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We are Listening Zone

You say, we listen, we act.

We want to continuously improve our SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) Local Offer to ensure that it is meeting the needs of local families and individuals.  The We are Listening section provides updates on how we have improved our services as a direct result of your feedback, so thank you for sharing your views …..We are Listening.

We are listening…. from EHCP process feedback survey

You said

We are listening

You are still not familiar with the SEND Local Offer

Upon entry to the SEND service, the link is provided to all families via email, this is to ensure information is given at the early stage of the EHC process


Clarity is required regarding evidence to support an EHCP request, how to complete the templates, how to request direct payments and information on referral processes would be welcomed by parents


Information relating to the EHCP process is now available on the SEND Local Offer and is also presented in correspondence sent from the SEN Caseworkers at specific stages of the process.

You find it difficult reading the plan online and would still like to receive a hard copy rather than a digital version

Parents are encouraged to request a hard copy of the EHCP from their school SENCO.

We are listening… from focus groups

You said

We are listening

You would welcome information on the service and provision available to children and young people (who have special educational needs and disabilities) and families in Thurrock

We have introduced a wide range of information available on the Local Offer.  In addition to contacting parents and carers at the various stages of the EHC process, we have lots f new and informative information such as:

‘We are Listening Zone’

‘Making a Difference’’

‘SEND in Focus’

‘Your Aspirations our Priority’ podcasts


You would like us to provide support and guidance regarding phase transitions and opportunities for young people to reach their goals.

6 weekly forums organised for young people with SEND where they can explore their options and network with their peers is in place.


The Preparing for Adulthood team (education) have produced 10 films that showcase study options for those transitioning to post 16 from year 11 (by young people for young people). CEIAG interviews also provide a further opportunity to gather information and there are two SEND youth clubs now available. 


All information can be found on the Local Offer.


You would like us to ensure your children can access afterschool provision.

We will take this forward via the SENCO newsletter encouraging schools to be inclusive as this is not something within the local authority jurisdiction.


You suggested that teaching staff receive specific training regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders and in particular how to support a child or young person in the classroom.


SENCos have been offered training that addresses areas identified as gaps in their knowledge

You would value a dedicated point of contact

Parent Advisory Team Thurrock host monthly drop-in sessions with parents.  Information on these can be found on the SEND Local Offer.


You are worried about your child’s emotional wellbeing and are unsure as to what support is available.

Resources produced and delivered by colleagues in both EWMHS and the School Wellbeing Service also include SEN specific support and a representative from the SEND services attends the mental health network meeting in an advisory capacity when required.


Surveys - Please take the time to complete some of our surveys below.

Thurrock Council wishes to constantly review the Local Offer to ensure that it works for the children and young people of Thurrock. Our online survey can be found at: 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) - process feedback

SEND Annual Review feedback survey

October 21 Archive

We are listening…. from EHCP process feedback survey

You said

We are listening

Parent Carers want to support their child’s development at home but don’t always feel confident in doing so or have resources available to them.

Children Centres have a comprehensive parental outreach programme; details of which are available on the Local Offer. As a result Parent carers feel empowered to support their children's needs and are less reliant on services.

You think officers and professionals may require support in identifying the complexities that can present in relation to Mental Health and SEND and how to support CYP and their parent carers.

The School Wellbeing Service practitioners work closely with the service to ensure that resources available can be adapted to support children and young people with SEND. As a result Services are better equip to identify mental health needs of children and young people with SEND and provide tailored support

Provision is not always seen as fit for purpose by parents and guardians particularly in relation to hours allocated and type

Parents are made aware of panel decision, Hours awarded reflect the hours we agree to pay above the DSG notional SEN budget. The school pays the first 15 hours of any hours from their notional SEN budget.

Approaches to the completing of the EHCP process with parents and guardians requires appears to vary from SENCo to SENCo

We have ensured that there is a uniformed approach of the EHCP process taken across all settings by providing training to all SENCo during mandatory SENCo Forums and refreshed the proforma templates used during meetings. As a result SENCos are better informed of what is required when conducting EHCP development meetings.



