Local Offer Response

The Wiltshire Local Offer is continually developing and your feedback is important to help us shape the future delivery.  We aim to be approachable, transparent and constructive to make sure that all views are acknowledged and considered.

Wiltshire Council are committed to developing the Wiltshire Local Offer through co-production; working in partnership with parent carers, children and young people, professionals, and a variety of organisations including the voluntary and community sector.  This involves gathering feedback to help inform and shape the future development of the Wiltshire Local Offer.  This feedback can be delivered through a variety of sources; direct communication, through our website, related services or partner organisations such as the independent parent carer organisation, the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC).

Wiltshire Parent Carer Council consultations

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) regularly consults with parent carers resident in Wiltshire (excluding Swindon) through events and surveys. The resulting consultation/ survey reports which represent the views and needs of parents and carers of children and young people with SEN and/ or a disability (SEND), helps to inform SEND provision across the county. To keep up to date with results of surveys and consultation reports, go to the WPCC website section: Have your say! – Results.

Local Offer feedback

Wiltshire Council is committed to ensuring the collective voice of parent carers, children & young people continues to have a positive influence on services the Local Authority commissions for families of children and young people with SEND, that make up Wiltshire’s Local Offer.

Since January 2016, the Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) has been the main point of contact for feedback on Wiltshire Council’s Local Offer which will help ensure future developments are based on wider parent carer feedback, as per the model that has worked successfully for other service development. The WPCC will share comments and feedback received with relevant service commissioners to ensure accurate responses are fed back, actions are reported and to make sure feedback continues to inform service delivery.

There is a legal requirement to publish a representative selection of anonymous feedback contributions on the Local Offer website and responses given, so please be aware that your comments may be publicly viewed.

To provide feedback about the Wiltshire Local Offer (the website or any of the SEND services and support for children and young people) please contact WPCC on 01225 764647 or email admin@wiltspcc.co.uk . Your views are important.

The Wiltshire Parent Carer Council (WPCC) receives enquiries, comments and feedback about services on a daily basis through the Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Disability Information Service (SENDIS); this can be in the form of a telephone call, email, via the WPCC Facebook page/ Twitter or more recently through the recent ‘SENDIS in the Community’ initiative. This is individual feedback which is in addition to the consultations, engagement sessions and events that the WPCC runs on a regular basis. Much of the feedback the WPCC receives relates to Short Breaks which is shared with the appropriate providers and forms part of service provider reviews.

The WPCC has received the following feedback/queries in relation to the Local Offer.  It is summarised below in a “You Said, We Did…” format.

Feedback received January 2017:

I have noticed that the Local Offer for post 18 options has finally been changed. However, there is still nothing in the Social Care section, and the Education section has been removed completely. Please can the Local Authority publish what is on offer for those who wish to continue education beyond the ages of 16 and 18.

A series of Transition Mapping workshops took place with parent carers in November 2016 to discuss and consider the information that is needed to help families plan ahead and facilitate the access to information such as this. Work is now being undertaken by commissioners to build a more user friendly format for this section as a result of the workshop sessions with parent carers, and it is hoped this will go live on the Local Offer website by early Spring 2017.

Requested a “holding statement” be placed on the post 16 and post 18 education pages of the Local Offer to inform parents of the above progress relating to these sections. We received the following statement which has been added to the Post 16/18 pages of the Local Offer: “Please note: This section of the Local Offer website is being updated.  We expect this to be completed by end February 2017”


My son has a My Support Plan and his school have been brilliant at accessing intervention to try to support him but these have not been successful and he is still not making sufficient progress.

The school would now like to apply for a My Plan for him but have been informed from the Send Service that they have to wait until he has had a My Support Plan open for a whole year. In the meantime my son is not accessing school fully anymore as he is not coping and the situation is deteriorating. This does not sound a person centred or needs led approach to my son’s education.

• Emailed the parent to thank her for her feedback.
• Contacted the relevant lead commissioner.
• Received a response and shared the following with the parent:

Wiltshire Council has recently shared new guidance with schools making the process for considering a referral to assess for an EHCP clearer. This has not changed the approach only given schools a clearer understanding. The guidance does suggest that for the majority of pupils a year at SEN Support or on a My Support plan is helpful as this enables the school and the child to explore a number of interventions and approaches. For most pupils schools will explore a number of approaches and need several terms to understand if the interventions are helping a child progress. If a child is put forward for an EHCP assessment too early it can mean that an EHCP will not be taken forward as there is insufficient information to really understand what is needed to progress matters.

