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What is the Local Offer?

Since September 2014 some of the laws and requirements for services that support children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) have changed.

You can find out more about who is required to do what in:


The 5 key changes brought about by the SEND reforms are:

  • Families and young people at the heart of the process
  • Education Health and Care working together
  • 0-25 provision - where appropriate
  • Personal Budgets – offering choice and control
  • Local Offers – relevant information in one place

Local Offer websites have information for families, young people and others e.g professionals working with families.

A Local Offer has information about:

  • changes to SEND services
  • explains what the changes mean
  • tells you what support services from education health and social care may be able to offer families and young people. 

You can read more about Local Offers in Chapter 4 of the: SEND Code of Practice 2015

Page last updated 02/11/17 

What is a Local Offer?

Simply put a Local Offer is the provision and services that are available (on offer) to support those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from:

  • Education – Early Years, Primary, Secondary, Alternative Provision, Post 16 and where appropriate post 19
  • Health – Universal / Targeted / Specialist
  • Social Care services (children and adults)

And where appropriate charities, community and voluntary sector services where what is offered is inclusive of those with special educational needs or specific to them. There should be appropriate quality assurance measures in place

The Help and Advice button at the top of all the pages will take you to a list of all articles.

The keyword search function allows you to search for information using words or phrases associated with the information you are looking for.

The remit of local offers is huge and challenging and we are developing and updating our information all the time.

You can feedback on individual services or contact us using the “Contact Us” button at the top of every page.

Putting young people and families at the heart of the process

All professionals and people working with them should be making sure that parents, children and young people are genuinely involved in all aspects of planning and decision making.

Doing this helps to develop better understanding, build positive relationships and increased levels of confidence, and leads to better participation. Find out more here…

What is Person Centred Planning?

Working together or Joint Working

Education Health and Care plans / Joint Working:

Support provided by statements of SEN or Learning Difficulty Assessments  will now be provided through an Education, Health and Care Plan ('EHC Plan').  

Plans will  be more focused on what the child would like to achieve in life known as “outcomes”, and will in some cases last up until they reach 25.

To find out more about this see here...

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) information questions and answers...

Children who were receiving support from schools at "School Action" and "School Action Plus" levels will now get what is now called "SEN Support".

To find out more about this see here...

SEN support in mainstream schools

The Children and Families Act has NOT changed the rules about which children and young people can get extra help at school or college. The government says that no child will have their support taken away just because the new law has come in.

Statements of SEN or Learning Disability Assessment will remain valid until they are either changed into EHC Plans, or ended because your child no longer needs help, or has left education or training. LDAs will all be converted by September 2016 and Statements will be converted by April 2018.

The Independent Support programme

The Government made funding available for a Independent Supporter programme to help families and young people understand how to apply for or convert to an EHC Plan.

Information about this programme and useful resources: Independent  Programme - September 2014 - July 2018

This programme has now ended but support for parents, carers and young people themselves is still provided by Hackney's Information, Advice and Support service. 

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

Help and support can extend from the ages of 0 - 25 where appropriate

While there is a recognition that some young people will need longer to complete their studies or training there is no expectation that all young people with SEND will be in education beyond the age of 19.

Higher education for example degree courses are not part of the new funding arrangements covered by the SEND Code of Practice 2015 and are funded separately.

However some children because of their difficulties will need more time in education or training to make the most of opportunities that will help prepare them for adult life.

Young people will be expected to be supported in developing independence and gaining the necessary skills to be included in adult life to the fullest extent possible. Evidence of the benefit of funded interventions and the progress towards agreed outcomes will need to be shown to maintain educational funding.

There are opportunities that will help young people with SEND lead full lives but these may be provided by social care services or voluntary or community services.  

Planning for adult life begins formally in Year 9 and should be discussed with you and your child or young person at annual reviews.

To find out more about this process see here…

Preparing for adulthood - pathways for a full life

Personal Budgets – offering choice and control

A personal budget is a clear amount of money per year allocated by a service or services from:

  • Education
  • Health 
  • Social Care 

The amount of money agreed for a personal budget will depend on the assessed needs of the individual.

It should be enough funding for the person receiving the budget to arrange and receive the service.

The intention of a personal budget it that it is a way of providing support flexibly and given the person who has the budget choice and control over how they want to receive the support.

With the additional choice and control comes additional responsibility for the person receiving the budget. 

There is help available with managing a personal budget.

For more information see here…

What is a personal budget?

The use of language and SEND terminology on the Local Offer website...

Information on Hackney’s Local Offer is provided from a wide range of individuals and services from across education, health and social care sectors as well as third sector (charities) and community organisations. Providing a wide range of information involves multiple people making multiple decisions.

Whilst different sectors use language to describe disabled people in different ways we intend it to be progressive and not to use descriptions that are outdated.

We do not intentionally use language to cause offence.

We do intend to promote a positive image of disabled children and their families.

We accept the language used by a wide range of individuals and SEND services who share this commitment and do not rephrase or change it. Those who provide information for the website and when talking to children, young people and families in Hackney use a range of descriptions and terms and these will also be found throughout the website.

We provide this information to help children and young people with SEND and their families understand a diagnosis, navigate their rights and SEND services and support (help in school or from health services or accessing benefits).

Some of these terms have specific significance or meaning when used in referenced to a particular sector. For example, if referring to specific education issues, we might use the term 'children with special educational needs' (SEN) as this has a precise legal meaning.

We try to ensure the accurate meaning is captured for families to refer to.

We recognise different people are more comfortable and familiar with particular terms.

We try to reflect a range of appropriate views on the website.

We don't highlight the disability or put the disability before the person.

We emphasise the person, not the disability.

We don't use terms that treat disabled people as a group and ignore their individuality.

For example we won't use terms such as 'suffers from' or 'wheelchair-bound' or “confined” or as these suggests a negative situation. Most people who use a wheelchair do not think of them as limiting. They are thought of as liberating. We use terms like “uses a wheelchair” or “wheelchair user”.

We hope the information provided on the website is helpful and will be received as such. 

Further useful information...

Local Offer - Face to Face information sessions

If you have questions or need help understanding how to use the Local Offer or someone to do the searching for you, you can get face to face support during a Local Offer surgery.

These are run on the last Tuesday of the month at The Resource Centre at Hackney Ark At these surgeries the Local Offer Coordinator can help you to find and print the information from the website that you need.

The Local Coordinator is not a case worker and will not be able to advise you about individual situations. 

In order to provide the best information ans support we can a representatives from Hackney's Short Breaks and Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service) also offer face to face support at these sessions. 

Joint sessions run on the last Tuesday of every month. Hackney SENDIAGS run regular drop in sessions and The Resource Centre is open 5 days a week and provides information to parents on a broad range on SEND related matters. 

Hackney SENDIAGS (SEND Information, Advice and Guidance Service)

Information & Advice - Hackney Ark Resource Centre


More information on new SEND processes can be found throughout this website. 

To find out how Hackney has developed it's Local Offer and involved parents so far you can read the annual reports available in the download section of this page.


You can see neighbouring borough's Local Offer websites by clicking on the links below: 

Also see related pages on Hackney's Local Offer...

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