Feedback and complaints

Information on this page shows some of the feedback we have received and what we have done about it, and some of the ways that you can send us your comments.

We also provide information about the different ways to make a complaint about services from education, health and care.

​We welcome any feedback, good or bad, about the Local Offer and other services found on the Local Offer.

We will listen to your suggestions to change the Local Offer to meet local needs and to influence the future development of the Local Offer and SEND services in Northamptonshire.

Contact the Local Offer team

During the 20:20 Vision events, we asked people who use the Local Offer to complete a survey about how they use it and what they are looking for.

The survey was shared on social media, was live on the Local Offer for March 2017 and was shared via Informer and Schools emails.

  • 62 responses from a variety of parents and professionals were received. One young person completed the survey
  • 88% knew of the Local Offer website and service

They had found out about the Local Offer through a variety of media including being told by professionals who had worked with them, the SNIX magazine, social media and the NCC website. Users had found out about the Local Offer through schools and parent groups in about 20% of cases.

Users reported that they had looked for community and support services (social care) education, and social and leisure activities.

  • 93% found the information useful or fairly useful

Most contact had been made with the Local Offer team by email.

Suggestions were made to improve awareness of the Local Offer.

It is important to us to know that the Local Offer in Northamptonshire provides you with the information that you are looking for. If you can't find something, please let us know. We are always happy to help.

This is an opportunity for young people and children to comment on the Local Offer and tell us what they think of the website.

Once you have completed a survey you can choose an online game to play.

Thank you for your feedback.

Viewpoint for young people

Support with resolving problems

Cerebra have put together a 'Problem Solving Toolkit' for disabled people, their parents and carers who are facing difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health and education or social care supporting services. The aim of the toolkit is to develop effective strategies for resolving problems.

Complain about a local authority service or department including Social Care

Formal complaints about council services must be made within 12 months of the incident. Complaints will be acknowledged within three working days and investigated in accordance with the county council’s policy. 

Complain about an education setting (schools, colleges, nurseries, early years providers)

If you wish to make a complaint about a school, or any other education setting, you must follow their complaints policy. Policies may be found via the links on the Local Offer website or directly from the education setting.

Complain about a health service

NHS England is responsible for purchasing primary care services such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists, optical services and some specialised services, and should be contacted to make a formal official complaint:

For secondary care including hospital treatments, emergency care and some community services, like district nursing, contact your local Clinical Commissioning Group: 

Complain about an external, independent agency or provider (group, club, charity or other) that you have found on the Local Offer

Complaints will need to be made to the agency or service directly (for example a charity running a group). They should have a complaints policy.

If you have already made a complaint and feel dissatisfied with the result, please give us feedback using our online form and we will register your complaint and, if appropriate, will take action accordingly which may include the following:

  • The Local Offer manager will contact the provider and ask for information about the complaint which will be discussed with the Assistant Director for Vulnerable Learners
  • The Assistant Director for Vulnerable Learners will review the complaint and advise further action
  • The complaint will be reviewed by the Quality Board for either Children's Services or Adult Services as appropriate
  • Action could be: monitor the provision with visits by 'secret shoppers', refer the provision to relative services such as Fire, Trading Standards, QCS
  • If the complaint is found to be fair, and the service is not fit for purpose, then the provision may be removed from the Local Offer and the provider notified of the action and why

Please note this form is only for information you have found on the Local Offer about services for children and young people with special educational needs and is not for general complaints about council services. Please refer to the complaints section of the relevent authority. 

Date​You said​We did
​August 2022
​Can you add a 'sports' filter to the Local Offer​We made sure this comment was included in our Local Offer review. 
​July 2022
​I saw information about holiday clubs in SNIX, but I can't find anything for my 8 year old with a visual impairment. 
We sent information about the holiday activities commissioned by the Local Authority with Northamptonshire Association for the Blind, football clubs and the HAF clubs, as well as the commissioned short breaks service.  ​
​June 2022
​Can I have some information about the EHC process?​We sent a link to the EHC webpages and suggested contacting IASS
​May 2022
​Can you provide me with information for young people and their parents who have ADHD? ​We sent the Local Offer guide and links to helpful materials from 'Shire'
​April 2022
​I am trying to find information about the Learning Disability Framework (for Adult Social Care places). Can you help?
The Local Offer has been provided with a list of the providers that the ASC Brokerage Service use to find suitable places for young adults. All these can be found by using the keywords of 'framework provider'​
​March 2022
My child is aged 17 with autism, anxiety and depression. Can you offer some support to us?

