Feedback about the look, feel and functionality of the Local Offer website
You Said: Still no explanations of how the search works, confusing as to where the Local Offer is as the terms "Services" and "Resources" are used as headers.
|We did: We have recently made some improvements to the whole site searches and added some extra categories in the “Find services directory”. We also have identified some extra information fields that will be added to individual service entries. Once all these improvements and changes have been made we will provide a guide to using and searching the site which will be clearly accessible from the home page. We aim to do this during summer 2016.|
You said: You said that the pages containing the EHCP templates could be made clearer so that it was easier to know which templates should be used
|We did: We have updated the pages and added clear information and explanation. This section has also now been revised with the new simpler set EHCP templates and the “Golden Binder” guidance.|
You said: It would have been useful to allow one account (on the personalisation portal) to be based on two ‘user types’ for example: I am a teacher of SEND children but also have children with SEND myself - currently you have to open two accounts.
|We did: You can now switch between user types once you have registered on the portal .|
Feedback about content and services in the Local Offer
|You said you would like “ADHD” to be recognised as a condition on the website conditions list.||We did: We added this.|
|You said it would useful to be able to print a list of activities ( or other information)in a text and accessible format.||We did: We are investigating ways of doing this but it will involve development work and is tied in with some other ongoing improvements which would affect it – watch this space.|
|You said “Is it possible to publish the Localities map which shows names of the schools against the numbers in the map?”||
We did: This map needs to be published in an updated format. As soon as it is we will make available on the Local Offer.
|You said “I can't find any details for medical tuition. Have searched 'Medical Tuition' and 'Specialist Pupil Intervention Service' (and without the word Pupil).”||We did: We have contacted these services and will work with them to add the information to the Local Offer.|
|You said “My 16 year old SEN son has just attended a specific Learning Disability Basketball workshop with St Mary's University students in Twickenham today, (which incidentally wasn't advertised on the Local Offer ?!).
This was a one off session but it was such a positive experience that it has highlighted an opportunity currently lacking; that we would like there to be a regular Basketball specific club for young people with SEN in this area, Kingston/Richmond.
Please can this be looked into further as to date, the only inclusive/SEN sports specific clubs available are the Inspire Multi skills session (in Chessington, fortnightly) and RISE Multi skills club (Richmond).
We did: Lizzy Roberts Sports Development Officer provided the following response: “I have been working with Richmond Knights, St Marys and the staff from England Basketball over the last 6 months or so in relation to this and developing a learning disability basketball session. The session that ran last week was run by Jon Stonebridge from England Basketball. He was running a course for some of the St Marys students with a practical element which was where the basketball session was included. In terms of setting up the regular sessions, the difficulties are more about the capacity of coaching staff and venues at the moment but we are all working on this and hope to be able to offer something soon.
|You said “I am a specialist dyslexia teacher. I have just assessed a friend's child who is dyslexic and attends a Kingston primary school. I have tried to access information from this site regards specialist provision for dyslexia in Kingston and have found it impossible!" and||We did: In response to this and the next comment “Sarah Herbert, Lead Education Advisor (SEND) said|
|"Please can you tell me how my friend can access specialist support for her child? She has already had to pay for a private assessment because the school did not meet its obligations to identify this Spld.”||
“All schools are expected to identify the needs of pupils with SEN and intervene as needed. This is the assess, plan do review cycle or the graduated approach. This identification process means assessing the strengths and difficulties of the pupil. Intervention should be based on this assessment and progress monitored carefully. For a pupil with specific literacy difficulties or dyslexia the recommended action would be a thorough assessment of their literacy skills and a well evidenced literacy programme.
This process begins with the class teacher who will be able to seek advice from the school SENCO. Primary schools will have a special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) who can request additional advice from an educational psychologist or an SEN specialist in the AfC school improvement team if the pupil continues to struggle despite the intervention. All SENCOs have an additional qualification in SEN, and some will have further qualifications in addition to this. “
To improve the information on the Local Offer around Dyslexia we made sure that all national and local organisations were included and also added some useful resources supplied by Richmond Dyslexia and SEND Family Voices to an new section under Education https://www.afcinfo.org.uk/pages/local-offer/information-and-advice/education/useful-educational-resources
|You said; I am wondering why it takes so long for my son to get a EHC. We have been waiting over 3 months and still no sign of getting an educational psychologist to diagnose him. he is receiving support in his local school but I feel if he had a plan it could better support him its not only bad for him but surely the teaching staff as well. Can you let me know how long it normally takes and when he would likely get a test and a report.||
We did: Anna Chiva, Head of Service Special Educational Needs said
As soon as a request to the local authority (AFC) is made the LA have 6 weeks in which to make a decision whether to carry out a statutory assessment of need. If it is agreed to proceed the LA must wherever possible complete a statutory assessment within 20 weeks from the date the application is received. “
Sarah Lambe Deputy Principal Educational Psychologist said
“All Kingston and Richmond schools receive an allocated amount of Educational Psychologist (EP) time from AfC Educational Psychology Service (EPS). All schools also have the opportunity to purchase additional EP time in order to ensure that they can adequately meet the needs of their school/population; the majority of Kingston and Richmond school do indeed annually purchase additional time. It is very much a school's prerogative to determine how they use this time and to prioritise according to their needs as a whole. I would encourage xxxx to link with the school SENCo as this is the usual point of contact for the school's allocated EP, and the person who prioritises EP involvement.