During this time we would also expect the school to call in a number of professionals who can help the school monitor and develop interventions, many of which need a particular period of time to be implemented before it can be understood if they are working.  Schools can request this additional help from the Specialist SEN team, the Behaviour Support team (if the school if part of this service) or Educational Psychology team, and also participate in solution surgeries to think through how to help children progress.

If this has been fully explored then the year guidance can be re-considered. As such an EHCP is only one way of increasing the support for children and young people with SEND and we often find that where schools call in help from SSENs etc. then an EHCP may not be needed as their help can be really beneficial.  The main point is that support can still be delivered without an EHCP.

On the Local Offer website within the Visual Impairment section you are referring to a range of specialist providers and include Hereford College. Would it be possible to revise this to the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) instead please? You may also wish to refer to ‘children and young people’ in the same paragraph, not just children.

• Emailed the professional to thank her for her feedback.

• Shared the necessary amendments with the Local Offer website manager and the information was updated as required.

Feedback received November 2016:

A SENCo asked the question “Who can make a referral to a Paediatrician?” as she was unable to access clear information about the process.

• Responded to the professional and explained we would find out the information in response to her question as soon as possible.
• We emailed Virgin Care
• The professional was contacted directly by Virgin Care and emailed the referral criteria and contact information she required.

With regard to the current system of alerting parents to Occupational Therapy (O.T.) and Physiotherapy appointments you told us:-

“Apparently these services ring up the school at the start of term to book times and dates with school to visit our children. Unless you have a very good school who will advise parents at the start of term of these dates and times that have been agreed, you may only end up with a phone call a week before the appointment. I feel a phone call at such short notice is not ideal for various reasons:-

1) if a parent is working, it is harder and not fair on their employer to be only given a weeks’ notice.

2) if the child has an alternative appointment elsewhere it gives little time to re arrange either appointment.

3) parents like to have appointment letters sent in the post so they can keep them in their records for evidence of the appointment for things like DLA renewals.

4) if there is reliance on the school to give the parent the advance notice, it is not always reasonable to expect the school to do this.

I understand that Virgin currently have a limited administration team but this current system is not fair on parents. Maybe using the email system to email parents who have an email address or have a generic letter that date, time and location can be hand written in, and then posted to the parents. I feel reliance on school to communicate to parents is not the best way forward or fair to the school”.

• Responded to the parent and explained we would forward the feedback to the appropriate manager in Virgin Care.
• The parent was contacted directly by a member of Virgin Care and it was agreed appointment letters would be sent for school visits for OT and Physio appointments.

Feedback received October 2016:

With a child with epilepsy using Transport: “You can’t take your child home from hospital until you have had the training on dealing with a seizure.  A school has to have their staff trained by the Epilepsy Nurse when they have a pupil with epilepsy. However, Escorts in Transport do not have to have training.  You just keep your fingers crossed that your child does not have a seizure in the car.   This is outrageous and needs to be changed.”

• Emailed the parent and thanked her for her feedback.
• Forwarded her feedback to the SEND Transport Coordinator.
• We received the following response and shared this with the parent:-
“All PAs are trained and signed off to support the individual student with epilepsy by the Community Nursing Team. The training that they receive is based on the students Care Plan and Flow Chart, so this individualised training.They also undertake basic first aid training.”

Feedback received September 2016:

Along with our children who have SEND, we attended a meeting regarding a Calne youth club. We were shocked to discover from our Local Youth Facilitator that the Phoenix clubs (Barnardo’s) were commissioned in 2015 for Devizes, Trowbridge, Marlborough and Chippenham but nothing was considered needed for Calne. Why is this?

