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PACTS Annual Survey Local Area Response

November 2020

1. Introduction

Following the local area inspection, PACTS undertook a post inspection impact survey in November 2019 to gain the views of the SEND community on whether they felt improvements had been made. PACTS undertook another survey in September/October 2020 to see whether there has been any change in the views of the community. The local area have met with PACTS to review the survey findings and to plan a local area response. This report outlines initial responses to the findings and proposals for ways forward.

The local area is grateful for the work done by PACTS to promote and run the survey and report the feedback which is very valuable for helping to improve the services support offered across Stockport.

2. Findings

There has been a significant increase in the number of responses received in
2020 with 157 responses from parents/carers of 209 children and young people. This is compared with 72 responses in 2019 from parents/carers of
86 children and young people.

The findings for 2019 and 2020 in relation to satisfaction with services can be seen in the full PACTS reports.

The table below shows the difference between 2019 and 2020 about whether
SEND services and support had improved:

In 2020 In 2019
Before the pandemic by % Q3 Service and support quality by %
Better 15% Better 12%
Same 67% Same 41%
Worse 18% Worse 47%

This shows that people felt provision was better overall and a much smaller number felt provision was worse overall, i.e. in 2019, 47% thought provision had got worse whilst in 2020 this was only 18%, with a larger response rate. More people felt things have stayed the same. This shows there is still a way to go in making improvements.

In terms of overall satisfaction with services and support it needs to be noted that this is very broad, and covers a number of services across Stockport including schools, therapy, inclusion, and social care. The majority of comments related to education although several themes can be picked out. The next section details these themes and how the local area will respond.

3. Themes and how we propose to respond

Lack of engagement from several communities within Stockport

We will:

  • Work with PACTS and our community groups too ensure that the voice of these communities is heard. This will include focussed work with Brinnington Big Local and the Lancashire Hill Virtual Network as well as other seldom heard groups.

No significant change in how the quality of service provision overall is seen

We will:

  • Develop as a local area a way of gaining on-going feedback on our services. This will include working with families who volunteered to work with us on improvements . This will be developed and implemented in the next 3 months and published on the local offer.
  • We have a new Quality Assurance Framework. We will embed this in the next 3 months. This will include audit of specific case examples and focussed learning weeks and will include parent/carer representations. As an area we are also training young people to become young inspectors to assess the quality of our provision. The first round of audits will be in November 2020. We will publish quality reports on the local offer quarterly outlining themes and progress.

Transition - still not getting this right

We will:

  • Look again at the transition tools in time for next years transitions with the working group including parent/carers, SEN Co-ordinators (SENCos) network, Headteacher representatives and young people.

Failure of provisions follow recommendations as set out in plans

We will:

  • Work on our person centred approaches to make sure that EHCP caseworkers keep in touch and are available if families have any concerns.
  • Provide legal training to schools and settings on their duties under the
  • SEND Code of Practice in January 2021.
  • Work on the annual review process. This will include attendance and format of reviews to ensure that plans are delivered and reviewed. This will take place before March 2021.
  • We will develop a simple process for parent/carers and partners to make sure issues can be dealt with quickly for all those involved.

Delay for EHCP assessments

We will:

  • Continue with the EHCP improvement plan that is already in place. In June 2020 we had 81 plans which were over the 20 week timescale. At the end of October 2020 this was down to 4. The majority of plans are now signed off within timescales and there are clear measures being introduced to ensure Stockport reaches above the national average of 60% by next year.

Lack of knowledge of caseworkers on EHCP process and law

We will:

  • Continue to provide training on the law for the EHCP team and partners. The Operational Lead for SEND, John Gelder, is undertaking focussed sessions with the team on the SEND Code of Practice. We also have legal training by a barrister being provided across Stockport in January 2021.

Improvement in service provision and communication during Covid-19

We will:

  • Feedback these points across the sectors.
  • Reflect with partners on what parents/carers have said in the survey about better communication and build this into service offers going forwards.

4. Next steps

  • Discussion of the survey and proposed responses at SEND Board in
  • November 2020
  • Proposals published on the local offer and updates to be given as part of SEND strategic lead bi-monthly updates to community
  • Work with PACTS on taking forwards families who offered to be case studies (58) on how we best take this forward with resources available. This will include making contact with these families and asking how they would like to be involved in our improvement work.