How has the Local Offer been developed during 2021/22 and how have families been involved?
This last year has been a real journey for Warwickshire. We have taken on the challenges and the requirements identified in the Written Statement of Action and good progress has been made to help to improve the Local Offer and services for children and young people with SEND.
Our parent carer forum, Warwickshire Parent Carer Voice (WPCV), was newly established in 2021. They have been instrumental in helping us to deliver improvements in both our Written Statement of Action and the SEND and Inclusion Change Programme. They sit on the SEND and Inclusion Change Programme Board, SEND and Inclusion Steering Group and working groups and have recently run a survey to help identify what parent carers feel we should be prioritising. A Coproduction and Engagement Hub has been created where all requests for support from WPCV are identified and assessed to ensure that we have a strategic and co-ordinated approach to all key areas of work.
We have developed a SEND youth forum which is open to young people aged 13 to 18. We are holding events to help us understand what information young people need, how they would like to access it and in what way and help improve the Local Offer.
We have set up regular parent carer webinars covering a range of subjects from autism assessments to transitions to early conversations and speech and language therapy. To date we have had 328 amount of parent carers and practitioners attend the webinars and achieved 790 views on the webinar videos.
In addition, we have been making improvements to various webpages within the Local Offer, and have launched our live feedback form (image below) which gives families an opportunity to feedback on their experiences with SEND services.
Finally, we have co-produced a new look newsletter which is more easily accessible for parent carers and key stakeholders. This is now produced monthly to ensure that we can communicate more regularly on the key issues that matter the most. You can see the newsletter here https://mailchi.mp/warwickshire/send-august-2022
During 2021 the SEND Local Offer webpages were reviewed and redesigned working with parent carers, children and young people, SEND professionals, schools and settings. The brand-new Local Offer went live in November 2021. The main focus of feedback this year has been:
- updating and improving the content and layout of the SEND Local Offer website.
- improving the navigation to help make it easier to find information and adding an accessibility tool ‘ReachDeck’.
- review of key policies and guidance documents including decision making panels and Alternative Provision.
The new look website was redesigned in line with the requirements outlined in the SEND Code of Practice, and the information and advice you have told us you want to know about. Since the launch it has been further improved and will continue to be developed moving forward.
The new homepage features clear navigation tiles to the key services that you have identified as being important to you. We have also held a participation focus group for young people and parent carers where we discussed further improvements to the structure and ease of accessibility.
Feedback on the Local Offer is received in a variety of ways:
- from engagement work with children and young people with SEND
- from workshops with stakeholders
- through the feedback form on the Local Offer webpages
- “Great information and helped my understanding”
- “ReachDeck has been incredibly useful in supporting our Ukranian visitors”
- “It was extremely useful to get this understanding of the background and how to use the Local Offer.” [Feedback from webinar on the Local Offer]
- "Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to improving the Local Offer, and I hope my input was helpful. I am so full of admiration for the progress you have made and your patience in trying to get not only the improvements, but not launching things too early! Please keep up the good work." [Feedback from parent carer involved in the redesign].