I am proud to present the launch of a new social enterprise, The Local Offer.
Welcome to this web platform on behalf of all children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. I hope you will find the articles and resources helpful and maybe even inspiring. Under development are the search features that will enable you to discover SEND providers in your area as the site becomes more populated with providers across education, health and social care.
The journey from conception to launch of the site and service has been paved with many challenges. The pace of SEND Reforms has been rapid but still evolving, ready for implementation in September 2014. As always in times of change and transition, a sense of unease emerges as a lingering disquiet, at the many conferences and events I’ve attended over the past year.
Only a few weeks ago, Royal Assent was granted to create the Children and Families Act (March 2014) reforming legislation on behalf of children and young people with special educational needs. This Act will shape and transform the landscape of education, health and social care.
Shaping a landscape and shifting attitudes towards the choices schools, parents and young people have over provision for children in their care is very much at the heart of The Local Offer. The providers who have come on board prior to the launch all share that vision and are keen to promote their services so that there is truly a Local Offer that reflects the breadth, diversity and extent of opportunity for all children and young people, within any given locality.
It is an exciting time for SEND providers and practitioners, and one that affords opportunities for new ways of working, for new relationships and collaborations to be forged and for different outcomes to be prioritised. Long over-due is the focus on putting at the heart of all services, the needs, wishes and interests of children and young people with SEND, whether experiencing short term, transitory difficulties or long term and more complex needs and disabilities.
The Local Offer, in its infancy, depends upon the support of all those professionals involved in SEND provision, practice and policy to share this resource, to extend the network of knowledge and to create a comprehensive Road Map of SEND Provision (England). All parts of the site and content, including a resource base to be populated with articles from member services, are available to share or save to encourage collaborate working between sectors and services.
Additional services will be added over time and as new SEND providers join The Local Offer, they will be hi-lighted in News & Events under What’s New. I hope you enjoy looking through the site. Do register to personalise your journey and save information or documents you wish to read later.
I am very keen to hear feedback and first impressions of The Local Offer, and your views on how this service may make a difference to you. Do get in touch.
With kind regards always,