In May, FACT and SENDIAS together surveyed families to understand how families were experiencing support at that time; what was working well that could be replicated; and areas where more support may be needed. We had more than 1100 responses providing a very meaningful snapshot of the well-being of our SEND families across the spectrum – with Plans and without – along with considerable numbers of insightful comments.

With the ongoing COVID related lockdown, FACT and SENDIAS felt it would be appropriate to repeat the survey six weeks later again to gauge well-being against the background of the substantive change that has been necessary in the current health crisis. We again asked questions about provisions and their delivery: but it was not aimed at assessing the quality of that provision.

The response rate was lower on the second occasion, which is not surprising as families are slowly reengaging with work and competing priorities. In the second survey, it is also notable that the ratio of Plans to SEN or no support and between Special Schools and Mainstream has altered.  In the second, the ratio of Plans to SEN or no support is now 2:1 when the original survey was the opposite and the ratio of Mainstream to Special is 2:1 compared to 4:1 in May.

The weighted averages for the questions on satisfaction have remained constant between the surveys but the range of experience is again variable as shown by the comments, which affirms the conclusion from the last survey that more effort is needed to ensure that the Offer across the County is equitable.  In addition, we asked on this occasion about household expenditure versus affordability (Qs 21 & 22) and also about parents most significant concerns (Q23).  The latter has shown that most are concerned about their own physical and mental health, as well as managing the behaviour of their CYP.  Both of these highlight the importance of the restoration of short breaks, as well as the return to full time schooling as soon as possible, if family breakdown is to be avoided.

We have decided not to conduct any further wellbeing survey, but we are planning to repeat our annual survey of attitudes to SEN over the next 6 weeks in order that we all may be better informed for our ongoing discussions around SEND Improvement in the autumn.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know.

With best wishes

Sarah Smith                                                    Andrew Howard

Team Leader                                                   Chair FACT Bucks


Report COVID-19 Survey June 2020 for publication

Comparison of COVID 19 surveys May June 2020