​We sent a copy of our updated ASD leaflet from the website, and a selection of links to agencies who offer support for people with autism.

We sent a link to the Preparing For Adulthood website for some ideas about what to plan for together.  
We sent information about the local colleges that could offer courses for the next academic term. 

​February 2022
​Do we need to re-apply to claim mileage for school travel as we would re-apply for school transport? 
​We asked the Transport Hub and they told us that parents will need to reapply when their children change school (KS1 to KS2, KS2 to KS3) and every year at Post 16 in the same way that they would apply for school transport.  
​January 2022
​Can you give any information about the HAF (Holiday Activity Fund) clubs that ran during 2021? 
​We provided a link to the Northamptonshire Sport webpages who ran the scheme. 
We shared the adverts for the Easter clubs on social media in March 2022.
​December 2021​​no comments maden/a​
​November 2021
Can you give me advice about schools and groups for my son who has Down's Syndrome, as we are moving to Northamptonshire soon. ​We provided information about the Special Schools and resourced units and some suitable social groups (including football!). 
​October 2021
​Can you help us find a school that can accommodate children who use wheelchairs.​Explained that there are schools that have adaptations over and above what would be normally expected. They can be found on the Local Offer by searching 'accessibility'. 
​September 2021

​Can you contribute to the 'What's Next' online event for Daventry Hill School again

​We provided a recording of a presentation offering hints and tips about future planning for 16+ students. 
​August 2021​no comments made​n/a
​July 2021​no comments maden/a
​June 2021​Can you advise about accessing the 'Child Trust Fund' when young people do not have the capacity to manage it themselves? ​We shared that parents or carers need to apply for an order from the Court of Protection to access the Child Trust Fund, preferably prior to the child's 18th birthday, and you will be able to apply for a fee waiver.
​May 2021​No comments made​​n/a
​April 2021​No comments made​​n/a
​March 2021​No comments made​​n/a
​February 2021​No comments made​​n/a
​January 2021​XX refusing to do any home learning, he is having a melt down as no xbox until afternoons.
XX did a lesson on 'time ' it was fantastic and XX completed it without a fight 😊 and loved it
​We suggested looking at the Oak National Academy lessons.  
​December 2020No comments made​​n/a
​November 2020​No comments made​n/a
​October 2020​No comments made​n/a
​Sept 2020​I can't find any information about Foetal Alcohol Syndrome on your website​We found links to a national organisation and there is now information on the Local Offer about FAS
​August 2020​No comments made​n/a
​July 2020​No comments made​n/a
​June 2020No comments made​n/a
​May 2020​Shooting Stars said they couldn't find information about groups for the older age groups.  ​We created a leaflet that lists all the activities for young people aged over 16 in the county.
​April 2020Can you help us with information about the impact of the corona virus on children with SEND?​NPFG helped us to create a 'Frequently asked Questions' document. We created a web page to make it easier to find the information.
​March 2020​I need to share information about the EHC process with a family I am working with whose first language is not English. Can you help?​We shared the information about Browse Aloud and the guide to using it.
​February 2020​Can you help with benefits advice as our 18 year old's apprenticeship hasn't worked out. They have an EHC Plan.​We shared a list of agencies who can help with benefits advice, and also let the parents know that their 18 year old would have been sent a letter about ceasing the plan after leaving education.
​February 2020

​Can you advertise our service in your newsletter and on your social media accounts?

Wonderful, thank you for sharing the publication with us. We are really pleased with the piece and the advert

​We included it in the spring edition of SNIX and shared the details on our social media.
​February 2020​Can you add the Sleep Solutions new referral form to the Local Offer please? ​We included it in the service description.
​January 2020​Can you help us find holiday clubs?​We shared details about the commissioned clubs - Action for Children and the Autism East Midlands clubs that are on the 'Whats On' page and on the search results.
​December 2019​No comments made
​November 2019

The 'fact sheets' are amazing (for LD, ASD and ADHD) - they are just what I was looking for - Do you do ones for SEMH and SALT?

