Wigan Council Updates
Feedback From SEND Survey - Wigan Council
SEND Survey Feedback
First, we just wanted to thank you for the time you spent in completing the survey, all your feedback and if you were involved in meeting with Will Smith. We appreciate there have been a number of requests to complete surveys and be involved in consultations and the last few months have been a significant challenge.
Will Smith was on a secondment with Wigan council to complete this survey independently for us. The main aims were:
- to give children and young people with SEND, and the parents of children and young people with SEND, the opportunity to explain their views on lockdown and the reopening of schools.
- to provide Wigan LA and schools/providers with an overview of the views of children and young people with SEND and their parents, including their concerns and suggestions.
- to enable the LA and schools/providers to make possible changes to the way that these children, young people and families are supported.
- to provide parents and carers with the opportunity to make suggestions as to how the short breaks offer could be developed across Wigan.
A summary of the findings:
- For every child and young person who has thrived during lockdown, another has struggled.
- Most children and young people with SEND have not been attending their school/provision during lockdown.
- Parents and carers have greater confidence in their child’s school/provider to keep them safe, than they do in their capacity to meet their academic, health and care needs.
- Parents and carers have variable levels of confidence in their child’s school/provision.
- Parents and carers are particularly worried in the capacity of schools to support their children during sustained periods of absence.
- Parents and carers report that schools have adopted very different approaches to reducing family anxieties around returning to school.
- There is some discrepancy between the views of school leaders and families in relation to how well children and young people with SEND have been supported during the pandemic.
- Families’ experience of remote learning has been very mixed, and many parents are worried that their children have fallen behind in their learning.
- Approximately half of children and young people with SEND whose views were captured indicated that they were anxious about returning to school.
- Some children and young people have had an amazing time during lockdown, and this presents opportunities and challenges for the future.
- Parental confidence in schools is greater when their child has an EHC plan and when they attend specialist provision.
- There are common misconceptions among parents about what constitutes a ‘short break’. Many parents are unaware of what is on offer, although there is considerable appetite for more provision during school holidays.
- The report has been shared with all school and college headteachers, and feedback session with Will before summer break to ensure all schools incorporating this into their return to school plans.
- We have been working with schools over summer and ongoing as the guidance changes on robust risk assessments and the implementation of the government guidance for reopening of schools.
- We have regular Forums with schools to offer support, guidance and to try to ensure consistency of approach.
- We are working close with local public health and at Greater Manchester (GM) level to keep everyone updated with key messages and consistency in response to cases.
- Our Director of Public Health has undertaken Facebook Live session to answer any questions and sent out, via schools, letters for parents. In addition, we share any GM information for parents.
- All schools are working hard to ensure the curriculum is delivered as per the guidance.
- Schools are working to complete their contingency plans in case of further lockdowns.
- A good remote learning offer must be in place for children who are shielding or isolating and so schools are working together to deliver this. A key area highlighted is that pupils with SEND may not be able to access remote education without adult support, and so schools should work with families to deliver a broad and ambitious curriculum.
- Schools are being setup to enable them to order IT equipment to support remote learning.
- We have shared Vicky Fords letter and specific guidance on SEND with schools.
- The SEND Service will be monitoring attendance levels, support in place and remote learning offer for SEND children.
- Parents/Carers can contact the SEND team if feel their child not being supported in line with the guidance.
- Our Education Psychology Service is working with schools to deliver a good emotional wellbeing offer for all pupils and staff.
- We have written to School Governors with the guidance for children and young people with SEND and asked them to seek assurances that this is being delivered within school.
- We are undertaking a review of the Short Breaks offer working collaboratively with families, providers and schools.
- We will ensure any ongoing actions are included in our Education Strategy and SEND Transformation Plan.
- We have arranged an allocation of the Emergency Grant funding for families to provide activity/learning packs for families of children and young people with SEND to support them to catchup.
- There are also other parts of this Grant to help those who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19 i.e. uniforms