About the Local Offer
An introduction to The Buckinghamshire Local Offer: a free, accessible hub bringing together information from social care, health, education and other services around Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The Children and Families Act 2014 requires all Local Authorities to produce a Local Offer which sets out in one place information about services available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
The Local Offer for SEND brings together a wealth of information from education, health, social care, activity providers and other services across the county. It sets out the support they are expected to offer to children and young people aged 0-25 years with SEND, including those who do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan, and how to access those services.
The Local Offer has two main purposes:
- To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about services available
- To ensure local services involve and listen to children and young people in Buckinghamshire with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and their parents and carers when they develop and review their services.
The Buckinghamshire Local Offer has been developed with parents, carers, young people and professionals and input from all these people helps us to keep it up to date and relevant.
This video made by young people in Buckinghamshire explains what the Local Offer means to them.
The Local Offer Briefing Note provides further detailed information about the Local Offer.
The Local Offer Presentation gives an overview of the Buckinghamshire Local Offer for professionals.
The Buckinghamshire Area Wide Offer sets out the responsibilities and expectations of settings in regards to the support to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
Buckinghamshire County Council has worked closely with parents, carers and young people to ensure views have been fully consulted upon. We are proud of this co-production. The common aim is to ensure that Children and Young people with SEND will have full access to educational and other opportunities that support them in achieving the best life outcomes.
‘Children and young people are healthy and safe, feel valued and value others, are treated fairly, have lives filled with learning, achieve their potential and are able to enjoy life and spend quality time with family and friends.’ Buckinghamshire Children and Young People’s Partnership.
Find out more:
To begin with, 28 secondary school pupils and 24 primary pupils from four schools were asked to give their views on the Local Offer. Six sessions were run with college students. A questionnaire was developed and shared with all schools in the county and the Local Offer was suggested as a school council topic for debate. The purpose was to find out what information local young people would like to see and how they usually search for information. 52 young people received AQA certificates for their Local Offer participation work.
A competition was held with young people to design a picture for the Local Offer postcard.
The Local Offer was used as the landing page on the laptops in the Youth Bus to encourage young people to take a look and leave some feedback.
Young people overwhelmingly told us they like to receive information through videos, so a video called ‘What the Local Offer means to me’ was produced with 40 young people, both in front of and behind the camera. Young people told us they were interested in activity information and so a group helped to make a video about activities in the area, as well as six videos to show the post-16 provision in Buckinghamshire.
The council consults with young people as part of the SEN Reforms, such as Personal Budgets, Transitions and the EHCP process. For example, young people helped to develop a young person’s guide to the EHCP process.
We work with the Youth Disability Participation Worker, Youth Voice Group and the SEND Youth Forum to consult on further improvements to the Local Offer, as well as consulting with young people in schools and at various activities and clubs.
Most recently the SEND Youth Forum have redesigned the promotional postcard.
Young people can also share their feedback through the Facebook page, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling us on 01296 383065 or completing the online form, or talking to a professional they might be working with.
Local parent/carer representatives were involved in the design and set-up of the Buckinghamshire Local Offer. They based the approach on a plan that was developed through feedback from parents and carers across South East the region which set out the sorts of information they wanted to see in the Local Offer. Parent/carers also helped develop templates for education providers to capture the information they wanted to see.
Buckinghamshire’s Parent/Carer Group FACT Bucks have helped to develop the Local Offer and have encouraged local parents to have their say by promoting questionnaires and all the ways they can share their feedback. A ‘scenario’ template was shared so people could try out searching for specific information on the website and tell us their experience to make sure they could find what they were looking for which helped us to make improvements.
FACT Bucks were part of a group that identified missing information so we could follow up with services to fill the gaps. FACT Bucks members continue to sit on and co-chair the Local Offer Advisory Group which looks at how the Local Offer can be improved. For example, this group reviewed all the menu headings on the Local Offer landing page and helped to advise on the order of information within those areas.
FACT Bucks co-produce key documents and pieces of work, for example, the Graduated Approach and the SEND Strategy and took part in the South East Local Offer Peer Review.
Information Outreach Officers attend community and specialist events to talk to families, for example, Autism Conference, Transitions Fair and community events.
Why not share your feedback and ‘Tell Us What You Think’.
Professionals from Health, Education and Social Care were consulted to ensure that information on their services was up to date and relevant as part of the Local Offer.
An Information Group was set up to identify missing information so that professionals could be contacted and asked to provide an update.
Education settings were consulted on the template for information that was put together by parent/carer reps. There is ongoing communication with early years and school settings to make sure they update their records and help to raise awareness of the Local Offer to families they work with.
