02 Feb 2021

Our SEND Local Offer Survey

Our SEND Local Offer Survey
During the last three months of 2020, we ran a survey about how people feel about the SEND Local Offer.
Why? It stemmed from a conversation we had with a client in the late summer, who asked us:
“What’s new, exciting and innovative in the digital space for publishing a SEND Local Offer?”
So having worked on a few Local Offer websites ourselves, we decided to take a look around. What we found wasn’t particularly new, or exciting or innovative - and hands held up, we included our own work in our findings also.
At a time when digital tech allows you to do so much so differently, and the ability to engage and communicate remotely and online has never been so important - it was a shame to see the majority of SEND Local Offer digital solutions pretty much consisted of a directory of services, maybe an events calendar (with not many events) and some pages of information last updated a few years ago.
We wanted to test if it was just us, hence the survey, which we shared on social media and with our contacts and managed to get responses from parents, carers, families and professionals working in SEND across twenty four local authority areas in England. We wanted something brief, that wouldn’t take up too much time, so we simply asked:
  • do you know where your SEND Local Offer is?
  • how useful do you think your SEND Local Offer is? (out of ten)
  • how engaged do you feel with your SEND Local Offer? (again, out of ten).
And a chance to add some comments.
The results: only 3% of respondents didn’t know where their Local Offer was.
The average score for ‘usefulness’ was 5.2 and the average score for how engaged people felt, was 4.8
Comments largely focussed on content being out of date, poor information on transition to adulthood and websites being hard to use.
So our survey largely backs up our thoughts, in that it feels like there’s an opportunity being lost with the SEND Local Offer and that it should be a space where a local authority can build, support and engage with a community. And we think better digital tools can help achieve this, at a time when local authorities face challenges with resources and time, there’s never been a better time to use tech to make things better.
We are already scoping out what we think is the next generation digital service for the SEND Local Offer and we are looking for local authority partners to help us build it together - true co-production, with families, practitioners and professionals across the SEND community. If you feel it is something your local authority should be or would like to be part of, then please get in touch, it would be great to have a chat.

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