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About our local offer

Our local offer for children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) is the outcome of partnership working with our local community.

The purpose of the local offer is to:

  • provide clear information
  • make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children, their parents and young people as well as service providers in its development and review

By working together we can ensure that we develop provision which is responsive to local needs and leads to the best outcomes for all of our children and young people. This local offer is just the start of our journey.

Add your organisation to our Local Offer


This new way of working – co-production – with children, young people and their families has brought a fresh and innovative approach. We’ve formed closer partnerships for shaping services and setting priorities at a time when there is less money in the system.

Co-production is working collaboratively to ensure that services are developed to meet the needs of Barking and Dagenham’s children and families. Parent/carers, children and young people have been consulted with at all stages of the local offer, the development, implementation and the review of the offer.

The local offer is a document owned by the community and developed by the community. Parent/carers, children and young people have supported the local authority to help shape services. They have a presence on the SEND stakeholder board meeting to support decisions made about services within Barking and Dagenham.

Working with parents

Parent forums provide information, advice and guidance to local families. Parents have worked with us to produce the local offer and will be instrumental in updating and refining it as we move forward.

Co-producing Barking and Dagenham’s local offer

Barking and Dagenham’s local offer has been co-produced with a wide range of stakeholders and partners.

  • parents/carers
  • children and young people
  • parent forums
  • head teachers
  • school SENCOs
  • youth groups
  • social workers
  • health colleagues
  • voluntary sector partners

If you do not have access to the internet, visit your local children’s centre where they will be able to help you access the internet. Your child’s school may also be able to help you with internet access.

Work with parents, children and young people

Summary of the work carried out with the community to develop the local offer:

Local offer consultation history (PDF, 350KB)

Barking and Dagenham Progress Project

The Barking and Dagenham Progress Project wanted to find out the views around the current local offer.

This information was mainly gathered verbally, but was supported by the use of Widgit symbols, and having the local offer website available to explore.

Feedback - you said, we did (PDF, 58KB)

EHC workshop evaluation

EHC evaluation workshop report (PDF, 225KB)

What you can expect

You will be able to get information, advice and support if you are concerned your child is disabled or may have SEN, or if they:

  • have already been identified as having SEND
  • receive SEND support in school (this has replaced school action and school action plus)
  • are undergoing statutory assessment for an education, health and care (EHC) plan
  • already have an EHC plan

Local authorities have duties to ensure children, young people and parents are provided with information and advice on matters relating to SEN and disability. This could include:

  • local policy and practice
  • the local offer
  • personalisation and personal budgets
  • law on SEN and disability, health and social care, through suitably
  • independently trained staff
  • advice for children, young people and parents on gathering, understanding and interpreting information and applying it to their own situation
  • parent carer support groups, local SEN youth forums or local disability groups, or training events

You and your child can expect to have your views, wishes and feelings taken account of, and to participate fully in decision making.

Local authorities, in carrying out their functions in relation to disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs (SEN), must have regard to:

  • the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person and the child’s parents
  • the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions
  • the need to support the child or young person, and the child‟s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes

Your child does not have to have an identified SEND in order for you to access advice.


Parents, carers, children and young people have supported the council in helping to shape services. We undertake various consultations with parents and young people. We want to make sure their voices and opinions are captured and that we try to amend services to meet their needs. Read a summary of our previous consultations.

SEND consultations summary (PDF, 495KB)


We have a special educational needs and disability (SEND) evaluation group. This group is made up of six parents who all have children/young people with SEND. Other parents are welcome to contact this group through the Just Say Parents Forum, which can be contacted at justsaybdforum@gmail.com.

Our SEND strategy

Read our inclusive framework strategy for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

SEND strategy (PDF, 418KB)

Inclusive framework strategy

The inclusive framework strategy for children and young people with SEND outlines the council’s shared vision, principles, and priorities to ensure inclusive practice in providing for children and young people with SEND.

Inclusive framework strategy (PDF, 418KB)

Related information

Barking Capital Fund consultation (PDF, 418KB)

Special provision plan (PDF, 230 KB)

Special provision plan summary (PDF, 406KB)

Ofsted and Care Quality Commission joint inspection

Read the report on our effectiveness of implementing the disability and special educational needs reforms as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014.

Ofsted and CQC SEND inspection report (PDF, 316KB)

Annual report

Read the 2015 to 16 local offer annual report (PDF, 244KB)

Parent and carer conference

These conferences are aimed at parent/carers of a child/young person aged 0 to 25 with additional needs. The last annual parent and carer conference was held in February 2017.

