Young people help shape future SEND services

Shout out for SEND conference

Twenty eight young people aged between 11 and 18 attended a youth conference earlier this month, to give their views on current services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Buckinghamshire.

The young people, from schools and education settings across the county attended the Shout Out for SEND event at Adams Park in High Wycombe to help shape the council’s SEND Youth Strategy which is currently being reviewed and updated.

The attendees were invited to give their views on a range of topics including their school and home-life, discussing what has helped them and also to highlight any barriers that have prevented them from progressing and achieving. The topic of transition to adulthood was also discussed and at the end of the day the young people were invited to submit questions on any topic they wished to the panel of guests who included Hero Slinn and Amber Burton, from the SEND Service,  Dr Juliet Sutton from the CCG,  Derek Gravett Smith, Adult Social Care Transitions, Jody Sangster, Children’s Social Care, Amanda Sillitoe, Integrated Therapies and Sue Hadwin from CAMHS.

The young people who attended gave their comments:

  • “I felt that my opinions had an impact”
  • “I learnt employability skills and new words”
  • “I learnt that everyone has a voice, it was really good!
  •  “I learnt a lot about myself and others and about my future and what I can achieve”
  • “I felt heard”

Tolis Vouyioukas, Executive Director of Children’s Services at Buckinghamshire County Council said: “We were delighted to have so many young people come along and help us. It is so important when planning any changes and improvements to services that we listen to the feedback from the very people who use them.

“The comments and insights we have gained as a result of this event will help us to shape future SEND services and ensure that we are meeting the needs of all our children and young people in Buckinghamshire with special needs and disabilities.”

Following on from the success of the day, it is hoped it will become a regular event.