Suffolk Local Offer

Co-production and working together

How we work with our partners to improve things for families of children with SEND.
A diagram showing different ways of working together: inform, consult, engage, co-design and co-production

NHS England guidance on working in partnership with people and communities outlines several different ways of working together, including:

  • Informing: sharing information about proposed changes so people understand what they mean,
  • Consulting: asking for people's opinions on one or more ideas or options,
  • Engaging: listening to people to understand issues and discuss ideas for change,
  • Co-designing: designing with people and incorporating their ideas into the final approach, and
  • Co-production: an equal partnership where people with lived and learnt experience work together from start to finish.

In addition, the SEND Code of Practice makes it clear that Local Authorities should involve children with SEND and their parents in planning and reviewing the Local Offer, and that they "should do this in a way which ensures that children, young people and parents feel they have participated fully in the process and have a sense of co-ownership".

We acknowledge that families have not always felt that this has been the case. We are committed to growing in this area, in order to ensure that the voices and experiences of families and young people with SEND are heard, and that they are equal partners in the development of our services.

Suffolk Parent Carer Forum

In Suffolk, our formal co-production partners for SEND are Suffolk Parent Carer Forum. Their Experts by Experience are involved in a variety of projects across Education, Health and Social Care, ensuring that parent carer voices and experiences are fully heard and part of our day to day work together.

SEND Young Persons Network

We also work closely with representatives from the Engagement Hub and the SEND Young Persons Network - young people who want to have their say to help shape the services and support provided in Suffolk for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Time to Listen

Our Time to Listen events give parent carers and young people opportunity to give feedback directly to senior leaders within the Suffolk SEND Partnership of Education, Health and Social Care.