​We will start working on factsheets for Social Emotional and Mental Health and Speech and Language Therapy. We are also preparing an 18 - 25 social activities guide.
​November 2019​How do you find 'Out of County' Schools ​You can look at the Education tile on our home page and select the filter tile for out of county schools. We list all the schools where we have children from Northamptonshire.
​October 2019​At the CHSWG meeting it was asked why searching for 'deafness' and 'deaf education' didn't give the results hoped for.​We added these 'key words' to our data-files for all the schools that teach children with a hearing impairment, and all services that support those children and young people.
​September 2019​You asked us for help in finding information for a variety of topics.​We shared relevant links.
​August 2019

​"How can I find a Personal Assistant?"

Submitted via social media

​We shared the job website that the commissioners have recently set up that advertises vacancies for personal assistants. We were told that families who are either already known to the Personal Budget Service or the Disabled Children's Team can have a job advert placed and the PBSS can help with safe recruitment and employment.
​August 2019

​"Why can't my GP refer my child via the Referral Management Centre for an autism assessment in Northampton?"

Submitted via social media

​We contacted the health service and confirmed that this is not completely true. Referrals for autism assessments need supporting evidence and can't be accepted without this, but GP's can still refer children.
Further information will be provided by the health service. An article was published in the Autumn SNIX magazine.
​July 2019None received​We continue to offer information on the Local Offer website. For example, the What's On page has been updated with all available activities for children over the summer holidays.
​June 2019Yet again not enough provision for autistic children or young people in the north of the county.

​We contacted Action for Children for an update on their provision of groups in the north of the county. They confirmed they are currently sub-commissioning provision in the north of the county to Groundwork Northamptonshire (in Kettering and Corby).

Their contact details are: 01536 521555 or

​May 2019​Why did only 4 people out of 17 turn up for the Specialist Support Services Food course? Is there a cancellation system?​SSS said that people who want to book a course that is full can add themselves to the waiting list on the Eventbrite system. They can keep checking for cancellations and add themselves as soon as places become available. A week before each course, one of the administrators contacts everyone, and offers spaces to anyone still on the waiting list. People can book up to two spaces per course. We agree it is a shame that people don't turn up when other people would have had the place.
​March 2019​I heard of the local offer from colleagues a long time ago and have regularly used the web search.​We asked how you had heard of the Local Offer in our email auto reply. We are glad to hear you keep using us.
​Nov 2018​There are no suitable changing facilities for older disabled children at Lings Forum to use when going swimming with a parent of the opposite sex.

​We told the Northampton Disability Forum (NDF) about your problem. They told us:

"We have had discussions with Northampton Leisure Trust (NLT) and can report back "that the recent Mounts Centre improvements were possible through major grant investment from Sport England topped up with funds from the Leisure Trust and the Borough Council. Northampton Leisure Trust had applied for funding for structural changes to Lings Forum, which would have included improvements to the disabled facilities on offer but, unfortunately, at this time, they have been unsuccessful. We (NDF) can certainly put this on our action plan and would welcome either yourself or the families onto the Forum and, when the funding is available for improvements, there could be an opportunity to help shape the new facility."

​Sept 2018​How disappointed you were in the XXXX Open Day,that your children weren't supported adequately and that there was no empathy for invisible disabilities or understanding. ​We contacted the providers and told them your concerns. They have set-up a disability awareness course that will be delivered in November as an update and as an introduction for new volunteers. They have new content within the XXX course and all the disability awareness instructors at Northampton will be updated shortly.
June 2018​​Can anyone signpost me to a website regarding starting the echp pathway please and showing the best way to complete forms? Posted on social media.​We provided the link to the EHC pages, with advice to look at the Local Offer webpages and to call IASS for specific advice.
​May 2018​Why don't you tell GPs about the Local Offer? They would be interested.​Kathy spoke to nearly 150 Northampton GPs at one of their information afternoons about the Local Offer website.
​April 2018​I’m looking for ideas about social activities that our 13 year old can participate in. Youth clubs, discos, sorts, etc. We’re in Rothwell near Kettering but happy to travel.​We sent over a list of activities that might interest this young person from the Local Offer information.
​March 2018

​Can you please advertise our disco on your social media platforms for us. And then...

