Local offer consultation group - summary of our meetings
The Local Offer Consultation Group is a group of people who who are motivated with continually improving the Local Offer for families in Blackpool. Membership represents the following groups:
- Young people
- Health and council professionals
- Local charity and voluntary groups
The Group meet on a regular basis to consult and review the Local Offer, discuss ideas, and act on feedback received. A summary of our latest meetings is provided below.
The group continues to meet online during lock down. Six parents took place at the January meeting. The time was difficult for many parents due to the number of children they are supporting at home. We discussed the implications of the current lockdown. A forthcomnig consultation on School Travel was discussed and a survey will be available shortly. This will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.
The Local Offer wins the NAFIS across the UK for the best Local Offer. Thank you to all our parents and young people for their help, support and comments regarding what we do and continue to improve in the information we share with them.
The consultation with parents and young people and focus groups was reported to the SEND Board. A parent was asked to work closely with Blackpool Council with the short break review in order that stakeholders are represented from our parent forum and that we fully co-produce this reviewed service. The provision identified was extended to suppliers so that they are able to apply and present their views on what service offering they would be able to offer to Blackpool residents in receipt of a short break.
A consultation with two parent focus groups on the short break service and a recognition that Blackpool need to advertise these breaks and redesign the service in line with families’ needs identified in the short break review. The EHC Hub is launched to Blackpool Council stakeholders encouraging a fully co-produced and transparent service offering in Blackpool.
A continuation of collection of views by the surveys during the summer month and school break. We received 130 parents responses and 80 young people’s voices to the surveys by the end of August. A continuation of the redesign of the back pages of the Local Offer in order to include the EHC Hub for September 2020.
The start of our consultation and review of our short breaks service with parents and young people begins. We have designed two surveys – one aimed at parents and one for young people throughout Blackpool gathering views on what would help families with SEND in terms of breaks. These were designed internally at Blackpool Council.
Another online meeting took place. The group looked at the design changes to the local offer website and the new categories. The group was asked to complete a number of tasks designed to check if they could easily find information. A few changes were suggested and these have been implemented. Options for an App and also more support for BSL is also being looked at A website chat widget was also suggested, this has been piloted and will be reviewed.
An online meeting was held in order to hear parents’ views on hopes and fears on any return to education. A comprehensive list of hopes and fears was discussed and created including how schools were helping and how homes were struggling. An additional heading of “current situation” has been added to voice problems faced by parents during the current Covid 19 outbreak. Again, these were discussed, and centred around information involving education.
In response to feedback from parents wanting to be better informed about local services, the parent forum hosted an event at Blackpool Football Ground, supported by Blackpool Council. 43 parents and families attended to listen to key speakers about what is happening in Blackpool over the next few years and stall holders from various Council departments and external suppliers of services were there to share information with parents. We also gathered information at that time for further opportunities for continuous improvement throughout our services.
The parents helped gave feedback on Blackpool Council documents, including a new SEND booklet. We listened to your comments and have produced a SEND booklet in clear simple language which explains the whole of the SEND service to parents and SENCo's.
We reviewed the marketing materials for the Local Offer and the new look front page of the web site. Great to see some new faces at this meeting. Thank you to the Parents' Forum for organising the day at Blackpool Zoo on October 23rd. We used the opportunity to collect information from parents, young people and young children to collect information about what people think about how information is shared in Blackpool currently. We will discuss these results at the next Local Offer meeting.
The group met to agree a new front page, which will be launched shortly. The group also talked about the importance of improving the communication to parents and young people using social media. We are endeavouring to respond to that and will provide an update on social media shortly. Thank you to the Parent's Forum for their invite to talk to them and listen to feedback about the Local Offer. Updates are happening on an ongoing basis. We are also now on facebook again.
The group consulted about the look and content of the Local Offer website. As a result of that, we have started the process of developing a new visual for the Local Offer to help with navigation. We also agreed to improve and review the information on pages within the website.