From September 2014 the new SEN Code of Practice came into force. As a result of this, there have been some changes to the way schools and local authorities ensure that the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are met.
What does this mean to me as the parent of a child with SEND?
From September 2014 all local authorities must publish, in one place, information about the services they expect to be available in their area for children and young people 0 - 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. This is known as the 'Local Offer'. The development of a Local Offer is one of a number of changes to the way children and young people with SEND are supported that are part of the Children and Families Act.
Schools will also publish an annual Special Educational Needs Information Report which will outline what individual schools are able to offer in order to support children and families with SEND. You can find out more about Cambridgeshire's Local Offer on http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/send.
What will the Local Offer cover?
The Local Offer will include information about health and social care services, education, leisure activities and support groups in the area for children and young people aged 0 - 25 with SEND and their families.
There will be information about: services and support available; how children and young people's needs are identified and assessed; the way schools, colleges and maintained nurseries support children and young people with SEND; how to access services and how decisions are made; preparation for adulthood and independence; arrangements for making a complaint and mediation and how to comment on the Local Offer.
The link for Cambridgeshire's Local Offer is at the bottom of this page.
Why is the Local Offer important?
The Local Offer will help parents, carers and young people to see clearly the range of services and support that are available in their local area and understand how to access them.
Information about our special needs provision will be published on our school website in the information report. In addition to this, the school’s Inclusion Policy currently published on the school website, will be reviewed in light of these changes.
At Holme Church of England School we recognise that the additional needs of some children means that very specific communication is required between the school and families to keep you updated on your child’s development and the impact of additional support offered. As a result of this, from this term, we are introducing an additional opportunity for parents/carers to meet with your child’s class teacher(s) a if your child has identified special education needs (SEN). You may choose to have this instead of or in addition to the usual parents’ appointments which are planned for Autumn and Spring.