The Local Authority is required by law to publish and review information about services available for children and young people with SEND aged 0 to 25 years, which forms the SEND Local Offer. The SEND Local Offer is an important part of outlining the support and provision available to children and young people across a spectrum of SEND, to enable them to access resources appropriate to their needs, with or without an EHC plan.
The SEND Local Offer must be:
- Engaging: involve parents, children and young people in developing and reviewing the SEND Local Offer as well as collaborating with those providing services with the intention of designing, developing and improving services.
- Accessible: easy to understand, factual and jargon-free, and structured in a way that relates to young people's and parents' needs (for example by broad age category or by type of provision).
- Transparent and comprehensive: parents and young people should know what support is available across education, health and social care from 0 to 25 years, how to access it (including eligibility criteria, where relevant), how decisions are made and who is accountable. The SEND Local Offer needs to include details of where to go for information, advice and support, as well as how to make complaints, or appeal against decisions.
The SEND Local Offer is not simply a directory of services. It includes information about:
- Education, health and care provision for children and young people with SEND (which should include information about its quality and the destinations/outcomes achieved by those who use it).
- Arrangements for identifying and assessing children and young people's SEND including arrangements for requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.
- Other educational provision (educational provision outside schools or colleges, such as sports or arts provision).
- Training provision, including apprenticeships.
- Arrangements for travel to and from schools, post-16 institutions and early years providers.
- Support to help children and young people moving between phases of education (for example from early years to school, from primary to secondary) and to prepare for adulthood.
- Sources of information, advice and support in the Local Authority's area relating to SEN, including forums for parents and carers, support groups, childcare and leisure activities.
- Arrangements for making complaints, for the resolution of disagreements, medication and parents and young people's rights of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
The SEND Local Offer is an important source for children, young people and their families. It will also be a significant source of information for all professionals, not just those who will be directly involved in the EHC plan production. Service users will have an important part to play in the ongoing development and review of the SEND Local Offer.
If you think your child may have special educational needs, contact the 'SN co-ordinator' or 'SENCO' in your child's school or nursery.
If you wish to discuss your child's needs with a Lead Education Officer, please contact the SEND Teams below:
Cumbria's SEND Teams
|Carlisle & Eden||Ann Hayward||01228 226840|
|Allerdale & Copeland||Guy Short||01946 506240|
|Barrow & South Lakes||Kirsty Parry||01229 407555|
|Interpreting & Translation Service||Allyson Carty||07554 438474|
Our Cumbria Support Groups are also more than happy to help. Please click here for their contact details.
Our Cumbria SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIAS) can also give you advice about SEN.
Parent Consultation and Contribution to the Local Offer
Cumbria's Local Offer is continually developing and your feedback is important to help us shape the future delivery. We aim to be approachable, transparent and constructive to make sure that all views are acknowledged and considered.
The feedback and comments we have received have been recorded and can be found in the 'related advice' section (at the bottom of this page), along with our response and subsequent actions.
If you would like to provide feedback with regards to the services on offer in Cumbria, the information we provide or general views on Cumbria's Local Offer website please contact us. Your views are important.
If you would like to add your organisation to the Local Offer, please click on the below link and follow the instructions:
We are aware that some families in Cumbria may access services provided by other local authority areas. You may for example live in the county but your child may attend a Lancashire school. You might live in Carlisle but access some health provision in County Durham.
To help such families this section provides links to other Local Offers that are available by neighbouring authorities. By clicking on the relevant link you will be taken to the Local Offer for the local authority you have chosen.
In addition the Department of Education have funded the development of a national resource called SEND Direct. A link to this searchable site is also listed below: