You Said, We Did
This page shows a summary of actions taken by Children’s Services in the past 12 months. These were in response to the views of children and families gathered in 2020.
This page lists actions by Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (ISEND) services only. You can view the full report on the East Sussex County Council website.
To find out how you can contribute towards the future of ISEND services, visit our page:
Communication, Learning, Autism Support Service (CLASS)
- There was a low response rate to surveys for this service.
- Some parents wanted more communication on how the support in school is proceeding.
CLASS were one of ISEND services to trial a new online evaluation platform. This has resulted in a large increase in parental response to service evaluations. In 2020, CLASS received 24 evaluations from parents. In 2021, this has increased to 75. This represents more than a 300% increase in response rates from parents.
A key service target on the 2021/2022 service improvement plan (SIP) is as follows:
“To involve parents & carers in the planning, communication, and review of CLASS support.”
We reinforced to staff the importance of regular and timely communication with parents. We did this in the following ways:
- Monthly reporting to Team Leaders on parent/carer evaluation data
- Monthly reporting to Deputy Service Managers on parent/carer evaluation data
- Use of monthly report to feed into supervisions, team meetings etc
- Creation of an annual report on parental involvement
- Supporting the collection of parent voice information with necessary resources and operational systems
In 2021,16.4% more parents than in 2020 reported that we had 'definitely' kept them informed of the support.
Find out more about Communication, Learning, Autism Support Service (CLASS).
Early Years Service (EYS)
- Response rates for EYS service evaluations were low. Covid-19 restrictions have made it difficult to collect evaluations from parents.
- Some parents felt they didn’t always get the information they needed.
Following a trial period with CLASS, EYS piloted a new online evaluation platform. In 2020, EYS received 55 evaluations from parents. In 2021, this decreased to 45. This represents an approximate 22% decrease in response rates from parents*.
*Mitigating Factor - due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cases remain open to EYS for longer periods of time. This means fewer cases close, and we send fewer evaluations out to parents.
We have reinforced to staff the importance of sharing information with parents. This should be on a timely basis. The 2021/2022 service improvement plan (SIP) has a key service target:
"Identify more opportunities to develop SEN support within settings and schools. These should have a specific focus on parent/carer voice."
We further reinforced to staff the importance of regular communication with parents. We did this by:
- monthly reporting to Team Leaders on parent/carer evaluation data
- use of monthly report to feed into supervisions, team meetings
Find out more about Early Years Service (EYS).
East Sussex Local Offer
- Direct me to someone I can talk to about SEND.
- Tell me what my family's rights are if a child has SEND.
- Explain current timescales for different kinds of assessments and support processes.
- Explain how SEND services work in East Sussex.
- Explain what an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is and when a child should have one.
- Give an outline of the different assessments and processes involved in identifying and supporting a child with SEND.
- Help me find information about the Council's SEND services.
- Be visually appealing and look professional.
- Link to a website of services for SEND.
- Most pages have links to Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service). Where appropriate there are other links. The 'Contact' page includes details on how to contact the East Sussex County Council Children's Services Customer Relations Team, SENDIASS and the Local Offer for feedback. The Local Offer directory on 1Space is also frequently signposted to and there is a specific section on support for families.
- We have tried to make the website clear on rights within SEND services and outline statutory basis for decision-making. Parents and carers are directed to SENDIASS where they feel they may wish to challenge a decision. The site also outlines that each child should expect ‘Quality First Teaching’ in a school and the ‘SEND Code of Practice’ is outlined regularly.
- Timescales are described in the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) content, and the pages on autism outline that in most cases waiting times for assessments are over a year, while also providing advice on support that can be offered while waiting.
- We have detailed explanations on the website on all aspects of SEND. The explanations are given at different levels of depth.
- The website outlines what an EHCP is in detail in the EHCP section. There is also an explanation in the 'Does My Child Have SEND?' section.
- We have added detailed information on how schools will support children at different levels. There is an introductory page called 'Understanding SEND Support in Schools' and then more detailed information where suitable.
- There are pages highlighting information on ISEND Services, Strategy and Grants. The ISEND Services page lists each service, alongside signposting to the East Sussex 1Space directory which includes the full service information and contact details. Where relevant service descriptions are reiterated throughout the website.
- The website was designed through co-production, with the aim to make it as visually appealing and modern as possible. The illustrations have been carefully put together to represent different aspects of SEND in a positive way.
- We joined East Sussex 1Space to create a SEND-specific directory, which is signposted to throughout the East Sussex Local Offer website.
Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service (ESBAS)
- Some parents expressed loss of support or the support ending.
- Some parents didn’t always understand the terminology in letters and communication.
- Some children said they didn’t always feel involved in family meetings.
ESBAS have reviewed their closing process to ensure exit plans:
- are considered from the offset
- incorporate increased joint working with school staff
- incorporate clarity to all service users
The closing reports are being reviewed but we have amended the support plans. These support plans:
- show clear expectations on an exit plan
- communicate expectations before any intervention starts
ESBAS have reviewed their formal communication process. This ensures they frame letters in a supportive yet informative way. They have reframed and streamlined the communication with clients. They have restructured the process around support to reflect ongoing progress and support.
