MyLocalOffer provides 24-hour online help and advice on children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).The needs of the SEND community can be varied and complex, however with signposting to hundreds of different links MyLocalOffer gives parents and carers insight from other organisations and communities. It’s been two years since the introduction of Local Offer and since then, there have been many changes to both local SEND provision and the way in which people want to access online information.
As of September 2014, all Local Authorities had to put in place and publish a Local Offer. MyLocalOffer helps local authorities deliver their Local Offer for children with special educational needs or disability (SEND), as required by the Children & Families Act 2014 and provides a one-stop, comprehensive source of information, advice and support in an smart, inclusive and sustainable way. Leeds in partnership with LookingLocal, have achieved this by making their ‘Local Offer’ available across a range of mobile platforms and devices - PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Leeds worked collaboratively with young people, parents and carers, SEN teams, partner and stakeholder groups, providing demonstrations of the Local Offer, inviting feedback about its content, presentation and accessibility, and using this feedback to inform design throughout the year. At each stage of the design process the LookingLocal team took the feedback and responded by improving the site to meet the needs of the end users.
Kate Brooks, Children’s Services, LeedsCity Council commented;
"A statutory requirement under the Children and Families Act 2014 requires every local authority to set out (online) a local offer of services for families, children and young people with special educational needs and disability. The Leeds Local Offer was developed to be a ‘living place’ – a website that supports a search facility that is dynamic, drawing information from multiple sources providing an intelligent, capable, relevant response to enquiry. The Leeds Local Offer is now in its second edition and includes whitelisting functionality, a flexible taxonomy structure, clean visual graphics and the capacity to manage a considerable amount of specialist content. What we appreciate most about working with the team at LookingLocal is their ability to meet our developing brief within the environment of the public sector."