"Fantastic turn out to our first Disco, over 100 attended this event."

​We shared an 'Event' on social media in our community. We are so happy that everyone had a good time.  
​February 2018​Could you include some information about Blue Badges in the next SNIX magazine? It would be helpful to tell parents that the LA no longer sends out reminders to renew the badges.​We added this suggestion to the content for the next SNIX magazine. Information about the Blue Badge scheme can be found on the Local Offer with a link to the LA website. We didn't know that reminders didn't get sent out either and have updated our description on the Local Offer.
​November 2017​Please publish more information about regular groups as 'events' on social media.​We added regular groups as 'Events' on our Facebook page so that you can find them easily.
​October 2017​We had a fantastic time at our summer play schemes. We built good relationships with the parents and young people, and we continue to work with the young leaders 14 to 17 year olds to offer further volunteering opportunities. Thank you for your support in advertising, it was a good response. ​We are very pleased that over 100 young people had fun over the summer, and are always happy to share information for our community.
​October 2017​Does anyone know the email address for school transport? I've got the number but it just keeps ringing out, thanks in advance.​We posted the email address on social media - happy to be able to provide local information.
​May 2017We've found a useful document on your website 'Completing the All About Me Section of the EHC Plan: An Easy Read Guide for Parents'. Please can we reference it?​Of course, we're glad you found one of our documents a useful resource.
​May 2017 ​Thank you for sharing our new support group on your social media pages, and adding us to the Local Offer, we've had 4-5 new members in the last few days!​We're really pleased that you've had more interest since our social media posts. Just let us know if you have anything else coming up that you'd like us to put out.
​May 2017 ​I am a local Independent Occupational Therapist working within a number of mainstream and special needs schools in Northamptonshire. How do I register in your directory?​We sent over our register a service online form. Thank you for getting in touch.
​April 2017​I couldn't find a support group for Epilepsy in Northampton, so I set one up myself. How do I get it added to the Local Offer?​We sent out our online registration form. We're really pleased that there is now support in Northampton for families affected by epilepsy.
​January 2017We picked up your 'Specialist Services in Adulthood' leaflet from your stall at a recent event, and we noticed that our telephone number was incorrect. Please could you update it to XXXXX XXXXXX. ​We updated our leaflet. Thank you for providing us with your up-to-date information.
​November 2016

​I remember from one of our Children Centre's meetings that you had done a lovely list of all SEND groups in the areas in the county on one sheet per area. I have directed lots of parents to look for this on the Local Offer but they keep coming back to say they can’t find it. They have searched under SEND, groups Children centre’s, etc. but had no luck

​We sent over the link by email, adding that is found under the information and articles tab and that it can easily be found by searching for 'calendar'.

We are also working to make finding information through the early years filter easier for users.

​September 2016There were lots of families who experienced transport issues this year, what happened? The local authority is aware of a number of issues relating to transport arrangements for the start of this academic year, and wish to apologise if this has impacted on you and your family. The local authority will be reviewing this year’s process with representatives from Information Advice and Support Service and Northamptonshire Parent Forum Group, and will feed back to all parents on the outcome of this meeting via social media.
​August 2016​The (first) disability football that is running at Brackley Town FC was a huge success and is running throughout the summer every Friday​We sent a message to the provider (BTFC football in the community) who were delighted and said that they can accommodate youngsters older than 16 as well as the younger children and they hope to see more at the club.
​May 2016"​We live on the border with Oxfordshire and are often unable to use their services due to funding issues. We are also unable to use Northants services due to distance. Are there any plans to provide dance sessions or similar for children in the Brackley area?"

​There will be a new youth group set up in Brackley, run by Action for Children and commissioned by the local authority, starting soon.

We will also tell the Commissioners that you are looking for dance sessions or similar.

​May 2016

"​I can't thank you enough. I have contacted *** and they are getting the ball rolling.

"You've been really great, thanks for your prompt reply. I didn't even know about The Local Offer so have no idea what services are available"

​We provided the contact details asked for and provided a link to other services that may be able to help this family.