• Responded to the parent who raised this and explained we would find out the answer to her question and respond as soon as possible.
• We then sought clarification from and shared the following response with the parent:-
–  The clubs that were set up to replace Bridging Projects were based on an analysis of demand for the Bridging Projects at the time, which is what came from consultations with parent carers early in the Short Breaks journey back in 2008/9; this is why the Phoenix clubs are situated in their current locations.
–  Later, the Local Youth Officer identified that there was an opportunity in Calne and has acted upon this.
–  During more recent consultation, families were strongly in favour of a community led model for positive activity clubs to run locally where infrastructure enabled this, and Barnardo’s were commissioned to run clubs to cover areas where this wasn’t possible. Barnardo’s were commissioned to run positive activity clubs (e.g. Phoenix Clubs), in the areas where Bridging Projects had previously taken place; Calne wasn’t one of the towns where Bridging projects had previously taken place.
–  In response to parent carer feedback about a desire for a Youth Club in Calne however, the Local Youth Officer worked with the Local Area board to agree funding for a local youth club, and Groundworks submitted their bid to run the local club to meet local need.
–  Barnardo’s has been asked to work with the Calne Area Board to set up a youth club in Calne, as the previous club closed.

In relation to the new SEN banding system you said: “The criteria for funding listed under Sensory only deals with visual impairments, it means that no ASD child with a sensory processing disorder/ difficulties would receive any provision or funding for their needs. It also means that when a professional is asked to assess a child by the LEA they don’t have to acknowledge the sensory issues and can thus write the child does not need provision. Also the professional engaged by the LA to assess my son ignored what was written in Section B of his plan under physical and sensory. 

I think for parents without the inclusion of sensory processing disorder/ difficulties in the LA’s criteria for funding it will mean they will have to resort to paying for private reports and appealing to tribunals to ensure their child’s needs are met. That is what we have had to do”.

• Emailed the parent and thanked her for her feedback.
• Forwarded her feedback to the lead Commissioner for SEN to be considered when finalising the new Banding System criteria at the end of October 2016.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has undertaken a survey of Local Offers, seeking the required information about the special educational provision secured by the local authority in pupil referral units and alternative provision academies. They were unable to find it on the Wiltshire Local Offer website and I (representative of the DfE) couldn’t find it either. Is it somewhere on the local offer, or is it to be added soon?

• Emailed the professional to thank her for her feedback which helpfully identifies a gap in information on the Local Offer Website.
• We contacted the relevant council lead commissioner.
• We received a response and shared the following with the professional:-
Information about the special education provision secured by the local authority in pupil referral units and alternative provision academies is not published on the local offer website because Wiltshire does not have any Pupil Referral Units, Alternative Provision Free Schools or Academies. The feedback from NAS however is helpful, and as a consequence we will intend to work with the local authority to publish information about our local alternative provision arrangements for pupils. For primary school pupils, the Wiltshire Council Primary Tuition Service provides short term support while an appropriate mainstream or special educational place is found. At secondary level, funding is devolved to schools who use this to provide additional support in house or commission independent Alternative Provision providers who offer a mix of part-time and extended programmes as part of a pupils individual education plan. The Council has developed an Alternative Provision Directory which includes information about these providers and we intend to work with the local authority to make this available on the Local Offer website. In general, most pupils will access a programme of alternative provision on a part-time basis whilst receiving the majority of their education at their home school. Schools are responsible for quality assuring the provision, monitoring pupil attendance and progress and enduring the pupils has full entitlement to education. 

Feedback received August 2016:

The SEN Banding system merits careful consideration if children’s interests are to be protected. It is important, in order to retain independence of outlook, that the consequences and legality of changes is properly understood. There are major legal problems with some LA’s banding policies. It might be helpful to check that Wiltshire’s SEN Banding policy is lawful, otherwise you could potentially be spending time advising parents on practices which are actually legally challengeable.

• The WPCC emailed the parent to thank her for her feedback.
• Information sessions have been organised and promoted to explain how SEN Banding will enable more defined, appropriate and specific support to be identified in EHC Plans; and to give parent carers an opportunity to ask questions to help their understanding of the changes.
• Discussed the concern raised by the parent with the LA.
• The LA confirms that: In the past, Wiltshire Council has had several different funded banding systems which have been merged to form one system. This won’t make any direct difference to the support that children and young people receive from schools, as this is about making the “behind the scenes” processes smoother. EHC Plans will continue to clearly identify the child or young person’s needs and provision, as required by legislation. Section F of an EHC plan identifies the provision a child or young person must receive; Section F of EHC plans in Wiltshire will continue to be detailed and specific in terms of the type of support required. The banding system will focus settings on specific provision and how this will help to achieve the stated outcomes in the EHC plan.

Feedback received June/July 2016:

I am trying to plan for my daughter’s Post 19 life and there is nothing on the Local Offer ‘Post 18′ options page to cover Traineeship/Education/Job Centre Plus, and Social Care Provision. These have been marked as ‘Awaiting Information’ for quite a long time – is there ever going to be any information here? It would be good to know!

