Below you will find comments that you said and a response to what we did:

You said

We did

“Can you improve the look of the webpages and use more colours?”

Extensive user testing has been conducted with a range of families, professionals and young people to understand how users access information and what will make the look of the website easier for them.  

There is no ‘one size fits all’ and opinions differed across different groups of people with different needs. 

Using different colours can be accessed by an individual using the accessibility tools or through specific software and assisted technology that is already allocated and used by the individuals.

The accessibility tool makes it easier for users to set their own individual setting preference.

Sensory support apps have also been added to the Local Offer.

A carousel, videos and animations by young people have also been added to the Local Offer.
“Some web links are not working including the transport link for public transport, and some links e.g. eating disorder or addiction and substance misuse didn’t lead anywhere”

Extensive work has been undertaken to data cleanse (1000’s of records and fields), check and repair all weblinks.

There have been increases in the number of services and organisations that the Local Offer webpages link to.

Through the support of Get Oldham Working placements, all weblinks have been rechecked and updated, and additional new services have been added.

Example of an updated link Transport and travel (SEND) | Oldham Council

Example of information added Health and wellbeing
“Can we have separate buttons for parents/carers, professionals and children/young people”

A separate area for professionals has been created Information for professionals | Oldham Council which parents and carers may also choose to access.

Activities have been categorised by age ranges and separate buttons added as follows:

  • 0-5 year olds
  • 5-11 year olds
  • 11-16 year olds
  • 16-25 year olds

Age categories have been added to records and all existing organisations have been contacted to update their age ranges.

It was felt that a separate website for children and young people may not be used at this moment in time by children.
Some parents and professionals said “they had not heard about the Local Offer”

Local Offer awareness presentations “Let’s celebrate our improvement journey” have been made at a large number of events and meetings across partner organisations and focus groups.

Information stands have been at events including Oldham Learning Festival, International Children’s Day and SEND engagement event (employment, training, higher education and preparation for adulthood). This is still ongoing.

SEND Local Offer Champion posters and badges have been developed and shared with staff across partner organisations. Staff have been asked to spread the word about the Local Offer. Presentations have been made to circa 1,200 people last term.

Feedback from these sessions has resulted in additional new content and webpage buttons being added throughout the Local Offer webpages.

Website visits have been monitored and have shown an increase

(comparison website usage between July 2018 & July 2019):

  • 2,053 Views of the LO homepage in July 2019, a 38% increase from the previous July (1,487).
  • 852 distinct users were recorded in July 2019, a 24% increase from the previous July (687).

Local Offer adverts have been added to:

  • Applying for Primary School Booklet
  • Applying for Secondary School Booklet
  • Family Information Service calendar
  • Family Life Magazine
  • Reception screens
  • Social Media
“Can we have pictures and animations added to the Local Offer?”

A carousel with animations was created on the Local Offer home page.

This has been further developed to include current advertisements. It currently shows:

  • Summer 2019 activities
  • Max Card
  • Parent Forum
  • Mahdlo Youth Zone

“Can we have videos explaining what the Local Offer is, added to the Local Offer featuring Oldham children, young people and families and services?”

Co-produced videos have been created involving Oldham’s children and young people, Barrier Breakers, POINT and Oldham services.  These have been uploaded to ‘What is the Local Offer’ webpage and include:

  • Local Offer - Government video
  • SEND Local Offer (Sports case studies)
  • SEND Local Offer – Barrier Breakers
  • Co-production
  • Craig’s story – SEND in Oldham

 What is the Local Offer? | Oldham Council

“Can the translation/accessibility tool be made more visible on Oldham Council's website?”

“and can we have a ‘how to use the translation facility ‘user guide’?”

The translation and accessibility tool has been made available on all pages across Oldham Council's website and is now easy to find.

The Language translation feature currently covers 100 languages.  This information has been shared with schools, settings, children’s centres, SENCO’s, Health Visitors, Early Help and other services and partner organisations across Oldham.

