|The theme for this week is the Local Offer. Please post any questions and challenges, which are causing barriers to you implementing this element of the reforms. To make sure that local areas are well equipped to support families and young people we are particularly welcoming questions from professionals.
You can post questions from 1pm on Monday 3/2/14 – Wednesday 5/2/14 at 5pm. Once you have posted your question we will arrange for a response to be posted to the forum by the end of the same week.
Please ignore my first comment! My question concerns the links between the local offer and the whole range of other information and advice functions, shared across local authorities, schools and colleges:
- The new duty on local authorities to provide impartial IAG to young people with SEN
- The duties on schools and colleges to provide impartial careers IAG to young people, including potentially 1:1 support to those with SEN
- The advice and guidance that ought to form a part of person centered transition planning
- Local Authority duties under section 68 of the Education and Skills Act to encourage participation, especially among vulnerable 16-18 year olds
How best can this be brought together into a coherent IAG offer to young people where possible? Especially considering other potential sources of info such as the National Careers Service, Job Centre Plus and charity and other providers of IAG.
03/02/2014 14:57:54Bonney girl
I would like to know what will be available for children when they reach college age who have SEN but have not been statemented?
|My concern is of a general nature really. As a parent of two with SEN I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. Information on its own is not enough it has to be give in a way that we can use it. It has to be relevent before we can ask the question, we need to know what its is we are looking for and I know for my part that has always been the difficult part.
We are still faced by ignorance and we are left to do the challenging whilst trying to maintain a healthy relationship with those supporting our young children. I started off very optimistic with this bill but the more I see the more concerned I am for those left at the mercy of universal providers mainstream schools and colleges.
There is no money attached to this and yet we are lead to believe that the schools can support our young people with ASD/ADHD and other similar conditions. Not that I am suggesting that money will fix it. We need people in place who can prepare our young people for the rest of their lives and not just the next stage in education.
I would like to know what support will be available for children and young people who do not have an Education, Health and Care Plan, typically those who have dyslexia, ADHD and ASD that may have historically been supported at School Action and School Action Plus?
|I hear lots of people talking about the 'Local offer' but when you ask them what it means many say a bit more than a data base. (Google offers the service) I would love a child / young person friendly guide of what it is and how it benefits young people and their families - dare I say I would love each local area to coproduce the local offer with the leadership, direction and construction starting from young people and families. Please make it Facebook compatible as my daughter goes on this every day but i don't think she's ever been on a council webiste.
|I also worry about the information overload and yet much of it will be turgid and repetitive and not really getting to the heart of things. The responsibilities on social care, on education are statutory, that they have to make reasonable adjustments for all people with SEN so I worry that the 'local offer' (I agree with jonralphs - it's a very vague term) is just going to repeat fairly meaningless information.
On a different issue but related to Bonney Girl's comment, I wonder about those 16/17 year olds who have just started in mainstream FE colleges, their statement no longer applies and so they are presumably 'out of the loop' and won't benefit from the new EHC plans which would take them up to 25?
We just want to say a big thank you for all your posts so far. We will be collating your questions and posting responses by the end of the day on Friday 7th February.
The main question our family has in relation to the local offer is how to find out what it contains? Then, where a child/young person is not in a LA school/college, how does the LA disseminate the information? We have been allocated an advocate for our child (who has ASD, Epilepsy and physical disability plus a Statement of SEN) by the LA but their role appears to be merely to add another layer of 'blocking' and time wasting whilst not advocating on our child's behalf.
We are in a pathfinder area, attended the kick off meetings for the 'green paper' and follow up ones, used to get the emails but seem to have been overlooked lately in any form of communication and certainly the LA do not welcome our feedback - perhaps because it is not what they wish to hear? So, we wonder how will any offer or change to services be shared with families such as ours? Bearing in mind our child gets no support whatsoever at the moment thus we are hardly expecting any less!
We'd be interested to hear how an LA which has been funded to share info and seek opinions as a pathfinder can so readily dismiss YP within their region by not even attempting to share relevant information.
|It seems to me that LA's need to spell out exactly what their local offer is, what it means.. who it will affect, how it will improve the lives of those with additional needs(if indeed it will do!) We need information, but we need it to be clear and concise... and not a reworking of what we already know....|
05/02/2014 09:01:28Jam jar
|The education system has severely failed my son who has physical and learning disabilities as well as medical needs. We have been forced to abandon the system as the fight wasn't worth the damage it was taking on my son's health. I am concerned that many of you are raising many of the issues we have faced over the past 18 years and parents who have gone before me, stretching over some 50 years. My biggest concern is we have new rules, new processes but what really is needed is a cultural shift to a collaboration in the interests of the child with a presumption that the persons best able to represent those interests are the parents. We know to our own cost that cultural changes are the most difficult and take time.
I agree that too much information is not helpful, surely if the new provisions are to be successful it should be incumbent upon LAs to provide clear concise information and training to ensure all participants fully understand the new processes.
I have listened to a number of advocates in pathfinder areas and whilst the words have changed the underlying fundamentals seem not to have. I am concerned that the "heart of the matter" has not shifted, there are too many let out clauses, the system is still adversarial and will thrive on obfuscation.
Here's hoping I am wrong!
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