We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We asked

In West Sussex, we want to make sure that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) get the best possible support and help when they need it. We have been working on putting together a new strategy which sets out how we are going to do this for children in their Early Years.

We would like to know what you think of our proposed 'Early Years SEND Support Strategy'. Your views are important to us as we want to make this the best strategy we can create – one that has the greatest impact on making young children with SEND’s lives the best they can be.

You said

We were very grateful for your responses to our consultation.

71% of people who responded to the consultation were Early Years Practitioners, 15% were professionals working with children with SEND, 12% were parents/carers and 2% were other interested parties.

51% said they thought the proposed changes would result in significantly better support for children with SEND in their early years.

52% of people who responded to the consultation said they felt the proposed changes to EYPARM  would result in significantly better support for children with SEND in their early years.

The aspect of the proposed changes which was identified as having the most positive impact on the experience for children and families was Early Identification and Support.

 53% said that the introduction of lump sum funding would be significantly better, with 21% stating this would be have no change on their ability to support children with SEND. However 57% said that the changes to inclusion funding would make the quality of experience for children with delay in their learning or SEND significantly better.

 79% disagreed with the introduction of a maximum amount of inclusion funding per setting.

We did

We will listen to your views and consider these when we create the final version of the strategy.

We asked

Oak Grove College is a special school in Worthing that offers provision for students with learning difficulties from Years 7-14. Following assessment of options for post-16 provision for children with SEND it is recognised that many of the pupils with less complex needs who currently undertake their post-16 studies at Oak Grove could be successfully educated within mainstream Further Education Colleges, thereby enabling Oak Grove College to focus provision for students with more complex needs.

Redesignation the post-16 provision to become more specialist would also mean there could be a reduction in the number of post-16 planned places at the college, form 56 to 24 by 2025/26. The intention would be to retain the overall number of places at the school (256) by redesignating some of the post-16 places as pre-16 provision. 

You said

The responses showed 55% of respondents supported the proposals, 9% were against and 36% were neutral.  82% of respondents agree that the school is centered on the needs of the children and learners.

Concerns centred whether there was adequate provision and choice of Post 16 courses delivered by local further education providers. Funding for appropriate support for the young people was also raised. There was also concerns about whether support from the school and local authority would continue or whether it would be cut off when a young person leaves Oak Grove College i.e. a need for reassurance about a smooth and supported transition and confidence that the young person will succeed within further education setting.

With a relatively low response rate (11 online responses), written comments provided to the questions indicate support of a redesignation providing that reassurances are given to parents who want their young person to remain at Oak Grove College that they will have this choice. Parents expressed views that they may need further support or advice from Oak Grove College. The headteacher expressed views, during public meetings, that continued support would be offered to parents / families despite their young person no longer being in attendance at Oak Grove College and that Oak Grove College would work towards the best outcomes for young people who have attended.

We did

The redesignation of post-16 provision at Oak Grove College to become more specialist focusing on pupils with complex needs with effect from September 2021.

We asked

In West Sussex, we want to make sure that children who are looked after and care leavers get the best possible support and help when they need it. We have been working on putting together a new strategy which sets out how we are going to do this. We wanted to know what you thought of our strategy.   Your views are important to us as we want to make this the best strategy we can create – one that has the greatest impact   on making young people in care and care leavers lives the best they can be.

You said

We were very grateful for your responses to our consultation.

100% of people that responded were  children looked after

100% of people who responded to the consultation said they strongly agreed or agreed with the principles outlined in the proposed strategy.

50% of people who responded to the consultation said they felt there was nothing that needed adding to the strategy, while 50% said they were unsure.

We also spoke to young people from the Children in Care Council to gather their views on the strategy.

100% of them agreed with the seven priorities set out in the plan. They also gave feedback on areas they felt were missing in the plan.

We did

We’ll listened to your views and consider these when we create the final version of the strategy. This has now been passed to the Corporate Parenting Panel

We asked

In West Sussex, we want to make sure that children who are looked after and care leavers get the best possible support and help when they need it. We have been working on putting together a new strategy which sets out how we are going to do this. We wanted to know what you thought of our strategy.   Your views are important to us as we want to make this the best strategy we can create – one that has the greatest impact   on making young people in care and care leavers lives the best they can be.

