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What is the Local Offer?

Girl in wheelchair in library

What is the Local Offer?

Peterborough's 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

What are special educational needs?

School children

A child or young person has special educational needs (SEN) if they need extra support because they find it harder to learn than the majority of other children or young people of the same age.

There are four broad categories of special educational needs and disability:

  • Communication and interaction.
  • Cognition and learning.
  • Social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Sensory and/or physical needs

What do we mean by disability?

Girl finger painting

A child or young person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment
that has a substantial or long term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day
activities. Research suggests that about 6-7% of children have a disability.

Children and young people with the most complex needs will require specialist services.
They will require support with their health, education or physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development due to disabilities including:

  • Multiple and complex health needs or chronic illness
  • Sensory impairment such as hearing loss, visual impairment or deafblindness
  • A significant and long term learning difficulty
  • A physical disability
  • Autistic spectrum disorder
  • A severe communication disorder, or
  • A significant pre-school developmental delay

There is support available for children and young people who have disabilities which do not affect their ability to learn.

What to do if you think your child has SEN

Children at desks

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.

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.

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 about SEN support on the SEN Support 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 about EHCPs on the Assessment and EHC 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 cand find out more on the SEND Partnership page.

Disability and special needs register

Girl laughing

The register is completely voluntary and confidential for all children and young people aged 0 to 19 whose parents or carers have notified us of a disability or additional need that impacts on their day to day life. This information is then used to determine where funding could be best used for optimum benefits.

By registering your child, you will be made aware of specific support and leisure activities available in your local area. The register also helps us to ensure parents have the most up to date information and to help plan future services. You can find more information by going to our specific web page Disability and special needs register

Glossary of Terms

Picture of a glossary

A parent's guide to language and terms used in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Reforms.

On the attached document we have listed many of the terms used in the SEND world, along with explanations of their meaning and their common abbreviations.

If you would like any more terms to appear here, email

If you are unable to find the information you require regarding the Local Offer or you need to ask a specific question you can contact Customer Services.

To meet a specific need, we may be able to make some of the information available in an alternative format (such as large print, easy read or in a paper copy).