Read our Local Offer Annual Report.

The Statutory Duty

The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on every local authority to publish a SEND Local Offer, setting out in one place information about services and support available for children and young people in their area who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care plans. Local authorities and their partner bodies and agencies must co-operate with each other in its development and review. 

The Local Offer has two key purposes: 

  • To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and 
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving children, young people, parents, carers and service providers in its development and review. 

Local authorities must publish comments about their Local Offer received from or on behalf of children with SEN or disabilities and their parents and young people with SEN or disabilities. 

Comments must be published if they relate to: 

  • The content of the Local Offer, which includes the quality of existing provision and any gaps in the provision
  • The accessibility of information in the Local Offer
  • How the Local Offer has been developed or reviewed.

Local authorities are not expected to publish responses to every comment individually but can adopt a ‘you said, we did’ approach. Local authorities are not required to publish abusive or vexatious comments or complaints about the service provided to an individual since there are established routes for such complaints. 

The Local Offer Website

The SEND Local Offer is managed by Doncaster Families Information Service (FIS) and the website is hosted by the City of Doncaster Council. While FIS manage content, the accuracy of the information is a shared responsibility across the whole partnership, which includes education, early years, health, social care and our wide range of partners from the voluntary, community and faith groups.


Local Offer Website Statistics

We have had a total number of 36,915 pageviews between April 2022 and March 2023. The top 10 most visited pages (excluding the Local Offer homepage) are shown below:

  • Early Years Inclusion
  • Schools and Alternative Provision
  • Assessment including Education, Health and Care Plans
  • TIE Activity Discount Card for Children with SEND
  • Specialist Education Support Services
  • Activities and Leisure
  • Graduated Approach Toolkit
  • Advice and Support
  • SEN Service and FAQs from the SEND Code of Practice
  • Short Breaks

Below are some of the pages users spent the most time viewing: 

  • Schools and Alternative Provision
  • Early Years Inclusion
  • Graduated Approach Toolkit
  • Assessment including Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Further Education
  • Activities and Leisure

In addition to the website visits, there have been 304 searches made on the Local Offer Directory. The Local Offer Directory compliments the Local Offer website by allowing users to find services and information from national and local services. This is an underused feature of the website which we intend to promote more going forward. This will help navigation around the website.

Local Offer Facebook Statistics 

Data shows that our Facebook followers are increasing each month. As of 1st April 2023, we have 1,910 followers; a 9.5% increase (166) since April 2022. The majority of our followers are women aged 35-44 years. The average reach of our page is 4,624 a month and we average 250 page visit per month.

The top five performing posts on the Local Offer Facebook page, from April 2022 to March 2023 were as follows:

  1. Post about a new SEND Social Club, including poster, reached 6,113 users
  2. Post announcing addition of Play Valley to the TIE venue list, reached 3,450 users
  3. Post about a workshop on accessing support in school, reached 3,050
  4. Post announcing a new listing we added to the Local Offer directory; Thrive Dance Class, reached 2,800 users
  5. Post about an online autism chat hosted by Doncaster Parents Voice, reached 2,279 users.

What We've Done This Year

Doncaster Autism Service

We have promoted the new Doncaster Autism Service, which has been developed as a result of feedback from local families who felt that there had been a lack of post-diagnostic support for people with autism. The service is a collaboration between Doncaster Council and NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board. The service provides training workshops, counselling, health and well-being therapies, and social groups.

Improved Information about Short Breaks

We have worked with the Short Breaks team to improve the information on Short Breaks webpage. The webpage is now clearer and which makes this easier for users to understand the Short Breaks process.

Expanded memberships of Local Offer Steering Group

We reconvened the Local Offer Steering Group to ensure professionals from the local authority and key partners and stakeholders have the opportunity to work collaboratively to improve the Local Offer website. The Steering Group focuses on ensuring the information easy to understand, up-to-date and relevant and that the website is accessible and user-friendly for all.

Creation of New Webpages

We have created some new webpages for the Local Offer website including:

  • About the Local Offer – a webpage introducing users to the Local Offer, explaining where they can find information and how to navigate the website
  • Portage Home Visiting Service – a webpage all about the Portage Service; this information previously sat on the Early Years Inclusion page but a new page was created to help users access this information more easily
  • Area SEND Inspection – a webpage containing information on what an Area SEND Inspection is and how they can get involved.


We know, from our engagement with the people in the community, that not enough Doncaster residents know about the Local Offer. We are continuously trying to raise the profile of the Local Offer, by maximizing every opportunity to promote it to the families and professionals we engage with on a day-to-day basis. The includes signposting families and professionals to the Local Offer, including a link to the Local Offer website on our email signatures and attending events to promote the Local Offer to individuals, including those we may not normally engage with. In addition to this, we have also:

  • Co-produced a short video, in partnership with other local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region, to help raise awareness of the Local Offer. We also arranged for this video to be signed in BSL to make it more accessible to people in our community.
  • Joined forces with colleagues in RDASH to produce a communication plan to raise awareness of where families can seek support about autism and access a wide range information in relating to SEND.
  • Raised awareness by ensuring that all registered childcare providers are made aware of the Local Offer. We have also encouraged them to signpost parents to the Local Offer when they have identified a child who has SEN in their provision.
  • Attended the local SENCO Network to raise awareness and given all school SENCOs an e-pack which contains The Local Offer logo, leaflets and written text, which can be added to the school website.

