Improvements to the SEND information hub - October to December 2021

We take your feedback seriously and always look at ways we can improve our SEND information hub. We're pleased to show you all the improvements and changes we're making based on your feedback and conversations we've had with you.

Find out how you can get involved in improving the SEND information hub.

Your feedback is shaping how we are improving our online support. We will let you know every 3 months what we have done to improve:

Ofsted inspection feedback

You said We did
Ofsted and the CQC told us in 2019 that you didn't know about our local offer (SEND information hub).

We have promoted the SEND information hub (Kent’s local offer) through:

We have seen the number of visitors to our website more than double in the last 12 months.

Our SEND Partnership and Engagement Team are collaborating with Information Advice Service Kent (IASK) and Kent PACT on a series of community information roadshows. Where we visit local parent and support groups to introduce the SEND information hub to a wider audience.

If you would like our team to attend your parent group or a community event email yourvoice2@kent.gov.uk.

Ofsted and the CQC told us in 2019 most parents do not know where to get independent advice and guidance.

We have improved the content on our SEND information hub and made it even easier to find independent information and advice. We have two pages dedicated to IASK and Kent PACT, as well as referencing them throughout our website.

One user left feedback stating that they "had all the information required…. All within seconds".

Our IASK page is now the 7th most viewed page within the SEND information hub.

Your online feedback

There have been 3 times as many comments left by our website users this term than last term. If this trend continues, it could mean that more families are finding out about our website.

From the comments we received, a quarter of those left their contact details. We were able to get in touch and respond to their comments directly.

You saidWe did

That you wanted clearer information on the SEND system and roles and responsibilities in the process.

We have updated our 'what to do if you think your child has special educational needs' page.

Here you can find what support is available and who to talk to if your child or young person is in an early years, school, or post 16 setting.

We also offer a range of support that may mean you do not need to apply for an education, health and care (EHC) plan assessment.

If you are considering making an EHC plan assessment, we have also created a process plan map (PDF, 316.5 KB) to help you to understand the process better and a list of services and teams that may be in contact with you.

Someone from another local authority said how impressed they were when visiting our SEND information hub.

They explained how easy it was to navigate, to find advice and guidance. They explained how they believe that Kent’s SEND information hub is the best they have seen.

Since September 2020, the SEND information hub has been co-produced by the SEND Partnership and Engagement Team and our website team. They have worked with parents and partners and have improved the look, tone, functionality, and content of the website.

The team's ambition is to make sure the information provided is comprehensive, up-to-date, easy to understand, navigate and to access.

Education health care (EHC) plan survey

We received a small number of comments stating that we did not provide enough support for their child.

You saidWe did

In April, we were told that there was not enough information or support for young people over the age of 16.

Our young people (16 to 25) section has been expanded. We now provide support and advice to help you to live independently, to become included within the community and how to look after your health.

Our employment support page now contains guidance for how to apply for a job, online careers platforms, how employers can make reasonable adjustments for young people with SEND plus much more. This content has been created in partnerships with teams across SEND and external group CXK.

Finally, our education for young people page covers a range of options from local specialist education and training providers, to information about applying for university. This content has been created in partnership with our education teams, local headteachers and external groups.

In June, several families told us that there wasn’t enough support on who to turn to when they need help with their EHC plan and the process to request one.

We have redeveloped our support pages for any families unsure whether their child has special educational needs.

Our 'what to do if you think your child has special educational needs' page includes an online assessment, where families can find out what support is available from their mainstream education setting, including standards created to support all settings.

This section also includes a process plan map (PDF, 316.5 KB) to help you to understand the EHC plan assessment better and a list of services and teams that may be in contact with you.

Feedback from parent focus groups

Over the past few months we have run a number of virtual parent focus groups.

You saidWe did

One parent from a focus group session told us they did not know what the acronym ‘SEND’ meant.

When they first visited the SEND information hub, they left straight away as unfortunately they did not understand how the hub could help them.

We have changed the title of the main page to 'Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)' and have kept the SEND information hub as a subheading and for promotional purposes.

This helps any visitor who may not be familiar with the term ‘SEND’ yet.

You have informed us that holding in person events as well as virtual sessions would be a good way to reach more people.

The SEND Partnership and Engagement Team are planning some more in person parent events.

Future events will be held at community settings, to enable more parents to meet the team.

We are hoping to run these together with IASK and Kent PACT, and to invite other SEND charities and colleagues from the SEND team to give presentations or have stalls at the events.

You told us social media was a good way of reaching out to parents about our engagement plans.

Most of the parents attending our focus groups are members of many different parent forums on Facebook for example.

We promoted our virtual focus groups via our social media channels and asked our partners at IASK, Kent PACT and Includes us 2 to share our posts.

In the future we will continue to use social media to promote our engagement plans and will be posting short promotional videos to show key areas of information and support we have online.

Some of you told us it would be a good idea to promote the SEND information hub through visiting schools

The SEND Partnership and Engagement Team have attended a parent information afternoon event at a mainstream primary school and gave a presentation to a parent support group at a special school in November.

The team will be contacting SENCOs across Kent, requesting to join any events to promote the SEND information hub and local directory.