Working together to develop and improve Warrington's Local Offer
At Warrington Borough Council (WBC), we are working together with lots of local people to make sure that Warrington's Local Offer remains useful, relevant, current and accessible to children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) and their families and those practitioners who support them.
The Ask Ollie Team meet up regularly with young people with SEND, parents and carers of children with SEND and professionals and practitioners from early years, education, health and social care to co-produce Warrington's Local Offer which is accessible via the Ask Ollie website. There are also other ways to access this information including support by telephone, email and a team of trained 'Buddies' who attend events with the Ask Ollie Team to demonstrate the website. Some of our Ask Ollie Buddies are young people with SEND who are very good at showing other young people how to use the Ask Ollie website.
What is Co-Production?
Ask Ollie has been co-produced by Warrington Borough Council and lots of other relevant groups and individuals who have an interest in SEND including parent / carer support groups, young people with SEND and practitioners from the health, education and care sectors.
The Ask Ollie Team regularly attend meetings, conferences and local community events to talk with local people about Warrington's Local Offer which is available on the Ask Ollie website. A summary of all co-production events attended by the Ask Ollie Team can be viewed here.
We value the views of young people with SEND, their families and those who work to support them. We make the most of opportunities to hear your views about what is working well and what could be improved. This feedback helps to drive continuing improvements to Ask Ollie. Feedback is also collected through the Ask Ollie Facebook page and the Ask Ollie online feedback button.
This feedback is published annually on the Ask Ollie website in a 'You said, We did' format and is shared with WBC's Families Information Service and Integrated Services. All comments about Warrington's Local Offer and the Ask Ollie website are considered and where possible development work follows to bring about further improvements. The 'You said, We did 1016' documents can be viewed here.
The co-production work of the Ask Ollie Team has recently led to the introduction of a new training opportunity for local parents and carers of children with SEND. Through the Ask Ollie Facebook page, we received an enquiry from a concerned parent who was finding it difficult to find Makaton training available to parents / carers locally. She has a young child with speech and language difficulties and was finding communication at home very challenging which was distressing for both her and her child. From this initial enquiry, the Ask Ollie Team responded by completing some research on the Ask Ollie services directory and by contacting other families through the Ask Ollie Facebook page and local parent / carer support groups to ask their views regarding availability of Makaton training locally. We realised that there was a gap in Warrington's Local Offer of SEND provision and we presented the evidence to the WBC Head of Integrated Services who agreed to commission a 2 day beginners training course which would be free of charge for parents and carers of children with SEND. The course is now fully subscribed and is due to commence in November this year.
The Ask Ollie Team are proud of the successful co-production of Warrington's Local Offer. The website is continuously being developed and improved as a result of the views we receive from our co-production partners and all who take the time to give us their comments when we meet them at local events or through the website and social media. These improvements are detailed within the 'You said, We did 2016' documents here.
WBC recently took part in a stringent peer challenge with another council to test out how well we are meeting the government's SEND legislation published in 2014 and OFSTED SEND guidelines. Ask Ollie, our Local Offer website was highlighted as a very good example of co-production with parents, carers and young people.