You Said, We Did

In order to ensure that the Local Offer is meeting the needs of children and families in Newham, we gather feedback and use this to shape the services and support that are on offer.

Here are some of the changes we have made as a result of your feedback:

You Said

We Did


"We are not doing co-production and communications well enough" 

What we have done

  • We have worked to ensure we have parent reps on our SEND work streams groups.
  • We have monthly meetings with our Newham parent forum (NPF) with representatives from the Council and NHS.
  • Recruited to more SENDIASS officers to support children and families
  • Published the Newham SEND Commission report produced by Professor Geoff Lindsay and provided translated summaries in Bengali, Urdu and Gujarati 

What are we doing?

  • We will be investing more in the NPF to support them with capacity and being able to have greater influence on decision making
  • We will set up a young commissioner’s programme to hear more from young people and enable them to influence decisions
  • We will develop training with and for parent/carers on commissioning so they feel better equipped to shape decisions.


So what will this mean?

These actions mean we have better and more regular joint working with young people and parent/carer’s in Newham. We will have more opportunities to listen and ensure feedback is central to decision making. We will be able to better evidence how feedback has influenced decisions. 


"There weren’t enough therapists in Newham, there were long waits and staff were not well supported especially newly qualified staff. Newham need more specialist therapists e.g. for children with eating/drinking and swallowing and to support sensory needs"

What we have done

  • We have secured an additional £2.3 million per year for therapy services in Newham, for two years.
  • This means we will have an additional 19 speech and language therapists (SLT) and an additional 9.5 occupational therapists (OT).
  • This includes roles focused on:
    • Eating, drinking and swallowing in SLT and OT
    • Autism in SLT
    • Sensory needs in OT
    • Early years and schools support in SLT and OT – to reduce waiting times and ensure we are delivering timely therapy assessments for EHCPs
  • We have recruited to all our new OT roles and the majority of our SLT roles.
  • We have also developed training programmes for newly qualified staff in SLT that has helped us attract staff to Newham. 
  • We have also set up working groups for SLT and OT and are very grateful to the NPF in supporting us to have parent/carers members on these groups.

So what does this mean?

Our investment and recruitment mean we will have shorter waiting times and be able to support more children in Newham, including those with specific needs such as sensory or swallowing needs.

Our staff development programme means we have been able to recruit SLT’s. This is really important as there is a national shortage of SLTs. It will help us to develop our staff to be high quality and should help us in keeping our staff in Newham.


What are we doing?

  • Listening to our parent reps about their experiences of SLT provision. Following feedback from parents, SEND leaders visited the ‘connect with me’ programme- supporting children with language delay. We are now looking at how we can offer more of these programmes in Newham.
  • We are working to develop a clear speech and language therapy offer that supports children at all levels of need, age 0-25.
  • We are mapping out all the OT services for children and young people age 0-25 so we have a clear offer and can identify gaps in support.
  • Once we’ve done this work with steering group we will be able to promote a clear therapy offer on the Local Offer website. 
  • We have extended our Parent/Carer support offer to ensure that all parents and carers in Newham can access SCERTS, Intensive Interaction & Core Vocabulary Board training

Education, Health and Care Plans timeliness and quality

"Education, health and care plans are not being issued within 20 weeks and there are substantial delays"

"Education, Health and Care plans are not of good quality"

 What we’ve done

  • Set up a weekly SEND panel made up of multi-agency partners to ensure decisions relating to assessments and the issuing of plans are made quickly and in partnership with all relevant professionals
  • Secured an additional £1.2million of funding the Council’s SEND Service from Cabinet
  • Set up weekly tracking meetings to monitor the progress of each child’s referral
  • Recruited an assessment recovery team (ART) to progress all overdue assessments
  • Secured additional quality assurance support to audit plans
  • A designated clinical officer (DCO) has been recruited by the East London Foundation Trust, who will lead of quality assurance work for Health

What are we doing?

  • We are building a new digital system for SEND services called Nexus. This system will enable parents, carers, schools and health professionals to track the progress of EHC assessments, plans and annual reviews. Once the forms are built by the developers, parents and carers will work with us to test them to make sure they are easy to use before the system goes live.
  • We are developing a new quality assurance framework for education, health and care plans. Parent representatives will be part of the working group when Eit launches at the end of October.
  • Managers across Children’s Social Care, Education and Health are being trained by the Department for Education in good advice writing, particularly around provision in section F


So what does this mean?

