Services for children and young people in Northamptonshire (aged 0-25) with special educational needs and disabilities.

Feedback and complaints

Feedback

We welcome any feedback, good or bad, about the Local Offer and other services found on the Local Offer.

Please complete our feedback form:

We will listen to your suggestions to change the Local Offer to meet local needs and to influence the future direction of the Local Offer.

Local Offer survey

During the 2020 Vision events, we asked people who use the Local Offer to complete a survey about how they use it and what they are looking for.

Summary

The survey was shared on social media, was live on the Local Offer for March 2017 and was shared via Informer and Schools e-mails.

62 responses from a variety of parents and professionals were received. One young person completed the survey.

Of the 62 – 88% knew of the Local Offer website and service.

They had found out about the Local Offer through a variety of media including being told by professionals who had worked with them, the SNIX magazine, social media and the NCC website. Users had found out about the Local Offer through schools and parent groups in about 20% of cases.

Users reported that they had looked for community and support services ( social care) education, and social and leisure activities. 93% found the information useful or fairly useful.

Most contact had been made with the Local Offer team by e-mail.

Suggestions were made to improve awareness of the Local Offer.

It is important to us to know that the Local Offer in Northamptonshire provides you with the information that you are looking for. If you can't find something, please let us know. We are always happy to help.

Viewpoint - survey for young people

This is an opportunity for young people and children to comment on the Local Offer and tell us what they think.

Complete the Viewpoint survey

Once you have completed a survey you can choose an on-line game to play. Thank you for your feedback.

Support with resolving problems

Cerebra have put together a Problem Solving Toolkit for disabled people, their parents and carers who are facing difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health and education or social care supporting services. The aim of the Toolkit is to develop effective strategies for resolving problems:

Home-to-School transport message

For the first couple of weeks of the new academic term in September you may find it a little more difficult to contact us due to it being one of our busiest periods. While we will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible, our response times may be longer than we would like them to be.

This year, to help minimise delays, we have increased the number of phone lines dedicated to parents wishing to contact the SEN planning team so that we can respond as quickly as possible. As I am sure you will appreciate we arrange transport for approximately 13,000 passengers a day (many of them for the first time), and at this time of year we do encounter a significantly higher than normal call volume. During this time parents, schools and transport operators may be attempting to contact us and we would like to advise you of the following.

To assist during these peak times please be aware of the following tips: 

  • Transport arrangements have now been confirmed. If you have not received this then do please contact us via the following e-mail address: transportapplications@kierwsp.co.uk.
  • Please note that due to the high volume of applications received in August it will not be possible to guarantee that transport will be in place for applications received after the 31 July. All families affected by this will have letters sent to them advising of the situation. If you have received a letter from us concerning this, please email any query you may have to transportapplications@kierwsp.co.uk as we will not be able to prioritise your application.
  • Please note that any post-16 or non-entitled transport applications received after the end of May have also received a letter advising them of the current situation. If you have received a letter from us concerning this, please email any query you may have to: 16+transport@kierwsp.co.uk.
  • If you have already requested transport and your application has been declined, please be aware that there is an appeals process that can be found on the Northamptonshire County Council website. During the appeal process we are unable to provide transport and we will advise you of the outcome of any appeal in due course.
  • During the first week of term, please ensure that your child is ready at least 5 minutes prior to the pick-up time. Please bear in mind that transport times can be different during the first few weeks of any new academic term while everyone gets used to the route. If during this period, you have not received your pick up after 30 minutes, please contact the office on the following numbers: 01604 364403 or 01604 364396. Also, for the first week of the academic term we will have 2 further lines available which are 01604 364394 or 01604 364395.
  • If you need to contact us about an issue on transport this should be made via the following e-mail address: transportissues@kierwsp.co.uk
  • If for any reason you need to cancel transport please advise us as soon as possible (you may also wish  to contact  the operator to ensure that they do not turn up at your address).
    If you need to raise any complaint about the operator please report this as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we do have instances where families have waited until breaking point to report an incident with us. Due to our contractual requirements it is difficult for us to terminate a contract if we have not given the operator time to rectify any situation. Therefore it is very important for issues to be reported by e-mail to transportissues@kierwsp.co.uk
  • If you have any general queries about transport, please send these to sentransport@kierwsp.co.uk.

SEND sufficiency in mainstream education

Northamptonshire County Council has commissioned 'SEND Consultancy' to develop a needs analysis of the four areas across Northamptonshire. This will identify current effective, inclusive provision and practice across mainstream education settings (0 to 25 years) and schools and health and social care.

Project objectives are:

  • Identify areas of strength and weakness in mainstream provision for children and young people with SEND.
  • Identify any gaps in provision.
  • Prepare a draft action plan to support the utilisation of £2.8m capital funding allocated by central government to address identified need.
  • Advise and recommend areas of best practice across the country that can support the Northamptonshire 20:20 Vision.

The 'SEND Consultancy' will develop a picture of the Northamptonshire area based upon publicly available data and information relating to education, health and social care provision for children and young people with SEND.
In addition, survey questionnaires, plus stakeholder consultations will take place across the area to include the following groups:

  • senior leaders in Education and Leading SENCOs
  • parents and carers, including the Parent and Carer Forum
  • children and young people
  • social care and health practitioners
  • early years providers, schools and colleges/training providers
  • voluntary and community sector

Timescales:

September 2017 to December 2017.

There will be a final report and action plan at the end of the calendar year.

SEND Consultancy will be in attendance at the Inclusion network meetings on 26 and 28 September 2017.

For further information, the project contact is Gwyn Botterill, gbotterill@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Complaints

Complain about a local authority service or department including Social Care

Formal complaints about council services must be made within twelve months of the incident. Complaints will be acknowledged within three working days and investigated in accordance with the county council’s policy.