ESBAS seek the views of the child before meetings where appropriate. They look to include the views in meetings when appropriate. Pupil voice is an integral part of our work. We encourage all secondary school age pupils to take part where appropriate. Where pupils receive regular 1:1 support from ESBAS, we:
- give opportunities to gain further understanding of pupils' voice
- communicate pupils' voice with stakeholders as part of the review process
Find out more about Education Support, Behaviour and Attendance Service (ESBAS).
Educational Psychology Service (EPS)
- One parent/carer did not understand the EP’s report.
- Some parents felt the surveys were being completed too soon. They felt a longer time was necessary to see the impact of the EP’s recommendations.
The EPS has developed a system to quality assure their reports. There is an emphasis on accessibility with checklist items being:
- consideration of range of audiences for the report
- use of professional yet appropriate language to ensure it is accessible to all (e.g. for non-psychologists)
Educational Psychologists discuss and adapt their reports where necessary following parent carer feedback. We also make it clear when we have coproduced outcomes with parent carers.
We have established a new electronic system of evaluation. This ensures feedback about EP involvement is meaningful, whenever completed. We are using the new version of the EPS evaluation form across the service. We have deleted previous versions.
Find out more about Educational Psychology Service (EPS).
English as an Additional Language Service (EALS)
- A pupil reported wanting more homework.
- Many pupils also gave feedback on their experience of home learning. Most found it challenging and said they were better able to access it with EALS’ support.
- We are reviewing our homework/home learning policy and approach.
- We have implemented a new system of “postcards home”. This has helped us improve our communication around targets. This is as well as steps we are already taking. As part of this, we discuss targets with pupils, included in the postcards.
Find out more about English as an Additional Language Service (EALS).
Interim Provision Service (IPS)
- The evaluation forms are not service specific. They do not gather information that is useful to drive service improvement.
- The impact of the pandemic has affected the number of evaluations completed in 2020. Remote teaching and education review meetings took place rather than face to face.
- One student shared that they would like to be in a school setting in relation to their education.
- One student felt they were not making progress.
IPS have reviewed the evaluation forms to make them more service specific. We now have four specific questions to ask parent and pupils. These are about their experiences of engaging with IPS interim education. This will help us gain more service specific feedback. We have also used symbols and visuals, to make them more user friendly. We continue to review service user feedback including in team meetings.
IPS worked remotely during the pandemic, including parts of 2021. This affected the number of evaluations received. Teachers were unable to support completion of them at review meetings. They were also unable to leave them with families to collect during the next visit. IPS are now moving to the ISEND online platform for evaluations. We are confident this will result in an increase in response rates.
IPS helps prepare students for their next placement. As a service, we continue to ensure students understand this. (IPS do not have a peer cohort available for paired or group work but deliver teaching in a 1:1 format). With an agreed placement, IPS teachers prepare and support transitions into a school. IPS collaborates with the children and young people, parents, and the school. They best support this process using bespoke transition plans.
In relation to progress, IPS continue to develop a baseline assessment and tracking. This ensures students and their parents/carers can see evidence of their progress. They can see it over time from their starting point. Baseline assessment isn't appropriate for some children and young people. In these cases, this year we have implemented an engagement tracker. We share both progress assessments at reviews with parents every six weeks. Parents and children and young people can see their progress from the starting point. We send this out as an appendix together with the child and young person's report. We hold review meetings. IPS ask and record:
- how the children and young person feels about their progress
- the views of their parents
To find out more about this service, you can visit this websites' section on:
Sensory Needs Service (SNS)
- This service received too few responses to draw out any areas for improvement.
- In 2021 the service received 88 completed evaluation forms. We received 19 completed forms in 2020. This represents a huge increase (363%). We have also reviewed the existing evaluation forms. We have made them more service specific.
Find out more about Sensory Needs Service (SNS).
Teaching and Learning Provision (TLP)
Some parents reported they wanted:
- greater input from CAMHS
- better joint working between TLP and CAMHS
- continued support for the pupil after successful reintegration back into school
There was little pupil feedback, so it was difficult to identify areas of improvement.
Two meetings have taken place with CAMHS managers. There is now an onward co-produced plan in place to:
- create a service level agreement between CAMHS/TLP
- complete a Date Protection Impact Assessment. This will share data about children access out of county hospitals
We have created a joint plan so that children in schools receive onward support after a period of TLP. These children have Mental Health Emotional Wellbeing teams.
The plan includes training Mental Health Emotional Wellbeing teams to ensure:
- knowledge levels around Elective Home Educated pupils are better understood
- the increased need if they return to school
Training for staff:
- to ensure student evaluations include a greater level of feedback comments is ongoing
- will continue as we move to the ISEND online evaluation platform
We have also reviewed the evaluations. There are more service specific questions. These are helping us identify more specific areas of improvement from pupil feedback.
Find out more about Teaching and Learning Provision (TLP).
Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms
Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.