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Getting Help (Local Offer)

Child painting

How to get help

Peterborough's SEND Information Hub (Local Offer) is aimed at providing better support and services for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities and their families.  In this one place, you can find information about providers of the following services: 

  • Special educational provision 

  • Health services 

  • Social care services

  • Other educational provision 

  • Preparing for adulthood, including housing and employment 

  • Leisure and social opportunities 

Where to get help?

Family round the table

Worried about your child?

If you are worried about your child, talk to someone you trust such as your doctor, health visitor, teacher at your child's school as soon as possible. They will be able to listen to your concerns and begin the process of identifying how to help you and your child. On this page, we have listed links to some teams or organisations that you can also contact for help and support.

SEND Partnership Service

Peterborough's SEND Partnership Service supports parents, carers and young people aged 16+ with confidential, impartial information, advice and support about special educational needs.

Find out more about SEND Partnership Service can help you and how to contact them

Family Voice

Many parents find it helpful to talk to other parents and carers who have a child with SEND.  Family Voice Peterborough is a local registered charity who are actively seeking to improve services in all areas of the lives of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs. They support parents and carers of children and young people aged 0—25 years with a disability or additional needs.

Find out more on Family Voice's website.

Help and advice from social care

We have a range of support and advice available for families, carers, children, young people with special educational needs and disabilities. You can find out more about universal support we provide and social care support for children and young people with disabilities on the Early Help and Social Care page.

Health services

If you have concerns or questions about your child’s health, talk to your doctor, health visitor or school nurse. They can help with a wide range of health issues and any concerns you might have about your child’s development. They can also refer you to specialist health services depending on your child’s needs.  You can find out more on our Health pages.

To access the majority of these health services, a referral from a health professional is required. 

Support for carers

Information, advice and support for carers in Peterborough s provided by Caring Together.

Telephone: 0345 241 0954
Email: hello@caringtogether.org

More information

You can find lots of useful information on support by searching within this website. 

You can also find information on local and national support organisations on the Local Offer Parent Carer Participation page.

Accessibility and ‘Universal’ Support

Small children with an adult

Access Services

Disabled children and young people should be able to access services available to all children and young people. Not all children and young people with additional needs will require a specialist service or intervention.  All children and young people are entitled to access services and support such as education, health and leisure opportunities.  Some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities may also be able access specialist services through a social care assessment. 

Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) can expect that the services and providers they are in contact with day to day are accessible. They must make reasonable adjustment so that children and young people can be included. We call the support for inclusion, universal support. It is available to everyone whatever their type or level of needs. Their needs might range from mild to severe, temporary to lifelong. 

Nurseries, early years settings, schools, doctors surgeries, dentist surgeries, hospitals, libraries, colleges, shops, swimming pools, cinemas, gyms, buses, trains and many more will provide universal support.  

Examples are: 

  • Schools where all staff are trained to be dyslexia friendly. 

  • Cinemas with sensory friendly screenings 

  • Doctors surgeries that provide easy read posters and leaflets on health matters 

  • Nurseries with a sensory support area 

  • Libraries with recorded books, braille and colour coded reading material. 

  • Gyms with accessible changing facilities and equipment 

  • Hospitals that provide visual stories to explain procedures 

Know your rights

Equality Act

The rights of children with SEND and their families

Some families find it useful to familiarise themselves with the law about special educational needs and the rights of children, young people and their families.

Equality Act 2010

Section 20 of the Equality Act 2010 states that a child or young person with a learning disability must not be discriminated against.  In education, there are also further rights that children and young people with a learning disability have. Namely:

  • the right to have ‘reasonable adjustments’ made to ensure that they are not at a substantial disadvantage compared with their peers
  • the right to have discrimination eliminated, equality of opportunity promoted and good relations fostered between themselves and children and young people without a disability. This should be enabled by, for example, a school or college.

Children and Families Act 2014

Section 19 of the Children and Families Act states that a local authority in England must take into account the views, wishes and feelings of children, young people and families.  They must allow them to participate as fully as possible when decisions are being made.  They must also support them to enable this participation and provide them with information.

Section 22 of the Children and Families Act 2014 states every local authority must identify all children and young people in its area who have or may have special educational needs or disabilities.

SEND Code of Practice

The SEND Code of Practice is an important document for children and young people with SEND and their families.  The SEND Code of Practice is the document that professionals must refer to.

It explains what support you can expect your child to receive, and who is accountable for delivering it.  Any child or young person with special educational needs and/or a learning disability has a right to receive special educational provision.  Special education provision is “educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age.”  They may also receive some health care provision and social care provision to help them with their learning and development.

Guide for Parents and Carers

The Department for Education have published a guide for parents and carers on the SEND Code of Practice.

Appeals, Mediation and Complaints

You can also find formation on our Appeals, Mediation and Complaints page.

What to do if you think your child has SEN

Teacher with pupil

Concerns about your child's learning or development

All children and young people have different personalities, strengths and needs. They develop at different rates. If you have any concerns about your child’s learning or development, please contact your health visitor, your GP or their school or setting to talk to them about this. Similarly, they may contact you if they have concerns. 

The term ‘Early Help’ is used to describe the process of taking action early and as soon as possible to tackle problems and issues emerging for children, young people and their families. Effective help may be needed for at any point in a child or young person’s life.  You can find out more about Early Help on the Families Information Services Early Help page 

Young people can talk to their class or subject teacher or a support person in their school or college if they have concerns or questions. If, however, they are under 16 years old the school or college will want to talk with their parent carers before providing Special Educational Needs (SEN) Support.  You can find out more on the Education page.

There are all sorts of reasons while your child might have short-term difficulties. It is not always because of Special Educational Needs (SEN). By talking together, parents carers and the school or setting can begin to identify the difficulties so that that they can take the right actions. In most cases a period of ‘catch-up work’ or social and well-being support will be enough. 

Some children and young people, however, will have Special Educational Needs (SEN). This will need a different approach. It will require educational provision or support that is additional or different to that which is available to their peers. This support is called SEN Support. The school or setting is required to get your permission before they can place your child on SEN Support.  You can find out more on the Education page.

A very small number of children will not make enough progress at school even with additional SEN support. In this case the school or the parent may decide to ask the council to carry out an assessment of the child's needs. This may result in a decision to issue an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  You can find out more on the Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans page. 

If you have questions or concerns about the support your child’s school is providing then you can contact the SEND Partnership for free, impartial advice and support.  You can find out more on the SEND Partnership page. 

SEN Support

School children in the classroom

Additional Help

Every child with special educational needs should have SEN support.  This means help that is additional to or different from the support generally given to other children of the same age.  

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives set for them by the school.  Schools should involve parents in this process.  

Who decides what SEN support my child has? 

The school should decide if your child needs SEN support. The school should talk to you and your child about this. If a young person is 16 or older the school should involve them directly. Sometimes you may be the first to be aware that your child has some special educational needs. If you think your child may need SEN support you should talk to your child’s teacher or to the SENCo. If you are not happy about the support your child has you can ask to talk to the SENCo or headteacher. You can also find out more contacting the SEND Partnership Service. 

You can find out more on the Education page. 

Education, Health and Care Plans

Girl in wheelchair in the libary

SEND Advice

The SEND Code of Practice 2015 is very clear in its advice that the majority of children and young people with SEN or disabilities will have their needs met within local early years settings, schools or post 16 provision.   

However, if your child is not making sufficient progress despite assessment and provision in place within their educational setting, the Local Authority should consider what further provision may be appropriate, and may require an EHC Needs Assessment to be carried out.   

You can find out more on the Assessment and Education, Health and Care Plans page. 

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