Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND): Cumbria Parent & Children Research 2019-2020


The four agencies in Cumbria have been working in partnership to improve the quality and accessibility of services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities. 
In 2019 the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection and report identified a number of areas where improvements were needed. In response, the partners agreed a Written Statement of Action (WSoA), including a commitment to carry out research to provide a comprehensive understanding of the experience and views of parents/carers on the SEND services and Improvement Programme. The research findings will be used to inform longer term plans and delivery of the services in Cumbria.


In 2019, M·E·L Research were commisioned to undertake the research. The use of an independent research organisation was seen as an important part of the engagement process with those using SEND services. M·E·L Research designed questionnaires for parents/carers, and one for children and young people. Questionniares were mailed to the parent/carer of all children in Cumbria that have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The survey pack contained both questionnaires and instructions for completing an online version of questionnaire.


Over 500 parents/carers responded to the survey, providing robust research findings on the experiences of those with children that have, or are currently using, the SEND services in Cumbria and the Ofsted/CQC inspection. Over 350 children and young people responded to the survey, offering useful insight into their experiences of help and support they receive.

The research findings from parents and children have provided the partnerhip organisations with robust data to make informed decisions that will help improve SEND services throughout the County.

For more information please contact Tim Markham, Associate Director on 0121 604 4664 or email tim.markham@melresearch.co.uk