You said, we did

We are working hard to ensure that we keep developing and improving the Local Offer for the benefit of children and young people with SEND, families and professionals in Norfolk.

  • On an ongoing basis, we systematically review Norfolk's Local Offer, section by section, in consultation with appropriate experts and Family Voice Norfolk
  • We have a Local Offer User Forum that meets quarterly, who act as our steering group. The review and the development of the Local Offer are always done in consultation with its members.
  • Web analytics are also increasingly used to inform the review and development of the site
  • We more formally consult on a bi-annual basis to gain more widespread feedback about the Local Offer
  • If you have any comments or views on the Local Offer email us at send@norfolk.gov.uk
  • From 2017 onwards, we are aiming to draw together a broader range of feedback into our summary of comments, to show the key themes in Norfolk's local area.
  • We recommend that commissioners use this information as part of the local area's continued review of service provision for children and young people with SEND and their families

Our annual summary of comments

Annual summary of comments

It is now three years since the Children and Families Act 2014 became law and with it, the requirement on local authorities to publish a local offer and an annual summary of comments.

The local authority now regularly seeks out and receives feedback about the local offer through many different mechanisms including:

  • Ad hoc feedback via send@norfolk.gov.uk
  • Biannual local offer consultation
  • Survey of families when they exit the EHC needs assessment and plan development process
  • Family Voice Norfolk annual report from their Parent Carer Participation Events
  • Consultation on various topics ie sections of the local offer which are being reviewed

We feel it is now right to move towards providing a more joined up and coherent annual summary of comments which includes all the different sources of feedback we have received throughout the previous year. Therefore, this year we are publishing a summary of “You said” based on the broader feedback that has been received.

What will also be different is that we will provide our annual response in a “We did” report, launched in March 2018, at the Family Voice Conference. Thus ensuring that families receive a full and meaningful response to their concerns.

You said 2016/17

During 2016/17 we have received feedback from:

  • The eastern region peer review of the local offer website (December 2016)
  • Findings from the peer review of SEND support for Norfolk Local Area (March 2017)
  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer Participation Events (March 2017)
  • Local offer consultation (May 2017)
  • Survey about the SEND professionals section in the local offer (June 2017)
  • Families and professionals via send@norfolk.gov.uk/Govmetric (ongoing)
  • EHC needs assessment and plan development exit survey (ongoing)

Local offer website

  • Accessibility and user friendliness (navigation) of the local offer continues to be a big issue
  • 62.5% said amalgamate the information in the SEND professionals section across the local offer
  • Need for an improved search facility on the local offer website
  • Greater use of videos and diagrams
  • Colour coding of the different sections of the local offer website
  • An improved Norfolk Directory Eastern region peer review 2016
  • Local offer consultation 2017

Source(s):

  • Survey on SEND professionals section of the local offer

Local offer correspondence

  • Fifty-five correspondences received during 2016/17: 25% highlighting gaps and 75% requested information and advice. These queries were responded to by signposting to the relevant pages in the local offer or other professionals who can help
  • Insufficient overnight respite
  • Lack of specialist extra-curricular groups outside of Norwich

Source(s):

Mental health services

  • Lack of CAMHS services for CYP with autism/ASD
  • Insufficient mental health services across primary and secondary age groups
  • Concerns about referrals to CAMHS for CYP with ASD

Source(s):

Health services

  • Concerns about speech and language therapy service
  • Insufficient occupational therapists
  • Lack of paediatricians
  • Lengthy waiting times for diagnosis
  • Lack of specialist provision eg sensory processing, cognitive behaviour therapy
  • No key working

Source(s):

Transport

  • Lack of confidence in the training of drivers and escorts about specific SEN and disabilities
  • Meet and greet not universally offered prior to the start of term

Source(s):

  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer Participation Events report 2017

Personal budgets

  • Families not being advised about PBs
  • PBs not being discussed as part of the EHC plan development process

Source(s):

  • Family Voice Norfolk
  • Parent Carer Participation Events report 2017

Preparation for adulthood

  • Not enough support to help YP with learning disabilities into work
  • Lack of work opportunities for YP with SEND

Source(s):

  • Local offer consultation 2017

Changing places

  • Lack of changing places for disabled CYP in Norfolk

Source(s)

Family support

  • Loss of Norfolk Steps for parent carers of CYP with SEND
  • Limited support for parent carers of CYP with SEND

Source(s):

Gaps in the information in the local offer website

  • Flow charts, diagrams and videos
  • SEN support the LA expects to be made available
  • Support for mental health difficulties
  • Children’s social care information and support services

Source(s):

