Do you live in England?
Do you know what support and activities there are in your local area? If you don’t, then your Local Offer could tell you.
What is a Local Offer?
Every local authority* in England has a Local Offer website.
*Local authorities are sometimes called local councils. They’re the organisation which runs services in your local area like bin collections, schools and social services.
Every website will look different, but they should all have information on support and activities in your area for children and young people aged 0-25 who are deaf, disabled or have special educational needs.
Local Offers should include information about things like:
- support at college like communication support workers or notetakers
- activities, like sport clubs or youth groups that are deaf aware or have staff who use sign language
- support available from social services (for example, you might be able to borrow flashing fire alarms or doorbells).
- how to ask for an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan (a document which explains the support a child or young person with special educational needs should get, including their health and social care needs)
- support available if you’re going to university, including Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
- audiology services
Here’s an example of a Local Offer website landing page to give you an idea of what your Local Offer might look like:
How do I find my Local Offer?
- Use your postcode to find out which local authority you live in www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
- Click on the link to go to the homepage of your local authority.
- Type ‘Local Offer’ into the search box.
Some councils might not use the term Local Offer, so look out or search results like ‘support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)’ or ‘disabled children and young people’.
We also have a spreadsheet with links to all the Local Offers in England.
What do you think of your Local Offer?
If you’ve looked at your Local Offer but weren’t happy with it you can tell your local authority what you think. This is called submitting feedback.
Different local authorities have different ways of letting you submit feedback. Sometimes there are buttons or tabs at the top or bottom of the Local Offer website that link to a form to fill in, or sometimes you have to send an email.
If you can’t work out how to submit feedback on your Local Offer you can contact the local authority directly. The contact details should be easy to find on the local authority’s main website – most have a Contact Us page.
Our spreadsheet of Local Offers also has details of how you can submit feedback.
By law your local authority must publish the comments they get on their Local Offers and respond to them publically (where everyone can see them).
For example, see what Essex has done
Things to think about if you want to submit feedback:
- Was the website easy to use and understand?
- If you couldn’t find what you wanted, you could ask your local authority if it’s because the support or activity you want doesn’t exist or because they haven’t included it in the Local Offer.
- Was the website accessible for British Sign Language (BSL) users?
Want to know more?
We have a factsheet for parents, Local Offers and Special Educational Needs which has more information about Local Offers.
The Government’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice tells local authorities what they need to do. It’s very long, but chapter four explains more about Local Offers.
Contact our Freephone Helpline