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Frequently asked questions for the Local Offer

Your feedback on the Local Offer is vital for the Local Authority to ensure we have an effective channel of communication in place to address your questions as they arise to help us improve our Local Offer. This is a place to add frequently asked questions and receive responses. Please make use of the FAQ site to enable us to continually improve our service.

What's happening?

Following a review of SEN services across the country, the Government decided to put in place a radically different system to support better life outcomes for young people and give parents confidence by giving them more control. This sets out changes for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), learning difficulties and disabilities, aged from birth to 25 years old, across services provided by health, social care and education.  Currently the government is reviewing all Local Authorities to determine the progress made.

What's happening in Staffordshire?

Staffordshire is working in partnership with parents/carers, children and young people, and professionals across health, social care, education and other providers to prepare for the legislation and shape the services in a way that will enable all children and young people with SEN living in Staffordshire to achieve better outcomes. Children and young people are at heart of our approach and we are working on embedding that approach and introducing personalised culture across Staffordshire County Council and partner organisations.

We have developed a SEND Development Plan that will outline what we need to change and deliver in the next 5 years to help us to achieve the outcomes.

Why is it happening?

Some of the issues identified by the Government across the country were:

  • Children with SEN have their needs picked up much too late;
  • Education providers sometimes focus too much on the SEN label rather than meeting the child’s needs;
  • Current SEN Statements/ Learning Difficulty Assessments do not focus on life outcomes;
  • Families have to battle on different fronts to get the support they need from separated education, health and social care services;
  • When a young person leaves school for further education, they enter a very different system which does not carry forward the rights and protections that exist in the SEN system in schools.
  • In Staffordshire we need to work together to produce a better assessment system and local offer.

How will this affect families?

We know that families and carers are keen for a local offer that will reduce the inconvenience of travelling to services out of the county.

They'll also have more control over the child's development plan - they will work with education, care and health services will work together with the family to agree a plan from birth to 25 years of age.

Parents and the children themselves will also be critical to building the plans for the local offer.

What is the LAR?

The LAR is the Local Area Review.  It is an inspection to guage progress for all partners regarding their implementation of the SEND reforms.

Is a 'Jargon Buster' available?

Yes. The document below addresses some common misconceptions about the activities schools are required to undertake. It seeks to tackle recurring myths and also includes some new myths on changes happening during the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

Download our Local Offer Jargon Buster.

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