• Emailed the parent to thank her for her feedback which helpfully identifies a gap in information on the Local Offer Website.
• Following permission to share her details, we contacted the relevant person in the Council.
• Impromptu face to face discussion with parent at a local event to advise that as soon as we have any further information we will share with her.
• We have asked the Council to keep the WPCC informed of the work they are doing on the Local Offer website in response to this feedback so that we can promote the updated information.
• The WPCC has had early discussions with post 16 commissioners and service managers to plan a series of parent carer engagement events to inform development of informative Transition Pathways, in coproduction.

Community Connecting have secured a voluntary position in a Charity shop since November 2015 for my son. Very positive service. However, West Team Job Coach does not appear to gather the necessary information to find my son a relevant position that reflects his skills and interest. I appreciate he is the adult in this relationship but he is struggling to understand, feedback and carry out the necessary tasks he is left to complete e.g. finding and completing forms, remembering passwords, accessing job sites. I feel frustrated on his behalf and have noticed my son is agitated himself. Not receiving enough support to make progress in small enough steps, using the best ways to teach him i.e. visual.

• Shared the feedback with the WEST Team and Community Connecting teams. As the person submitting the feedback wished to rain anonymous, we were unable to address specific issues on behalf of the family, but it did serve to remind the service of the key and crucial role of the job coach and the importance of good communication with the family.
• As a result of sharing this feedback the service confirmed they hope to always receive feedback positively, and use it to make improvements or to help give clarity around their remit towards employment. As a team, we are assured that they meet regularly to ensure that the team is working in a person centred way and to discuss best ways in supporting customers to take responsibility for their employment options. The points raised in this feedback have been discussed with the team.

Why did the youth club in Calne close?

• Emailed the parent to thank her for her feedback.
• Following permission to share her details, we contacted the relevant commissioner within the Council and service provider. The following information was then shared with the parent:
• The provider of the Calne youth club was Ground Works. They had to pull out from delivering the clubs when their manager left. They decided the project was too difficult for them to deliver.
• The service was commissioned by the Local Area Board and the funding remains available with Calne Local Area Board and is intended for a replacement club as soon as arrangements can be made with a new provider.
• We asked if this project had been poorly thought through but were told the Local Area Board ensured a detailed service specification was developed and a thorough procurement process was followed. Ground Works went through an accreditation process and then submitted their proposal for delivering the service. There were also good reports of previous examples of where similar work had been delivered by this organisation. It is disappointing that the provider were unable to deliver what they said they would.
• The Local Youth Officer will now work with the Local Area Board to appoint a new provider to re-start a Calne club as soon as possible. The Lead Commissioner has discussed sustainability with (and offered his support to) the Local Youth Officer for the re-sourcing of a suitable provider.
• Officers at Wiltshire Council share the disappointment of parent carers and will be supporting the creation of the new club.

Feedback received post January-May 2016:

I have been on to your (Local Offer) website today and was on the speech and language section.  There was a tab to click on ‘how to make a referral to speech and language’ and the tab doesn’t work. Do you have this information and would you be able to send it to me?

Telephone call to enquirer to clarify the issues:-

  • Confirmed that the Website referred to was Local Offer website.
  • Checked information on the Local Offer website.
  • Informed Children’s Trust Business Manager that links not working.
  • Email sent to enquirer with details of information:-

Shared links on services and contacts for helpline for Speech and Language.



I have been looking at the Local offer website and wondered if there was any training available in the area of disability (other than training around autism).

Checked information on Wiltshire Local Offer. We found that “Training” had to be entered into the search bar, in order to locate services/ links.

Email sent to enquirer advising of Wiltshire Pathways Training Links in other areas of disability, including:-




My husband and I have some serious concerns about Wiltshire County Council’s local offer which we would like to make the WPCC aware of. Our son started secondary school in September and has an EHCP, we understood he was transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7 with 30 hours of TA but we don’t think this may now be the case.

We don’t understand the two ELP levels.

We don’t understand why hours are being put into EHCPs.

We understand that LAs must look at each child’s needs and treat them as individuals.

Concern was expressed about clarity as to which parts of an EHCP are statutory and which are not. It was suggested by the parent carer that the parts of the EHCP that are statutory be highlighted in some way.

