Following a training session on co-production, the Local Offer and our Northamptonshire Parent Partnership Service decided that they would benefit by combining forces to put on an event that will primarily provide an opportunity for families to have fun by experiencing the services and provision that can be found on the Local Offer. It will also provide an opportunity for the team to talk to parents and young people about their Local Offer and what they have used it for and what they want it to show them in the future. The NPFG need to recruit new members to the forum.
Independent Advice and Support Services always want to let parents know about them and Core Assets , who also provide advice and support need to be able to let parents know about what's available through them. A date was agreed ( 13th September 2015) for an event to be held at Northampton College( Booth Lane) a site perfectly designed for access by anyone. Plenty of car parking and lots of space. The event is to be called Summer SENDsation
Web team excellence support
The Local Authority’s web team was awarded excellent in support by an external verifier, and the Local Offer was pleased to be able to contribute to the evidence. They have helped us to develop an attractive and appealing Local Offer that enables us to offer, in one place, the services and provision available in Northamptonshire.
Work experience student
We were delighted to welcome the department’s first work experience student during March. While we were the contingency plan when the trip to Florida was cancelled, we hope that our student was able to get an understanding of working life. She continued with the school’s audit, checking that our schools have updated their SEN policies to reflect the code of practice that became the law on 1st September 2015. She learnt that she didn’t want to work in a large office! She came with us to the IASS support events set up to help parents understand what the choices were going to be for their year five sons and daughters and how the process will work
One of the team members was successful in gaining a promotion and so we had to recruit a new member to the team. Interviews were held before Easter and Leanne Smith started with us on 27th April, undertaking a steady two weeks of induction: there is always a lot to learn in a new role, but I have every confidence that she will enjoy her new job and all its variety.
The Local Offer Team now manages the SNIX register, all Local authorities have to have a register of children with a disability by law, but paradoxically parents don’t have to register their children. The existing data base set up hasn’t been amended in some time and we have planned a few changes to the layout to help the registration process and the reports that it will generate. It will hopefully help commissioners to identify the demography of families affected by disability or special needs. On line forms are on the Local Offer for registration.
The deadline for the next magazine for SNIX was on 24th April and lots of articles were submitted advertising holiday activities for the summer, including the “short breaks” that the Local Authority commission from agents to provide activities and events for children and young people with special needs or disabilities. The Shooting Stars ( our group of young people who we consult with ) have had cartoon characters of themselves created and these are on the front page.
Transitions web pages
The team of social care colleagues who work with children in special schools from the age of 14 to help them decide changes as they approach adulthood, will be holding all their information on the Local Offer, and work has commenced to ensure that there will be a predefined filtering from the Local Offer on their webpages to help make it accessible. This has needed support from the Webteam, the Local Offer and Transitions management, but will ensure that all the information is held in one place, on one web platform. Use the My Adult Life tab on the Local Offer or click on the 'My adult life' image.
The Disabled Children’s team
Andy Smith from the DCT organised a joint Away Day to share information about the EHC process, the Local Offer and the services they provide. All the staff that were there found the day very useful and the Local Offer have been invited to visit the team at their new offices in Wellingborough and possibly even attend on a regular basis to work.
Inclusion Networks and SENCOs
Sencos regularly hold meetings hosted by the Inclusion Network where all matters relating to special needs and disabilities are discussed. The Local Offer has attended the last two rounds of these, inviting Sencos to complete a questionnaire on their knowledge of the Local Offer and reminding them that details such as the Health management Centre for CAMHS can be found on the Local Offer along with the relevant referral forms. The Inclusion Network webpages are administered by the Local Offer on behalf of the Teaching School.