You said

We had a great response to our survey.

82% of people that responded were either a professional working with young people in care and care leavers or a foster carer or family friend of children in care and care leavers. We know that you have a lot of experience and knowledge in what doing the best means for our children.

94% of people who responded to the consultation said they strongly agreed or agreed with the principles outlined in the proposed strategy.

98% of people who responded to the consultation said they strongly agreed or agreed with the seven priorities set out in the draft plan.

63% of people who responded to the consultation said they strongly agreed or agreed with the with the statement "The strategic priorities outlined can be met where relevant by my team, service or

partner agency"

63% of people who responded to the consultation gave a rating of 5 or 4, (where 1 represents 'not at all confident' and 5 represents 'extremely confident), in relation to how confident they were that they were able to help implement and achieve the West Sussex’s commitments to improvement where relevant to their professional role.

 

We specifically noted that you had mentioned the following areas in your responses:

You wanted the service to be more explicit in how we will ensure children and young people are placed closer to their homes and communities.

Children and young people keep the same social worker

More emphasis on education

Young people learn independent skills earlier

We did

 

We did:

We’ll listened to your views and consider these when we create the final version of the strategy. This has now been passed to the Corporate Parenting Panel

  • Incorporated your feedback into the service plans where appropriate
  • Moved the structure of the service from early help to children social care
  • Brought in a worker who will focus on improving our work with our partners particularly Health, Education and Housing

We asked

We asked for your views on proposals to change the character at The Forest School, Horsham from a single sex boys school to a co-educational school with effect from Septmeber 2021.

You said

A total of 638 responses were received in response to the consultation for The Forest School,  Horsham.

No responses were received after the closing date of 29 June 2020.  The responses showed 69% of respondents supported the proposals, 26% were against and 5% were uncertain.  Many of those in favour referred to the high quality pastoral care available at The Forest School also benefiting girls; a belief that boys will develop and improve better in co-educational schools and that co-educational provision better reflects modern society and is beneficial for both educational and social reasons.  Those against commented that there are already two other co-educational schools in Horsham and so a boys only school was needed, uncertainty about how it would work if Millais remained a single-sex girls’ school and a belief there was a place for both co-educational and single sex schools.

We did

In July 2020 the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills took a decision to approve the conversion of The Forest School, Horsham to become a co-educational school with effect from September 2021.  (decision reference ES5(20/21)).

In accordance with Department for Education guidelines, the County Council published statutory notices for the required four week period confirming the intention to make the prescribed alteration to change the character of The Forest School, Horsham from a single sex boys’ school to co-educational school from September 2021 entry.  Following the closure of this four week period there have been no representations received on the proposals that are deemed to provide new or significant information.  In this respect no further decision by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is required and the proposals will be implemented as described in the previous decision ES520/21.

We asked

We asked for your views on proposals to change the character at The Forest School, Horsham from a single sex boys school to a co-educational school with effect from Septmeber 2021.

You said

A total of 611 responses were received in response to the consultation for St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, Worthing.

No responses were received after the closing date of 29 June 2020.  The responses showed 53% of respondents supported the proposals, 39% were against and 8% were uncertain.  Many of those in favour referred to the educational outcome for boys improving if girls were admitted and that single sex schools were ‘outdated’ in today’s society and as the world is mixed schools need to reflect there are no barriers.  Those against commented that discipline is more beneficial to male pupils in a single sex school; that single sex boys schools can give an education that is specific to boys and what interests them most and that the proposals are not fair unless the girls’ schools also become co-educational.

Whilst the proportion of responses in support of St Andrews CE Boys’ School converting to become a co-educational school were marginal there was still a majority in favour of the changes.  It was also clear that only a minority within the community were in favour of retaining single-sex boys’ schooling in Worthing.  This is similarly evidenced by the lack of a sustained or increased enrolment at the school and there is strong recognition that the school cannot stay as it is and change is needed.

