Children playing

What is a Local Offer?

In all sections of this Directory you may see the wording "Local Offer". What does it mean for you as a parent/carer of a child with Special Educational Needs or a Disability?

Darlington Borough Council has to produce a Local Offer for parents and Carers of children with Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND). The purpose of the Local Offer is to ‘offer’ information for parents, in a single place, which helps them to understand what services they and their family can expect from a range of local agencies including:

  • what the law says they may be entitled to;
  • what is available for their child from early years settings, schools (including Academies and Free Schools), colleges and other services,  
  • What is available from education, health and social care.

It covers children and young people from birth to 25.

The Local Offer and its sub sections contain what is known as “targeted/specialist information” for Children with special educational needs or disabilities and their families.

“Universal” services or activities means services and activities that any child may access and that your child may wish to attend with some support (speak to the provider) Universal services can be found on the main page (home page) of the Peoples Information Point.

Information for Parents - Where to Start

If you would like a general overview of services and support available in Darlington for families of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability, you can search in each of the boxes above.

Education Health and Care Plan Process

EHC (EDUCATION, HEALTH AND CARE) PLANS (IPSEA Independent Panel for Special Education Advice). An EHC plan is the document which replaces Statements of SEN and Learning Difficulties Assessments for children and young people with special educational needs.The IPSEA EHC plan checklist sets out what legally must be included as a minimum in any Education, Health and Care Plan (“EHC plan”) issued by a Local Authority. More details can be found here

The Care Act 2014 came into effect as of 1 April 2015. The act has been created to reform how the law works, prioritising individual wellbeing for adults with care and support needs over the age of 18, with a particular focus on person centred practice and outcomes, putting people in control of their care and support. An easy read version (PDF document) has been created by the Department of Health.

Access to Information

If you are having difficulty finding or accessing the Local Offer Directory or the One Plan, you may need it in an alternative way: 

  • in Braille
  • in another electronic format
  • large print
  • easy read
  • A printed hard copy (if you do not have access to a printer)

In such cases please contact us at People and Families Information Support on 01325 406222 (option 4) or e-mail