October has seen the beginnings of the first round of development of The Local Offer site.
Cosmetic and structural changes to the site have taken account of visitors and user's feedback, including on how it has been slightly tricky finding the search functions.
The site changes should be completed by mid November, although these projects always take somewhat longer than the original timescale... At The Local Offer, we're looking forward to sharing the new look website!
The Local Offer is a digital-first operation and social enterprise. It unites parents, schools and commissioners with providers of services across education, health and social care. Although in its infancy, the potential to expand and for the site to be populated by many thousands of providers is built into the site capabilities.
The Local Offer considers not just what is happening within individual Local Authorities, but across the country as a whole, region by region, including all 152 of England's local authorities.
The Road Map of SEND Provision (England) is a long term and ambitious project to map provision, based on registered providers, across all of England's local authorities. It will also indicate areas where there is a great diversity of provision in the market place, from private and third sector providers as well as public sector provision.
Each unique provider listed on the site has the potential to lead the way in terms of innovative provison and practice in other areas. It is an outward-looking, revolutionary service that seeks to guide parents to the best possible choice and control over the services they receive for children with special educational needs and/or disability.
Within the current round of structural changes, The Local Offer is moving to a new streamlined on-line registration and payment process. I am keen for feedback on how these new features work and serve the needs of providers.
A pro-active social media marketing campaign across Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Ad-Sense has seen interest in The Local Offer and its Providers dramatically increase. At first glance, Google Ad-Sense seems to give the best returns on marketing investment, but time will tell.
As at 1st September 2014, all Local Authorities in England were required to publish their local offer. It has been disappointing to see the state of play across the country, with some LAs only just beginning to consult on their local offer, many weeks after the deadline for publication. However, others have clearly invested time and energy and have committed to creating something that will benefit all those who depend on SEND services and provision.
New Members on Board
All Provider Profiles (the unique page the details each Providers essential information and Service Offer) can be found directly by going to the Road Map of SEND Provision and clicking on the Google Map Pins.
As the site takes on more members, so this Road Map will become more populated with providers.
Do take a look at some of the Provider Profiles and see what areas each service covers. All Providers on board offer services across multiple Local Authorities, indicated in their Profiles.
New Members since September 2014 include the following - do take a look at their Provider Profile pages -
Nigel Utton Consultancy offers a range of training and consultancy services
Matthew Inniss of Fitnniss, a West Midlands based exercise and mobility service, joined in mid September and is keen to expand his work with other regional and local providers.
Barbara Ball, Director of ASEND Ltd, has a great passion for delivering a truly comprehensive range of services to schools, parents and carers of children and young people with SEND.
BrowseAloud is a Northern Ireland based technology company working in partnership with TLO. (Do look out for the BrowseAloud feature on the site)
BrowseAloud promotes social inclusion within the community by reducing barriers faced when interacting online. Do explore and play around with the remarkable accessibility features.
Scramboo is a mobile technology companywho have come on board to promote and develop augmented reality with LAs and with providers. http://www.scramboo.com/working-in-partnership-with-the-local-offer
With thanks for your interest in The Local Offer.
Kind regards always