We are listening
We are listening to you. We receive feedback through the Local Offer website’s ‘feedback’ button, through Facebook, through Twitter and at events around Devon. We have published some comments and responses below.
- Your feedback (and what we did about it)
Date Feedback Response February 2018 Website ‘feedback button’ – Is it possible please that as part of the Local Offer you can look at how annual reviews are carried out in special schools? My concern is that there appears to be a set structure that schools have to use that means that there is not enough focus on whether the child is achieving outcomes as set out in their EHC plans. This was anonymous feedback but can feed in to the Annual Reviews work under the SEND Operational Delivery workstream, as part of the SEND Improvement Programme. February 2018 Website ‘feedback button’ – I can’t find any information about services and support for young carers. Is there online support? Groups? The way services are provided to young carers is changing from May 2018. We are working with commissioners to write information about this and we will publish it on this site by July 2018. February 2018 Website ‘feedback button’ – Who should write the health content of a health care support plan for education? Who should be giving the advice to school about how to support a child’s medical needs? This anonymous feedback will be considered in the SEND Operational Delivery Group as part of the SEND Improvement Programme. February 2018 The SEND Local Offer Reference Group is concerned that there is a reluctance for schools to start the ‘assess, plan, do review’ cycle for children with SEND because they are unable to afford to support identified needs. This means that schools may recognise there are needs, but due to constraints on their funding, they choose not to get formal assessments for children because schools don’t have enough funding to support the need once it has been identified. The SEND LORG would like some assurance from the SEND Board that schools have the support they need to meet children and young people’s needs. Teachers’ standards make it clear that all teachers must assess and plan to meet the needs of all of their pupils- this is Assess, Plan, Do, Review. For some children and young people with special educational needs additional and/or different provision will be required, this may have a direct cost implication or a deployment of resource implication for the school. All schools have SEN funding paid directly into their school budget. This is not ring-fenced and can be used as the schools see fit. The SEND Code of Practice expects that the SENCO, along with the Head teacher and SEN Governor will play an important role in deciding how this funding is best used. February 2018 The SEND Local Offer Reference Group is concerned about the consistency of approach in schools. The group feels there is not enough monitoring of what is actually happening in schools and there are significant variances in how schools use the graduated response and how this is quality assured. The SEND LORG would like to know how schools’ use of a graduated response to SEND is quality-assured and monitored in Devon. The SEND Code of Practice sets out an expectation for schools to use a graduated approach to identifying and meeting the special educational needs of children and young people. Devon has worked with Babcock LDP to create the Graduated Response Tool to help schools; there is no requirement for schools to use this specific tool. In Devon all schools are part of a programme called ‘Excellence for All’ that aims to support schools to be good or better and to ensure they meet the needs of all pupils. Nationally, schools are monitored by Ofsted and inspectors pay close attention to outcomes for children and young people with SEND. January 2018 From a SENCo: Can you add Education, Health and Care Plans to the Annual Review Portal? We are in talks to try and provide this feature as we believe this would be highly beneficial. We need to ensure that any system would be secure, safe and reliable and thoroughly tested before use. December 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – I couldn’t find any guidance on Devon’s website on a case where the family received a letter saying they were being ‘interviewed under caution’ by an education welfare officer for poor attendance.
Other councils do have guidance on the process but when I asked the Education Welfare Officer in Devon who called the meeting, their process seemed to be quite different (no initial meeting with the family but a non-reply to a letter from EWO can generate an ‘interview under caution’). I wonder if there needs to be any guidance (or have it somewhere available) as it was quite terrifying for mum (turned out ok in the end).
This anonymous feedback has been sent to Babcock LDP and will be considered in the SEND Operational Delivery Group as part of the SEND Improvement Programme. November 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – Further to sending in my Send review questionnaire, I have further comments as to what is needed in North Devon for children, like my daughter, who have a physical ( but not learning) disability. There needs to be more opportunities for children who attended mainstream schools to meet others do pupils from mainstream schools through a variety of clubs.
Secondly, there are very few competitive sporting opportunities.
Lastly, children in mainstream schools need to be much better educated as to how to approach and interact with children who have additional needs. It still seems a bit of a taboo subjects in schools and does not appear to be part of the PSHE curriculum.
