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What is the Local Offer?

Reading - Local Offer

Reading's Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support and services are available in the local area. 

It will help parents, carers and young people to see clearly the range of services, support and information that are available to them in their local area and understand how to access them.

See the video to find out more.

Reviewed November 2019

What is the Local Offer and what does this cover?

By law, we have to publish information about local services for children and young people from birth to 25 who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). We also publish information about services outside our area which children and young people may use. This is known as the ‘Local Offer’.

In Reading, SEND and the Local Offer is delivered by Brighter Futures for Children, a not-for-profit company, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council, but which operates independently of the Council.

All of the Local Offer information is stored centrally, on this, the Reading Services Guide, which is managed by the Family Information Service on behalf of Brighter Futures for Children.

The Local Offer will put all the information about education, health and care services, voluntary agencies, leisure activities and support groups in one place.

It has two main purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive and accessible information about the support and opportunities that are available
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs

The Government says that the Local Offer must be developed and reviewed in partnership with children and young people, parents / carers and local services, including early years settings, schools, colleges, health and social care agencies.

Reading has worked in partnership with Reading Families Forum and other Local Authorities in the Berkshire area to deliver a Local Offer which will be consistent as far as possible and which will allow for information sharing across Local Authority boundaries where this is appropriate.

The Local Offer covers:-

If you don’t have access to a home computer the Local Offer can be viewed online at your local library or visit the Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, or call us on 0118 9373777 (option 2)

Tell us what you think of Reading' Local Offer

To help us improve the information on the SEND Local Offer and the services listed, you can provide feedback using the 'rate and review' available on every record listed, there is also a Feedback button available on every page, alternatively email or complete the on line survey -

  • Is Reading's Local Offer easy to use?
  • Can you find the information you need?
  • Was there a service you were looking for but could not find?

We work collaboratively with Reading Families Forum to develop and review the Local Offer to ensure the information meets the needs of local families. 

We review the feedback provided by parents/carers and young people, and any action will be published on the Local Offer Feedback & Consultations


Tell me more about the Children & Families Act?

The Children and Families Act (2014) introduces other changes to the special educational needs (SEN) system:

  • A new Education Health & Care Plans (EHCP) to replace the statement of special educational needs
  • School action and school action plus to be replaced by a new school based category, 'SEN support'
  •  SEN Code of Practice
  • Personal Budgets for those with an education, health and care plan
  • Mediation for parents going to Tribunal
  • Individual Action Plans will no longer be used

What does the changes in the act mean for young people and their families?

The changes in the act means.

  • Putting the child or young person and their family at the centre of the process
  • Children’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) are picked up early and support is put in place quickly
  • Greater control for parents and young people over the services they use
  • Parents know what they can expect from their pre-school, school, college, local authority, health services and local services to provide
  • Practitioners have the knowledge, understanding and skills to provide support for children and young people who have SEN, or are disabled
  • Children and young people are encouraged to have raised hopes about what they can achieve in learning and for life
  • For more complex needs, practitioners will work together with families. This can lead to a single Education, Health and Care Plan that can be in place from birth to 25

What are SEND Inspections?

Following the implementation of the SEND Reforms in September 2014, the government has asked the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to find out how well the new law is working and to say what more needs to be done.

Ofsted is best known for inspecting places where children and young people go to school or college to make sure they are getting the best possible education.

The CQC inspect and regulate health and social care services, such as hospitals, GPs and care homes.

Ofsted and CQC inspectors will visit local areas and will look at:

  • how good the area is at finding out what special educational needs and disabilities young people have
  • how good the area is at meeting young people’s special educational needs and disabilities

The SEN Inspections will take place from May 2016, and will run over a period of five years.

If you have any questions regarding the Reading's Local Offer information, what it means to a parent, please call the Family Information Service and a member of the team will be happy help Tel: 0118 9373777 (opt 2) email:

How do I find out more about the Local Offer?