SEND the ‘Manchester Local Offer’ – information for all

The Local Offer is the name for all the activities, services, advice and support across Manchester for children and young people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability). Information about the Manchester Local Offer can be found on their website at www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer

The website has been upgraded to make finding the right information for a family or child much easier! Parents in particular asked for services to be sorted into age categories.

SEND Local Offer Drop Ins
Monthly SEND Local Offer drop-in sessions enable parents and carers to speak to services face to face. Lots of services are represented, for example Early Help, Short Breaks, IASM, Parent’s Forum, Parent Champions, Rodney House Outreach, LSS, Twinkle Boost and more.

Sessions are held from 10am – 12 noon at various locations across the city – visit the website at www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer for find further details.

Information, Advice and Support Manchester (IASM)
Parents, carers and young people who want individual, impartial advice on any issues relating to SEND, can contact the Information, Advice and Support Manchester (IASM):

Parent Champions
Parent Champions are parents of children and young people with SEND. They have had a half-day training session to give them a good understanding of Manchester’s SEND Local Offer. They are then able to help other parents get the information and support they need.

Parent Champions attend the Local Offer drops-ins and many Parent Champions are speakers of community languages. They can help with things such as finding local activities for children, giving your views at meetings, explaining where you can get help with filling in forms. Parent Champions do lots of other interesting things as well as training – for example public speaking, community reporting etc. They have been working with Central Library, The People’s History Museum, Band on the Wall, East Lancashire Community Railway, Department for Work and Pensions and loads more! To find out more about becoming a Parent champion contact MCC on 0161 209 8356.

Manchester Parent Carer Forum
Manchester Parent Carer Forum are a volunteer parent group. They work to represent the voice of parents and carers of children and young people with SEND. They invite all Manchester parents and carers to join the Forum. Sign up now and see lots of other interesting information on their website at manchesterparentcarerforum.org.uk

Manchester Parent Carer Forum carry out an online survey and tell the local authority and health what families think is working well with education, health and care services and what needs to be improved.

The Disabled Children and Participation Registers
Manchester City Council runs a Disabled Children and Participation Register for parents and carers of children with SEND.

Everyone who joins Participation and the Disabled Children Register, will be sent a discount card to use on meals and shopping as well as getting emails with useful information about events and activities for children with SEND.

To join this Register go to the Local Offer website front page at www.manchester.gov.uk/sendlocaloffer and click on the, ‘Disabled Children and Participation Register’ button (about half way down the page).

Further information
The government website at www.gov.uk/services/special-educational-needs-disabilities  sets out all the legislation in relation to education provision for SEND children and young people, including the Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years.

Other important advice can be found at www.gov.uk/keeping-children-safe-in-education–2Keeping Children Safe in Education (2018) came into force on 3rd September 2018. In this guidance there is emphasis on thinking about children with SEN and disabilities, those who were care leavers, and those children who were previously looked after, in the main those children are adopted children. This links into the guidance for designated teachers for looked after children and previously looked after children. The new guidance is also very clear about peer-on-peer abuse and on sexual violence and sexual harassment.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2018 provides clarity that schools should have their own individual safeguarding policy. This policy should meet the needs of their children in their community, with the particular kinds of issues that may be most important for them. Multi-Academy Trusts may have an overarching policy, but each school must be able to include procedures and information that is particularly relevant to them.

Departmental advice setting out how agencies and professionals should work together to safeguard the welfare of disabled children can also be found on their website at www.gov.uk/safeguarding-disabled-children-practice-guidance

See also our Disabled children – advice for practitioners resource

Mencap offer lots of Children and young people advice on how to get the right support when a child is young, as this can transform their future.  Visit their website at www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/children-and-young-people

Assessing the ability of children and young people under 18 years to make decisions about their care is an integral part of the work in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). The CQC have published a brief guide: capacity and competence to consent in under 18s which can be found at www.cqc.org.uk/20180228_briefguide-capacity_consent_under_18s_v2.pdf

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