Most of my comments regard interaction with others. As a parent of a child with send and as a primary school teacher I see both sides. Schools are usually very good at meeting a child’s individual needs regarding their physical and academic requirements, however the social and emotional well-being is often an area that is difficult to develop due to a lack of understanding from others and opportunities.
This feedback will be considered by the SEND Local Offer Reference Group as part of the SEND Improvement Programme. November 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – I would like to know the waiting times for ASC assessments.. This feedback was sent to Virgin Care ‘s Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis team. October 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – I was trying to find more information about complaining about a school. I found it all really confusing and I found I had to search around in the purple ‘have your say’ section until I found what I needed, and I’m not sure the leaflet on there is up to date. I just want to know how to complain about a school in Devon. The webteam has removed an obsolete document about complaining about a Devon school and all links go straight to the .gov.uk information. October 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – I was looking for info re. the Devon Inclusion Service, it is unclear where to find this from the SEND LO home page. Should it be in the ‘Support Available ‘ section? We have added a link to the Inclusion service in the ‘support available in schools’ section. September 2017 Parent carers have raised concerns about the timeliness of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). We acknowledge the concern about timeliness and apologise to parents. Devon County Council endeavours to meet statutory deadlines. We work with colleagues in Education, Health and Social Care to make sure assessments and plans contain the required information. We communicate directly with parents and keep them informed throughout the process. August 2017 Website ‘feedback button’ – The process of C’s Plan was simple, quick, and informative. I am happy with end results and it is a relief to know support is there for C. Thank You. This feedback has been passed on to the SEN 0-25 Team. August 2017 From a health professional: Can we have Browsealoud added to the website to improve accessibility? Our efforts go towards making sure we don’t rely on our own siloed solution but to ensure the software/functions/browser settings that people use to access all of the web are supported. Ensuring that the underlying code, content and ability to support a user’s chosen browser and settings is a much more robust approach. We ensure the website can be read by screen readers, has the ability to change colours for those with colour blindness and is built to W3C WCAG AA web standards. We are however reviewing our approach and specifically will be looking at the Education and Families website to ensure we are maintaining our standards. We are also keen to improve on our assisted digital and accessible links offer across the board as we feel there is room for improvement. June 2017 There are huge anxieties in the SEND Local Offer Reference Group about cutbacks to charities and the impact this will have on families. Devon County Council’s support to this element of the sector has not reduced in recent years. Similarly the support to Citizen’s Advice Bureau (who support families particularly around debt and legal advice) similarly remains unchanged. In general terms whilst the voluntary and community sector (VCS) is under pressure, this is comparatively active and healthy in Devon in comparison to neighbouring and peer areas. Charitable support to children and families remains overwhelmingly the largest proportion of focus from the VCS in Devon.
The SEND Local Offer Reference group reported that parents have been told they will receive a limited number (4) of continence pads and that ‘pull ups’ cannot be used any more. Providing continence products is based on an assessment of the child or young person’s clinical need. This is in line with current national guidelines Guidance for the provision of continence containment products to children and young people: a consensus document (2016), which states that, “the number of products issued per 24 hours would normally not exceed 4, but provision should meet assessed need” as well as advising against pullup pants unless in “rare circumstances”. Children are reassessed as required or as requested by parents. If you are not happy with the way you are treated please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). June 2017 The SEND Local Offer Reference Group raised the concern that schools are telling parents there is no money to support their child in school. Since this concern was raised, the Head of Education, Dawn Stabb, has written an open letter about school funding, explaining how it works. June 2017 The SEND Local Offer Reference Group is concerned that there are a lot of groups which have been set up, requesting parents’ involvement, but they don’t seem to join up with each other. Children’s commissioners are part of the Autism Involvement Group and Children’s commissioners have oversight and involvement in the Autism/Neurodevelopmental work programme led by Virgin Care. There is strong leadership from Commissioners to ensure the engagement for our strategic and procurement work programmes are as appropriately joined up as possible. There is robust support from our Communications and Engagement leads (from both CCG’s) who are working with stakeholders to joining up the engagement to date and inform the procurement and other strategic work. This feedback that this appears to be ad hoc has been passed onto the Communications and Relations leads.
