Luton Council, Luton’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Luton parents and carers are delighted to launch its updated Local Offer website to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.
In addition to the emotional challenges of coming to terms with a child having special educational needs or disabilities, finding out where to go to get support can often be a daunting and overwhelming prospect. The Local Offer website is an online, one-stop-shop where parents, children, young people and professionals can find out about the education, health and social care support services, voluntary organisations, charities and groups that are available locally to identify and meet the needs of children with SEND and to support families.
Since 2014 all local areas have been required to publish an online ‘local offer’ for SEND. All schools must be featured on the Local Offer and schools need to clearly set out their SEND information and provision. Luton’s Local Offer has developed over time and has evolved from an initial directory of services and provision to a much more dynamic and interactive hub.
The new and improved site has been coproduced with education, health and social care professionals and parents, carers and children and young people with SEND. There have been a number of workshops and focus groups for people to get involved and have their say about what information they want to see on the Local Offer, how it should appear and function and how to make the Local Offer as accessible as possible. Talented children and young people have been involved in designing the vibrant artwork and logo for the Local Offer. New features include an introductory video featuring our fantastic Luton parents, carers and young people; an easy, step by step guide from initial concerns about a child’s development through to applying for an education, health and care needs assessment and beyond; and our ‘what’s on?’ news and events feature.
Whilst we are enormously proud of our improved Local Offer and the work that has gone into making it a more user friendly and accessible website, we are always trying to improve and know there is more to do. We would welcome and actively encourage involvement and feedback from users so do let us know what you think and what could be improved via the feedback buttons.