Developing our Local Offer for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
How the Cheshire East Local Offer for SEND was developed
A multi-agency working group of local professionals and parent carers led on the development of the Cheshire East Local Offer. This ensured that the Local Offer was co-produced and included representatives from:
- Cheshire East Council: SEN and Inclusion; Family Information Service; web team; Project Management Office and Early years and childcare team
- Cheshire East Parent Carer Forum
- Parent Partnership (now Cheshire East Information, Advice and Support)
- CVS (Community & Voluntary Services) Cheshire East
- Healthwatch Cheshire East
- NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
- East Cheshire NHS Trust
- Local Schools
To demonstrate this co-production, an independent logo was developed to represent our Local Offer. Ideas for the logo were generated in a joint workshop for professionals and local residents. These ideas were used to create several potential logos, and the final design was chosen by the multi-agency working group.
Engagement with local residents
Parent Carers were heavily involved with the development and design of the Local Offer. Cheshire East Council officers and the Parent Carer Forum ran several sessions dedicated to developing different aspects, such as:
- developing Guiding Principles for the Local Offer
- feedback on information searching – where parents look for information, and how successful this is
- collating what parents would like to know from services and educational settings
- designing the structure of the Local Offer. For example, our Local Offer categories are based on service type (education, health, care etc.) as a result of parental feedback. A parent group then decided on the names of each category and their accompanying icon, to ensure that they were easy to understand
- generating ideas for future engagement of parents and young people
The school council at Springfield Special School were asked for their opinions on which extra-curricular services and activities they feel are currently missing from the borough’s Local Offer. Pupils were also asked to describe the services, people or support that they felt worked well for them, and whether they felt that any certain types of support or provision were missing within their setting. Some of the feedback gathered in this session can be seen in the Springfield School Local Offer Development Session (PDF, 1.7MB).
Engagement with providers
In addition to general training on the SEND reforms and EHC Plans, several sessions were held with local schools to promote awareness of the Local Offer and to facilitate the development of information for their setting.
A consistent template was developed for all local schools to provide their individual local offer/SEN information reports.Work was also carried out with post-16 and early years providers to facilitate the development of their individual local offers, including the provision of suitable templates.
Work with early years providers is still ongoing.The Local Offer was promoted at commissioned provider days, and providers submitted service information via an online form. We are now working to allow providers to update their own details in the directory.