Developing the priorities

A programme of engagement with parents, carers, young people, education settings and colleagues who support children and young people with SEND was undertaken to identify the priorities that mattered to them. Various methods of engagement were used including online surveys, group meetings and one to one conversations.

Children and Young People told us:

  • "Staff need more training to help me and understand what support I need."
  • "Share information using videos and animations; they are easier than reading lots of writing."
  • "We want our own spaces where we can meet other young people and socialise and know that we have a refuge if we feel unsafe."
  • "We feel we have to live up to older people's expectations and want to be valued for ourselves."

Parents and Carers told us:

  • "We need joined up services with a strong parental input."
  • "Better and quicker access to services for families."
  • "Putting the right people in the important, supportive roles."
  • "Help should be timely, not taking years, and appointments should be given in an effective time span."
  • "Early mental health intervention."
  • "Ensure that what is in the Education Health and Care Plan is delivered. Hold schools accountable so parent doesn't have to fight school alone for provision to be made."

Members of the Southend SEND Partnership told us:

  • "We need better systems in place to identify SEND."
  • "Ensure health services have capacity to undertake assessment."
  • "Smooth transition to adult services."
  • "The voice of the child and their family should be central to all decisions made in relation to the young person's life and future."
  • "Ensure our education workforce is fully trained and upskilled in supporting children and young people with SEND and their families."
  • "More investment in early intervention and prevention."

Listening to what matters to families and children and young people has helped to shape our priorities.