Complain about an education setting (schools, colleges, nurseries, early years providers)

If you wish to make a complaint about a school or any other education setting you must follow their complaints policy. Policies may be found via the Local Offer or directly from the school.

Complain about a health service

NHS England is responsible for purchasing primary care services such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists, optical services and some specialised services, and should be contacted to make a formal official complaint:

For secondary care including hospital treatments, emergency care and some community services, like district nursing, contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group:

Complain about an external, independent agency or provider (group, club, charity or other) that you have found on the Local Offer

Complaints will need to be made to the agency or service directly (for example a charity running a group). They should have a complaints policy.

If you have already made a complaint and feel dissatisfied with the result, please give us feedback using our online form and we will register your complaint and if appropriate will take action accordingly which may include the following:

  • The Local Offer manager will contact the provider and ask for information about the complaint which will be discussed with the Head of Educational Inclusion and Partnerships.
  • The Head of Educational Inclusion and Partnerships will review the complaint and advise further action.
  • Action could be: monitor the provision with visits by 'secret shoppers', refer the provision to relative services such as Fire, Trading Standards, QCS.
  • If the complaint is found to be fair: and the service is not fit for purpose, then the provision may be removed from the Local Offer.

You said, we did 

​Date​You said​We did
​October 2017​We had a fantastic time at our summer play schemes. We built good relationships with the parents and young people, and we continue to work with the young leaders 14 to 17 year olds to offer further volunteering opportunities.
Thank you for your support in advertising, it was a good response.
​We are very pleased that over 100 young people had fun over the summer, and are always happy to share information for our community
​October 2017​Does anyone know the email address for school transport?  I've got the number but it just keeps ringing out, thanks in advance​We posted the e-mail address on social media - happy to be able to provide local information
​May 2017We've found a useful document on your website 'Completing the All About Me Section of the EHC Plan: An Easy Read Guide for Parents'. Please can we reference it?​Of course, we're glad you found one of our documents a useful resource.
​May 2017 ​Thank you for sharing our new support group on your social media pages, and adding us to the Local Offer, we've had 4-5 new members in the last few days!​We're really pleased that you've had more interest since our social media posts. Just let us know if you have anything else coming up that you'd like us to put out.
​May 2017 ​I am a local Independent Occupational Therapist working within a number of mainstream and special needs schools in Northamptonshire. How do I register in your directory?​We sent over our register a service online form. Thank you for getting in touch.
​April 2017​I couldn't find a support group for Epilepsy in Northampton, so I set one up myself. How do I get it added to the Local Offer?​We sent out our online registration form. We're really pleased that there is now support in Northampton for families affected by Epilepsy.
​January 2017We picked up your 'Specialist Services in Adulthood' leaflet from your stall at a recent event, and we noticed that our telephone number was incorrect. Please could you update it to XXXXX XXXXXX. ​We updated our leaflet. Thank you for providing us with your up-to-date information.
​November 2016

​I remember from one of our Children Centre's meetings that you had done a lovely list of all SEND groups in the areas in the county on one sheet per area. I have directed lots of parents to look for this on the Local Offer but they keep coming back to say they can’t find it. They have searched under SEND, groups Children centre’s etc. but had no luck

​We sent over the link by email, adding that is found under the information and articles tab and that it can easily be found by searching for 'calendar'.

We are also working to make finding information through the early years filter easier for users.

​September 2016There were lots of families who experienced transport issues this year, what happened? The local authority is aware of a number of issues relating to transport arrangements for the start of this academic year, and wish to apologise if this has impacted on you and your family. The local authority will be reviewing this year’s process with representatives from Information Advice and Support Service and Northamptonshire Parent Forum Group, and will feed back to all parents on the outcome of this meeting via social media.
​August 2016​The (first) disability football that is running at Brackley Town FC was a huge success and is running throughout the summer every Friday​We sent a message to the provider (BTFC football in the community) who were delighted and said that they can accommodate youngsters older than 16 as well as the younger children and they hope to see more at the club
​May 2016"​We live on the border with Oxfordshire and are often unable to use their services due to funding issues. We are also unable to use Northants services due to distance. Are there any plans to provide dance sessions or similar for children in the Brackley area?"

​There will be a new youth group set up in Brackley, run by Action for Children and commissioned by the local authority, starting soon. 

We will also tell the Commissioners that you are looking for dance sessions or similar 

​May 2016"​I can't thank you enough. I have contacted *** and they are getting the ball rolling.

You've been really great, thanks for your prompt reply. I didn't even know about The Local Offer so have no idea what services are available"

​We provided the contact details asked for and provided a link to other services that may be able to help this family
​May 2016"Some of the subsidised Holiday Schemes held at schools are for students attending the school only, this means that there is nothing that my child can attend in Kettering" ​We have sent this comment to the commissioners.
May 2016​​"Some of the links are broken"​The problem lies with Google Analytics. We have liaised with our web team, and they are working to resolve the problem.
​March 2016"There doesn’t seem to be the option on any pages to make the font larger, change colours or contrast. When a CYP or family has visual impairment the site is pretty inaccessible as, although the big square categories are visible, the default fonts used throughout are too small. How will you improve this?”​
​I am sorry that you didn’t let us know your e-mail address so that we could help you find what you were looking for.
 
We use Browsealoud for accessibility which can highlight, enlarge and read out loud all the entries on our Local Offer. It appears as soon as you enter our site and there are a few different ways that you can adjust your own settings to make all your internet searches easier to view. Please get in touch again if you need help.
​January 2016"​The update a service form is not useful. I need to add more details and I can't."​We asked the developers to add a free text box and have made the form fields optional not mandatory
​January 2016​"The site is great and really easy to use, I can see the potential for further use"​​We're really pleased that you are finding it useful!