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(UK)Norfolk: Survey: "Vast majority of families" feel special needs are not being met

July 22, 2022, Eastern Daily Press: Majority of SEND families DO NOT feel needs are met, survey shows

E. England

The vast majo

rity of families whose children have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) in Norfolk do not feel their needs are being met, a survey has shown.

Earlier this year, Norfolk County Council asked young people and their families to make their views known on the county's SEND provision.

After hearing the views of more than 1,200 people, the council has vowed to better involve families in shaping the support children with complex needs are given throughout their education.

However, critics have accused bosses of "missing the point" of the survey's findings - arguing the focus should be on improving the support on offer, as well as communicating more. Some of the survey's findings include:

• Four out of five parents do not think all of their child's needs have been identified • 54pc of parents said they feel their child does not have the support they need for their next steps in life • One in 10 parents felt that when they give feedback, positive changes are made • A quarter of parents did not feel their wishes were listened to when discussing their child's care plan (EHCP) • Only a third felt their child could access mental health support • 40pc of children had to travel outside of their local area to get the support they need

However, it also showed: 51pc of parents felt their child was able to make progress

Three-quarters of children feel they have the support they need to move onto their next steps in life

Council bosses say the survey results show that improvements are being made, highlighting that more than half of respondents felt their EHCPs were making a positive difference….

But Labour councillor Maxine Webb, whose son has Down's syndrome, has said the council is taking the wrong messages away from the survey.

She said: "Too many families still do not feel involved in their child's support.

"The council could do with expressing a lot more concern about what is being raised and a lot less gaslighting.

"The survey also shows that while staff are working incredibly hard they are massively stretched."

While Ms Webb welcomed families being more involved, she said the greatest amount of focus should be placed on putting support in place for the children who need it…. "I really hope that this survey does not prove to be a pointless exercise and that there will be evidence of improvement in the next survey."…


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