Educational provision

  • Exclusion of CYP with SEND due to no adequate provision
  • Lack of long-term provision for CYP with SEND who do not meet criteria for special schools but struggle with mainstream
  • Parents home educating because there is no suitable provision when mainstream provision breaks down
  • Not enough special school places
  • Lack of provision and support for CYP with ASD
  • Limited post-16 offer - lack of five day provision

Source(s):

  • Local offer consultation 2017
  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer Participation Events report 2017

SEN support

  • Too many detentions and exclusions for behavioural issues that are symptomatic of a CYPs disability
  • Lack of documented planning or reviews for CYP on SEN support
  • Insufficient support for CYP with ADHD / behaviour difficulties
  • A feeling that the only way to get their CYPs needs met is through a diagnosis and/or an EHC plan so that the support needs are recognised and understood
  • Lack of shared understanding of the expectations of SEN support and the graduated response to SEND

Source(s)

  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer Participation Events report 2017
  • Findings from the peer review of SEND support for Norfolk Local Area (March 2017)

EHC needs assessment and plan development process

  • Wide range of timescales for the completion of the EHC needs assessment and plan development process
  • Many EHC plans take too long to be agreed and written
  • Views and wishes not being taken into account
  • Information cut and pasted into EHC plans
  • Inaccessibility of EHCP coordinators
  • No consistent message or action regarding EHC plan
  • The system is not fit for purpose and is letting down CYP with SEND
  • Request for EHC needs assessment paperwork too onerous
  • Communication with families and young people with SEND needs to be improved

Source(s):

  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer Participation Events report 2017
  • send@norfolk.gov.uk
  • EHC needs assessment and plan development exit survey

Short breaks

  • Unsuitability of many universal services due to limited funding, reasonable adjustments and training of staff
  • Insufficient provision
  • Criteria too high

Source(s):

  • Local offer consultation 2017
  • Family Voice Norfolk Parent Carer

It is two years since the Local Offer was launched on 1 September 2014 and it is interesting to compare the feedback that was received during 2014/15 with the feedback we have received during 2015/16. 

During 2015/16 we have received feedback from:

  • Families, professionals and service providers at conferences and events
  • Professionals and families at bespoke Local Offer presentations
  • Emails to send@norfolk.gov.uk
  • Tell us what you think – online form
  • Feedback smiley face button (Govmetrics) on the corner of each webpage
  • Family Voice Norfolk – Parent carer participation events report December 2015
  • Consultations with children and young people with SEND

Annual Summary of Comments

This is our Annual Summary of Comments.

In total we have received 49 different comments / enquiries over the year which related to the Local Offer.  These were from the following groups:

  • Twenty seven parents/carers
  • One social worker
  • One PGCE student
  • One independent supporter
  • Three SENCOs
  • Two unknown
  • Two charities
  • Six organisations
  • One Youth Offending Institution (YOI)
  • Three SEN caseworkers
  • One independent school
  • One tester

The nature of the emails varied but can be grouped as follows:

  • Relating to the Local Offer website:
    • Broken link (1)
    • Dissatisfaction with fact that the search facility searches the entire NCC website and cannot be narrowed down to just the Local Offer (3)
    • Gaps in the information (6)
    • Enquiry about the different ways of giving feedback on the Local Offer (1)
    • Organisations who wanted to know how to be part of our Local Offer (7)
    • Enquiry about newsletters (1)
  • Information, support and advice – these were either responded to directly or forwarded on to the appropriate manager/SEND IASS Partnership as appropriate (8)
  • Enquiries from other Local Authorities about children or young people moving to Norfolk, or being educated in Norfolk (3)
  • Enquiries relating to the EHC needs assessment and plan development process (9)
  • Enquiries relating to SEN support (4)
  • There was also feedback in the Family Voice Norfolk Round The County Report 2015

In addition to the above, we also received five complaints about schools and many positive comments about the presentations we have given to their group.

What has been done to improve the Local Offer during 2015/16?

Review and development of the Local Offer

The cycle of review and development of each section of the Local Offer has continued during 2015/16 with the following sections all being reviewed:

Each section review is done by bringing together ‘experts’ and through consultation with our Local Offer User Group, Norfolk SEND IASS Partnership and increasingly Family Voice Norfolk too. The information is checked for accuracy and gaps.

The review includes a review of external and internal links on each page. The internal links are to other relevant pages across the Local Offer website and NCC site. These are displayed in ‘You may also be interested in’ to assist navigation. The external links are to external websites that are relevant to our Local Offer.

The reviews may also involve a complete restructure a section.

Alongside the cycle of section reviews, individual pages are always being added and reviewed. For example, we have improved the link to Schoolfinder so that there is a landing page to explain how to use the link to find school SEN information reports.

During the summer we checked the Schoolfinder SEND Offer link to all the school SEN information reports and corrected broken links.  We plan to try to do this bi-annually (winter and summer), but annually as a minimum.