A translation and accessibility tool user guide has been created.

“Can you add age ranges to the Education and Support category web buttons?”

“Please can relevant age ranges be displayed on the front of every record in the directory?”

A small number of parents felt that the Local Offer was only for children and young people with Autism.  We have been raising awareness and promoting the range of information and services available on the Local Offer.

Since July 2018 over 170 additional activities/services have been added as well as information about the services updated and weblinks added.

Activities, leisure and short breaks | Oldham Council

There have been additional web buttons added containing information about:

  • ADHD
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Learning disabilities
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Social emotional and mental health support
  • Visual, hearing and speech support

 Additional needs and disabilities | Oldham Council

This is an area that will continue to be developed through co-production.

“There was not enough information on the Autism friendly activities.”

Additional Autism friendly activities have been added and a separate button created called Autism Friendly Activities

 We have been working with families and organisations to add more activities.
“It was not easy to find activities that are free”

A separate Free activities and places to go web button has been created that shows a list of free activities.

This information has been shared with professionals who are working with vulnerable and low-income families.

“Can we have apps added to the Local Offer?”

An apps webpage has been developed, and a range of apps added that can be accessed by families, young people and professionals at any time.

Feedback from some parents and professionals is that they have found the apps useful themselves.

“Organisations and services are not linking their websites to and back from the Local Offer”

All schools have a link to Oldham’s Local Offer as well as information about their own Local Offer

Services are linking to the Local Offer e.g. Library Service, Lifelong Learning and Get Oldham Working etc.

“The EHC Plan web page is not easy to understand and has too much text?”

The webpages have been reviewed and the content has been updated and created in a multipage version to make it easier to follow

“Can you split the Health and Emotional Wellbeing information into two sections on the webpage to make it easier to find information?”

Two new areas on the website have been created:

“You need to have clear links to the Youth Justice Service”

A separate web button has been created linking to Oldham’s Criminal Justice Service that contains information about:

  • Oldham Youth Justice Service
  • Oldham Criminal Justice Mental Health Service
  • Oldham National Probation Service
  • Fact sheets
“There is not enough clear information to help young people access further education, training and employment”

Based on feedback the Learning and Employment web button was renamed, and additional information added to include:

  • Adult education and training organisations (19+)
  • Find an apprenticeship
  • Job seeking and work clubs
  • Get Oldham Working
  • Greater Jobs
  • Groundwork (16+)
  • National Careers Service
  • Running your own business
  • Online and flexible learning (19+)
  • Lifelong Learning (19+)
  • Events for Jobseekers
  • Action Together
  • Access to work – website

 Learning and employment | Oldham Council

“I am concerned about my child who wants to start travelling on his own using public transport.”

Travel training section was created for children and young people. 

This information has also been shared with schools, parents, professionals and school SENCO’s.  A range of professionals asked for information on travel training to be shared with schools targeting year 6 and 7 pupils as it was felt that a larger number of pupils may travel independently once they transition to Secondary school

Travel training | Oldham Council

“There is not enough information on Transport and Travel (SEND)”

Transport and Travel (SEND) web button has been enhanced to include:

  • Travel assistance to get to school or college
  • Travel if you can’t use public transport
  • Concessionary fares for people with a disability
  • Travel, transport and mobility
  • Mobility: lease cars for disabled people
  • Disabled parking (blue badge)
  • Travel training
  • Travel to school policy and strategy

 Transport and travel (SEND) | Oldham Council

“It would be beneficial to have access to useful resources and fact sheets”

Additional web buttons have been created with information on:

Apps and Learning resources

  • Learning Resources
  • Apps

Support Information and Advice

  • Information and advice sheets (SEND)
  • Ebooks, Audiobooks, eMagazines and online reference
  • SEND newsletters
“Can we have more information about what the graduated response is and also advice for parents and carers?”

New web buttons have been added to the SEND advice area that include:

  • Graduated response
  • Services supporting education and learning settings
  • Advice for parents and carers
  • Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC)

The graduated response has been co-produced and the contents edited to now include:

  • The Graduated Response toolkit
  • The whole school approach to EHMW Graduated Response
  • Oldham Co-production
  • Self-Assessment Tools
 “The Local Offer would benefit with an area where colleagues can go to find information and training.”

AnInformation for professionalsweb button was created and lists information in two areas:

Parents and carers can also access this information
“Parents, children and young people should be given as much opportunity as possible to provide feedback”

‘Tell us your views on the local offer’ pop-up open survey has been added to the Local Offer webpages.

The We’d love to hear from you web button on the Local Offer was further developed to include the following:

  • Local Offer feedback form
  • Add a new service or activity
  • Amend or remove your existing service or activity
  • Compliments and complaints
  • Add your child to our additional needs register
  • Tell us your story

“It should be easier for new services to be added”

A separate button has been added to add a new service to the directory
“Can you share information about the children, young people and parents who are benefiting through the co-production of the Local Offer?”

3 case studies have been added in the ‘Your Local Offer’ webpage

SEND case studies – Changing Lives:

  • Aisha’s story – Virtual School
  • Ibrahim’s story – Visual impairment
  • Kaleem’s story – hearing impairment
  • Kareem’s story – Central Core Myopathy
  • Mason’s story – Social, emotional and mental health
  • SEND Local Offer – turning disability into ability
  • Craig’s story – parent of a child with SEN
  • Agnieszka’s story – bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss
  • Amin’s story – using British Sign Language (BSL)
  • David’s Story – work of the new Health SEND Coordinator
  • Andy’s story – young person living with autism
  • Kyra’s story – how technology is helping young people
  • “Zippy and Apple’s Friends” – the learning programme
  • Gary’s story – son’s school placement
  • Rebekah’s story - Kingfisher School
  • Najima Khalid – Chai Project (POINT produced)
  • Sophie’s story – Kingfisher School
  • Kingfisher School – supporting children and families with SEND
  • POINT Annual Conference
“Referral details are at the bottom of records within the SEND Local Offer Directory, these should be at the top of each record” The referral details have been moved to the top of all records within the SEND Local Offer Directory
“There is not enough information and resources for Preparing for Adulthood”

Information and resources have been added  Preparing for adulthood | Oldham Council

Additional ‘over aged 16 activities’ have also been added to the Local Offer

“There is no information for Military Service families” A new category has been added Military service (armed forces) - parents and carers who need support
“Can we have the Summer activities listed separately and easy for families to find quickly?”

A separate Summer Activities 2019 web button has been added to the Local Offer home page as well as a Summer Activities 2019 advert on the Local Offer carousel.

“Where can you access offline support?”

A new web button has been created which includes information to sign post people to where they can access face to face help.

“I don’t understand some of the words and abbreviations that are being used.  Can you explain them?”

A Jargon Buster has been developed and a web button designed

“This has a lot of information, but again it is difficult to navigate around the information unless you know the correct terminology and what area fits in what criteria.”

Extensive user testing has taken place and language has been simplified where possible.   Links across relevant services have been created to ease navigation.
“Links to Health Services are missing leaving a significant gap in information”

Links to Health Services have been added and Oldham’s Designated Clinical Officer SEND is working on addressing any gaps.

“Links to Bridgewater Service – information is behind the wrong buttons and not accurate or up-to-date”

Work is planned to take place with Bridgewater NHS (Right Start Team) Communication team and Oldham Council to update the information and link up the webpages.

“It will take a person with visual impairment longer to navigate the site”.

Extensive user testing has taken place with the Visual Impairment group and young people.  Feedback has been that children, young people and families would use their own assistive technology to support them in finding information. Oldham Council are also adhering to the Government’s new accessible guidelines

“The site does have browsealoud speech and magnification software, although a person with no sight would have difficulty accessing the information.”

