Special Education Needs - Kent Local Offer
Children and Families Bill 2013
The Children and Families Bill takes forward the Coalition Government’s commitments to improve services for vulnerable children and support families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background. The Bill will reform the systems for adoption, looked after children, family justice and special educational needs.
The Government is transforming the system for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), including those who are disabled, so that services consistently support the best outcomes for them. The Bill will extend the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents/carers greater control and choice in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met.
It takes forward the reform programme set out in support and aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability: Progress and next steps by:
•replacing statements and learning difficulty assessments with a new birth- to-25 Education, Health and Care Plan, extending rights and protections to young people in further education and training and offering families personal budgets so that they have more control over the support they need;
•improving cooperation between all the services that support children and their families and particularly requiring local authorities and health authorities to work together; and
•requiring local authorities to involve children, young people and parents in reviewing and developing provision for those with special educational needs and to publish a ‘local offer’ of support.
What is the Local Offer?
The Local Offer was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) as a local offer of all services available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in schools to help children with lower-level SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child.Parents can find this information on the following the link at the bottom of this page.
What will it do?
The Kent framework will allow the Local Offer to provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. With regard to Education, it will let parents/ carers and young people know how school and colleges will support them, and what they can expect across the local settings. During the last year, the Local Offer Steering Group has developed questions for schools, and trialed them with a small number of settings.
There are 14 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests. These will be answered by agencies, schools and colleges to provide information to parents and carers to enable them to make decisions about how to best support their child’s needs.