We did

In July 2020 the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills took a decision to approve the conversion of St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, Worthing to become a co-educational school with effect from September 2021 (decision reference ES5(20/21)).

In accordance with Department for Education guidelines, the County Council published statutory notices for the required four week period confirming the intention to make the prescribed alteration to change the character of St Andrew’s C of E High School for Boys, Worthing, from single sex boys’ school to a co-educational school from September 2021 entry.  Following the closure of this four week period there have been no representations received on the proposals that are deemed to provide new or significant information.  In this respect no further decision by the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills is required and the proposals will be implemented as described in the previous decision ES520/21.

We asked

We asked  our residents to tell us about their experience of the Coronavirus pandemic in May 2020  to help us understand:

  • the impact the pandemic was having on our residents
  • how our communications were landing and how we could improve these in future
  • which services our residents viewed as important for recovery
  • if there were any gaps in self-reported need for community hub support
  • how residents feel about the County Council's response
  • what (if any) areas needed further insight

You said

We received a whopping 17,455 responses to our survey.  Thank you  very much to everyone who took the time to participate.

Key findings from this project have been highlighted in the results section  (bleow) and are available in.our Residents' Survey- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Results Summary report

In their responses, our residents told us about the following issues:

  • their main concerns 
  • the impact of the pandemic on finances,  jobs, lifestyles, diet, and mental and physical health.
  • whether or not they were getting the help and support they felt they needed.
  • what activities they engaged in during 'lockdown'
  • their positive experiences, such as spending more time with family, feeling a   greater part of the community, and noticing a positive impact on their local environment.
  • how they used different information channels and what  services they would like more information about  
  • that they wanted to know more about local COVID-19 outbreaks and  access data about the number of cases in their local areas.

 

We did

The survey and data analysis has helped to inform a number of actions including:

  • the sharing of details of those in need of help and support with our communities team for follow-up,
  • using the feedback to help improve our communication strategy - see #KEEPWESTSUSSEXSAFE
  • sharing anonymised data with other internal service areas (e.g. Public Health,  Highways, Economy, and the Sustainability Team) to help inform future planning
  • sharing anonymised  location-related data with external organisations such as district and borough councils to help increase their understanding and inform future planning
  • the County Council has now created a  West Sussex COVID-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan webpage which includes a detailed weekly report on the number of confirmed cases in each district and borough council area.

We asked

We asked you for your ideas and feedback to help us plan an online half term activity week.

 

 

You said

Most popular themes

1 Harry Potter

2 Minecraft , super heroes

3  Pokemon

Most popular activities

1 Crafts

2 Film watch parties

3 Online disco, quiz

We did

Geek Week is happening 26th to 29th May 2020. You can join us 'live' during the week or watch recorded activities whenever you like.

You said your favourite theme was Harry Potter, so we will be adding some wizarding themed videos through out the week!

You said crafts were your favourite activity, so we have put together some craft videos for you to try at home.

We asked

‘The consultation asked whether or not the Post-16 Transport Policy Statement was complete and clear.  It also asked about the potential withdrawal of the Sussex Student Card now that the 16-17 Saver national rail discount had been introduced

You said

62% of online respondents thought the statement was clear.

We did

The Statement is presented in a format suggested by the Department of Education and is therefore somewhat prescriptive.  In response to the consultation we will add information about Sixth forms for 2021-2022.  There are further resources for parents and young people and these will be emphasised more strongly in future Statements. The Sussex Student Card has since been replaced by the 16-17 Saver.

We asked

The new SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilty) and Inclusion Strategy 2019-2024 supports the additional places for SEND school places. This consultation proposed the addition of four new Specialist Support Centres (SSC's) and the re-designation of an existing SSC creating an additional 58 spaces. The SSC's will cater for pupils with 'social communication needs'.

You said

A total of 169 responses. Overall  a minimum of 80% supported proposals and agreeing that the schools were centred on the needs of children (above 68% across the five schools). Other comments reflected that appropiate finances would need to be afforded to each school and that there were a lack of SEND places in some localities, Horsham being highlighted.

