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Parent meeting feedback

We recently put a post on Facebook to reach out to parents and carers to meet up with two members of the Local Offer team.

Thank you to all those who me with us and provided this feedback.

We had an amazing response and we met with a number of different parents and carers in different locations across Kirklees as well as holding some meetings online.

The purpose of these meetings was to give a chance for parents and carers to let us know their views on the Local Offer as well as letting us know what life is like for parents and carers of those with SEND in Kirklees and what could be done to help improve things.

Below is a summary of the feedback that was shared with us and what we are doing about it. 

Sometimes we are able to provide an immediate response to feedback, at other times we share this feedback with those who are in charge of services so that they can work to address the issues.

  • The new site is thorough, comprehensive and much better than the previous versions, however it can be confusing if outside the SEND world.
  • Some parents have never had the LO explained and therefore don’t know what it is), perhaps could be a bit on an information overload.
  • Not every parent is tech savvy and may struggle to access it.
  • More people need to know about it.
  • Parents would like live events and drop ins.
  • Schools don’t understand role of the Local Offer.
  • LO not always first port of call because don’t know about it or are aware of the previous sites reputation.
  • New site is much more accessible.
  • Parents don’t always know what kind of help they need.
  • Information is one thing, service provision behind it is another.
  • Parents and carers would like to see more case studies on real life examples.  This helps them to realise they are not alone and what the reality of being a SEND parent is like.
  • The phrase "SEND" can be off putting if you reach out to parents, they don’t necessarily associate their child with SEND. ‘Does your child struggle?’ is a better way of approaching it…


What are we doing about this?

  • We are planning on holding more face to face Local Offer events throughout the community such as in public places like libraries and children's centres to help members of the public understand what the Local Offer is and how it can help them.
  • Attending some school parents evenings to help parents and carers understand the Local Offer.
  • Ensuring the language used on the Local Offer is simple and avoids confusing language, such as not over using the phrase "SEND" and making sure we use normal everyday language.  We also work with other departments within the council to share this way of working.
  • Working closely with schools to help them understand the role of the Local Offer and how they can use it to support parents and carers.
  • Use social media to reach parents and carers who don't know about the Local Offer and offer help to them in a way that is understandable to them.
  • Sharing feedback from parents and carers with managers in the council who run services for young people with special needs.
  • Breaking down barriers - some parents and carers feel that there is a real barrier between themselves and the services which are there to support them and their children.
  • Parents and carers would like more face to face engagement - Kirklees mustn’t be hidden behind a website. Leaders need to be more human in their approach and connect on families more effectively and honestly.
  • Parents and carers would like more opportunities to influence decision making that is about them and their children
  • Some parents and carers don’t feel listened to or that their opinions valued (this can be in schools, services and the wider local authority)


What are we doing about this?

  • Ensuring we hold future face to face sessions and events to make sure parents and carers have the chance to meet and talk with people from Kirklees council.
  • Sharing this feedback with leaders in the council.
  • Discussing with leaders in the council how we can work to get them involved in more Local Offer face to face events.
  • Services too disjointed and don’t understand each other
  • There is a real sense of isolation as an SEND parent
  • Lack of understanding what social care is or does for parents
  • The role of the SENCO should be a standalone job
  • Parents feel they have to fight to get support and too many people "Gate keep" referrals by not letting parents know that a service may be able to help.
  • Poor communication from services to parents and carers.
  • There is a lack of access to EP's to review EHCP's.
  • Lack of clarity around referral processes
  • Some SENCOs don’t always understand referral processes into external services
  • Provisions don’t understand or communicate referral pathways very clearly.
  • Teachers need to be up-skilled about how to meet the needs of SEND learners in their classrooms.
  • Mainstream schools can be really hard for learners with special needs, teachers don't always have the capacity to meet their needs.  Support for SEND is inconsistent across schools.
  • There is a lack of support whilst a child or young person is on a waiting list for assessment - such as neurodevelopmental pathway.
  • There is a general lack of understand about what "Preparing for Adulthood" is both for parents and schools.


What are we doing about this?

  • The Local Offer is helping to make sure that services clearly communicate what they do to both parents/carers and professionals.
  • The Local Offer has launched a service for schools called the Inclusion Support Offer which provides information, advice and guidance for SENCO's.  This is helping SENCO's feel supported and to understand what services there are to support children and families.
  • We are making sure referral pathways to services in the council are very clearly communicated via the Local Offer.
  • We are working with schools to make sure they are aware of the Local Offer's Senco and Professional area which provides resources and guidance for those that work with children and young people with special needs.
  • Sharing this feedback with leaders in the council.
  • Making sure we communicate what is meant by "Preparing for adulthood" on the Local Offer and working with teams who are looking to make this better in Kirklees.
  • There needs to be training given to activity providers to help them be able to meet the needs of young people with SEND.
  • The council needs to consider their own leisure offer as they are not always very inclusive for those with special needs.


What are we doing about this?

  • Working with the Children with a Disability team to look at ways to provide inclusive training for activity providers.
  • Discussing this feedback with Kirklees active leisure.

We will be holding more face to face events in the future - please keep an eye on the Local Offer and our Facebook page for more information.

Last updated: 29/10/2021