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Local Offer review report November 2017 to September 2018

The creation of the Local Offer (LO) Development plan was in response to duties placed on education, health and care through the 2014 SEND reforms to develop and publish an LO setting out the support expected to be available for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.  The LO has two key purposes:

  1. To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and
  2. To make provision more responsive local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review.

The Local Area Inspection framework sets out how Ofsted and CQC jointly inspect a local area's effectiveness in:

  1. identifying children and young people with SEND
  2. meeting the needs of children and young people with SEND
  3. improving outcomes for children and young people with SEND.   

In reaching conclusions, evaluating a local area's LO is a fundamental part of an inspection team's preparation work; furthermore, the LO is identified as 'crucial aspect' for informing inspectors' evaluations. 

The LO development plan is structured to reflect the priorities of the inspection by providing a framework from which to identify strengths and gaps in provision. The LO Development Plan is also a tool for understanding for where accountability for each aspect of the development of the LO lies.

The cycle of the LO Development plan was 1 year (November '17 to July '18).  This short cycle reflected the immediate priorities for development of the LO: (a) to ensure that the SEND managers understood the development of the LO as a fundamental part of their role; (b) to redesign the LO to improve access to information for families and (c) to broaden the content of the LO to improve the quality of information that families are able to access.

Significant progress has been made against many of the themes identified in the plan. However, on completion of the plan's cycle, it is clear that the vast majority of actions no longer reflect developmental needs.


A core group of SEND managers and partner organisations met on a 4 weekly cycle to assess and plan progress towards actions.  The group comprised: 

Core Group representation


Jim Barnicott

Joint SEND Adviser

Sue Shelley

Joint SEND Adviser

Amanda Paddison

0-25 Team Manager

Clare Hetherington

Joint Acting Principal Educational Psychologist

Alan Ebbens

PIAS Manager

Penny Whitell

SEND Service Manager

Emma Waines

OT Team Manager

Kathy Rixon

SEND Administration Support Manager

Nicky Howourth

Advisory Support Team Manager

Progress towards plan outcomes

Families and young people are able to access accurate SEND information across all phases of education as well as health and care.

  • All SEND Managers have reviewed content specific to their teams across the current local offer and the PCC website. As a result of this, they have begun to update and develop content relevant to their service area.
  • An LO compliance grid has been designed and an audit of content has taken place.
  • The description of SEND provision has been updated in conjunction with schools.
  • Post-16 'Transition Pathway Planning' event was held in April '18. A 'Transition Pathway Planning' booklet has been produced and published on the Local Offer. 

Next Steps

  1. Routinely monitor LO inspection letters in order to identify best practice.
  2. Develop on-going peer review with Torbay
  3. Review the LO offer search function
  4. Review the process for updating setting entries on the search
  5. Ensure that SEND Team managers have a specific action against content development in order to ensure compliance. 

The development model for the local offer is underpinned by co-production

  • A full evaluation of the LO was undertaken with council officers, external agencies, families and young people.  Facilitation for this event was brokered with the NDTI (Feb 2018).
  • A full re-design of the Plymouth LO has been carried out.  Launch September 2018.
  • Consultation on the redesign of the LO with families has taken place through the annual SEND parent carer conference. March 2018.

Next steps

  1. To develop a model for co-production which includes a cycle of family and young person participation.
  2. All elements of SEND review work are published on the local offer. 

Schools, professionals, families and partner organisations engage with the local offer

  • The LO is a standing item on SEND Service sessions.
  • PIAS have representation on the LO development group. 

Next steps

  1. To ensure that health and care contribute fully to the development of the LO
  2. To develop a local offer communications plan to ensure that families are aware of and use the LO 

A comprehensive business support plan ensures the on-going sustainability of local offer development 

  • A document register to ensure version control is in place
  • A process for publishing information onto the LO is in place.  This includes the quality assurance from line managers 

Next steps

  • To identify a member of staff to oversee specific duties relating to the LO.  For example, carrying out the communication strategy, small events and content updates.

The LO is a tool to ensure that provision is more responsive to local needs 

Next steps

  1. To implement a cross-phase programme of training that recognises key development priorities, for example, outcomes writing and person-centred planning
  2. To ensure that all guidance documentation is published on the local offer along with clear details of the operation of the SEND schools landscape.  For example, details of SMAP and the Reduced Timetable guidance.

Emerging themes

  • The Plymouth LO is education and local authority focused: this should not be the case.  During the cycle of the next plan, it is important that links are put in place with health and care so that content can be developed and a comprehensive communications strategy put in place.

It is also important to develop relationships with other key stakeholders, such as academy groups, the voluntary sector and other school groupings that work in partnership.  This will be key to presenting a coherent picture of the graduated approach to SEND in the city.

  1. The sustainability of the LO is important to consider.  The nature of the LO means that it will require continued development and update.  Identifying sufficient resource to enable this to happen is a key consideration for the next planning cycle.
  2. The DfE are clear that the LO should be used as a tool for strategic review.  Although this is not yet the case in Plymouth, there is an opportunity to publish and invite comment on the full range of review and guidance work which is currently underway.
  3. As part of the next planning cycle, a full review of the technical specification of the LO need to be undertaken.  This should include aspects such as the functionality of the search engine.
  4. A continual cycle of review based on a sustainable model of co-production with family's needs to be designed and implemented.


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This page was last updated on 24 June 2019

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