https://servicetransformation.blog.essex.gov.uk/2022/05/16/send-local-offer-week-notes/

SEND Local Offer - Week Notes

Here at Service Transformation we’re excited to continue work on a new and improved SEND Local Offer.

The Local Offer supports children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It provides information, advice and support for families in Essex.

We carried out a 12 week Discovery phase last year to understand families' needs from the Local Offer and what we could do to improve it.

We've now started work with our development partners to build the new website. We'll be working together to make sure the Local Offer provides what young people and their families in Essex need.

Thank you to all the SEND colleagues, young people and families who are working with us on this.

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Week Note - 30th May 2022

Hello all, it's Jubilee week – we hope you have great plans for the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend and are looking forward to celebrating along with you friends, family and neighbours. It's been another busy couple of weeks for our new local offer website week.

Survey

Our survey is out now! We've already had over 200 responses. If you haven't had your say yet, there's still time. The survey is open until 6 June. If you know anyone who would also like to have their say, please do share it with them too.

Complete the survey

Untied in Diversity event

This week a couple of our team attended the United in Diversity event held at Braxted Park (24th May) by the Multi Schools Council. The event brought together different children and organisations from across Essex to hear about real life experiences and have some fun. It was fantastic to see everyone working together to put on such an engaging event for children and young people, which truly promoted diversity and inclusion. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to speak with us about the new SEND local offer. Your insights and experiences are at the core of the new site.

Focus groups

With the survey closing soon and the rapid development of the content, directories and homepage for the new website we will soon be running focus groups to showcase the work that has been done so far and to get feedback and ideas so we can continue to build and develop your new local offer website.

If you are interested in attending a focus group you can sign up via our survey, or please email leila.dewhurst@essex.gov.uk.

Best wishes,

SEND Local Offer website team, Service Transformation, Essex County Council

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Week Note - 16th May 2022

We hope you've all enjoyed the slightly warmer weather! We've made some great steps forward with our new local offer this week.

Interest group

Last Tuesday we shared an update with our local offer interest group. We showcased some of the content work we've been doing, examples of the different templates available from other councils as well as live feedback session on the SEND directories.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the session.

Survey

We have also been working on our survey. This survey is for families and professionals to have their say on the new website. The survey will be live towards the end of next week and we encourage you to get involved and share your ideas. If you know anyone who would also like to have their say, please do share it with them too.

Language

The team have also started to pull together a glossary of terms we will use on the new local offer website. This will help ensure that the language we use on the new website is clear, consistent and easy to understand.

Coming soon

Please look out for our survey towards the end of next week! As the sprint finishes we will also be starting to plan our next research sprint, which includes starting to look at the homepage (exciting!).

Thanks for reading, please contact st@essex.gov.uk if you have any questions.

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Week Note - 11th April 2022

Understanding our audience

Building from the initial work done on persona development as part of our discovery, we have used this work to start identifying people who may be under-represented in the research done so far. From here, we'll be planning how best to engage with these audiences so that everyone's views and needs can be met by the new SEND Local Offer website.

Looking at content types

All of our development will be based on research with families, young people and professionals, ensuring that our final SEND Local Offer is developed in partnership with people that use it and meets their needs. One of the first things we want to do at this stage is to understand which of the content types in Local Gov Drupal will work well for our audiences, and which may need changing or developing. We'll start creating and testing some of these content types in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading, please contact st@essex.gov.uk if you have any questions.

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2 comments

  1. Comment by john mortimer posted on

    In the Discovery phase, I would be interested to know what learning made you decide that a digital solution was the way to go with such complex situations that families find themselves in? When I did this, the solution was to engage families with workers as soon as they had an enquiry.

    Reply
    • Replies to john mortimer>

      Comment by Nicholas Ward posted on

      Hi John. Our current focus is on creating accessible, user-centred online information can help people to learn, understand and navigate the support that is available in their local area. Families often need more than a digital service, but we've seen that poor online information can result in frustration and confusion for families and can create an overhead for already-stretched professionals. An effective digital service can better support the needs of both families and professionals.

      Reply

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