Cambridgeshire’s Local Offer Annual Report
The annual report looks back over developments of the Local Offer over the last year. It is for everyone with an interest in provision for children and young people 0-25 years with Special Educational Needs and Disability. It also looks at next steps. It is part of a continuing cycle of improvement.
These pages cover the year 2022 to 2023.
What information must be included on the SEND Information Hub (Local Offer)?
The Local Offer must include information on:
- Identifying and responding to special educational needs and disabilities
- What to expect from providers of early years, education, Health, Social Care, and other Local Authority targeted family services
- Provision at SEN (Special Educational Needs) Support
- Education, Health, and Care Plans
- Preparing for adulthood
- Training and employment
- Personal budgets
- Transport to school and college
- How services are commissioned.
- How decisions about services and provision are made (strategic decisions)
- How decisions about children and young people’s support are made, including panels. (Individual decisions)
- How parents, carers, children, and young people can get involved in decision-making
- Mediation and how disagreements are resolved.
- How to get further information, advice, and support
- How to make a complaint
We want the information on Cambridgeshire SEND Information Hub website to be clear, transparent, easy to access, useful, and empowering. We value your thoughts and suggestions.
What information did users of the Cambridgeshire website access most in 2022?
The technology team working on the Local Offer webpages use Google Analytics to collate the online viewing figures. Google Analytics collects statistics on 40% to 50% of traffic. So, the figures are likely to be an underestimate of actual traffic. The figures do, however, help us compare the usage of some pages against others.
Users viewed the local offer webpages 117,519 times in 2022. The information team point out that it only includes viewings where the user has opted into analytics tracking. They are also not able to report on viewings where users accessed Local Offer information via a different route such as on the LearnTogether pages or information held on the main Cambridgeshire Website. It is, nevertheless, double the amount of viewings recorded the year before.
Here are the ten top pages viewed in 2022
- Local Offer entry page – 12,101 views
- Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) – 10,784 views
- SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) – 10,250 views
- SEND Service 0 – 25 – 6,486 views
- Special schools and specialist provision – 5,514 views
- Disability social care 0-25 (top level) – 5,131 views
- Short Breaks Offer, disability social care – 3944 views
- About Cambridgeshire’s Local Offer – 3,611 views
- Identifying special educational needs in the early years – 3,472 views
- Information and advice (SCIP) – 3,123 views
Additions and changes to Cambridgeshire’s Local Offer’s website during 2022
January to March 2022
- Added a new webpage on information for parent carers
- Updated the webpage on disability social care 0 – 25
- Added a note to say that ‘Move on Up’ courses are currently full on Further and Higher Education webpage.
- Uploaded a completely new section on Health that was co-production by Pinpoint and the National Health Service (NHS) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
- Updated the Local Offer SEND Coronavirus page to direct people to the Disability Social Care webpage for updates
- Added learning disability annual health checks to the Local Offer health webpage
- Added Thera Trust Easy Read guide to staying safe on the internet to the Information for parents and carers of teenagers and young people webpage.
April to June 2022
- Added information about parent carers commissioning independent specialists for Education Health and Care Plans.
- Updated Cambridgeshire Community Services links.
- Published the coproduced Accessibility Strategy
- Uploaded the Local Offer Annual Report
- Added a webpage on the Key Worker Collaborative
- Added SEND strategy to SEND strategies and policies webpage.
- Removed out of date documents and links.
- Checked for accessibility of information.
July to September 2022
- Created a ‘News’ webpage on the Local Offer
- Added SEND the newsletter to News webpage
- Added Down Syndrome consultation to News web page
- Updated Pinpoint links in A to Z of health services webpage
- Removed the links to coronavirus pages from the SEND Information Hub webpage.
October to December 2022
- Added a link to cost of living information into Support, advice and information for parent carers and carers webpage
- Added cost of living information to Local Offer news, events, and updates webpage
- Copied SEND Transformation Programme page from Learn Together to Cambridgeshire County Council website
- Removed a video causing a broken link in the coronavirus webpage
- Added links to information about schools to and from the Learn Together website
- Added link to This Might Help website to the mental health section of the common health concerns webpage.
- Removed completed surveys and consultations.
