We take your feedback seriously.
Here are some examples of recent comments and our responses including changes we have made.
Make the SEN code of practice more visible within schools for both teachers and parents.
The SEN Code of Practice is a 257 page document. In summer 2018 we produced a series of guides on different aspects of the code for schools and parents. We have done presentations to SENCos and parent groups and made the guides available to schools and parents on the Local Offer.
Can you support the continuation of the model of integrated learning within mainstream schools and make it more widely available?
We are currently talking to two primary schools about the possibility of setting up integrated learning units.
Can you encourage an open door policy for parents within schools so they feel able to discuss progress with the school outside of the annual review?
The Islington SEND Parents Charter has been developed by our Parents Forum in co-production with colleagues from Education, Health and Social Care.
We are asking all Islington schools to show their commitment to getting the best for our children and young people with SEND by signing up to the Islington SEND Parents Charter.
Schools have a responsibility to publish an SEN Information report on their own websites and this should describe their approach to working and communicating with families of children with SEN. All reports will say they already have ways that parents can speak and raise concerns outside of annual reviews.
Through our work with SENCos we are encouraging all schools to set up parent groups for parents of children with SEN. The Islington SEND Community Support Service (SENDIAS) and our Special School Outreach Services can support schools with this development.
There is a need to provide provision and more activities specifically for young people with SEND.
There are lots of new leisure time activities that have been added to the SEND Local Offer directory.
As part of our Short Breaks strategy, we are working closely with colleagues in Youth and Play services to develop the universal offer for children with SEND. The re tendering of the contract to run Hayward Adventure SEND Playground includes outreach work to help make all the other 11 adventure playgrounds more inclusive.
There is a need for travel training for those who do not have access to supported travel.
We are carrying out a big review of our offer of transport assistance and are developing an offer of Independent Travel training with local families, schools and partners. We are piloting a travel training programme in the Spring term of 2020.
The assessment process to get more short breaks is too long and complex. Can you make it easier?
We have increased the number of activities that families can access to get short breaks without an assessment. We changed the way that we assess for a targeted level of short breaks and integrated it into the EHC assessment. We have also reviewed the way that we assess the need for short breaks above the basic offer and improved the social care assessment tools to make them more transparent and accurate.
Please prioritise disability awareness for medical staff.
This is part of an on-going training programme.
Whittington Health is introducing disability / learning disability and ASC induction training for all staff, all medical staff are trained by the Learning Disability Nurse in the hospital.
Whittington has formed a partnership with Ambitious for Autism who have recruited 10 Children and Young Person ambassadors to work across the Whittington to support quality improvement projects including developing social stories about accessing departments in the hospital.
We provided autism training for all staff in GP practices.
Effective handovers between medical services are needed with young people and parents involved.
Transition arrangements are included as part of Continuing Professional Development.
Whittington health is introducing the use of the Ready Steady Go Transition Programme for children and young people with medical needs who attend hospital out patients, and an adapted version for use with Children and young people with a disability in secondary schools.
Support an awareness raising campaign within the borough to encourage people to specialise in working with young people with disabilities.
Disability awareness training is extended to the entire Children's Services workforce as part of our SEN Development Plan.
Support and guidance needed for parents and young people ahead of the transition to adult services.
We are reorganising our services across Education, Health, Care and Adult Services into 0-13 and 14-25 age group teams to enable a better focus on transition to adulthood from the earliest possible stage.
A programme of work is being undertaken to bring together all services who support young people in progression to adulthood and the development of an Islington Strategy.
We want access to information, advice and guidance for parents from someone that understands the challenges of dealing with SEND including access to counselling.
Education, Health and Care jointly commission the Islington SEND Community Support Service, to provide information, advice and guidance to parents of children with SEND, and to young people with disabilities. The further development of counselling is a priority within our joint commissioning intentions for 2015-16.
There is a need to create more volunteering opportunities and work experience placements for young people with SEND.
Islington have developed a borough wide programme to fulfil the council’s commitment to ensuring that all young people benefit from 100 hours experience of the World of Work by age 16. This includes making it accessible to those young people who are most in need of the support.
We are working with local employers through our Business Employment Support Team (BEST) to carve volunteering and job opportunities for young people with SEND.
Mentoring opportunities and further guidance of suitable work opportunities within the local area.
Islington have developed a borough wide programme to fulfil the council’s commitment to ensuring that all young people benefit from 100 hours experience of the World of Work by age 16. This includes making it accessible to those young people who are most in need of the support. Find more information on the World of Work.
Supported internships for young people with EHC Plans have been developed and are proving to be successful in getting people with SEND into paid employment.
Ambitious for Autism are also working with Whittington Health to develop youth ambassadors in the hospital and work experience for young people with ASC.
Can we have communication classes to build confidence?
Local employers have identified personal presentation skills as an area for development and this is priority for all of our special schools.
Can you provide life skills training to support transition to adulthood and independent living?
This is a priority for all of our special schools; each has an action plan and buys in additional specialist careers guidance and support from the BEST team.
All Education, Health and Care Plans include specific preparing for adulthood outcomes.
Whittington Health therapy services are reviewing intervention and support in secondary schools for young people to develop greater skills in activities of daily living in preparation for adulthood.
There is a need for more advice on housing options for independent living.
This is a priority for our specialist Transition Team, located in Adult Services but working closely across Children's Services.
Invest in understanding what barriers people perceive to getting information from a website.
The Council has undertaken research and introduced a programme of extending Internet access in response. We offer access to the internet for all parents through schools and advice centres.
Whittington heath have just revamped and launched a new Children and Young Person website and new information regarding support for Children and Young People with ASC / Learning Difficulties attending the hospital based services including resources to support more affective access to services.
Information needs to be distributed in a variety of formats, including print.
As well as the Local Offer websites, various information leaflets are available. We offer translations including sign language.
Parents and young people want a face to face point of contact.
This is provided through SEN Keyworkers and our re-organisation will extend face to face contact through the development of a single point of contact 'front door'.
Can you use more videos on the website?
We already use videos in some parts of the website and have recently added links to several videos produced by the Department for Education. We hope to add more videos as they become available.
Please review the Islington SEND Community Support Service.
We have identified several things that families would like to see change and asked the service to make improvements. We are carrying out a review of the service in Spring 2020 to inform future commissioning.