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Listening in Tameside


Tameside and Glossop SEND Improvement Group wanted to take a closer look at how well we are delivering joined up support to young people and families and how we could improve and plan for change over the coming years. In order to do this we needed to listen to families.

So, in the autumn of 2020 Tameside’s Special Education Needs and Disability Improvement Group commissioned a survey to reach out to families in Tameside where a child or young person 0-25 years has special educational needs and/or a disability.

Working collaboratively with a small group of parents, a survey questionnaire was developed to collect information about the lived experiences of families and capture their suggestions on how SEND services might be improved.

We had an amazing response with responses from 320 families. Over half (178) of these families had a child who was supported by an Education Health & Care plan.

You’ll find a copy of the survey findings here Tameside survey report   -   Glossop survey report

The families suggested 10 key areas that we improve on.  Here are our plans for each:-

You asked us to

We did

What we will do next

When will we do it?

  • Promote a culture of listening to and collaborating with families

We developed our Co-production framework LISTENing.  This says how we will communicate with our SEND community in relation to working with our families. We will continue to roll out and embed this

We will continue with our annual  parents and carers surveys and listen to feedback via our Local Offer.

We will develop a multi-agency Quality Assurance Process that ensures that our Education Health Care Plans are shaped by the views, wishes and feelings of children, young people, their families and carers.
We will check to see if we do this as well as we could have and use this information to help us improve.

We will ensure our audit processes help us understand where we have listened and collaborated with families well and where we could have done better.  This will include how we are listening to the views of children and young people throughout the EHCP process. From this we will develop a Local Action Learning log on the back of our audit findings.  Our SEND Improvement Group will monitor progress of this.

We will offer staff more training about LISTENing and opportunities to learn, with parents, to support their confidence in personalised working

Annually – October/December 2021

By September  2021






Ongoing – Year 1 programme 2021/22

  • Improve the available communication methods for promoting and signposting families to SEND support and services


We have co-produced our Local Offer website .  This has been re-branded to be more user friendly and is more accessible.  We have added videos explaining things and it can be accessed in audio.  Our Local Offer is also available in different  languages.  We have produced information leaflets to help raise awareness and make more people aware of our Local Offer.  We continue to promote and look at ways to review our Local Offer more often. 


The way parent carers work with professionals is by forming groups called parent carer forums. Their aim is to make sure the services in their area meet the needs of disabled children and their families. Our SEND Information and Advice Service and Parent carer forums will continue to work with us on our Local Offer.


We need to develop a Communication Strategy with help from parents – we will put that in place.

We will continue to develop our network of Local Offer Champions to help us continue to improve information contained within the Local Offer.

We are working with our Parent Carer Forum and Contact who are the delivery partner of the Department for Education, to help them to develop and grow to meet the needs of our SEND community.

We are working with Derbyshire Parent Carer Forum and Derbyshire County Council on developing a bespoke Local Offer for our Glossop community.

We will work through the school SENDCO cluster groups to improve quality and consistency of offer for all SEND children.

March – September 2020


December 2020 – March 2022




  • Maintain regular and routine communication with parents about
  • child’s
  • progress;
  • family wellbeing;
  • waiting times;
  • available post-diagnostic
  • support;
  • involvement in meetings;
  • plans

Despite best efforts of teams we are not doing this as good as we should be. 

Improvements continue to be made both within our teams and boroughwide.

We have started to look at standards across our teams.


We will continue to develop standards across Education, Social Care and Health services and are writing clear information for families on what they can expect from the services and to share information about waiting times. The teams are also establishing team email addresses so parents can easily contact services.


We will develop a comprehensive  communication  plan with parents and look at how we continue to promote the Local Offer.


  • Facilitating a range of respite support for families

We have started a review of our Short Breaks provision across Tameside. 

We will work with children, young people and parents to develop a clear programme of short breaks for our SEND community and will communicate what that looks like.

March2021 –March 2022

  • Extend the availability of social activities across the borough for children and young people with a range of different disabilities.

We have improved the local offer to better describe the services available in the region.

The Short Breaks review will include work with children, young people and parents to develop a clear programme of social activities for our SEND community and will communicate what that looks like.

Further work to refine and better articulate the social activities information on the local offer.

March2021 –March 2022

  • Improve waiting times for ISCAN therapy provision and/or review how they are delivered to families and


Improve waiting times for neuro – developmental assessment and post diagnostic support


A business case is being developed to increase capacity and reduce waiting lists for ISCAN therapies

We funded additional posts to reduce the waiting times for Autism assessments


We are reviewing the needs in Tameside and Glossop and making the case for additional investment to help reduce waiting times and are also looking at how we can make best use of staff time to better meet needs.