An exciting new SEND Information Hub website
Over the last two years Cambridgeshire County Council has been working in partnership with parent carers and children and young people to develop a new standalone website for the Local Offer. It is to be called the SEND Information Hub as stakeholders have said that ‘Local Offer’ is not really a very clear title. We are at the final stages and hope to launch the new site in May 2023. It has been a lengthy process, but our shared goal is to co-create a site that is much more accessible and appealing to users. So far, we have:
- Developed a specification for a new SEND Information Hub website in response to what parent carers said that they required
- Talked with other Local Authorities about their experiences of working with different Local Offer website provider
- Invited applications from website providers
- Appointed a company called IDOX who manage 70 plus Local Offer Websites across the country
- Appointed a Cambridgeshire Local Information Partnership (CLIP) Officer to oversee the implementation of the new website
- Established a Local Offer partnership group which includes representation from Pinpoint parent carer forum
- Collaborated with parent carers to develop a design for the landing page and structure for the new website
- Begun coproducing pages for the new website. In particular, pages on Autism and Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Education
- Explored a name change with parent carers for the microsite which holds the information about the Local Offer. The microsite will be called ‘The SEND Information Hub’
- Held a session with Special Educational Needs Coordinators working in schools
- Created a ‘top tips for writing web pages’ which includes advice on multi-media approaches and ensuring accessibility
- Purchased a new photo library
Our plans for continued improvement of our Local Offer provision
The SEND Strategy (2019-2024)
Cambridgeshire County Council works in partnership with parent carers, young people, and representatives from across health, early years, education, social care, and targeted family support to review and continually improve local provision for SEND. In 2019 we produced a Joint Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SEND Strategy (2019-2024) and five year action plan. We identified three priority areas where we want to improve provision.
SEND is Everybody’s Business
- Identify and respond to needs early
- Deliver in the right place at the right time
Here is list of the outcomes that parent carers and young people with SEND said that they want under each priority area.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is everybody’s business
- All services who meet us clearly show that special educational needs and disability is their business
- Online information is easy to find, up to date and includes those without and Education, Health, and Care Plan.
- Communication is excellent because services, including the local authority, Health, early years setting, schools, trainers, and employers, offer a wider range of ways to engage with us
Identify and respond to needs early
- Needs are identified as early as possible and addressed effectively in early years 0- 5 years, or with SEN Support as school age.
- All services work in an integrated way to assess our child’s needs, produce a clear and consistent Education, Health, and Care Plan where necessary, and review the plan annually.
- Transitions to the next phase of education, or adult services are well-managed and smooth
- From an early age, children and young people feel well prepared and supported towards greater independence, community inclusion and meaningful employment
Deliver in the right place at the right time
- There are good local options to meet our child’s needs.
- Local area needs are understood, and data is presented in a way that is quick and easy to understand. This allows parent carers and young people to be in included in decisions about commissioning (setting up) provision for Cambridgeshire
- The council and local health services have effective systems in place to ensure that all provision for which they are responsible is always high
The SEND Transformation Programme
To ensure that we meet the outcomes of the SEND Strategy we have a detailed action plan linked to a Transformation Programme.
How are we doing? What do young people tell us?
We continue to be incredibly grateful to the children and young people who tell us their views via VoiceAbility and the Speak Out Council or in other ways.
In their own words, here is a summary from VoiceAbility of what they did in 2022 so that children and young people could participate in the development of provision and the sharing of information.
Our thanks, in particular to Neil Adams, one of the Speak Out Council Leaders for Young People. He has prepared the following summary and presented council meetings and events.
People told us that their homes and communities don’t always work well for them. Speak Out shared information with Cambridgeshire County Council, so they can make a checklist for housing developers. We also spoke to a developer building 5,500 new homes in Cambridgeshire to advise them about what we would like to see.
Young people told us that they would like to work, they would like a choice of different places to work. The Speak Out team shared their experiences at an event for employers. This was to help them to understand the support that people with a learning disability and or autism might need at work.
Young people don’t always find it easy to be heard at their health appointments. Speak Out has been hearing from young people about their Annual Health Checks, it is really important that everyone has their health check, so we have been sharing information about how they work. We have made a lot of recommendations to improve them.
