What is the Local Offer?
Advice page content
In September 2014 there were important changes to the laws and requirements for services that support children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND).
You can find out more about these changes and who is required to do what in:
- The Children and Families Act 2014 part 3
- The Care Act 2014
- SEND Code of Practice 2015
- A shorter guide for parents and carers is available here.
- An easy-to-read guide for young people is available here.
What are the key changes?
The 5 key changes brought about by the 2014 SEND reforms are:
- Families and young people are at the heart of the process
- Education Health and Care working together
- 0-25 provisions where appropriate
- Personal Budgets offer choice and control
- Local Offers relevant information in one place
What is a Local Offer?
A Local Offer a way describing what is available, or on offer, as support from education, health, social care and leisure services.
Local authorities MUST provide, in one place, a description, of this support for local children and young people who are aged 0-25 and have SEND.
Our Local Offer website is where we share information from services about:
- the support they offer
- relevant SEND processes they are involved in
- opportunities for children and young people with SEND
More than a website, a commissioning tool
The 2 main purposes of the Local Offer duty is to:
1. Provide clear, comprehensive, accessible, up-to-date information about available provision and how to access it.
2. Make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by involving disabled young people, their parents and local service providers in developing and reviewing what is available.
The process of developing their local offer and provsion in partnership with families is intended to ensure a better fit between needs and services. Evidence shows that these partnerships often make the best use of people’s time and money, whilst also improving outcomes for disabled children.
Find out how Hackney developed it's Local Offer and involved parents, carers and young people in developing the Local Offer website by reading the annual reports available in the download section of this page.
Putting young people and families at the heart of the process
Service providers working with parent-carers, children and young people should make sure processes well explained. If families clearly understand then they can be involved in all aspects of planning and decision making that will affect them.
Putting our families at the heart of services and planning develops better shared understandings, builds positive relationships, increased levels of confidence and leads to better satisfaction.
The process of doing this is sometimes called Person Centred Planning which you can find out more about here.
How to find information and use the Local Offer website
The website offers a few different information options.
There is a list of services in the directory section of the website. Service entries provide specific information about a service. They may reference and link to other service entries if they work together to provide support.
Help and Advice articles
The Help and Advice button at the top of all the pages on the website will take you to a list of all the help and advice articles.
How to search for information
The 'keyword' search function allows you to search for information using words or phrases about the information you are looking for. An example might be autism. This would return search results related to autism.
You can filter searches by category using the 'browse services' function. This offers a catogorised search filter options. You can find this at the top of every page on the website.
The What's On page
You can access the What's On page from the top task bar on top of every page. This lists time sensitive SEND relevant events and opportunities. This could be a workshop for parents or a SEND specific leisure activity during a holiday.
Providing feedback about services
On the website you can comment or feedback about individual services we list.
An option to do this can be found in every service's entry.
You can also use the “Contact Us” button at the top of every page.
A coordinator will read your request or feedback and reply or forward to a service or individual who will respond.
Formal consultation and enagagement opportunities
Local authorities and their partners working in SEND MUST consult with parents and carers when making chnages that will chnage the way services are delivered.
When we are made aware of them consultations with SEND relevance will be listed here and we will inform parents and carers and partners so they can have a say in the outcome of these decsions.
Working together. Changes to extra help at school for children and young people
Extra help in school for children with SEND
Children and young people who need extra help in school may receive this through the SEN Support process.
This provides a framework to assess, plan, deliver and review progress and agree what support may be needed next.
Schools must publish information about how they support students who have additional needs in their SEN Information Reports.
Education Health and Care Needs Assessmnetnts and Plans
Some children and young people with complex needs have support from education, health and social care services.
These services are required to work together to provide holistic support that makes a positive difference at each stage of life. This work can continue until goals or outcomes based on increasing independence skills have been achieved.
Children and young people with complex SEND needs can apply for an Education Health and Care Needs Assessment. This may show an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) is needed.
EHC Plans bring information together about the child or young person and the support they need. This helps plan with the child or young person and services so that the young person is being prepared for independent life as an adult. If the young person's needs are so complex they may not be independent an EHC Plan helps set individualised goals and provides regular opportunities for relevant services to review support and adjust it if needed.
Some children and young people may need support from an EHC Plan to access education and training until they are 25. The changes brought in by the SEND Reforms allow for this range in support so that accessing adults services and other changes that happen at 18 can settle before coordinated support is changed or withdrawn.
Information, Advice and Support for parents, carers and young people
The Government made funding available for a Independent Supporter programme to help families and young people understand the changes to the laws and how to apply for or convert to an EHC Plan. Find information about this programme and useful resources here.
