Photo Credit: The Guardian
By Tom Duffy
A new online resource and support service called the ‘Local Offer’ has been launched for local children and young people age 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities.
The Local Offer is available as part of the Sefton Directory, and is a comprehensive information service for families, children, young people and professionals covering all aspects of special needs provision, including education, health and social care.
The Local Offer is a key part of government reform on Special Education Needs (SEN) and underpinned by a new SEN Code of Practice.
Sefton’s offer has been designed following consultation with local families, children, young people, and with the support of Sefton Parent Carer Forum.
Over time it is intended that the Local Offer will develop further and provide even more information. However, a dedicated Information, Advice and Support Service for the Local Offer is on hand to provide any information not yet on the site.
Colin Pettigrew, Director for Children’s Services in Sefton, said: “A wide range of stakeholders have played a part in developing and implementing Sefton’s SEN reforms and, in particular, the Local Offer.
“The Local Offer is a comprehensive information resource and the focal point of the way families of children with SEN and young people with SEN interact with local services. In addition, there is the opportunity to feedback on service provision and raise queries that will be essential in helping the council and its partners to further develop and improve the Local Offer and review services as appropriate.”
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, said: “The SEN reforms in Sefton are about giving children, young people and their families the independence to make informed decisions about their lives and their futures.
“As it develops, the ‘Local Offer’ will increasingly become the place where they can access the kind of information and support to make those important decisions.”
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