Young people told us they want better support with their mental health. Speak Out were part of a project to develop a new text messaging service that people can use if they need urgent support with their mental health.
People have told us it is hard to find their way around big hospitals. Speak Out helped Addenbrookes to develop a new Wayfinding App.
Accessing the community
Young people who use wheelchairs told us about issues they have had when using trains. Speak Out visited Cambridge North station and Soham station to check how accessible they are. We found some issues and we shared them with the builders developing the new station in Cambridge. The new station will have a Changing Places toilet on each platform.
Many people told us they were worried about cuts that were planned to bus services. We wrote to the Council to share our concerns.
Speak Out have been linking with Think Communities, so that we can share ideas that young people have for improving things where they live.
Blue Badges: Some organisations told our High Support Needs Committee they were having problems with renewing their Blue Badges. Together we contacted the County Council, and they all now have their blue badges and can get out and about again.
Information about Preparing for Adulthood
Young people have told us they don’t always get all the information they need when they are Preparing for Adulthood. Neil has shared young people’s views with the Preparing for Adulthood project to help them to improve young people’s experiences.
Young people told us that the Local Offer website wasn’t very interesting or easy to use. The Speak Out team have been advising on what the new SEND Information Hub website should look like to make sure it works well for everyone. We have also continued to produce and review Easy Read information.
Neil and the CCC Assistant Director for SEND spoke to some young people to check if the SEND Strategy is looking at the areas that are important to young people.
Young people have a lot of ideas about things that could improve. Neil went to a Mencap event at Parliament with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Learning Disability. Neil shared young people’s views on several topics including: Easy Read information, loneliness during school/college holidays, waiting times for mental health support, employment and raising awareness of what life is like for people with learning disabilities and autism.
How are we doing? What do parent carers tell us?
Parent Carer Event March 2023
In March 2023 we held a large event with parent carers to share news about the progress against the SEND Strategy and Transformation Programme and to plan together what will happen next.
Eighty parent carers attended the event. It was a very positive experience, and, at the request of parent carers, we will be making this event a regular feature. You can find out more about what people said about it at the end of this document.
Preparing for Adulthood Event March 2023
Also in March 2023, we held an event for parents on ‘Preparing for Adulthood; One hundred and ten parent carers attended.
Here are some of the things that they said.
“Thank-you so much for providing overviews of what to do in each school year, and what housing options are like! I really enjoyed learning about the role of a job coach, and that there are options for support in internships and employment.”
“Was worried we were coming to a cliff edge- this has reassured me.”
“Two children with completely different needs. Made me realised there is stuff available for each of them.”
“Feeling really positive- more options available for my son than I realised. Info on benefits/ transport so helpful!”
“Financial not aware of. Services not aware of- fantastic”.
“Great signposting opportunity- no longer feel in the dark!!”
“Best event I've been to!”
“This was absolutely what I needed to do today for my son who is at a difficult crossroads.”
“I felt heard and pointed in the right direction for supporting my daughter. I now have plenty of things I'm going to put in place to help her grow in confidence and find her way into the adult world. “
“Thank-you for bringing us all together. Very well organised. Introduced us to a lot of people.”
“Brilliant! Organised professionally. Lots of supporting desks for many different areas to support my child. Thank-you :)”
PinPoint Parent Carer Forum
As well as gathering valuable feedback and ideas from the events we hold with parent carers, we are also grateful for the input we receive from PinPoint, Cambridgeshire’s Parent Carer Forum, Pinpoint produce regular SEND reports for the Local Authority to share the thoughts and views of parent carers across the county. They are published on the Local Offer webpages. Here is the link to the Pinpoint Annual Report. Pinpoint-Annual-Review-2022-23-PUBLISHED.pdf (pinpoint-cambs.org.uk)
PinPoint Parent Carer Forum are equal partners on our strategic groups and boards where decisions are made. Representatives from PinPoint are members of the following groups.
- The SEND Executive Board
- The SEND Partnership Group
- The SEND Communication
- Partners in SEND Commissioning
You Said, We Did
You can find how we have actioned requests from Parent Carers and professionals on the You Said, We Did document.