HPCI Member update 3 November 2023

An enormous thank you to everyone who was able to find the time to complete our recent annual survey.  We know how busy families with SEND often are and we are truly grateful for every response.

This week’s news includes the survey plus:

  • The Ofsted / CQC Local Area SEND Inspection (continuing delay)
  • Improving the HCC SEND newsletter
  • Events including:
    • Reminder about the Autism in Schools showcase event (16 Nov)
    • DSPL8 information fayre (7 Dec)
    • Hearing loss workshops for those caring for people aged 18+ (Nov and Feb)
    • Virtual East of England Carers Event (24 Jan)
  • Job opportunity at SENDIASS

HPCI survey headlines
We received 931 responses from families across Hertfordshire, covering all age groups, a wide range of needs and a variety of education settings.

There are very clear levels of dissatisfaction. When averaged, Hertfordshire SEND services get an overall satisfaction rating from families of 3/10.

The majority of families said that they thought joint working between SEND services was “poor” or “very poor”, and more than half of families said that that they found it difficult to get information about help and support.

The top five areas families were most worried about, or felt needed most improvement were:

  1. EHC Coordinators and / or EHCP content, delivery, and annual reviews.
  2. Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services.  This includes CAHMS and PALMS.
  3. Educational Psychologist Service.
  4. NHS Therapies (Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy etc.).
  5. Community Paediatricians (including neurodiversity assessment / diagnosis).

What next?  We will be doing further analysis of the survey results and will publish a fuller report.  We will be sharing these results with officers who commission and deliver services, to help them understand where families want them to focus their efforts.  We will also review the feedback you offered about HPCI to help us best represent families with SEND in Hertfordshire.

The Ofsted / CQC Local Area SEND Inspection
We want to let families know that we are very aware of the concern and frustration people are feeling, whilst we all wait for the Ofsted / CQC local area SEND inspection report to be published.  We have repeatedly shared these concerns with the local authority. We’re disappointed we don’t have anything to share yet and we will publicise whatever information we can, as soon as we can.

As the Parent Carer Forum, HPCI does not have a formal role in this stage of the process, and we are waiting alongside everyone else for the published outcome. You can sign up directly via the Ofsted website to be notified when the report is published: https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/44/919

Improving the HCC SEND newsletter
Through our survey, families told us that they found it difficult to get information.  As part of their review of their SEND newsletter, HCC are asking parents and carers to give their feedback.  The survey is open until 15 November and is available here.

Event: Autism in Schools showcase event (16 November, Stevenage)
This is open to parent carers, as well as professionals, who want to know more about the Autism in Schools project, including how their schools might learn from those involved in the pilot.  Further information (including booking details) is available here and HPCI will be there to share our experience of the pilot.

Event: DSPL8 information fayre (7 December, Hemel)
The Information Fayre will include local provider information stands, activities for children & refreshments.  HPCI will be there running a stand and gathering parent carer feedback. The fayre is running between 10am—12pm and you can book a space here: https://dspl8sendinfofayre071223.eventbrite.co.uk

Event: Workshops for those caring for people aged 18+ with a hearing loss on 21 November (Stevenage) and 20 February (Hemel).
These three-hour workshops are aimed at staff, volunteers, family carers, direct employers and their PA’s who work with people with hearing loss (aged 18+). Please email contact@hertsparentcarers.org.uk if you would like us to forward you the booking form.

Event: Virtual East of England Carers Event (24 January, online)
This free event is aimed at carers, carer’s organisations, and commissioners and will be focusing on “Listening and Responding to the Needs of Unpaid Carers”.  Further details are available here.

Job opportunity: SENDIASS
SENDIASS have asked us to let members know that they are currently advertising for an Adviser role. Applications close on Sunday 26th November and further details are available here: SENDIASS Adviser