Services and Organisations are usually given access to update their own records so they can keep information up to date themselves. A new field was added to the record template so each organisation can share feedback that they have received and what they have done as a result.
The Local Offer Advisory Group has members from Education, Social Care, SEN, Commissioning, Youth Service, Family Information Service and SENDIAS. These members review the Local Offer and identify things that need improvement.
The SENDIAS Service has access to the Local Offer Facebook page so they can share posts directly with families.
Outreach is delivered to professionals at team meetings or specific sessions to engage them with the Local Offer and encourage them to share their feedback to help improve the information.
We know that not everyone who might benefit from the Local Offer knows about it and so we do lots of things to try and promote it. If you have any other ideas please let us know!
Schools link to the Local Offer from their website.
Local Offer postcard shared with schools, Children’s Centres, Libraries, professionals and directly with families, recently updated by the SEND Youth Forum.
Outreach at community events, information events and professional meetings such as the SENCO Liaison Group.
‘Tell 10’ professionals pledge.
Regular articles in Schools Bulletin and Governor Times.
Hard copy feedback form and information on how to access the Local Offer for those with no internet access shared with libraries.
Advert in ‘Health and Community Guide’ 15/16 and 16/17, distributed to GP practices, taken on home visits and included in new patient packs.
Regular articles in the SEND Local Area Newsletter, My Bucks e-newsletter from Buckinghamshire County Council, District newsletters.
Advert on digi-screen shown in all GP surgeries across the county.
E-bulletin promotion to the Aylesbury CCG.
Letter sent to all GP practices.
Link on the BCC external email footer.
Reminder checklist shared with professionals to ensure all actions have been undertaken.
Coming soon – information pens!
Our website features accessibility tools so everyone can make the most of our website. These tools include:
- BrowseAloud: click on the round icon at the top of each page to read aloud the text on screen, translate from English to other languages and read aloud in that language and use other accessibility features.
- Translate: at the bottom of every page you can see the option to 'Translate this page'. Simply select the language you want to translate the page into.
To find out more about how we have made our website more accessible visit our Accessibility page.
Haven't got computer access?
The Local Offer is accessed mainly via our website but don’t worry if you don’t have a computer, as you can:
- Use public computers at your local library for free to look at the Local Offer information
- Phone us on: 01296 383 065 and we will find the information you need and send it to you or talk you through it on the phone
We also hope that some of our partners, such as Children's Centres, social workers and schools can help you to find the information you need.
Buckinghamshire Accessibility Strategy
Read about the Buckinghamshire Accessibility Strategy.
The Buckinghamshire Family Information Service is responsible for keeping the information up to date within the Local Offer. We rely on our partners to tell us when something has changed. Many of the records have an editor within the organisation or service so they can update their information straight away and we send them reminders to check their information.
If you see something that needs updating you can tell us by:
The Local Authority completed a SEND Review last year and then consulted on the SEND Strategic Priorities for 2017-2020. Read more about the SEND Strategy and Review
Background: legal information
In March 2011 the Government issued a green paper* entitled Support and Aspiration: A new approach to SEN and disability which set out a series of initial proposed changes to the way disabled children and children with special educational needs (SEN) receive support. This led to the 2014 Children and Families Act which came into effect from September 2014.
The 2014 Children & Families Act, known as the SEND Reforms, aimed to ensure children and families are central to the way a child's needs are assessed, to the support they receive and that they are fully involved at each stage. The SEND reforms make things simpler and more joined up. For example: encouraging children, young people and their families to participate in a streamlined assessment and planning process which brings the family and all the services together in assessing and monitoring a child's improvement.
What is a green paper?
A green paper is a tentative (provisional) government report and consultation document of policy proposals for debate and discussion.
The SEND Reforms have been a big project so we worked together with representatives from many different services such as health, social care, the voluntary sector, parents and carers, young people, FACT Bucks, education and practitioners of all types. The four main areas of the reforms were:
- Education, Health Care Plans
- Local Offer
- Personal Budgets and Joint Commissioning
- Preparing for Adulthood
The Integrated Services Board is the strategic group made up of senior representatives from Health, Education and Social Care as well as parent/carer and voluntary sector representatives. This Board oversees the implementation of the SEND Reforms and is driving improvement in Buckinghamshire.
For more information
Each Local Authority (LA) has its own Family Information Service and Local Offer. They, like us, offer information, advice and guidance to local residents including leisure activities, local support groups and childcare options.
Neighbouring Local Offers:
These are public websites. Organisations and services are listed for guidance and information only. Please carry out your own research for your own personal circumstances and requirements. Buckinghamshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external websites.
The Buckinghamshire SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither do Buckinghamshire County Council nor its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information. Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.