The Leeds Local Offer: Background Information
Where has the Leeds Local Offer come from?
The Children and Families bill is proposing to make significant changes to services for children and young people, including services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The Bill has been widely consulted on and is likely to be passed in spring 2014. It will then need to be implemented from September 2014. The new Act will be accompanied by a new Code of Practice which will give guidance on how local authorities and their partners, including schools, should implement the new laws.
In brief the Bill aims to achieve the following in terms of SEND:
- A new approach to assessment and care planning, with existing statements of SEN replaced with joint multi-agency Education, Health and Care Plans
- More personalisation of services, allowing families with the new EHC plans to have more input into decision about which services they access and how they are paid for. EHC plans will include a ‘personal budget’ and families will be included in decision about how this is spent. This could include families receiving the budget themselves though a ‘direct payment’ and spending it on services of their choice.
- Better information about what services are available and how families can access them, published in a ‘Local Offer’ of information. This will empower families to know what they are entitled to access and make choices to meet their individual needs.