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Survey shows Norfolk SEND is focusing on the right priorities

Norfolk County Council, 21 July 2022 00:00

A wide-ranging survey about SEND services and support in Norfolk has found the county is focusing on the right priorities.

SEND stands for special educational needs and/or disabilities.

A total of 1,203 people participated in the detailed survey launched earlier this year to find out what parents and carers of children with SEND, young people with SEND and professionals thought about the current system in Norfolk.

It asked questions about education, health and wellbeing, Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), participation and preparation for adult life.

Cllr Daniel Elmer, deputy cabinet member for Norfolk County Council's Children's Services, said:

"I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to participate.

"The information gathered is valuable for all the county's SEND providers because it gives a clear picture of the experiences of parents, professionals, and children and young people.

"What's really reassuring is that it shows all the hard work teams across the system have been doing in the last few months is on the right track.

"We'll be using the information to drive further improvements in the coming year, particularly in terms of increasing opportunities for parents to participate, continuing our work to strengthen our support for preparing for adult life, and further progressing with improvements to communication."

In the last year teams working in services across Norfolk SEND have:

  • increased the number of EHCPs completed within 20 weeks from eight per cent to 53%
  • developed new toolkits including: a participation guide to encourage providers to involve parents and carers in developing their services; a SENCo guide for teachers and teaching assistants; a new series of Preparing for Adult Life guides; a neuro developmental information pack for professionals and a SEND communications guide
  • redeveloped the Norfolk SEND Local Offer web pages to make them easier to navigate and understand
  • created a new health-hosted keyworker service for children with learning disabilities and/or autism, known locally as navigators, which has completed 300 contacts with families
  • worked with schools and young people at the Norfolk SEND Youth Forum to improve information and raise awareness of 14+ health checks
  • delivered more than 150 new specialist places in education with a further 200 planned over the next two years, thanks to Norfolk County Council's £120 million five-year SEND transformation programme
  • commissioned a neuro-diverse clinical lead to support children and young people in mental health crisis at A&E departments
  • improved support and training for mainstream schools to increase their confidence in meeting the needs of all children and young people with SEND, with a total of 778 attendances by professionals at training events and SEND Forums
  • improved the use of social media to reach a wider audience by increasing Facebook followers by more than 50%

Tracey Sismey, Chair of Family Voice Norfolk, the parent carer forum representing parent carers of children and young people with SEND, said:

"We are pleased the results of the SEND Survey have been published. They reveal a significant number of areas needing improvement.

"We will continue to work with the county council and health services to ensure parent carers' views and experiences are always in the forefront of service development.

"The 2022 SEND Survey is a beginning, not an end. It is planned to be repeated annually and we would urge parent carers, and children and young people with SEND, to respond in even greater numbers in early 2023.

"The results of the second survey will show clearly what families have experienced - the only true test of improvement."

Tricia D'Orsi, Director of Nursing at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board said:

"Listening to the lived experience of the people in Norfolk and Waveney is vital in helping people live longer, healthier, and happier lives and for children and young people to flourish.

"It ensures we design the care and support offered in Norfolk and Waveney around our population.

"The results of this survey will be used to ensure we are focusing as a system on what will make a difference."

The survey results are now being shared with partners across Norfolk and being used to update the Norfolk Area SEND strategy action plan which sets out the priorities for improvements for the coming year. A survey will now be run every year in the early Spring.

Norfolk County Council and Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) are jointly responsible for leading on SEND services and support working with a range of other partners including schools, parent carer groups and the community and voluntary sector.

Visit the SEND survey results webpage to find the full SEND survey report and an Easy Read version.

Survey highlights are:

The respondents were 759 parents and carers; 62 children and young people aged 11-25 and 382 professionals.

The survey was put together by professionals from Norfolk County Council and SEND parent carer groups Family Voice Norfolk and Norfolk SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).

Some of the main feedback from the survey included:

  • 62% of parents and carers felt their child was in a school, place of learning or training placement which allowed them to make progress
  • Most parents and carers and children and young people found SENCos, teachers or teaching assistants offered the best support outside the family
  • 73% of children and young people said they had the support they needed to get ready for their next steps in education, training, or employment
  • 74% of professionals said they linked with other professionals and shared information to work together for the benefit of children and young people
  • 66% of parents and carers said finding out what SEND services were available was challenging
  • Around a quarter of parents and carers said the biggest barrier to their child's needs being clearly identified was long waiting lists for health assessments and diagnosis
  • 43% of parents and carers said they hadn't been given an opportunity to give any feedback on the services they use in the last 12 months and 41% said they didn't feel confident anything would change if they did
  • 53% of parents and carers said their child's EHCP made a positive difference to their lives
Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:43

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