We planned an informal interactive session with a large TV monitor to help us engage with parents and ask their opinions on the Local Offer. We had invited parents from special and mainstream schools. Below are some of the notes regarding the Local Offer. We met new parents and shared experiences and information.
13 Parents attended from various schools,
1 professional from the Sensory Team
- Pield Heath
- Oaklands college
- Oakington Manor
- Blossom house & Alyward
- Barnet college
- Pinner Park
- Woodlands & Vaughan
Parents Feedback and Comments:
- Short breaks & respite, but its not clear where it comes under. If I am only looking for the respite and short breaks providers to use up my direct payments, where do I go? I was looking the word ‘respite’.
- It’s not parent friendly, I had to do a lot of searching
- I wanted short breaks providers and looked through the directory online but the providers no longer provided the service. (Olivia gave quick update on the Short breaks procurement currently in process and the due date of the release of the framework)
- Maybe its like Google, you need to play around with some words to find the page you what you want
- There is no information on what you can use your direct payments on.
- It should be clear what you could use the direct payments on directly from the website.
- What if your child doesn’t have a diagnosis, where would I start from, where do you go first?
- Would you go to the school or GP?
- What if all I wanted to ask is ‘I am worried about my child’ and get a drop down menu of choices, like a checklist of places to go for help? It could then divide into education, GP, etc
- The question could also say ‘what if you think your child has SEN?’
- It also needs a ‘search bar’ on this page to help you decide which tab to look through or take you to the page
- Terminology is always changing. If I go to the inclusion officer, they are sometimes referred to as SENCOs.
- The initial page should have a glossary of terms to start with
- Sometimes professionals say additional needs, what is the difference?
- How do I know to go to a school SENCO, how do I know what they do?
- The school’s website needs to say who does what and what the title means
- Where do I find on the Local Offer website, what are the school’s legal responsibility for my child?
- The ‘HEALTH’ tab needs to read ‘HEALTH & MEDICAL NEEDS’
- The Local Offer should tell you ‘what to expect’ with a child with SEN, with some of the professionals that you will need to see.
- Perhaps it should break information down into age groups?
- Once you find a department, it should show you what happens next and the next step or path to getting help
- On the ‘Information and Advice’ page, each organisation should have a subtitle to explain they do to help you work out which link to select, otherwise you have read all their websites first
- Next to Harrow Parents 4 Disabled Children (HP4DC), the subtitle should say ‘Parent Carer Forum’
- Sensory processing does not seem to be recognised in Harrow, how do I find out which department I should approach?
- I also have a child on SEN support, in the Education tab, the first paragraph clearly refers to EHC plans, where does it say SEN Support?
- The Education page is off putting if you don’t have an EHC plan. It doesn’t make you want to look at anything else, especially the page with ‘Advisory Teachers Autistic Spectrum’
- The Health page is much more inclusively worded.
Any other comments:
- 3 parents testified to say The Sensory Team have been the most approachable department they have come across. They so helpful, attend annual reviews, offer information (signposting) and you tend to get the same professional each time. “they were almost like a voluntary organisation in their approach, not like a council department at all”
We shared parent’s views with key professionals and commissioners.