We did

Consultation reponses have been shared with schools. Individual school governing bodies will now take decisions whether to proceed with an SSC. Feasability studies are being carried out at the respective schools. Seperate consultations are also being conducted at the following Academy schools; Edward Bryant - Bognor Regis (12 additional places),  Worthing High (re-deignation to Social Communication Needs and 4 additional places), Warden Park - Cuckfield (re-deignation to Social Communication Needs and 8 additional places).

We asked

What children and young people think of the short breaks on offer, what is important to them, what activities they enjoy, and what might stop them from taking part in a short breaks activity . 

You said

The activities you like the most are sports and swimming, fun activities like soft play and bowling, and holiday clubs/ playschemes. 

A few people couldn't find any activities they could take part in . 

Family fun days are your favourite type of activity. 

Fun and enjoyment are the most important things about the activities you do.

Spending time with friends and people your age is important to you. 

We need to provide you with better information, especially online about the activities on offer in your area and what short breaks are all about. 

Staff training and experience is important, to make sure you can access short breaks. 

We did

  • We will contact families who said they are unable to find the activities they need, to ask if they would like support to find activities that are right for them, and to find out more about the barriers to them taking part.
  • We have improved our online information on short breaks , by creating an accessible Wiki website, which is linked to the Local Offer website and is updated weekly. We also have a Facebook group that parent carers can join, and  have created a YouTube playlist for short breaks on the West Sussex YourSpace Youtube channel.
  • The short breaks statement is a legal document that every local authority has to produce. Our statement is due to be reviewed in January 2021. Following your feedback, and feedback from other families, we are redesigning our statement, working with parent carers and young people, to create two user-friendly guides; one for parent carers and one for young people.
  • We work with our providers to make sure they are supported in developing the skills of their staff.  Feedback on training and knowledge of staff will be discussed with our provider forum, and any gaps in skills addressed.
  • The outcomes of this survey and other engagement work we do with families, such as parent carer focus groups, drop in sessions, visits to talk to young people and staff and work with youth panels, all feed into our ongoing monitoring and evaluation of short breaks in West Sussex.

 

We asked

During this project we engaged with West Sussex residents using Supported Living services between November 2019 and February 2020.  This project included an online survey. six drop-in events, two carers focus groups and informtion from the Learning Disability Partnership Board.

 Responses were received from individuals, family and friend carers and self advocacy groups. There was a limited response from mental health customers which will necessitate further consultation around this group to understand their perspective more fully.

You said

There were three main questions:

  • 1. What is important to you?
  • 2. What housing support do you want?
  • 3. What do you want to tell us about your experience?

The results of this engagement are available in the results section below.

We did

The current West Sussex Supported Lviving Framework contract is due to end in March 2021. The retendering of the Supported Living Framework will provide an opportunity to address some of the issues raised around types of placements and will go some way to support recruitment and retention in the market.

We asked

This initial stakeholder engagement consultation asked for views and comments on a proposed reorganisation of primary education in Copthorne.  It primarily consisted of a drop in session for stakeholders at Copthorne Village Hall and an online survey promoted widely to parents, staff of existing schools, governors, headteachers, local councillors and the education community generally in the wider area. 

You said

Attached below in the 'Related' information area are summaries reports of the responses received online, who replied etc. The main highlights are:-

  • Sixty one percent (46 responses of the 75 analysed) favoured the schools being retained on the existing sites with some wishing for reorganisation in addition for the schools to become primaries. Fifteen percent (11 responses) supported Fairway Infant moving to the Heathy Wood site and 24 percent (18 responses) raised issues but did not give a specific response in favour or against.  These were mainly attendees at the drop in session who wished to consider further before giving an opinion. 

 

  •  The points most commonly raised were concerns about the accessibility of the school if it were to be built at Heathy Wood, that drop off and pick up for children travelling by car is not appropriate, as planned, and the pedestrian access potentially unsafe along Shipley Bridge Road.  The alternative car route along the A264 may lead to traffic congestion, and there were comments about the isolated nature of the site which has few points of access to the East. There was some concern that the location of the school may attract parents from Crawley which could detract from the ethos of the Village and dilute its strong identity.  There were also concerns raised about air quality and noise from the M23 and Gatwick airport. 