It is worth noting that AfC EPs work in collaboration and partnership with parents and schools and would rarely just undertake an assessment and produce a report. The service believes that EP involvement, knowledge and input is most effective when working jointly with those concerned in order to focus on collaboratively working out what will make the difference. Assessment work is only undertaken to inform intervention (not diagnoses), and it is only undertaken by an EP if the necessary information is not currently known or if the EP is best placed to explore a particular area of need. AfC EPs' primary role is to work with schools and parents in identifying children's needs in order to identify and embed appropriate support and intervention to meet these; they do not on the whole diagnose or 'label' children.
It sounds as if school staff already have some understanding of xxxx needs and are providing some support. I would encourage xxxx to talk to the school SENCo about involving the school EP to help them think about what more can be done within the current context and resources. An EP can work through consultation with school staff to ensure that interventions in place are effective and produce the desire outcomes.”
|You said: How do parents find out about the Disabled Children’s Register?||We did: We added clear information about this to the Local Offer and will highlight on the homepage carousel regularly to raise awareness amongst families and professionals.|
|You said: Some of our parent/carers are concerned about the security of the personal login password for Wikis.
Why is it not possible for a user to change the password without having to involve the administrator (i.e. Achieving for Children)
Users would feel much safer using a Wiki if the password they have been given by AfC could be changed to one chosen by the individual.
We did: RIX Media said “Currently it is only the administrator (in this case AfC) who can change the password on behalf of users. However this point has been raised before by our other client users so we will look into possibilities.”
AS RIX Media have explained, currently AfC act as administrator for wikis. The post holder adheres to AfC information sharing protocols and guidance and therefore would not share access to any personal without permission of the family of the child or the young person themselves.
|My daughter is 17 and will be 18 in January, which means that she will not be able to access the kids club at the rock climbing centre she has been attending for about the last 10 years. I have been trying to work out what she can do instead - the issue is that most adult climbing is unsupervised unless you pay for 1-1 lessons, which is completely prohibitive and not really the point anyway as she enjoys the social aspect with other young people. She is really talented at climbing and wants to continue with this. I am sure that this is something that would appeal to lots of young people with SEN. I am not sure who to approach about this.||
We did: Sue Johnson, Sports & Leisure Commissioning Manager for Kingston said
“If there is something that is not in the Kingston CSPAN Sports and Physical Activity Disability Directory then in the first instance, approach my service to firstly find out if there is an activity going on and it just isn't listed in the directory.
If it still the case that the session does not happen in the Borough and there was an evident need for it (e.g. Climbing) then we could look into developing that session.
Sue also said that Chessington Rocks had offered climbing sessions for people with disabilities before so it might be worth having a conversation with them and the other providers. Have you thought about trying to gather a few people who would be interested to establish a need or arrange group sessions together?"
|My children both have EHCPs and are both in Reception in a state primary school. The school is in the process of spending £15,000 of PSA funds on a piece of Reception play equipment that my children cannot access. I have asked for an adjustment to be made to one of the 4 entry points, and was told that no adjustment will be made as the equipment is "age appropriate". They also plan to purchase the equipment first, and then figure out how my children will access it. Unfortunately, my children’s' skills are not age appropriate, and it seems quite unfair that their peers will be able to access this equipment and they will not. The childrens' LSAs have been working to develop their ladder climbing skills, but I feel that this is making adjustments to my children, rather than the equipment, and, though I am all for anything that increases their skills, I unfortunately do not think that their skills will be sufficient in time for the imminent installation of the equipment. The school is also purchasing an additional piece of year 1 and 2 equipment that is similar. Given that the equipment should have a life span of several years, there may be future cohorts of children who also cannot access it. I was wondering if anything can be done about this?||
We did: Sarah Herbert ,Lead Education Advisor (SEND) said
“I have spoken to the SENco and advised her to get the school to reconsider its position bearing in mind their duties under the Equalities Act. “
|My child is disabled and I work. In the school holidays, I get two full days 1:1 support from Aiming High for my child in a mainstream club.
This is not enough childcare to cover my working hours. Where can I apply for more childcare to enable my child to continue to access mainstream clubs (they cannot attend without 1:1 support) - and so that I can continue to work. "
We did: Caroline Jager, Short Breaks and Aiming High Manager replied
“The funding that is available for working parents is the Aiming High Additional Support funding and the parent is accessing is the maximum amount available.
