Our progress so far

Improving our SEND Local Offer

Position in November 2019

We had:

  • limitations in how the Local Offer was presented
  • feedback from parents/ carers and professionals to inform us that the information was very hard to locate on the Local Offer
  • no dedicated staffing resource solely focused on the Local Offer website and engaging with the community
  • feedback from parents/ carers, young people and partners to show us that the Local Offer website is difficult to navigate, and didn’t feel accessible

Position as of June 2022

The Local Offer is co-produced as a partnership between us, health, private and voluntary organisations, parents/carers and children and young people

We have:

  • launched the new redesigned and restructured Local Offer website, hosted on a new platform
  • co-produced the tender, evaluation and scoring process of selecting the provider for the new website
  • held workshops with multi-agency organisations, professionals, parents and carers to co-produce the design, look and feel of the website down to the top-level categories, colours, pictures and logo of the new website
  • implemented a ‘provide feedback’ form on the Local Offer as well as an ‘Ask a Question’ section to ensure we continue to capture the thoughts and wishes of our residents
  • updated Local Offer content – all fully reviewed against the code of practice; this has been included in our ongoing engagement plan to ensure regular meetings with content owners are in place
  • launched a fortnightly SEND News email bulletin (currently with over 10,000 subscribers) for parents and carers, with information about events, news, Local Offer updates and more about the SEND services available to them in Central Bedfordshire
  • developed a forward plan of our meetings with the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Health and Care Trust, to ensure we are regularly collaborating on all aspects of our SEND improvement programme
  • strengthened engagement with local voluntary sector organisations to ensure we are working in partnership to support children and young people with SEND
  • developed a Local Offer Facebook page, which currently has over 600 likes
  • co-produced a draft Local Offer annual report
  • continued to hold monthly multi-agency Local Offer working group meetings
  • reviewed our communications and engagement plan with the working group
  • held termly content review meetings with content holders to support the accuracy and relevance of content
  • updated the Local Offer with termly ‘You said, we did’ updates
  • publicised the Local Offer Training programme which is available on the Local Offer, which is also mandatory training for our new staff as part of their induction, and informs professionals how to use, promote and signpost families to the Local Offer
  • commissioned Groundwork youth service to engage with a dedicated group of young people
  • appointed a dedicated Local Offer and Engagement Officer to ensure the Local Offer is responsive and up to date
  • recruited a Co-production and Engagement Lead to support the ongoing co-production of the Local Offer, ensuring it reflects the needs and aspirations of young people

The Local Offer is fit for purpose

We have:

  • held sessions to review the Local Offer with stakeholders, ensuring that its content is in line with the SEND Code of Practice
  • conducted an audit of the Local Offer in April 2021 against the SEND Code of Practice
  • facilitated a survey for our staff and key health professionals to get their views on the Local Offer
  • facilitated a survey through our access and inclusion service to target ‘hard-to-reach’ families, including home-educated children, and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community
  • run a series of Local Offer Live events in venues across Central Bedfordshire to promote the new Local Offer and engage with families
  • rolled out the new Local Offer website hosted by IDOX, a web design company with Local offer experience
  • redesigned the Local Offer and structured it following continuous engagement and co-production with our young people, parents and carers, and professionals
  • invited local residents to join a Local Offer family review group, which focused on the transition of SEND children into adulthood
  • benchmarked the work of the Local Offer with best practice regionally and nationally
  • presented our recommendation for improving the Local Offer website to the SEND Partnership Board
  • provided an update on what else we are doing to improve the work of the Local Offer through our SEND communications
  • conducted user testing sessions of the re-written content, including focussed parent panels co-produced with SNAP Parent Carer Forum
  • reviewed our communications and engagement plan with the working group

Children, young people, and families can access the right information at the right time and are able to make informed choices about the services and support they receive

We have:

  • developed a communication and engagement plan to keep parents and practitioners engaged and updated about the Local Offer
  • launched our Local Offer Facebook page, which currently has more than 600 likes
  • continued to share information from our web analytics to Services Oversight and Scrutiny Committee members
  • updated the Local Offer web content to include links to lots of services and resources for support, including access to the CAMHS website which has been updated with information, videos and resources
  • updated the Local Offer web content with information about Bedfordshire community health services, which has recently launched a new co-produced Bedfordshire community services website with information about accessing services such as speech and language therapy support
  • held Local Offer live events across Central Bedfordshire
  • updated the Local Offer with an independent organisations directory
  • reviewed content with SNAP PCF to ensure information is clear
  • shared resources through our children's centres, leisure venues and health centres to promote the Local Offer
  • held termly content review meetings with content holders to support the accuracy and relevance of content
  • continued to promote the Local Offer, using Facebook and e-bulletin