See comments above

“There is not a lot of information on what the Local Offer is, it is very vague, unless you are a professional and know what it is you’re looking for.” 

More information, videos and animations have been added to explain the Local offer

“Not very pictorial especially if students or service users with additional needs want to look at it”

See comments above

“If you type into the search engine ‘my child has special educational needs what do I do’ it takes you to one childminder”

This link has been fixed it now takes you to here:

“This information was difficult to find, it was only when we searched in the search bar the words ‘visual impairment’ that the information was found”

A separate web button has been created to access visual support

“Information about some Hearing Impairment services was out of date”

All services on the directory have been updated and services will be asked to update their information as and when it changes.

 We will send three reminders a year to services to update their records.
“Health tabs are missing, and some do not lead anywhere”

Weblinks have been fixed and link to health tabs

“The language used is not accessible, information should be available in British Sign language (BSL) and the video used is not subtitled or signed” 

We are now using the recently issued government accessibility guidelines and will now produce videos in line with the guidelines

The accessibility guidance has been shared with all schools, early years settings and service providers and are designed to make services accessible for different needs:

  • Autistic spectrum
  • Screen readers
  • Low vision
  • Dyslexia
  • Physical or motor disabilities
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Anxiety

“My personal view is the process is not clear, it appears to be diagnosis driven not need driven.”

This is being picked up through the Education Healthcare Plans (EHCP) annual review work stream. 

“My Primary school is not clear what you do if you think your child has a need, and how to link to support services”

“Secondary as for primary school – needs to say what to do if you think your child requires more support in school”

This is being picked up under the Graduated Response.  There are clear pathways at the different levels of EHCP’s

Link to Support Services has been added Support Services

Parents are advised to talk to the SENCO at the school or setting that they are planning to send their child to and to look at the school’s own policies.

The Local Offer leaflet has been issued to all schools and settings and SENCO’S

“Could not find what is ‘ordinarily available’ information”

The website has been updated to share information on a wide range of services and support that is available this includes the Graduated Response

Educational settings are required to produce information on what their SEND local offer is e.g. 12 questions or SEND information report?

“Guidance document identifies that plan, do, review cycles should have taken place to identify base budget spend and SEN spend”

Plan do review cycle is a key component of the Graduated Response.

A review of the High Needs Block has taken place by Schools Finance, this will be shared with Schools Forum and Key Stakeholders in Autumn 2019.

“Nothing about what settings are expected to provide at SEN Support”

Settings are advised to follow clear pathways through the Graduated Response and the Education Healthcare Plan (EHCP) process. 

Settings already work in line with their key statutory duties, Ofsted Standards and the SEND code of Practice. 

“Needs to be clearer with regard to what to do if:

  • I have a child with additional needs;
  • My child has a disability;
  • I think my child needs more help at school.”
See response above
“Not all services represented have age group settings would help families to identify the services more appropriately”

Age range categories have been added to the information for services

“It’s not easy to find information re: Senco’s or Community Health Services.

There is, however, information on support services”

A “Job titles explained” document has been developed and uploaded onto the Local Offer this will explain job roles

Information to Community Health Services can be found here

“Evidence of services available but no overall vision of commissioning within the Oldham area available”

The Integrated Commissioning Task and Finish Group are working on a Joint Commissioning Statement (due for completion in September 2019).

A Joint Commissioning Strategy will follow in October 2019.

“Information for commissioning is not covered in one area which makes it difficult to find a truer picture of the support available from joint commissioning”

We intend to have a joint commissioning section on the Local Offer where the statement and strategy will be uploaded.
“Difficult to find this information, finally found in Oldham’s strategy.  Information in here does not really set out the support, what is set out is more intentions” A new SEND Strategy is being launched in September 2019.
“Does the site need to include a child friendly option?”

Additional child friendly resources have been added to the Local Offer which include Games and Apps: Apps and Learning resources

A range of new activities and services have been added