Children’s commissioners have engaged recently with Focus on Autism Devon and the North Devon Forum for Autistic Spectrum Conditions and ADHD, to capture the views of parents and families, which will inform re-procurement work. Lifeworks will also be undertaking some consultation on behalf of both CCGs over the summer holidays to make sure we hear the voice of young people too. An engagement steering group has been set up by CCGs for the Children’s Services re-procurement, this is chaired by a member of DPCV.
June 2017 The SEND Local Offer Reference Group reported that parents are confused about Personal Budgets and Direct Payments. Parents say the eligibility criteria for assessments are inconsistent and they get inconsistent information and advice about how to spend the money. We have identified that our partnership workforce understanding of personal budgets is very low. We have therefore worked on a joint policy and information to go on to the Local Offer website. We will be making sure our workforce understands this by offering information out through the workforce development programme. April 2017 Where is the ‘search’ option on the Local Offer website? when I search, it searches the whole of DCC’s website! I just want to search SEND! We have added a custom Google search to the website so you can search for SEND-specific information without searching the whole site. Mar 2017 We want to make sure parent carers and children can take part in strategic decision-making about SEND – “nothing about me, without me”. We have made sure that there is a parent carer rep at the SEND Improvement Board and on every working group. We are working hard to improve engagement with children and young people and will keep you updated on this.
- Feedback on EHCPs
Every time we issue an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), we ask parents for feedback about the process.
Parental Feedback Report – March 2018
Parental Feedback Report – February 2018
Parental Feedback Report – January 2018
Parental Feedback Report – December 2017
Parental Feedback Report – November 2017
Parental Feedback Report – October 2017
Parental Feedback Report – September 2017
Parental Feedback Report – August 2017
Parental Feedback Report – July 2017
Parental Feedback Report – June 2017
Parental Feedback Report – May 2017
Parental Feedback Report – April 2017
Parental Feedback Report – February-March 2017
Parental Feedback Report – January 2017
Parental Feedback Report – December 2016
Parental Feedback Report – September-October 2016
Parental Feedback Report – February-May 2016
- How to give feedback
Whether we’ve got something right, or could have done something better, we would like to hear what you think of our services.
Every year, we are going to run a SEND Strategic Review Survey. This helps us understand how well provision is meeting people’s needs and is an opportunity for you to provide feedback on your experience. 2017 was the first time we have ever done the review. The results of the SEND Strategic Review were published in March 2018.
What is a consultation?
We use the word ‘consultation’ to refer to a formal view-gathering process between Devon County Council and the people it serves. ‘Consultation’ might be done with a survey, a meeting or workshop. Devon County Council runs a have your say website for its formal consultations – you can see how to shape services across Devon in all areas of Council activity, from transport and roads to education and schools.
NEW Devon CCG and South Devon and Torbay CGG work closely with Devon County Council to run engagement around children and young people’s services.
Current projects include:
- CAMHS Local Transformation Plan
- Accessing Speech, Language and Communication (SLCN) Services
- Sensory Services in Devon (hearing impairment, visual impairment, multi-sensory impairments)
- Procurement of Children and Young People’s Services
What if I am unhappy with a service I receive?
If you have a problem with a provider, whether this is a school, social care or health service, or private company, you should talk to them first and try to solve the problem together. If you don’t feel confident doing this by yourself you can ask the Devon Information Advice & Support for SEND service (DIAS) for help and support. You may need to submit an official complaint if it is not possible to solve the problem in this way.
If your complaint is related to the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process, there are laws which affect how you complain. Please visit the EHCP pages of this website for information about complaints, appeals and mediation. If you receive an EHCP, you will also receive a survey which you can use to give your feedback on the process.
To complain about Devon County Council services please contact the Customer Relations Team.
To complain about mental health services, including CAMHS, you can contact Virgin Care.
You can also feedback via social media. Join the private facebook group or like the SEND Local Offer facebook page. Follow the SEND Local Offer on Twitter.
How do I complain about a school?
What are the complaints policies for different organisations?
