Development of the Hampshire Local Offer
The Local Offer is a requirement of the Children and Families Act 2014. It should be one place to find information about services available to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Hampshire County Council was a pathfinder authority for the Children and Families Bill. The Local Offer workstream developed a plan for producing a Local Offer which met statutory obligations while also being responsive to the needs and requirements of families in Hampshire.
Hampshire’s Local Offer is based on a set of principles and a framework that has been developed regionally by a project team made up of both parents and professionals from across the South East 7 authorities. This has allowed us to pool our experience, knowledge and expertise.
The Local Offer framework has been developed so that there is some consistency in the way that information is given across the SE7 region, and it is based on shared learning and feedback from parents/carers as to the questions that they would like the Local Offer to answer. A copy of the Framework is available here
As well as working with their SE7 partners, Hampshire County Council are also committed to working with all bordering Local Authorities e.g. Southampton, Portsmouth, Wiltshire, IOW and Dorset to make sure that all families living or going to school in Hampshire are able to find relevant, timely and accessible information.
In 2013 we undertook a research project to explore how parents access information currently and how this affects their ‘journey’ as a parent of a child or young person with additional needs. We used this learning to help us understand how to deliver the information that will go into the Local Offer. A copy of the Parental Journey report can be found here:
Parental Journey Report
Parental Journey report – in brief
In developing the IT solution for the Local Offer we established a parent led advisory group to support the IT development to ensure that the technology was used to best effect. The advisory group influenced the subsection headings for the Local Offer so that parents could find the information they need easily. They also stressed the importance of “parent to parent” information and parent friendly language and terminology.
Hampshire parents said:
“It should provide information about a range of services but also explain who can offer support “
“Show local support and information about specific conditions “ We’d like it to “identify the educational resources for our child- names of contact their details and location”
It would “help find services, you don’t know what you don’t know and often find things by chance”
“It needs to be a very flexible approach so that you can filter information according to what a parent or carer needs“
“Need clear information about who to approach if things not working , complaints procedures and who will support to resolve things or make a complaint"
We need your feedback to ensure the Local Offer meets your needs. To give feedback please click here.