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Design and development consultation

In October 2013 a Countywide parent and carer event called 'Support and Aspiration' facilitated a demonstration and discussion of existing local offer sites to seek feedback and expectations from the group of what they wanted the Derbyshire local offer to look like.

This was followed up by a 'Next Steps' event in January 2014 where a wide range of stakeholders including parents and carers were invited to County Hall, Matlock. One of the exercises for the table discussion focused on the Local Offer and what 'good' looked like. A simple questionnaire to seek views on the format and content of the Local Offer was circulated in the packs and delegates were invited to complete and return the questionnaires.

Three Parent-carers were invited to be members of the 'task and finish group' which led on the development of the Derbyshire Local Offer website and considered the range of services available. There was a lot of discussion in this group about the look and feel of the website, and this informed the 'specification' for the site.

The views of parents and carers were given a high weight and directly influenced the final specification − for example, parents and carers supported the idea of being able to 'review and rate' services.

Parents and carers were also engaged through membership of the wider Support and Aspiration 'Project Board', which was provided with regular progress updates and asked to approve the specification and design for the Local Offer website.

Following the development of 'wire frame' example pages based upon the initial specification, an informal consultation took place with parents and young people in Spring 2014. The Disability Inclusion Team met with groups of young people including the Special Schools Forum to ask for their ideas.

Young people wanted the Local Offer site to look 'fun' with lots of photos/video clips. They wanted to be able to access the site on smartphones and tablets. Parents were less concerned about the design of the site but wanted to be able to speak to someone to get help and advice.

A logo competition took place for young people to design the logo for the site which has now become the recognised brand for the site and associated marketing material.

A formal consultation took place in May and June 2014 on the SEND reforms, to seek views from parents, carers and professionals. This included questions about the Local Offer although these were focused on the availability and impact of local services rather than the design of the website.

A 'virtual' parent-carer group was also used as a sounding board to comment on design and content for the Local Offer as it was being developed. The group was invited to comment on designs and content to check it was accessible, clear and covered what parents/carers would want to know.

At the Special Schools Forum held at Bennerley Fields Special School in October 2014 pupils from seven of our ten Special Schools were involved in testing the navigation between pages and content. The young people found it difficult to navigate through the web pages and to use the ICT equipment. This is feedback that has been used to introduce enhancements to the search facility and improve the look and feel particularly for use over mobile equipment and tablets.