Annual special education needs or disabilities (SEND) survey 2023

Closed 30 Jun 2023

Opened 9 May 2023

Results updated 21 Nov 2023

Norfolk as an area is committed to improving opportunities for children and families to participate in the development of and feedback on SEND services. We repeated last year’s SEND survey to capture how far services have improved and how the priorities of families and professionals have changed and received a total of 1235 responses. 

The survey had a section for children and young people to respond, a section for parents and carers and a section for professionals. After this year the survey will be run bi-annually. 

We saw a significant increase in responses from children and young people with 381 children and young people responding, up from 62 in 2022. Most (71%) said they were allowed to make choices about the support they get with learning. However, children with SEND said they did not always feel included, and this was most often linked to feeling understood, kindness, accessibility and having things to do in their local area.    

Education and learning were listed as the most important thing that parents/carers wanted to see developed or improved for their child in the next 12 months.  

Many parents said they found it hard to get the right support for their children and young people. 

55% of parents/carers said they felt more informed about the services and support available to them and their child.   
Parents/carers felt communication and working together needs to improve across all sectors and services. This is about parents/carers being involved, kept informed, and being asked for their views about services and support. Most professionals had a clear understanding of when and how to use SEND services and support. The main challenges were funding, time and knowledge and understanding of how to meet needs. 

This survey fits into our wider aspirations for families and professionals about how Norfolk will prioritise and deliver its SEND services including: 

  • The council has just recruited two new specialist participation officers, who will work directly with children and young people with SEND, as well as train other professionals to engage with children with a diverse range of needs.  

  • Local First Inclusion will bring more than £100m of new investment by the Department for Education (DfE) and Norfolk County Council. It aligns with the Government’s recently announced SEND improvement plans. For more information on this programme, please visit our Local First Inclusion SEND improvement programme webpages.  

The full results of the survey are available to download at the bottom of this page.

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. We will use the results to identify where we need to further improve services for children and young people with SEND and their families. Actions will be published in a new Local Inclusion Plan (LIP).  Your feedback is also helping to shape our new Norfolk Area SEND and Alternative Provision Strategy (NASAPS).  



This survey is for:

•         parents and carers with a child or young person with SEND
•         children and young people with SEND aged 8 to 25
•         professionals who work with children and young people with SEND and their families

The three groups above will each have their own set of questions, but they are on the same themes.

It could be that you are a professional who is also a parent/carer of child with SEND, in which case you may wish to complete more than one of these surveys.


  • All Areas


  • Children's Services


  • Children and young people