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Richmond - You said, we did

You said:


We did:


You wanted us to listen to engage better and listen to your views

  • We have a systematic process in place to seek parental feedback
  • We are making use of digital technology to help us to do this, we now use the government’s Notify system to try and contact as many parents as possible for their feedback
  • It has become a priority in the service to seek feedback at multiple opportunities
  • We have implemented robust Quality Assurance processes, with a specific focus on parents’, children’s and young people’s feedback 
We were not engaging with the whole SEND community
  • We now run a SEN Support survey every Spring term 
  • We have launched the SEND Register, which included writing to all families with a child/young person with an EHC Plan or registered for SEN Support in the January school census
  • We have in addition written on two separate occasions to all families with an EHC plan since spring 2020 to signpost them to information and services. This has included a separate, more accessible letter to and for children and young people.

There are difficulties with further support for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) at transition

Invested in specialist teachers to support children with SEMH with transition

(Young people) 

You want different ways to give your preferences for phase transfer


We provided a QR code for young people to use to submit their preferences

It can be difficult to get health advice in the statutory assessments  
  • We have invested in a Designated Clinical Officer to support our health partners in understanding the statutory duties and support discussions at multi agency panels 
  • We are now consistently getting health advice contributing to the Education Health and Needs Assessments
 You wanted a one-stop shop for anything to do with SEND during the pandemic  

We set up a multi-agency phone line and referral form and this continues to exist, aiming to respond within 24 hours


We need to improve the timeliness of our annual reviews


We have:

  • invested in an annual review team
  • gone through prioritisation
  • invested in the Synergy system to give more accurate reporting on AR
  • developed annual review trackers, providing an overview for EHC Coordinators and Coordinator Assistants to track due dates; incoming annual review reports; and the statutory time frames for LA completions of annual review processes
  • created an annual review triage panel
  • invested in a Deputy post in the team, whose focus is on annual reviews
  • developed a consensus from professionals across the SEND system on when they should attend an annual review and/or provide advice for annual review

You said that it can be difficult to get in touch with your coordinator/the SEND service


We have:

  • provided all SEND service staff with a mobile phone for better contactability / communication
  • established a duty phone call system within the service, to ensure availability and consistency of communication
  • invested in staff training around communication such as active listening
  • developed and provided more clarity around roles and responsibilities throughout the SEND field force and system
  • invested in the SEND Service staffing, recruiting more EHC Coordinators and Coordinator Assistants, allowing us to revise and reduce caseloads
  • invested in a Deputy for the service with a specific focus on quality assurance

(Young people) Our documentation needs to be created in a more accessible way


"It needs to be worded more simply. Policies and processes are tricky words"

  • All About Me guides have now been developed by the SEND service and a process agreed for when and how they will be sent to children and young people
  • Pediatrician's letters are now written in an accessible format directly to young people
  • The PfA Team have developed a more accessible guide to EHCPs in partnership with the Young People’s Easy Info. Group

It can be difficult to access therapy services


“The frequency of SLT and OT visits in nowhere near enough”.

  • We undertook a therapy review
  • We invested more money in recruiting more Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and pre and post diagnostic support

When you see Speech and Language Therapy services it is good, but it takes too long to get the therapy


We now work with the speech and language therapy service to triage waiting lists for a more coordinated approach


Sometimes you don’t know what will happen next once the Annual Review meeting has taken place


We have:

  • changed our process and made the communication clearer in our annual review letters explaining what’s happened now, what will happen next, and by when
  • created personalised letters for amendments and no amendments of EHCPs
  • created a process timeline which we now share with parents 
 Our systems don’t talk to each other, and do not keep the family and child at the centre  

We have: 

  • carried out an end-to-end review of our Synergy IT system and invested in updating it
  • invested in two posts for digital transformation in SEND to streamline processes and train the services
  • invested in carrying out a data cleanse, to maintain up to date and more accurate records 
  • provided training on improved data input
  • developed Quality Assurance processes to check data on a regular basis

We know from our multi agency QA process that we need to improve the quality of advice for our EHC plans, this includes the social care input and advice


We have:

  • invested in a Designated Social Care Officer (DSCO) who is responsible in supporting social care colleagues in understanding statutory duties around SEND;
  • delivered SEND training across the whole of AfC’s Children’s Social Care

Transition and pathway planning isn't always consistent at SEN Support and through the EHC processes


We have:

  • Established more enhanced pathway planning 
  • identified a post whose responsibility it is to support pathway planning from the Early Years into school and assisting the SEN team with those who have an EHC Plan

EHC Coordinations need training in active listening


The SEND Service has received training, which is being embedded in their daily practice and is being monitored through quality assurance practices


You told us that the Education, Health and Needs Assessment (EHCNA) process can be hard to understand


“Need to make things clear about the each stage, what is expected”.    


We have created a process timeline for the EHCNA process which we now share with families


Standard paperwork could be far more user friendly”.


We have re-designed (and plan to launch in September 2021) all forms and templates associated with the statutory SEND pathway that will better support the central ‘tell-us-once’ principle; more closely relate holistic outcomes to families’ hopes, dreams and aspirations for their children, and better enable us to know when children and young people are making progress towards or have achieved their outcomes


Young Person about annual review meeting:


“I don't really understand the purpose of the meetings”.


We have engaged a highly-reputable person-centred practice training organisation to train 12 trainers across the whole SEND sector (LA, Health, Education settings etc) within 3 months. Trainers will train the whole SEND fieldforce and establish a consistently high-quality person-centred approach using a suite of proven person-centred tools to be used throughout the statutory SEND pathway. Annual Reviews will be more person-centred, participative and focused on supporting children and young people achieving holistic outcomes as a result.

You are worried about the progress your child (who is receiving SEN Support) is making

We are:

  • in the process of creating a Quality First Inclusion Charter that will help to provide a clear and consistent understanding for schools about how best to support learners with additional needs
  • developing alternative curriculum options for schools to consider for learners who find the current curriculum difficult to access
Pathways for transition are complex and challenging

The SEND Service has redesigned the Preparing for Adulthood Team to align with Adult Social Care and broader into-adulthood services.  Pathway options into adulthood are being redesigned and more closely aligned to young people’s ambitions, potentials and need

(Young people) You want more traineeships

We’ve worked with providers, including the Council, AfC and Mencap to provide a diverse range of traineeships

There was not enough support with ASD, for children at SEN Support transitioning into school from nurseries Social Communication Intensive Packages (SCIP) have been provided in Richmond in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 and are now being piloted in Key Stages 2 and 3


Download a copy of this summary (pdf)