We are listening… from Annual Review feedback survey

You said

We are listening

You did not feel that your child’s Annual Review focused on child or young person and their current likes, dislikes and future aspirations

Person-centred planning training has been delivered. Section A of the EHCP is reflective of Thurrock vision and strategy; to ensure children and young people are at the heart of an effective SEND system


We are listening… from focus groups

You said

We are listening

You did not feel that GPs understand your children or how their SEN affects them and the family

The DCO has advised that the CCG have delivered training to the practices again and we are seeing an increase in health checks. GPs are more aware of how SEND may impact on someone's health, behaviour and self-expression during appointments

You feel that young people with SEND would benefit from volunteer / work experience opportunities

The careers service has delivered a Post 16 careers event called "my future" events Young people's aspirations are raised and they feel confident about their future once leaving education

You wanted more information and opportunity to discuss your child’s transition from Secondary to Post 16 education

All Year 9s are offered a career interviews  Young people are better informed of their Post-16 options upon leaving Secondary school

August 21 Archive


You said….

We are listening….

You wanted more information about the 20 week EHCP Process

The allocated caseworker now makes initial contact to introduce themselves and explain the process. The parent information leaflet is sent automatically as part of the acknowledgement letter when a new needs assessment is requested.


You wanted more information regarding the use of personal budgets

SENCOs have been trained at SENCO forums to ensure that the correct questions are asked during information gathering & provision planning meetings. The Personal Budget Policy is being reviewed and revised to make it clearer and easier to understand what a PB can be used for.


You didn’t know about the Local Offer

The Local Offer has been revised and revamped and there is a planned cycle of promotion. The link to Local Offer is in all letters, EHCPs, and email signatures from SEN/ Education within the Council.


You wanted better communication between Children’s Social Care (CSC) and SEN Service

Two weekly meetings now take place with CSC and SEN Strategic Leads. CSC attend operational and Board meetings. CSC have access via MASH to SEN Synergy records. SEN has access to LCS records. Processes for information sharing have been developed and improved.


You wanted Childminders specifically trained to support those with SEND.

Childminders have access to a range of high quality training including for support for children with SEN.


You wanted school staff specifically trained to support those with SEND

There has been a comprehensive training programme developed via AET Hub, Condition specific (Nasen - Whole School SEN) and SENCO training made available to all school staff which has been well attended.



We are Listening……from dedicated Focus Groups:

You Said

We are Listening

Parents do not always find out about PATT early enough in the process

Manager of PATT SENDIAS has produced promotional packs and delivered to several locations. PATT is promoted in SEND letters.  


PATT SENDIASS has updated their website pages. Parents sign-posted by SEN service and school SENCo.


You recognise that as your CYP enters secondary school, the gap widens between them and their peers who do not have additional needs

Inspire youth service has launched an SEN youth club.

You want your CYP to have a voice and be heard

A pupil voice pilot has taken place and has embedded new innovative ways of capturing the voice of pupils.



We are Listening ………..from Coffee Mornings:

You Said

We are Listening

You would like members of the senior management team to engage directly with parents and you want to be acknowledged

The Assistant Director for Education & Skills and our Portfolio Holder have together hosted 6 online and 1 in person engagement events (5 with parent carers, 1 with child/young person).


That as busy parents, you are not always available to attend meetings or engagement / consultation events because of other commitments

Engagement events to be scheduled during the day, evenings and weekends.

You would like there to be an increase in provision over school holidays

We worked with colleagues in our parks improvement team to deliver sport and leisure activities for those with SEND and their immediate family.



We are Listening ………..from telephone survey feedback:

You Said

We are Listening

You find the process can be very long at times and sometimes overwhelming

Caseworkers call parents as soon as a request to assess is received and PATT SENDIASS run regular drop ins. The service has also made changes to EHCP paperwork etc. and have made the process more person centred.


You would welcome the opportunity to understand the reason behind a Panel’s decision not to issue an EHCP

Outcome letters now provide a reason for the decision.

In your experience, representatives from across education, health and social care are not always clear as to how they can contribute in EHCP planning and annual review meetings

Paperwork is now person centred, work has been completed to ensure SENCos have the tools they need to capture the voice of the CYP, and work on family partnership has taken place.



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