January- June 2021

  • Preparation and planning for greater involvement of families in person centred planning

We have developed an action plan to look at how we ensure and prepare for greater involvement of families in person centred planning. 

Our SEND Improvement Group will monitor progress of this over the next year.  If things aren’t on track or are not achieving what we hoped they would, we will put actions in place to address this.

March 2021 –March 2022

  • Early transition planning including parents and young people in meetings; key worker/peer support; introductory conversations between

            child and adult settings.


We have developed a Preparation for Adulthood Improvement & Development Action Plan that outlines a full programme of activity to improve this work.

We have developed an Improvement & Development Action plan to look at accuracy and timeliness of our processes and how we can improve our planning for this. 

We are doing more robust transition planning to include parents and young people at meetings with key worker parent support

Our SEND Improvement Group will monitor progress of this over the next year.  If tings aren’t on track or are not achieving what we hoped they would, we will put actions in place to address this.

We are developing a Quality Framework and Case file audit programme to help us understand and improve where we could do this better.


March 2021 – March 2022









  • The availability of a crisis helpline for parents.

We have put in place a COVID telephone helpline for our SEND community.  This information is on the Front page of the Local Offer

Continue to monitor the use and effectiveness of this.


  • Regular communication to take place between professionals and families

Partners across SEND have pulled together a SEND services COVID recovery slide pack and put this on the Local Offer.

In Tameside, we developed a school-led process to determine what provision could reasonably be delivered for each child with an EHC Plan. 

The Council quickly implemented daily phone calls to all schools and early years providers through Link Officers drawn from a range of teams including Education Welfare. This has allowed invaluable, fast two-way communication between schools/settings and the LA.   

For children with an EHCP, the school or setting liaison officer:
Established whether the child is known to social care or Early Help and provided the Local Authority SEND Team with the information so that they can follow up with the family and the school or setting.

There has been continued multi-agency working since March 2020 to ensure that all vulnerable pupils have laptops, lunches, are attending if they are best placed to attend school and that all agencies are communicating well together.

Data has been collected and cross referenced to ensure that all children are safeguarded.
Conversations took place with partners to ensure appropriate agencies have a clear picture if it was safe and appropriate for a child to stay at home

For children who are not in school and are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable regular contact was  made by one health professional on behalf of the ISCAN service. Any concerns were relayed to the appropriate professionals as necessary.


For as long as is required during COVID we will continue to work in this way.

When we are able to access children virtually or in schools we will continue to maintain contact.



How will we know we are improving…?

  • Through audit we will have a clear and shared understanding of local area strengths and areas for development in plans and reviews. This allows us to celebrate and share good practice and swiftly address areas of concern.
  • Through our mechanisms to hear voice we have a clear and shared understanding of the quality and impact of what we do and how we do it.
  • Complaints and compliments help us identify areas that we need to develop, and good practice that we can share. Training, learning and support opportunities will be provided to individuals and teams where required.
  • Through the use of data and insights we have a clear and shared understanding of what we do, the impact that we have and how we compare with others. This allows us to celebrate and share good practice and swiftly address areas of concern.

You Said We Did


Partners in Tameside and Glossop are in the process of refreshing and updating the Local Offer so that it reflects more with what you have told us you would like to see.
As part of the annual review of the Local Offer in 2019, you told us that:-

  • The pages are not easy to navigate
  • The pages are too busy
  • There are too many choices
  • Information is Out of date
  • We can’t find what we are looking for
  • We would rather “just phone OKE or support group”

We are working hard to ensure the information is regularly updated and  WE NEED YOUR HELP.   If you can't find what you are looking for or would like to tell us what you think about our Local Offer, please click here to go to our feedback page
We value your feedback, it is important to us as it helps us ensure that our Local Offer content is relevant and up to date.

You Said We Did

The Statutory Assessment Request (STAR) Panel

You Said

Parents and professionals at the STAR Panels found it very formal: meetings were around a large table which made the experience daunting.

We Did

We removed the table, and STAR Panels are now conducted in a circle, creating a more informal and supportive atmosphere.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

You Said

Parents felt like their experiences of completing the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process were not being taken into consideration.

We Did

We created a feedback questionnaire to ensure that parent’s voices are heard.

Children in the Early Years

You Said

You told us our support services for children aged 0-5 were inconsistent. They were not always coordinated and families sometimes had a number of different services working on the same problem at the same time. Children with needs that take longer to identify, such as communication difficulties, were also not always identified until the child entered school: this meant they had not been accessing the correct support they needed.

We Did

We created the Special Education Needs, Early Years Panel to underpin the early identification and monitoring of children with Special Educational Needs. There is now a clear pathway of support which puts the child and their family at the heart of everything while supporting school readiness to create successful transitions to school. Preschool children with possible additional needs can be referred to the panel by a range of professionals.