.
attendance at a variety of forums, including those with Leicestershire Family Voice; meetings with representatives from district and borough councils, Leicestershire and Rutland Sport, coffee mornings and other targeted events to promote the Local Offer, and to seek views from participants and attendees
supporting local events including Menphys SOS, Inclusive Sports family days and Specialist College transitions events
holding a number of “user testing” events which were aimed at looking at capability of the Sept 2014 Local Offer pages and seeking views on changes for the new look webpages. Opportunities to participate were advertised widely advertised including in an article in Leicestershire Matters (received by all county residents), and through the Leicestershire Family Voice (LFV) – Parent Forum
user testing opportunities will be implemented again post-delivery of the new Leicestershire Local Offer webpages
We are trying to work with parents and gather feedback on the new forms. Alongside this we have a parent involvement session in November to offer parent and carers an opportunity to be a part of a Q&A session. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Schools are saying they have not got enough info on EHC plans.
The SENCO at my child's school is still going by the old rules as she says she doesn't know much about the EHC rules.
Parents are having to find the information themselves and then go back to SENCO with info, this is madness
SENCOs need training
(30 March 2015)
We have provided information, guidance and training opportunities for professionals on the importance of “person centred principals” and how these should be fed into an individual child or young person’s one page profile and SEND Support Plan; both of which feed into information used on the Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) Plan. We hope to instil champions across Leicestershire to support professionals to develop the knowledge and skills required as part of the SEND reforms. We are working with Leicestershire Family Voice to understand the issues being faced by families in relation to workforce development.
Update November 2015
Since October 2015 we have employed 3 EHC Plan facilitators. They have started working more closely with Education Health and Social Care providers to ensure they better understand the process and their need to be involved – in particular to person centred planning and reviewing progress.
I have not seen any improvement and don't know why we couldn't have stayed as we were. The statement worked and now the EHC is supposed to have social care and health but that is a joke.
(30 March 2015)
We are keen to receive updates from families with regards to their views as to how the Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) reforms have been received and impacted on themselves and their family. We would value your comments on specific issues which can be provided via the Give feedback on the Local Offer page. We have asked Leicestershire Family Voice to gather your views on the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan process and how this can be improved. We are working with core assets to find ways of informing families that independent support is available and can help them with the new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan process. In addition to the above, we are also working with special educational needs and/or disabilities information and advice service (SENDIAS) to see how we can better inform parents about the support that they can provide to families.
It all seems random some get EHC plan and others with the same problems and genetic disorder can't get them?
(30 March 2015)
You can find out more about the criteria used to inform whether a young person is eligible for statutory assessment of Special Educational Needs and placement in specialist provision in Education, Health and Care plan
There’s not enough signposting – support comes from word of mouth.
This is something we are hearing a lot. That’s why we are piloting a “Local Offer Roadshow” in the Hinckley area in November 2017. Dependant on how well this is received we hope to roll these out across other local areas to help share information and services with families.
It would be good if information was all in one place
We continue to work hard to promote the Local Offer and its service to families and service providers, as well as reviewing our Local Offer pages to keep them up to date. We also regularly share information on our Local Offer Facebook page.
A newsletter of all information would be useful
We are so pleased to have been able to share our first ever “Local Offer Newsletter” in the summer term. These will be created termly and can be found on the Local Offer Facebook page and Local Offer website.
We would like also to remind readers that they should register their interest in receiving future copies by email; simply register your interest by emailing email@example.com
When I tried to find some information in regards to colleges and post 16 choices I couldn’t find details on the Local Offer on the website. Called through to Family Information Services and unfortunately they didn’t know where to access the information either. They put me through to SENDIASS and they were able to help me.
We are sorry to hear you have had a poor experience. We have looked into this in more detail.
Employees within our Family Information Service have since been reminded of the Local Offer pages links and to information available through the Family Information Directory. And refresher training has been arranged – this is being rolled out to new starters and to staff requesting a refresher
We have also improved our search facility and updated our key words and A-Z.
There have been too many changes in too short a time.
(30 March 2015)
The Children and Families Act 2014 required local authorities to implement changes by 1st September 2014. A lot of changes have been made in the last year and we appreciate that this can feel quite overwhelming for families. The special educational needs and/or disabilities information and advice service (SENDIAS) provide independent information and advice to families and can be contacted on 0116 305 5614 or by e-mail.
Core Assets are also able to support families with the Education, Health and Care plan process and can be contacted on 0800 288 455.
Core assets are very good.
Core assets are great with supporting parents but can't deal with real problems. You end up being passed over to SENDIASS. Independent supporters are helpful just not able to advise you as they don't want to get involved legally but they are helpful in other ways.
My opinion, so far, is that the independent supporters are helping but it seems that all schools have a lack of knowledge. I also think parents have been bombarded with info which they struggle to understand. I do think though that until the professionals are trained and know what they are doing then the parents will continue to be confused. Basically you need to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
(30 March 2015)
We are working with SENDIAS and Core Assets to understand how we can better support families through the new Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) plan process. Based on feedback received from both families and professionals we have developed a job description and person specification for a new job role that we hope will help professionals in developing person centred principles as part of the Education Health and Care (EHC) planning, assessment and review process.
The Personal Outcome Evaluation Tool (POET) Survey was open to service users, running from Sept 2015 until 31st Dec 2015.
The participation and results received by Leicestershire were largely better than our East Midlands peers.
In Leicestershire we had 112 Parents responses (6.3% % of the 1768 national responses) 94 responses from young people (11.7% of the 802 national responses), and 53 (1.8% of the 2,989 national responses) from a variety of professionals across Leicestershire.
Areas for improvement as a result of the survey
“Choice” of support available. This will link into our planned improvement of the Family Information Directory by getting more services registered. Also our SENDIASS Colleagues are developing the information they provide to Young People – feedback received here should also provide us with more information about need and potential service gaps.
We also want our SEND families to feel “safe” and “engaged” within their local community. By linking into the Local Offer, we can support the increase in community engagement and cohesion by promoting local events offering specialist as well as inclusive support – we hope that this will benefit parents as well as young people. We also know that unfortunately “Disability” is one of the 5 areas of “Hate”. Our Local Offer pages link to Beyond Bullying information for parents and professionals , better lives in relation to forum groups that enables young people to get involved and have their voice heard, keep safe cards and places and how to report hate crime – so that if issues occur families can seek help and advice.
Improving opportunities for Young People in preparing for their own futures as well as gaining more young people’s voice. We have started a supported internship pilot with 3 local colleges including 1 specialist college planned to start September/October 2016, and hope that by careful promotion of success, more colleges and employers will sign up to deliver the programme themselves. This should have a positive impact on young people who are Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LLDD) and are not in education, employment and education (NEET).
About 60% of parents and young people feel that their opinions are considered less than professional and beoing recorded for inclusion on their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. Because of this we have started to link more closely into the work of our “Voice” colleagues and we are keen to ensure that there are more opportunities for voices to be heard. Our Your Voice Survey is being redesigned, and we want to make sure that a greater amount of activities take place across Leicestershire so that young people are given more opportunities to enable their voice to be heard more independently than that of their parents.
We would like to see more playgrounds for children with disabilities.
We fully recognise that we need more information to be available for families. As of November 2017 we had 67 Leisure and Activities providers (including playgrounds/family fun activities) and 103 Health and Support Service providers registered. As of 1 March 2018 we have:
111 Leisure and Activities providers - an increase of 65%
149 Health and Support providers registered - an increase of 45%
We aim to further improve accessibility of this information over the coming months.