The process for assessing a person who has learning differences has changed for pupils and students who still have a Statement of Educational Needs. The Local Authority is now responsible for those support services which will be available in their local area for children and young people with special needs or disabilities and their families. Local Authorities are responsible for making what is known as a Local Offer.
Who decides what is in the Local Offer?
The recent law (Children and Families Act 2014) says that every local authority must talk with children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families to find out what sort of support and services they need.
There are many different types of services that children and young people may need, including continuing support from school to college and specialist health services. Children, young people and their families may also have their own plans concerning what enrichment activities should be available, and which services are needed to help that young person move towards independence in adulthood.
Every local authority must have a Local Offer that is available on the Internet and must make sure that people without access to the Internet can also see it. The Local authority must tell children and young people and their families how they can find out more about the Local Offer.
You can find out more about the changes to special educational needs or disability support and the Local Offer by:
- Talking to an impartial information, advice and support service. You can find contact information for one of these here: http://www.iassnetwork.org.uk/
- Talking to your child’s teachers, tutors and support workers
- Getting in touch with your local authority. You can find their contact information on the GOV.UK website:
The support provided will now be all together in one document known as the Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) which replaces a Statement of Education Needs. All young people who currently have a Statement are encouraged to transfer to an EHCP. For more information on EHCP’s and post-16 support please go to: