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The Local Offer

What is the Local Offer?
The SEN Code of Practice states that:

Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health, and social care for children and young people in their area who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plans. In setting out what they ‘expect to be available’, local authorities should include provision which they believe will be available.

The Local Offer has two key purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible, and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it.
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review

The Local Offer should not simply be a directory of existing services. Its success depends as much upon full engagement with children, young people, and them parents as on the information it contains. The process of developing the Local Offer will help local authorities and their health partners to improve provision.

There are specific requirements that all local authorities must meet in developing, publishing, and reviewing their Local Offer, and cover:

  • the information to be included
  • how the Local Offer is to be published
  • who is to be consulted about the Local Offer
  • how children with SEN or disabilities and their parents and young people with SEN or disabilities will be involved in the preparation and review of the Local Offer, and
  • the publication of comments on the Local Offer and the local authority’s response, including any action it intends to take in relation to those comments

The Local Offer should be:

  • collaborative: local authorities must involve parents, children, and young people in developing and reviewing the Local Offer. They must also co-operate with those providing services
  • accessible: the published Local Offer should be easy to understand, factual and jargon free. It should be structured in a way that relates to young people’s and parents’ needs (for example by broad age group or type of special educational provision). It should be well signposted and well publicised
  • comprehensive: parents and young people should know what support is expected to be available across education, health, and social care from age 0 to 25 and how to access it. The Local Offer must include eligibility criteria for services where relevant and make it clear where to go for information, advice and support, as well as how to make complaints about provision or appeal against decisions
  • up to date: when parents and young people access the Local Offer it is important that the information is up to date
  • transparent: the Local Offer should be clear about how decisions are made and who is accountable and responsible for them

Website: The Redbridge Local Offer