For further information on childcare, please contact the brokerage services available in Richmond and Kingston:
Maxine Darling is the Brokerage Officer in Kingston
Tel: 020 8547 6581
Richmond Website: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/fis_news
Aileen Steward is the Brokerage Officer in Richmond
Tel: 020 8831 6429
Family Information Service (for Richmond and Kingston)
|You said: The Jargon Buster's page comes up with "We have used the IPSEA jargon buster..."
What is IPSEA?
We did: We updated the Jargon Buster with the explanation of IPSEA which stands for “Independent Parental Special Education Advice”
You said: Parent Carers Needs Assessment page on the local offer talks about parents of children under 18 but it's not clear from this that you can also get an assessment if your child is over 18 too, only I think it's from a different act.
I have had an assessment for my daughter who is 18 from the Kingston Carers Network. I know that your page is specifically about the Children and Families Act but I think it's misleading not to talk about the over 18s on the site too.
|We did: We are currently preparing this information for the website.|
|You said: Is it correct that a school can only apply for an EHCP for a child if the child is two years behind the curriculum?||
We did: Sarah Herbert, Lead Education Advisor (SEND) provided the following response:
“The school is required to provide SEN support where an SEN is identified using the graduated response which is the assess, plan, do review cycle. Where a child continues to have significant difficulties despite SEN support and needs more intervention than the school is reasonably able to provide (up to certain financial thresholds) then applying for an EHCP might be considered. Consequently there are no 'rules' for who may and may not meet the threshold for an EHCP as quality of intervention and responses to that intervention are important considerations.
The Code of Practice states: “A local authority must conduct an EHCP Needs Assessment if:
the child or young person has or may have special educational needs, and
It may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan (i.e. the level of support required goes beyond what can be provided in an SEN support plan.
A new resource called the Golden Binder has just been launched on our website. I have attached the link to the section on SEN Support which should also be helpful to you.
|You said: I am struggling to find information on what specialist support is available for children with dyslexia on Kingston schools. Please can you point me in the right direction?||
We did: Sarah Herbert, Lead Education Advisor (SEND) responded with the following advice.
"Kingston LA does not commission centralised direct support for pupils with dyslexia but expects all schools to provide this as part of the local offer. Advice and guidance is available to schools as previously described."
|You said: Sports day will be coming up soon at my children’s' school. They are in Reception in a mainstream primary school, so this is the first time they will participate. Can you suggest some resources that give examples of inclusive sports day activities that I could use to discuss with the school? One of my children has cerebral palsy. He can walk, but many traditional sports day activities will be beyond him. The other has compromised balance, issues with body coordination, and ASD (so anyone winning is an issue for him). Thank you.||
Karen Lowry, Local Offer Content Manager replied
“Following your enquiry this morning we have now created a new section on the Local Offer website
This information has also been circulated to all school SENco's."
|You said: I have two children in Reception in a mainstream primary school. I would like to know how the school measures whether a child is making "expected progress". Is there a standard guide that each school is supposed to use? I have been told that there is some sort of standard form that measures the child's progress in the EYFS, but I cannot find it, and the school would not give me a copy. What is the benchmark that determines whether a child is achieving what they are supposed to achieve, and in what areas is this measured? Thank you.||
We did: Helen Gillespie, Early Years Consultant for schools and EYFS Profile Manager said
The ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage’ (September 2014) sets out the learning and development requirements for all children aged birth to 5 years old. These are comprised of how practitioners should use observational assessment to plan for children’s individual needs and also the ‘Early Learning Goals’, statements against which all children are assessed in the final term of the reception year.
Before a child is assessed against the ‘Early Learning Goals’, practitioners and settings within the EYFS, make judgements about where children are compared to development that is typical for their age using developmentally appropriate statements within a non-statutory document called ‘Early Years Outcomes’. These are compromised of age bands and practitioners will use a best-fit judgement as to where children are developmentally. These assessments will then be used to plan next steps tailored to the individual child’s needs. The early learning goals are also assessed as a best fit measure against the statement. Descriptions can be found in section 1.12 of the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage.’
• Communication and language (Listening and Attention; Understanding; Speaking)
Section 2.2 of the ‘Statutory framework for the early years foundation stage) states that parents and carers should be kept up to date with their child’s progress and development.
At the end of the EYFS and a child’s time in reception, practitioners will make an assessment against each of the early learning goals, this forms the child’s ‘Profile’.
Section 2.9 states that schools should share the outcomes of the profile with parents, whether their child is meeting the level expected, is not yet meeting the level expected or if the child is exceeding the levels expected at the end of the EYFS.”
We also added this information to a new page in the Early Years section of the Local Offer.