Power to the people

Jonathan Holden
Inclusive design
Local offer

The Local Offer

The Local Offer is for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

It has two key purposes:

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


Local authorities must involve children with SEN or disabilities and their parents and young people with SEN or disabilities in:

  • planning the content of the Local Offer
  • deciding how to publish the Local Offer
  • reviewing the Local Offer, including by enabling them to make comments about it

Local authorities should do this in a way which ensures that children, young people and parents feel they have participated fully in the process and have a sense of co-ownership. This is often referred to as ‘co-production’. Local authorities should take steps to ensure that their arrangements for involving children, young people and parents include a broadly representative group of the children with SEN or disabilities and their parents and young people with SEN or disabilities in their area.

And that's how I found myself in County Hall with a group of young representatives who were keen to share their ideas about what their journey from birth to 25 looks like.

Using ideas taken from the Humanly Report on Engagement of Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Shropshire
we set about chatting to our young people about their goals, the times of transition, and their aspirations for the future. Using images from magazines and text they were encouraged to add smilies and emoji poops to the collage. This gave them a safe and easy way to show their emotions of these times.