The Local Offer
The Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (2014)
A new duty in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice is being placed on Local Authorities from September 2014 and this is being referred to as the ‘Local Offer’. This means that Local Authorities must publish, in one place, information about provision they expect to be available in their area for children and young people from 0 to 25 years of age who have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.
The Local Offer must include both local provision and provision outside the area that the local authority expects is likely to be used by children and young people with Special Educational Needs and /or Disabilities for whom they are responsible.
The Local Offer has two key purposes:
To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities available.
To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children and young people with SEND, parents and carers, and service providers.
The Local Offer forms a significant part of the new SEN Code of Practice and focuses on statutory duties for local authorities. The Local Offer is what goes on every day to support children and young people with SEN and how we ensure quality around this. This includes what we expect to be available in schools, colleges and other educational provision.
This Statement sets out, the responsibilities of the school, Governors and the Local Authority for meeting the needs of pupils and their parents/carers who have been identified as having Special Educational/Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
By law, the Local Authority has to publish the arrangements for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities and further details are available in the Local Authority Local Offer. All school receive funding in their budget to allow them to provide for pupils with SEN, and have the freedom to make the necessary arrangements using existing staff, or look for advice and support from outside the school. When a child has a special need, the school and its Governing body is required to fulfil the requirements set out in the Children and Families Bill 2014.