  • More EHC assessments are being completed with 20 weeks
  • Children and families who have been waiting over 20 weeks for their Education, Health and Care plan will receive them before the end of March 2023. The Assessment Recovery Team have completed over 250 overdue assessments since they launched in May 2022 and are on track to meet their deadlines

Local Offer

"The local offer is difficult to navigate"

"The accessibility features on the website such as translation and news pages need to be better"

What we’ve done

  • We’ve worked with services to update the content they provide on the local offer and provided them with clear guidelines for content
  • Secured additional funding to make changes to the website to make it more accessible
  • Set up a local offer steering group with responsibility for testing the changes made by developers and checking content


What are we doing?

  • Refreshed local offer website
  • We will be recruiting a new local offer commissioner to have responsibility for the local offer on a permanent basis
  • Working with ICT to design long-term options for the website
  • Introducing a ‘newsreel’ feature on the site. Which will highlight new and important information for families


So what does this mean?

  • An improved Local Offer Website will go live from the 21st of October 2022, ahead of Autumn half term.

A multi-agency group of professionals will keep working on the longer- term design, content and build of the website with Newham’s digital team

Preparation for Adulthood and Specialist Provision

"More support for young people is needed as they prepare for adulthood"

"There isn’t enough specialist provision to meet the needs of children and young people with complex needs"

What we’ve done

  • Run a supported employment jobs fair for young people known to the Disabled children and young people’s service
  • Secured additional funding for schools and settings to develop or enhance local provision for children and young people with SEND. This ranges from developing new specialist places for children with ASD to creating sensory spaces within existing settings
  • Created supported internship places with businesses and organisations for 16-25 year olds including Newham Hospital, John Lewis and Greater Anglia. Contact Joseph from the support internship team for more info:
  • Secured funding for dedicated education, employment and training officer to support young people with SEND making decisions about their future

What are we doing?

  • Writing a bid for a new special school for the borough
  • Working with settings to help them implement the funding for specialist provision we are providing
  • Developing a transitions protocol across Children, Adults, Health and Education Services telling you exactly what everyone’s responsibility are to help children transition to adulthood well.
  • Surveying schools about their careers support offer

So what does this mean?

  • From Sept 23, many local settings will have new sensory rooms or additional specialist SEND placements they will be able to offer children and young people in Newham
  • Young people will have access to tailored support and advice about their future and practice support to access post 16 opportunities 

Joint Comissioning

"Joint commissioning arrangements are weak, services do not work well together"

What we’ve done

  • We’ve worked with public health colleagues to do a joint strategic needs assessment for SEND, which allows us to look at outcomes for young people with SEND as they get older and understand the rates of autism locally
  • We worked with new short breaks providers this summer and build closer links with holiday activities fund so there were more activities of offer for children with SEND. This includes a new inclusive dance club after school.
  • We have recruited two dedicated joint commissioning posts to work across the local authority and health


What are we doing?

  • We are developing a young commissioners programme so young people can inform commissioning decisions and evaluate the quality of provision
  • We are creating a Newham’s SEND outcomes framework and feedback from the parents and carers questionnaire will be critical to this
  • We are developing an18month forward plan of commissioning activity going to the SEND Executive in October 22, this will allow parents and carers to be more involved in the commissioning decisions

SEND Surgery

"Families wanted an easier booking system. They wanted to trial an evening send surgery online (in addition to in person surgeries. They wanted to learn more about the Local Offer"

What we have done

  • Moved our bookings to Eventbrite to make accessibility easier and give more freedom to parents when choosing or cancelling appointments.
  • Held an Evening surgery online for parents and carers unable to attend during the day.
  • Created a new Local Offer session where parents can attend together in a wider group, ask questions and learn about the services available to them.

What are we doing?

  • We are continuously listening to parent/carer feedback about the SEND Surgery and adapting the format to better meet the needs of local families.
"How do I make a complaint?"

We reviewed the complaints page with a group of parents and made changes to the page based on their feedback. We changed the language on the page to ‘complain, compliment or suggest’, we also made the wording on this page and the process clearer based on the feedback received. To view the changes please follow this link:Newham Families Advice and Support | Complain, compliment or suggest

"We would like a page that shows the latest news"

We created a news page for the Local Offer which includes all the latest news for SEND. You can find the page by following this link: Newham Families Advice and Support | News

Last updated: 02/05/2023

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