Each month a report is pulled together on the tops queries and trends that come through the service. We record the number of contacts in and out for that month alongside the top six reasons for contact in and out. We also record any concerns, general comments and trends, events, meetings and training we may have attended and the number of tweets made in that month. We also record the number of website visits, pages published and the top documents that were downloaded, searched on the site and the top pages viewed.
The reports are fed to many different teams in the LA including the SEN Team, Tribunal Team, Learners-Single Point of Access, User Participation Team, Quality Team, Commissioners, SEND Admissions and Area Schools Officers. We also attend some of these teams monthly meetings to discuss these reports in more detail.
Note added for the LA:
Please remember that trends and general comments are written on what we hear each month. We only get contacts from parents or professionals when they are feeling let down by the LA, where things have gone wrong or when they are fed up, we don’t generally get contacts saying how wonderful everything is going.
Examples of when parents and professionals contact us are; when they don’t understand the EHCP process, they can’t get hold of their Case Officer, don’t know who their Case Officer is, haven’t heard back from their emails, want to appeal, have no School named etc.
Once we hear the same message five times or more we make a note and this is a ‘trend’. General comments are just that, it is when we hear or see a change in the type of contacts for example, a new trend materialising, an increase in a type of contact etc.
These are views of the users we give information, advice, and support to. We may not agree with the steps parents and professionals wish to take or the decisions made but our role to empower and managed expectations as best we can. Our role is to promote independent and self-advocacy for children, young people, parents and sometimes professionals.
We have Minimum Standards which are based on the requirements relating to support that SENDIAS Services must provide, as set out in the Children and Families Act (CFA) 2014, the SEND Code of Practice and on additional legal advice commissioned by the Information, Advice and Support Service Network.
We provide advocacy support for individual children, young people, and parents that empowers them to express their views and wishes and helps them to understand and exercise their rights in matters including exclusion, complaints, SEND processes, and SEND appeals.
We also provide information, advice and support before, during and following a SEND Tribunal appeal in a range of different ways, dependent on the needs of the parent or young person. This will include representation during the hearing if the parent or young person is unable to do so.
Meeting our Minimum Standards
The monthly reports help meet the following the Minimum Standards (PDF):
1.8 The IASS has a development plan reviewed annually with the steering group/advisory body, which includes specific actions and improvement targets.
2.3 The IASS works with local partners, including local parent and young people forums to inform and influence policy and practice in the local area.