What is a Local Offer?
In response to concerns from parents and others that they find it hard to access information about what support is available, the Children and Families Act 2014 requires every local authority in England to publish a ‘Local Offer’.
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2014 (“the 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 [Special Educational Needs] or are disabled, including those who do not have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.”
Havering intends to fulfil its statutory obligations in respect of its Local Offer by providing a website which is comprehensive and useful to families of children and young people aged up to 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities (“SEND”).
The Code of Practice states that the Local Offer should include:
• universal services (such as GPs and schools),
• targeted services (additional short-term support over and above universal services) and
• specialist services (specialised, longer-term support).
The Code of Practice and the Local Offer Regulations set out detailed lists of the types of services which must be included: essentially these cover education, health, social care and sources of information, advice and support. However, the content can go beyond this, depending on local needs and consultation with children, young people and parents.
Havering aims to include a wide range of services and information which would be useful to families of children and young people aged up to 25 with SEND. We continue to work with our official parent forum to develop the website and ensure that it contains appropriate details. The final decision as to whether or not a particular service will be included in the Local Offer will be taken by the London Borough of Havering in accordance with its internal policy.
Havering has developed its own internal policies to ensure that information included on the Local Offer is of good quality and to verify as far as possible that details are accurate and current. Services which are included may be those commissioned by the London Borough of Havering or the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, or inspected or monitored by Ofsted.
Inclusion of any other services does not indicate approval or endorsement by the London Borough of Havering n any way. It is the responsibility of parents, carers and young people to ensure that the service has appropriate arrangements in place to ensure their own or their child’s safety and welfare, and that it can deliver the required outcomes.
As well as details of specific services, general information and advice is included from a variety of recognised sources, including publications by the government, voluntary sector organisations and the local authority.
The onus is on service providers to provide the London Borough of Havering with correct information about their service and to update this regularly to reflect any changes. Service providers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request any amendments to the information shown.
In the event that a service fails to provide accurate and current information, the London Borough of Havering reserves the right to remove the service from the Local Offer website.
While the majority of families will be able to access the Local Offer information via the website, Havering is working hard to ensure that the information is also available to those who do not have access to the internet or who may face barriers accessing the information due to disability or language.
It is essential to continue to work with Havering’s official parent forum, Positive Parents, in the development and review of the Local Offer. Young people with SEND must also continue to be consulted. A group of Young Advisers helps us to do this through a charity called Advocacy for All. Havering will also involve the Havering Carer Forum in the co-production of the Local Offer. Further details about these organisations can be found on their websites, Positive Parents and Advocacy for all.
The list of content set out in the Code of Practice is not exhaustive and suggestions will be welcomed from parent carers and young people. Co-production will help to identify gaps in provision and content although it should be noted that suggestions for inclusion will be subject to the approval by the Local Offer Stakeholder Panel & Steering Group
The information contained within the Local Offer website (the "Site") is for the purposes of identifying to anyone accessing the Site (the "Users") the availability of services, providers and related advice to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, and their families.
- The information provided on this website is for general guidance only. It does not in any way represent or imply a recommendation or endorsement of any service or provider by the Council. Users of the Site are responsible themselves for ensuring that such services or providers are suited to their needs. All such services and providers are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind.
- The Content published on the Site may include inaccuracies or errors. Whilst the Council aims to ensure that the information on the Site is as accurate as possible, it is the responsibility of the relevant service or provider to keep the Council informed of any changes to their service or provisions. The Council, therefore, does not guarantee the accuracy of, and disclaims all liability for any errors or other inaccuracies relating to the information on the Site in any form, including the Content.
- The Council does, however, reserve the right for any reason in its sole and absolute discretion to remove any Content on the Site without notice. We may make changes to any part of the Contents of the Website including the information, links described on it, at any time without notice.
- Users shall use the Site at their own risk and in no event shall the Council be liable for any action you may take as a result of relying on such information or for any loss or damage suffered by you as a result. The Council shall in no way be responsible for a Users' access to, display of, or use of the Site, whether any claims arise through negligence, contract, tort, or otherwise.
- Use of the Site by any User is subject to the acceptance of these terms and conditions. Users are not authorised to use the Site if they do not accept these terms and conditions.
- Data published on the internet, which is available to all members of the general public, is classified as public data and so is not protected under the Data Protection Act (2003). Therefore, we reserve the right to use any information available/accessible online to create pages and upload services on our website.