Do We Need a Better Local Offer?

We think SEND children, young people and their families in Birmingham should have a
better Local Offer. Join us by Zoom on 8th and 22nd July to share your experience…

The City Council has been given funds by government to improve the Local Offer. The Council says it wil use most of this money to pay off debts and to improve some specialist services. The rest will be used to develop local provision – so fewer SEND children have to go to schools outside the city.

Most families might welcome this but question the Council’s priorities: surely developing local provision ought to be the top priority? But there’s worse: the Council’s idea of developing local provision means giving money to mainstream schools only. There is no new money for Special Schools. There is no money for community-led services. This at a time when mainstream schools are increasingly off-rolling vulnerable children; repeatedly excluding SEND children; and sometimes providing just a few hours schooling – so they go on being paid, whilst families and community providers pick up the pieces…

Childrens Quarter has instead suggested a new Co-operative Local Offer – which sees families, community providers and Special schools as equals with mainstream schools and specialist services. This way services can be built around each child and young person as an individual. Some people advising the City Council say more money for mainstream schools will solve everything: that there is no off-rolling; no excluding SEND children from mainstream; no priority need to increase funding for Special schools.

Your experience matters. We’re asking you to join us by Zoom at 10-11am on 8th July or the 22nd July and to share your experience and support a Better Local Offer.

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