We did

The results and a report have been shared with senior leaders at the County Council, the two schools involved, the Diocese of Chichester and the local Parish Council.  Discussions are ongoing with these bodies but have in part been delayed by the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.  Further decisions on whether to proceed to more formal consultation are therefore on hold at present with a view to more clarity being found by the end of the summer 2020.

We asked

The consultation was requested by seven local councils located on the Manhood Peninsula.  The main objective was to assess the public feeling towards self-funding the mobile waste service that runs on consecutive weeks at Selsey and the Witterings.

The survey asked service catchment residents about:

  • Whether or not they would be prepared to pay an additional £5 – 7 per household per year through their Town or Parish Council tax in preference to withdrawing the existing service.
  • Who uses this mobile service, how often and for what purpose.

You said

Approximately 74% of responders positively agreed to paying an extra amount on their council tax to pay for the service.

We did

Anonymised results have been shared with the seven local councils who are currently considering the results of the consultation.  A decision is expected by the end of March on whether or not to go ahead with the self-funding.

We asked

We asked for your feedback on our proposal to remove the option of a free Senior Railcard as an alternative to the Older Person’s Bus Pass in West Sussex. This is a discretionary enhancement offered by the county council, in addition to the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) – also known as ‘free bus passes’.  

A consultation was carried out between 24 October and 4 December 2019 to understand the views of affected residents and other stakeholders.

You said

There were 783 responses to the consultation; 375 of whom were current rail card holders.

The majority of respondents disagreed (59% strongly disagreed) that the free rail card should be withdrawn and 20% slightly or strongly agreed the free rail card should be withdrawn.

Many commented that it would put up the cost of rail travel indicating they would still choose rail instead of the bus, with many stating they use rail for longer journeys.

You can read more about the consultation results here

We did

Due to significant financial pressures, the County Council is reviewing all areas of discretionary expenditure including where it funds Senior Railcards as an alternative to a free bus pass for eligible older residents of West Sussex. It was decided that the free Senior Railcard option would no longer be included as a discretionary enhancement to the ENCTS scheme in West Sussex from October 2020. You can find out more in the Decision Report

This has been extended until the end of October with additional work carried out to promote the following:

  • Eligible residents can apply for the free Senior Railcard as an alternative to the Older Person’s Bus Pass until 31 October 2020, after which time they can take up their free bus pass entitlement.
  • The Senior Railcard will continue to be available for purchase from rail stations and the National Rail website, so that older residents can retain their entitlement to a free bus pass and may also choose to purchase a railcard for £30 per year (or £70 for 3 years).
  • A free Disabled Railcard will continue to be available as an alternative to the Disabled Person’s Bus Pass in West Sussex for anyone with a qualifying disability. The railcard discount also applies to companions of disabled people when they accompany them.  

Further information on free bus passes for older and disabled people, including the railcard options, is available on our website at www.westsussex.gov.uk/buses

We asked

This consultation is run jointly by NHS Coastal West Sussex, NHS Crawley and NHS Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), in partnership with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT), and is now closed.  The survey sought views on improving mental health services in West Sussex.

You said

This feedback will now be independently analysed by the survey owners so that they can take full account of people’s views as they develop their final proposals. 

During November and December 2019, the final proposals will be submitted for approval to NHS England, the West Sussex Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee and the Boards of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the joint Board of the three West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

We did

For more information about these meetings, please check out thier respective websites or you contact them direct on westsussex.mh@nhs.net.

We asked

We asked for people's views and comments on our draft electric vehicle strategy, and a consultation took place from 27 August to 2 October 2019. It primarily consisted of an online questionnaire. 694 responses were submitted.