We are now starting the review of the Early years, education and training section aiming to complete by end of December.

Alongside this review, a task and finish group will develop new guidance for all education settings about the ‘SEND provision that the LA expects to be available’ to be launched 2017.

Website upgrade

In April 2016, the Norfolk County Council corporate website was upgraded and this has given us:

  • Four new task buttons which we can use to promote our most popular pages (EHC plans), new pages, pages relevant at key times of the year (Phase transfer) or developments that need to be promoted to families (Short breaks briefing)
  • A carousel at the top of the home page which can be used for promotion (SEND e-newsletter, Norfolk Directory, Things to do)
  • The ability to add pictures on landing pages to make the site more welcoming. We are still building up a stock of these and so have not yet got as many pictures as we would like.
  • The ability to add pictures within the text of the accordion and so we are adding important logos (positive about disabled people) that people need to recognise

Accessibility of the Local Offer

We have been gradually adding new Easy Read guides to key pages within the Local Offer to help those who have literacy difficulties to access the information. These can be found in the following pages:

We will be continuing to add more pages during 2016/17.

Promotion of the Local Offer

We have been continuing to promote the Local Offer throughout 2015/16 with a focus on offering training presentations to school and college governors and Children’s Centres across the county.

We have also been at various conferences and events with our stand and where possible giving presentations too.

Family Voice Norfolk ‘round the county’ consultation 2015 highlighted that families do not believe that professionals working with families are promoting the Local Offer.

We have just launched a new set of SEND leaflets for families that have been co-produced with Family Voice Norfolk.

  • Joint commissioning
  • The Local Offer
  • SEN support
  • EHC plans
  • Personal budgets
  • Preparing for adulthood

The leaflets will help families to understand key aspects of the Children and Families Act 2014 but we will rely on professionals working with families across education, health and care to help us to distribute these.

We have continued to use Twitter and the SEND e-newsletter to promote pages in the Local Offer and other developments in the world of SEND in Norfolk.

We have also just launched a new Local Offer newsletter for education settings in response to feedback that the SEND e-newsletter is too long for schools to print out for parent/carers. It is being sent out to SEND coordinators via the E-courier to education settings with a request for them to print it off and distribute it to families who have a child with SEND in their setting.

Local Offer website analytics

During 2015/16 we have been using Site Core analytics to give us information about how the Local Offer website is being used. We had been building up our statistics and were beginning to identify trends.

As a result of the website upgrade, we have had to start using Google Analytics and so are currently rebuilding this data.

What we do know is that we have 330+ pages of information and that only 1 or 2 of these are not viewed each month, and it is never the same ones! Up until end of March 2016 the most popular Local Offer web pages were:

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Education, health and care plans
  • Introduction to SEND
  • Information for professionals
  • How to request a needs assessment

Consultation

Our last major consultation on the Local Offer took place during the spring 2015.

However during 2015/16 we have consulted with children and young people (CYP) about the future development of a CYP Local Offer website. This has informed us about the kind of material that they want (games, videos, pictures and symbols) and how they would like it presented. We intend to continue to consult with and involve children and young people as we develop the website and content ready for launch in 2017.

Having completed one cycle of review by the end of December 2016, we will be undertaking our second major formal consultation during spring 2017.

Much has happened since the Local Offer was launched on 1 September 2014. We have received feedback through our consultation, meeting families at events, emails sent to send@norfolk.gov.uk and through the feedback button on the webpages.

Annual Summary of Comments

This is our Annual Summary of Comments. These comments have been left by members of the public who have used the Feedback button, which can be found on the corner of each webpage.

Email update

We have received 31 emails to send@norfolk.gov.uk  over the year which related directly to the Local Offer.  These can be broken down as follows:

  • Seventeen parents/carers
  • Four charities
  • Two SEN coordinators
  • Two schools
  • One health professional
  • One care professional
  • One library professional
  • One EHCP Coordinator
  • One student
  • One from Department for Education

The nature of the emails varied but can be grouped as follows:

  • How to find the Local Offer – this was an issue in the early days of September 2014 (3)
  • Organisations who wanted to know how to be part of our Local Offer (3)
  • Positive feedback - “Many thanks for the link although I had already found it; it looks very impressive, indeed one of the best I have seen so far.” (2)
  • Gaps in services – these were responded to when contact details were left (3)
  • Issues around navigation of the site – the site has been improved with more links plus a new look and structure (1)
  • Information, support and advice about how to get or receive a service – these were either responded to directly or forwarded on to the appropriate manager/SEND IASS Partnership as appropriate (16)
  • Requests for Local Offer marketing materials or a presence at an event (3)

‘Tell us what you think’ consultation update

It is timely to give an update on progress on the issues identified in the ‘Tell us what you think’ consultation report.  

