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You said, we did

Welcome to our second ‘you said, we did’ since we redesigned our local offer in November 2021. Here is the latest feedback we have received from parents, carers, young people and professionals together with how we have responded.

Previous updates can be found under the 'You may also be interested in' section on the right hand side of the page (at the bottom if viewing on a mobile device).

 

You said, we did
You said We did
Waiting times are too long and timescales need improving, including for autism assessments; needs assessments for education, health and care plan.

In 2021, 75% of plans were issued within 20 weeks of referral, above the national and West Midlands rate of 60% and 63% respectively. However, we recognised more needs to be done and capacity is being increased to meet the increase in demand and complexity of need.

Waiting times for autism assessments are starting to reduce for those who have been waiting the longest, with more resources for diagnosis.

I didn’t know about the support available.

The SEND Local Offer webpages have been updated to provide clearer and easier ways to find information for families. We have also improved communication by delivering and creating:

Any specific queries can also be emailed to: sendchange@warwickshire.gov.uk

Information and advice for neurodivergent people has been improved with a new e-booklet on the Dimensions website

We are improving our standard letters and processes relating to Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Plans, and training for SEND Assessment and Review staff.

Information is difficult to find.

The SEND Local Offer webpages have been updated (as above) and further improvements will be made to make it easier to find information.

We are holding monthly webinars for parent carers, plus sharing information on the SEND local offer Facebook page and in the monthly SEND newsletter.

Plans are out of date and aren’t clear enough. A new quality assurance process was introduced in 2021 to improve the quality of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. As part of this, we are engaging and listening to families to help ensure the information in EHC plans is clearer.
Mileage rates for parent carers need to be updated (for those in receipt of travel payments). Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice queried the rate of mileage that parents were receiving (40p). This has been increased in line with other areas to 45p for anyone in receipt of travel payments.
I don’t feel listened to.

We are improving how we work with parent carers and young people, to put them at the heart of our decision making and help ensure they feel understood, involved, valued and respected.

Actions include:

  • More training for SEND staff, with over 70% being trained in restorative approaches to date (August 2022) to enable collaborative relationships that lead to positive change.
  • We have commissioned Contact to provide training on coproduction and the Four Cornerstones with schools and WCC/health staff with a view to produce a schools inclusion charter and update the Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice partnership agreement. This will influence how we work together with families, so there is great collaboration.
  • 79% of SEND staff report that training has improved their understanding of what life is like for families with children and young people with SEND.
  • A Coproduction and Engagement Hub led by Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice is helping to strengthen the voice of parent carers and is providing valuable input into improvements for SEND services.
  • A SEND Young People’s Forum has launched including an event in August to review the Local Offer.
  • We have developed a live feedback form, so families can let us know about our services, whether it’s good or bad.
  • Parent carers and young people are involved in recruitment activities.

Those involved in these activities report feeling more positive about the change that is happening and are ‘cautiously optimistic’.

More training is needed in schools on SEND.

Additional training for schools is being provided on SEND, focusing on autism, mental health and behaviour that challenges. This includes an exciting pilot on the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions approach led by Dr Ross Greene from the US. Positive feedback has been received from schools to date, and we are also engaging with families to hear their views.

In addition, we now have a group of ‘change champions’ in schools to help embed a more inclusive approach to SEND.

 I am unclear about how panels works and the reasons for decision.

A new approach for decision making panels (statutory panel and high needs panel) was introduced in 2021 to help ensure decisions are made in a clear, fair and transparent way. Prior to this, there were over 9 panels covering different aspects which were very resource intensive, and panel meetings were lengthy and undertook a lot of casework discussions. Decisions are now made in a timelier manner, are evidence based and Webinars have been held with schools and partners to inform them about the changes. A resource is also being developed to explain more clearly the panel process for families.

Feedback conversations are offered to parent carers to explain the decision of high needs panel when the decision is not in line with parental preference. 

A new SEND Resolution Officer post has been introduced in the County Council to help improve processes and communication with parent carers.

The Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme is not easy to access for families with children and young people with SEND.

The HAF is being reviewed to make it much clearer and we’re aiming to increase the capacity of the scheme for children with additional needs.

HAF providers will be advised to hold a place for a young person with SEND, so they don’t miss out, whilst any conversations are held with HAF Co-ordinators about additional support requirements.

Feedback on SEND Local Offer