Although this programme has ended, parents, carers and young people themselves is still provided by Hackney's Information, Advice and Support service SENDIAGS.
SENDIAGS (Special Educational needs and Disability Information Advices and Guidance Service)
SENDIAGS provide regular drop in advice sessions and topic specific Knowledge is Power workshops for parents, carers and young people. The service will provide case work support and attend meetings with families dependent on case officers availability.
Advice Line 020 7275 6036
Service Coordinator 07500 066 513
Information & Advice - Hackney Ark Resource Centre
One stop information, advice, support centre for parents-carers of young people with SEND, young people themselves and service providers. Hosts workshops and offers from filling support and signposting to relevant services.
Telephone: 0207 014 7006
Key Working Service Hackney Ark
Providing support to children with complex health and social needs aged between 0 – 25. Most children supported are under 5, new to Hackney or newly diagnosed need to be introduced to local services.
Telephone: 0207 014 7088
Targeted Health Outreach Team Hackney Ark
Specifically working with those with SEND who; have no input from social work services, are aged 14 - 19, would like some support around developing independence and improving health and well-being.
Phone 020 7014 7176
Information and Access Team
Information and Access Team (IAT) is a "front door" service for Adult Social Care. The service provides information and advice on Adult Social Care services and related issues to the public and other professionals.
Phone 020 8356 6262
City and Hackney Carers Centre
Information and support service for unpaid carers. Services include; counselling, benefits advice and form filling support by appointment, community projects, carers right events and workshops for carers. Advice sessions for parent carers of children with SEND every Wednesday.
Phone: 020 8533 0951
Local Offer Coordinator
The Local Offer Coordinator is not a case worker but can signpost and provide information about services that may work individually with families. If you are not sure what you are looking for but need advice you can contact the Local Offer Coordinator by using the 'Contact Us' function in the top bar of every page on this website.
Hackney's Parent Carer Forum
Sometimes it is other parents and carers that can best understand the issues that arise for families with children and young people who have addtional needs and or disabilities. Information sharing and advice from parents who have lived experience can often be very helpful. Hackney works with HIP Hackney Independent Parents carer Forum to understand the experience of families and develop services and processes.
Support in education and training for those aged 19 - 25
Most children and young people finish their formal education when they are aged 18-19. There is no expectation that all young people with SEND will be in education beyond the age of 19.
It is recognized that some young people with SEND will need longer to complete their studies or training and may require enhanced support to do this.
Young people aged 19 and older who have an EHC Plan will be expected to be developing independence and gaining the necessary skills for adult life. Evidence of the benefit of funded interventions and the progress towards agreed outcomes will be needed to maintain continued funding through an EHC Plan.
To make the most of opportunities that will help prepare them for adult life, some young people with SEND will need more time in education or training . These may be through supported internships or other opportunities.
If a young person who has SEND is due to progress into higher education such as a degree course they should be proud of this achievement. The SEND Code of Practice 2015 does not apply to higher education and EHC Plans are not sources of funding for higher education. Extra support in higher education is through the university's additional learning support department and for some through Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).
Opportunities that will help young people with SEND lead full lives after their time in education may be provided by social care services or voluntary or community services. A personal budget from social care will assist if funding is needed. Young people may also be eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- 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 they need.
The intention of a personal budget is to provide flexible support and give the person who the budget is for choice and control over what and how they receive support.
With this additional choice and control comes additional responsibility for the person receiving the budget. There is help available with managing a personal budget.
Language and terminology used when describing SEND needs and services
Information on Hackney’s Local Offer is provided from a wide range of individuals and services from across:
- education services
- health services
- social care services
- third sector services such as 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 intend to promote a positive image of disabled children and their families.
Partners who provide information for the website use a range of descriptions and terms. These will also be found throughout information we share from them on the website. We accept the language used by a wide range of individuals and SEND services who share this commitment. We do not rephrase or change it.
We provide information to help children and young people with SEND and their families understand a diagnosis, navigate their rights, SEND services and support.
Some terms have specific significance or meaning when used in referenced to a particular sector for example health or information about rights. 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.
For example we won't use terms such as 'suffers from' or 'wheelchair-bound' or “confined” or as these suggests a negative situation. We use terms like “uses a wheelchair” or “wheelchair user” as most people find them liberating.
We hope the information provided on the website will be received as helpful.
Other boroughs Local Offer information...
As each local authority MUST provide a local offer you may also find useful information about schools and opportunities listed on their Local Offer websites.
- Newham SEND Local Offer website
- Islington SEND Local Offer website
- Harringey SEND Local Offer website
- Tower Hamlets SEND Local Offer website
- City of London SEND Local Offer website