Feedback and Co-Production

All local authorities must publish feedback and comments on the Local Offer and show how these views and observations are being used to shape services and information to ensure they meet local needs.

There are multiple ways users can give feedback and get involved in the co-production of the Local Offer in Doncaster. These include:

  • Giving feedback on each page of the Local Offer website
  • Using the Local Offer feedback form
  • Contacting Families Information Service to give feedback
  • Giving feedback in person at events

Peer Reviews

The Local Offer received peer reviews from two local authorities in the Yorkshire and Humber region; Kirklees and Leeds.

Both reviews contained positives comments and highlighted areas where improvement was needed. The reviews told us that the Local Offer contains lots of information which is clear and easy to find, however, some information is more complex and at times, the website can be difficult to navigate. They also told us that information was missing from the website on Palliative Care/Children’s Long Term Medical Conditions; this has now been addressed.

We have been working to resolve any issues highlighted by engaging with our colleagues and partner agencies to add or simplify information, to make the content more user-friendly. Furthermore, we believe most navigation issues tend to occur when users try to find information using the search bar on the website – this is because the search bar looks at the whole of the Council website rather than just the Local Offer pages. To enable users to find content more easily, we have improved our Local Offer directory search to ensure this returns more accurate results, however, this feature is still under used and is part of the improvement plan.

Young Person Review

The Young Person Review told us the Local Offer was mostly written for parents and carers and was lacking a section which was aimed directly at young people. Some of the comments included:

You Said

Our Response

There isn’t any information about transition from year 6 to year 7 which is aimed directly at the young person

The Transition webpage is targeted at parents and teachers – there should be information which speaks directly to the young person

We have worked with our young person reviewer and the Transitions Service to create content which is aimed directly at the young person.

It would be good to have easy reads available on the website

We have been working with the SENDIAS Service to create easy read documents for the Local Offer and these will be added to the website by the end of summer 2023.

The language on the website doesn’t directly address the young person

It would be good to have a separate section for young people which could include information on post-16, transition, activities, etc.

The Local Offer is a source of information for children, young people, parents, carers and professionals, and we do our best to keep the language of the Local Offer generic and applicable to all users. However, we agree that a young person’s section would make a good addition to the Local Offer, therefore, we have scheduled this work for summer 2023.

Parents Review

When consulting with the local parent carer forum, Doncaster Parents Voice (DPV), a reoccurring issue was that parents find the Local Offer website overwhelming due to the wealth of information it contains. This means that they sometimes struggle to find their initial starting point when searching for information. As result of this feedback, we have developed a new page, About the Local Offer, which gives users an introduction to the website and breaks down what information sits behind each of the buttons on the homepage.

Another comment raised during the consultation was when searching for information, parents can find it difficult to identify which services would support their child’s particular needs. This is because the Local Offer is currently designed to highlight the local services which are available. However, as a result of this feedback, work is underway to redesign the webpages so the information is organised around the needs of children and young people. We are starting this work with our Health and Social Care page which is due to be completed by the end of April.

Professionals Review / Local Offer Steering Group

In 2023, we recommenced the Local Offer Steering Group. The Steering Group is made up of professionals from education, health and social care, and representatives from the local parent carer forum.

In the initial meeting, the Steering Group were presented with the feedback we had received from our consultations. The Group were also presented with examples of best practice from other local authority’s Local Offers. A unanimous agreement was reached that we should support parental preference for a ‘needs led’ Local Offer. It was collectively agreed that this type of design would enhance the navigation, and therefore the user’s experience, of the Local Offer.

Work has already begun to redesign our webpages to achieve the preferred needs led Local Offer model. The first part of this work is due to be completed by the end of April.

Additional Feedback

In addition to the feedback above, we have received the following feedback over the course of the year.

You Said

We Did

I can’t find information about Post 16 education providers

We added a link to the information on Post 16 education providers to our Schools and Alternative Provision page to make this information easier to find.

I can’t find the telephone number for the SEN Service

We added contact details for the SEN Service to the Local Offer homepage.

I want more information about the GDA pathway

We worked with the GDA pathway team to update information on the website, ensuring the content was written in a user-friendly manner

I couldn’t use my child’s TIE card at one of the venues

We reviewed the TIE offer by contacting venues to check that they still wanted to participate in the TIE scheme and updated information to reflect their current offers for TIE members.

Next Steps

We are dedicated to improving the Local Offer to ensure that the information is up-to-date and relevant, and meets the needs of Doncaster residents and professionals working with children and young people with SEND in our community. To do this:

  • We have developed a Shadow Inclusion Board which, by design, is intended to ensure that the voices of children and young people can be heard and encouraged to drive change. The improvement of the local offer with be an ongoing agenda item
  • We will continue to engage with members of the community, to ensure their voices are heard, as they form a crucial part of the co-production of the Local Offer
  • We have started work to redesign webpages so information is laid out in a ‘needs led’ format, as per the feedback we have received from parents and professionals
  • We will further promote the Local Offer, including the Local Offer Directory, across Doncaster to ensure more people are aware what support available is available
  • We will continue to partake in the Yorkshire and Humber Local Offer Group to learn from the experiences of other local authorities
  • We will continue our work to address the feedback we received in our Young Person Review.

Download a Copy of This Report

Local Offer Annual Report - 2023
Download (1.23MB - PDF)


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Last updated: 04 April 2023 13:39:58


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City of Doncaster Council’s Families Information Service is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing the Local Offer – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

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