Local Offer

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What is the Local Offer?

Answer: From September 2014 every Local Authority will be required to publish information about services they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and also services outside of the area which they expect children and young people from their area will use. This will be known as the ‘Local Offer’. The Local Offer will put all the information about Education, Health and Care services, leisure activities and support groups in one place. The Government says the Local Offer must be developed and reviewed in partnership with children and young people, parents and carers, and local services, including schools, colleges, health and social care agencies.

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Question: Who is the Local Offer for?

Answer: The Local Offer is primarily designed for use by parent/carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). However, it will also enable practitioners and professionals to see clearly which services are available in their local area and how and when they can be accessed.

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Question: How will the Local Offer help me?

Answer: It will make it easier for you to find out what you need to know and what you might do in order to get the right support for a child or young person. The services involved with the Local Offer will be asked to provide and maintain up-to-date information that is easily accessible. For instance, information might include who the service will suit, opening hours, accessibility, or costs. The Local Offer will also help you find the services that are nearest to you and most suitable for your child’s needs. There will be guidance to help you find out what you need to ask practitioners and professionals and how they can help you and your child or young person. The Local Offer will also include information on giving feedback and raising issues and concerns and making a complaint.

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Question: What makes the Local Offer different?

Answer: The Local Offer is meant to be more than a directory or a list of services available. It will provide all the information you need to help you identify suitable support, to increase your knowledge so you can make informed decisions about the resources needed to enable your child or young person with SEND to be able to participate, and to enjoy and achieve their goals. It will include information on access to services, any eligibility criteria, how decisions are made and who makes them. Families will know how they can get involved in decisions for their son or daughter and also how to become involved in strategic decision making and service planning. The Local Offer will inform joint commissioning of services within Education, Health and Social Care and provide information to support parent carers and young people who have a personal budget. The content of the Local Offer will be jointly prepared with parent carers and children and young people. This will ensure that it is written and delivered in the most suitable way, so everyone can use and understand it. The Local Offer will be clear and transparent so that you can see exactly what support is available to your family. It will also help parent/carers to feedback and challenge when they are concerned that their son or daughter isn’t receiving the right support to meet his/her needs or the provision they had been led to expect.

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