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You said - We did

Please read what we have done so far from the feedback we have received from Local offer parent consultations.

For more information or to provide further feedback, please contact our Parent Carer Information & Engagement Officer: Justin.Henderson@Rochdale.Gov.UK

 

Make the Local Offer more user-friendly

  • We have worked with an external company (Open Objects) to re-design the Local Offer, holding consultations (21st October 2016 – Rochdale Town Hall) to obtain parent & carer views, opinions and suggestions.
  • Work on the revised Local Offer is well underway. The new site has now been launched and its content is being worked on as suggested.
  • Navigation of the Local Offer has been improved by implementing various search options – ensuring easier routes to finding the information required.
  • The look of the Local Offer has been changed, now with user friendly buttons and a clearer, less ‘busy’ layout.

More events for parents and carers to obtain information

  • The Local Authority now put on multiple information and training events for parents and carers to attend. We have made the ‘Parent Carer Information Day’ an annual event that takes places each year before the summer holidays. This year the event was attended by over 250 parents and carers on the day as well as attendance from over 250 professionals. Planning for next year’s event is well underway informed by feedback from attendees on the 5th July 2017 Parent Carer Information Day.
  • Working in partnership with the Parent Carers Voice, key parent carer workshops have been extremely successful and more are on the way. Previous workshops include Autism & Mainstream Inclusion (21st April 2017), Education, Health & Care Plan training (multiple sessions), Parent Empowerment (multiple dates) and not to mention the many coffee mornings and parent groups that have been set up and are now ongoing.

Some way of not having to repeat the same information to different people over and over again

  • SEN Support Plans have now been developed, following consultations with parents and carers, by the Early Years Area SENCo Team. As the Support Plan is created at an early age, it can be passed on to professionals and staff to prevent the need for any repetition of a child’s story.
  • Development of the plan is key and as each child moves up into primary, secondary and post 16 settings, staff working with the child or young person can read the plan. It can also inform an Education, Health & Care Plan if one is required.
  • Work is currently going on regarding a single point of access for all support services provided by the Local Authority. We are working closely with NHS staff who already use a single point of access.

Provide regular updates in simple terms

  • We have trialled a newsletter written by the Parent Carer Engagement & Information Officer and a parent focus group – due to its success we have now set a quarterly schedule for future issues.
  • The newsletter will incorporate, updates from the Local Authority, NHS and external organisations including support groups, promotion of events and training, key contact information, short breaks information and various good news stories and articles written by the parents and carers and the young people involved.

Have opportunities to talk to professionals face to face

  • We appreciate that more opportunities are required to come and talk to professionals. Professionals are now present at our annual ‘Parent Carer Information Day’ as a way of parents and carers meeting key people and gathering information on all the services and organisations that could provide support and guidance.
  • A Parent Carer Engagement & Information Officer is now in post whose role includes sign posting parents and carers in the right direction, improving the information available and working alongside parents and carers, engaging and enabling them to become more involved with all the changes within the local area.

An increase in parent/carer involvement

  • Our partnership working with parents and carers has increased considerably in the last year. Reps from Rochdale Parent Carers Voice now attend various Local Authority meetings to provide input and so they can feedback to other parents and carers. It is vital for us to have parental input so that we make informed decisions and take into consideration the different viewpoints and concerns of everybody involved.
  • Parents and carers now sit on many Children’s Services interview panels for recruiting new staff members.
  • Parent Carers Voice work alongside staff, developing and linking in other parents groups from settings strengthening the parent and carer representation on a number of council panels and decision making groups.
  • A focus group has now been established and is open to all parents and carers within the borough, it focuses on events, Local Offer content and the new newsletter which has been trialled and will commence regular publication quarterly from September 2017.

Make resources so that information on additional needs and early help is more identifiable

  • The Local Offer logo (placed on each page of this document) symbolises partnership working amongst any professional, provider, organisation, group or support service that works in the remit of special educational needs, additional needs and/or disability. The logo’s development was put to all children and young people within the Rochdale Borough to design something symbolic that could represent us all. We had two winners out of hundreds of entries. The final design was decided upon by a panel of parents and professionals working together.
  • The logo will be on every form of promotional material, information, email and letter from September 2017.

Less jargon in all Local Authority materials, letters, information, Education, Health and Care Plans etc

  • We are working with all services and teams within the council & NHS in order to provide a consistent approach when it comes to providing parents, carers and young people with information. We have now set a schedule, commencing in September 2017, which will focus on parents, carers and professionals working collaboratively on each team’s correspondence and promotional materials, ensuring they are more parent friendly, readable and do not include unnecessary jargon.
  • For the necessary jargon that parents and carers may need to know of, a ‘jargon buster’ is currently in development to be placed on the Local Offer website.
  • Currently on the Local Offer website there is a new tool, if someone is unsure of what a word or acronym means they can hover over the word and it will come up with its meaning.

Increase the awareness of the Local Offer and what it is

  • We have worked alongside parent groups to develop promotional materials for the Local Offer. We are now working on the distribution and dissemination of these.
  • Parents and carers in a focus group created the leaflets and posters to advertise the Local Offer. We are now working with these parents to work out the best ways to publicise the new and improved website.
  • The majority of School and setting websites now have a direct link to the Local Offer. Parents liaised with all educational settings to request a link be placed on their individual websites. We are currently at 77% of schools who now have a direct link, with continuing work taking place to encourage educational settings and staff to refer parents and carers to the Local Offer.
  • The Local Offer has had a huge 185% increase in viewings in the last year, showing awareness is increasing, we hope to keep going with this as we continue to work with both parents and professionals.
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