The three main areas identified for improvement were; insufficient information, ease of navigation and accessibility. This is an update on our progress in these three areas.   

1. You said – “the Local Offer has insufficient information”

  • We have continued to add information and links to the SEND Local Offer web pages and the Norfolk Directory as they continue to be developed  
  • We will be starting on a programme of annual review from September 2015 which will see each web page reviewed at least once per year - the annual review will provide each SEND Local Offer web page with a quality review to improve both content and accessibility
  • The Norfolk Directory was upgraded in June 2015 which has improved its look and feel, given new categories and a rate and review function - work is continuing to improve the search functionality and calendar of events
  • We have made the buttons smaller and added bullet points to show the most popular pages within each section to make it easier for our customers to navigate their way around the Local Offer and find the information they are looking for

2. You said – “the Local Offer is difficult to navigate”

  • We have made the buttons smaller and added bullet points to show the most popular pages within each section to make it easier for our customers to navigate their way around the Local Offer and find the information they are looking for
  • We have moved the Norfolk Directory to the top row of buttons on the ‘home page’ and are aiming to develop it as a strong ‘brand’ within the Local Offer
  • We have clearly identified the Norfolk Directory where it appears as a search function within a web pages in the Local Offer
  • The corporate website will be upgraded later this year with a clearer MENU to make it easier for our customers to find the Local Offer and Norfolk Directory
  • The corporate website upgrade will also change the breadcrumb to make it more visible, easier to understand where a user is on the website and find their way ‘home’ from a web page

3. You said – “the Local Offer is not accessible”

  • As part of the corporate website upgrade, improvements to the accessibility of the site and Local Offer will also be a priority. We will look into whether we can add greater functionality to allow users to change the web pages to suit their individual needs eg background and text colour, increase font size further.
  • We have purchased a licence for Photo Symbols which will enable us to start to create Easy Read pages for the Local Offer
  • Two officers have been given the responsibility of ensuring that the corporate website and Local Offer becomes more accessible. Once new accessibility functions have been added, they will create a new page within Help called ‘Making the Local Offer accessible’ which will take customers to a page of simple instructions about how to make the website’s accessibility functions work for you.
  • We will be working with a group of children and young people with SEND from the primary, secondary, sixth form and special schools in Sheringham from September 2015. With the children and young people we will co-produce a new section of the Local Offer specifically for children and young people. The children and young people will be involved in every stage of this development - consultation, planning, design and production.  We hope to be able to launch this new section by June 2016.

In August 2014 we invited a group of people including children and young people with SEND, parents, representatives from Family Voice, and professionals to have a look at the new Local Offer website and give us their views. Here were some of their suggestions and what we did about them.

You said:
“Local Offer needs to be more prominent on main page.”
We did:
We have added Local Offer to the title and the text on the 
main page.
You said:
“Remove the ‘Report, Apply, Pay’ buttons from the top.”
We did:
These have been removed from every page.
You said:
“Make the title of ‘Jargon Buster’ more meaningful.”
We did:
We have renamed it ‘
Explanation of important words’.
You said:
“Put more content in Care and support.”
We did:
We have added more 
advice and support information for parents and more information about finance.
You said:
“Add some Easy Read pages.”
We did:
We have added links to Easy Read guides in 
Introduction to SEND.
You said:
“Add information about how to choose a school.”
We did:
We have added a section within the education, health and care plan page called 
Requesting a school and within the Schools section there are additional pages on Types of schoolsSpecialist education and links to the Norfolk Schoolfinder which will all help with choosing a school.
You said:
“Add the following roles: social worker, occupational therapist, educational psychologist, portage home visitor, speech and language therapist, guidance adviser, early years adviser and early years SENCO.”
You said:
“Remove text when there are buttons below, or make it much shorter.”
We did:
We have reduced or removed text where there are sub-sections below.
You said:
“Have a more prominent link to Time for me.”
We did:
There is a link to the Time-for-me website via the Short Breaks button within the 
Care and support section.
You said:
“Add a screen reader.”
We did:
We have added readspeaker to the website.
You said:
“Add SEND Partnership link to Mediation page.”
We did:
We have added a link to SEND Partnership within both the 
Mediation and Disagreement resolution pages and to other pages too.
You said:
“It would be nice to have Norfolk specific images on the pages.”
We did:
We have commissioned photographs from Norfolk schools, colleges and other settings and have begun adding these to the Local Offer.
You said:
“Add Help to the main page.”
We did:
The 
Help page can now be found from the main page.
You said:
“Use more bullet points.”
We did:
We have rewritten several pages to include more bullet points and are using them more in new pages.