- Devon County Council Adult Social Care Comments, Complaints and Compliments
- Children’s Social Care Complaints Procedure
- Devon County Council Feedback and Complaints Policy
Who could support me to make a complaint?
- Healthwatch – your independent consumer champion for health and social care
- Patient opinion – The UK’s independent non-profit feedback platform for patients
- PALS – NEW Devon CCG – help, advice and support with concerns or comments relating to NHS services in north, East and West Devon.
- PALS – South Devon and Torbay CCG – a valuable source of information about which organisations can help in South Devon and Torbay.
- DIAS – impartial SEND information, advice and support
- Participation - how to get involved
The Council for Disabled Children has produced a factsheet about methods and levels of participation. We are working towards enabling participation where children and young people with SEND and their families can influence at an individual, organisational and strategic level.
Children and young people
Devon’s children and young people’s participation group is called ‘Champions for Change’. We are a group of young people with special educational needs and disabilities who believe that voices should be heard, not ignored: Listen, hear and understand.
We are working on a film project which we hope will help children and young people with special needs understand their rights to have a voice and to be heard. We meet about once every half term at Tiverton Youth Centre, where we learn about what participation means and where we can have an impact. We hope to reach more young people with our film and enable them to become ‘Champions for Change’ too!
Devon SEND Young People’s Action Plan – December 2016
We have a SEND Local Offer Reference Group (LORG) – a group of parent carers who meet every half term. These parent carers attend strategic meetings alongside representatives from Devon Parent Carers’ Voice, to make sure parents’ voices are heard by the people who make decisions. The LORG is a hub for pulling together parents’ and young people’s perspectives and reporting these to key decision-makers. The LORG contributes to the review and development of the SEND local offer. We have a mixture of practical activities and more formal meetings.
If you would like to be involved in this group, call 01392 383000 and ask for SEND local offer, or email email@example.com
What is the SEND Local Offer? a leaflet co-produced with parent carers
SEND LORG meeting notes – May 2018
SEND LORG meeting notes – March 2018
SEND LORG meeting notes – January 2018
SEND LORG meeting notes – May 2017
SEND LORG meeting notes – March 2017
SEND LORG meeting notes – January 2017
SEND LORG meeting notes – November 2016
Autistic Spectrum Condition
The Autism Involvement Group (AIG) is a small forum for people with autism (and carers). The group discusses Devon County Council and Torbay Council’s local Autism Strategy.
- The Vision
In Devon we recognise that the views, opinions and experiences of families are central to our improvement journey. We have therefore been working with a group of parents and carers to help us shape the future together. The outcome of this work is the following ‘Vision’ for all children with special educational needs and disabilities in Devon, which has been co-produced with parents, carers and agreed and signed off by the SEND Improvement Board in March 2016
In Devon, we ALL work together to enable children and young people to grow up to:
- be independent: not because they can do everything for themselves, but to have control over their lives and how they live the
- live where they choose and with people they choose (or no one!)
- have meaningful and worthwhile work – be it paid employment, their own business or any activity that supports them to contribute to their community life …..and
- have leisure interests, hobbies and things to do that will enhance their life skills, their creativity and be fun and for those leisure interests to be in ordinary places in and with their community
- Have the opportunity to learn and to keep learning, both within a supportive school environment which meets their needs and outside school
- Manage the many transitions in their lives with appropriate support
- have the information and support they need to make positive informed choice and decisions about their lives
- be and feel safe – at home and in their community
- have a strong voice, alongside the strong voice of their families
- have a network of meaningful friendships and relationships
- be truly seen as individuals and respected and celebrated for who they are
- be and stay healthy
- and ….for us as their families to be supported to be stable and resilient families. We will be able to spend good quality family time together, as well as good quality time apart. We will feel confident about support in the future for our children and young people.
To achieve this vision we will need to have the values, attitudes and skills to offer greater support and flexibility in the delivery of this approach.
- The SEN 0-25 Team
There are currently approximately 94,000 pupils of school age in Devon. The SEN 0-25 Team currently maintains 3,454 Statements of SEN (3.6% of Devon’s children and young people). The SEN 0-25 Team has its own webpage for SEN documents and guidance to support practitioners working with children and young people.