Feedback from 2016 conference

“Excellent. Have an overview of what our children can achieve, despite their difficulties.”

“My first – informative, inspiring, encouraging and looking forward it so much more.”

“It was really nice to meet with parents in similar situation as me, friendly environment.  Meet new friends.  Information that was given is perfect.  Well done.”

“This meeting has really given me more inspiration so I’m not scared of my child’s future because I know there will be a very good job awaiting for him in future.”

Analysis of parents' autumn 2016 event

This event was focussed on;

  • living with challenging behaviour and mental health, presented by Marcella Cooper
  • schools inclusion and exclusion, understanding young people with additional needs presented by Steve McGuiness

42 people attended and 35 evaluation forms were received. 

Presentation feedback

In the following questions, people were asked to indicate how they felt about each presentation by indicating whether they felt it was ‘not useful’, ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’.

1. How useful was Marcella’s presentation on living with challenging behaviour and mental health?

33 out of 35 people indicated ‘a lot’ in answer to this question, with 2 people not indicating anything. Some parents left comments where they stated that they liked to hear another parent’s experiences. They felt the presentation was simple and practical with lots of good information.

2. How useful was Steve’s presentation on school inclusion and exclusion, understanding young people with additional needs?

All of the 35 parents indicated ‘a lot’ in response to this question. Again parents left comments saying they enjoyed it very much, found it interesting, useful, excellent, amazing, ‘super’ and felt they got a better understanding of the young people’s needs. Steve was described as fascinating and an inspiration. Parents felt they had a real insight into sensory issues from someone who experiences it themselves, and that ‘there’s light at the end of the tunnel’. One parent asked for Steve again.

Open ended questions

The remaining questions gave the respondents scope to provide their thoughts about the event, which is discussed below.

4. How will you now engage with professionals to better support a young person displaying challenging behaviour?

The most common answer was that they felt equipped with more knowledge and understanding about autism and how it affects their child and their behaviour. They felt this will help them to engage with professionals by sharing their personal experiences, making suggestions on ways to handle/manage their child’s behaviour, asking more questions about the young person’s behaviour and seeking more of their assistance.

Some parents appeared to have felt empowered to deal with professionals to the level that they can ‘educate the professional’, by demonstrating to them that they understand their children more assertively, communicating and explaining what is good for their child, trying to explain their child’s behaviour through sensory issues, and using their gained knowledge and examples given at this event to help the professional understand their child. A parent whose son is on waiting lists after his recent diagnosis felt better prepared to engage with professionals going forward.

Parents have also stated that Steve explained so much and they had a much clearer understanding of autism. They therefore felt they can engage better with their own children and have understood that their ideas matter too. They felt ‘everything said was good’ and wish to gain more awareness by attending more events/forums similar this one. One parent asked more help in terms of language as they do not understand English fully.

5. How will you now engage with schools on inclusion and exclusion?

Parents and carers answered that they will engage with their child’s school through meetings and giving information gained at this event. They will communicate better and explain to them that they need to understand their child’s needs. They also said they want school to help put strategies in place and support with school learning and will help them understand ways of dealing with the young person before being excluded. The parentsand carers feel more assertive and more confident to stand by their child’s side, and more able to show how to keep their child included and avoid exclusion. However one parent felt they will need help putting point across

6. Would you be interested in attending a mindfulness course?

15 people answered ‘yes’ to this question, making it 43% of the people who responded. One person stated they have already and the rest left this question blank.

7. Which presentation did you find the most useful?

12 people answered Steve’s presentation as it was very useful, interesting, brilliant, and was so in depth and it helped them to get a better understanding of sensory issues. 1 parent stated that he is ‘an inspiration and a lovely, lovely man’.

Another 12 stated both presentations were useful because understanding children and young people with additional needs will enable someone to be able to live with challenging behaviour and mental health. They felt Steve’s presentation was most useful and helped give an insight into what Autistic children suffer everyday of their lives. Marcella’s presentation had useful information, based on her own experiences and how she has learnt to understand her own child and his siblings which ‘has helped tremendously’.

1 parent/carer commented that this event was very educating and needs more funding for parents to get a lot more.


This event has been very successful and beneficial. Steve’s presentation helped parents and carers get a better understanding of how sensory issues affect their children/young people on a daily basis and hence parents/carers felt more equipped to help them. Marcella’s presentation equipped them with lots of information tips and ideas. With both presentations parents/carers felt more empowered to engage with professionals by working with them, seeking their assistance and even educating them. Understanding the young person’s feelings and issues, coupled with information from an experienced parent left people feeling more confident about helping their children. Parents and carers feel there should be more enlightening events like this.

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