You said

The full consultation response report is attached, but the highlights are:

  • 72% of respondents agree, or strongly agree with the general aims proposed in the strategy
  • 62% agree that the strategy should focus on people who will be reliant on public infrastructure
  • 61% think should be using renewable energy to power the chargers, but 33% think should only use renewable energy if it was not more expensive to users
  • 55% think they would be fairly or very likely to use chargers installed.
  • 39% think the aims were just right; 37% think the aims are not ambitious enough; 23% think the aims are too ambitious
  • 40% think that the County Council should allow cables in cable protectors, to run across pavements for charging electric vehicles; 51% think this should not be allowed; 8% didn’t know.

 Additional points that arose through the comments section included:

  • Alternative sustainable transport, including active transport such as cycling and walk should be considered over EV charging (5.91% of all responses)
  • The importance of enforcement to ensure charging bays are being used by charging cars (3.6% of all responses)
  • Concerns about cables (3.6% of all responses)
  • Broadening of the public land solution to a community land solution that encompassed village halls and community centres.

We did

As a result of the consultation feedback, the following amendments were made to the Draft EV Strategy:

  1. Adjusted the Ambition
    The consultation draft included the aim of:

    70% of all new cars in the County to be electric by 2030, but as a minimum at least 50% are electric.
     
    The 50% caveat was removed, and the aim reworded to: At least 70% of new cars in the County to be electric by 2030.
     
  2. Removed enabling cables to cross pavements
    The consultation draft included a provision to enable cables to allow residents to run a cable in a suitable cable cover across a pavement and will develop and issue guidance to assist in ensuring that this is possible at minimal risk to members of the public.

     
    This was removed from the strategy and the County Council will not support residents to run a cable in a suitable cable cover across the pavement.

    Instead, the County Council will continue to explore potential solutions to enable residents to charge at home, including keeping up to date with pilots running in other areas, for example channels for cables in Oxford.
     
    3.  Broadened the public land solution aspiration
    The consultation draft included the aspiration of working in partnership with District and Borough Councils (the main owners of public off street parking) and Parish Councils to provide a public land solution.
     
    This aspiration has been broadened to a community land solution and the County Council’s partnership aspirations include charities that run and maintain community land such as village halls and community centres.
     
    4.  Other
    Adjustments were also made to the text to make it clearer that:
    • This strategy was set within the context of a move to more sustainable transport, and this was included in the strategy summary.
    • There would be no cost to the County Council to install the chargers
    • Chargers enabled by the County Council will be accessible via contactless payments
    • Street lighting chargers are not a viable solution within the County
    • Efforts will continue to engage with potential market providers to encourage them to invest in charging infrastructure within the County
    • Our communications plan will include a focus on local businesses

Several other minor additions and amendments were made to reflect comments and suggestions from the consultation and to provide clarity on various aspects of the strategy.
 
The Electric Vehicle Strategy, containing these amendments was approved by the Cabinet Member for the Environment on 3rd December 2019. The final strategy can be found on our website.

We asked

We asked for designs from children and young people that represented inclusion.

You said

You sent us your images .

We did

We selected a winner, whose image will now be prepared by the Graphics Team , so it can be used across all the Strategy documents to represent Inclusion.

We asked

We asked for views on highways and transport services in West Sussex as part of our participation in the annual National Highways and Transport Network Public Satisfaction Survey administered by Ipsos Mori and measure2improve.

You said

You gave us your views on the provision and condition of roads, pavements, cycle paths, public rights of way, bus services, community transport and taxi services. You also provided us information about your frequency of use of different transport modes and how easy or difficult you find it to get to different places. A summary report of the headline indicator results is available on this NHT Survey summary page.

We did

We are using this information to monitor performance of the provision of highways and transport infrastructure and services, and to understand more about travel behaviour, to help us plan investment.

We asked

We asked for your comments on the amended draft SEND and Inclusion Strategy and draft implementation plan. We recieved 65 direct online responses.

You said

You Said that strategy and implementation plan were ‘a great idea’ and resources would be needed. You highlighted how there was a need for timely and specialist services to support schools and settings and how important it for all parties, schools, settings, parent carer and professionals to communicate effectively to support the child.

We did

We have read all your comments and are listening to your views. We will make sure that the feedback you have given is used to inform the work that we undertake.

You can access a copy of these results below.