The WPCC clarified the points raised with the SEN inclusion Support Manager and supplied the enquirer with an appropriate response. The enquirer required further clarification and the WPCC spoke to them on the phone to discuss their ongoing concerns at length. The enquirer required further reassurance and clarification, particularly around banding arrangements. The WPCC spoke to the Lead Commissioner for SEN and having been given the parent carer’s consent to share details with the LA, the Lead Commissioner for SEN had a further conversation with the parent carer.

The comments about the clarity of statutory and non-statutory elements of the EHCP in Wiltshire were shared with the SEND Locality Manager (North and East). The WPCC asked that if anything happened to EHCP plans in Wiltshire as result of this feedback, that this be shared with the WPCC so that we can share the information with parent carers and update the published Local Offer feedback.


Feedback pre-2016:
Your feedback:

I tried to change password and enter a 9 character new password but changes not accepted – error message password too short. Also the only option for ‘public display name’ is my email address. I do not want my email address displayed as default. I searched for my son’s current provision ‘crowdys hill school’ and found nothing. I searched for 16+ provision and was given a screen about vague provision of leisure services – but no details. Unfortunately not an impressive first visit to the site. I’m now expecting this feedback comment to be rejected too!

Our response:

We hope that we are able to address the technical issues that you have raised. The password requirements follow Wiltshire Council ICT password policy which requires a minimum set of letters and symbols and is in place as a high-security setting.   The website does not operate a publishing forum and the email address login would only be used for your own personal use to access the site and see your personal profile.  It would not be published elsewhere on the site and all publication of Local Offer comments would be anonymous.  I hope this reassures you that your details would not be publicly available.

The Local Offer website is still being developed and your feedback regarding the search for Crowdys Hill school and 16+ provision has been acknowledged.  We are continuing to add and develop our website content as feedback increases.  Leisure details can be found by choosing the ‘Leisure’ tab on the Local Offer website.  This page signposts information of activities provided across Wiltshire using the searchable WPCC database and links to services provided by Wiltshire Council e.g. Active Wiltshire and the Disability Sports Programme.  I hope you will find this information helpful.

Our Wiltshire Local Offer encourages involvement with parents, carer, professionals, children and young people.  We are having a launch on the 7th October 2014 at the Corn Exchange in Devizes from 10am-2pm for professionals, parents, young people and children.  The day will involve an overview of the Local Offer, an opportunity to review the website in working groups and provide feedback. Places are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible as this is your opportunity to share your views and help develop the Local Offer. If you would like to register to attend, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you.

Our actions:
  • Clarified the email password requirements for the site, and highlighted the specific requirements to assist with registration.
  • Explained the signposting information on the website.
  • Acknowledged feedback to inform improvements for future website development.
  • Invited to attend the Wiltshire Local Offer launch event which would provide a further opportunity to become involved in a feedback session and to share their views with relevant professionals.
  • (Updated) A new section has been added to the Local Offer website in the ‘Home’ drop down section which explains how to use the website, including the registration process.


Your feedback:

I found the site quite easy to follow but it has highlighted to me the lack of sports and leisure activities for young adults with special needs who are unable to join in mainstream classes. My son was involved in various social clubs and sports when younger but these have an upper age limit of 16 or 18 so he has much less available to him in evenings, at weekends and during the 10 week summer break from college. I am waiting to see what is to replace bridging projects in October as he went to two. I would also like to see holidays for 19+ available similar to the one organized by Brandon Trust for 14-18 year olds which he went on when 18. His need for a holiday away from mum and dad hasn’t disappeared now he is 19.

Our response:

The Local Offer incorporates the services provided across Wiltshire for children and young people aged 0-25 years.  We are currently in the process of developing youth services and your views are important with helping us to identify gaps in our provision alongside current services.  Your comments regarding holiday provision for post 18 will be shared with the relevant teams, on an anonymous basis.

Our Wiltshire Local Offer encourages involvement with parents, carer, professionals, children and young people.  We are having a launch on the 7th October 2014 at the Corn Exchange in Devizes from 10am-2pm for professionals, parents, young people and children.  The day will involve an overview of the Local Offer, an opportunity to review the website in working groups and provide feedback. Places are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible as this is your opportunity to share your views and help develop the Local Offer.  If you would like to register to attend, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Thank you.

Our actions:
  • Feedback shared with Head of Commissioning and Joint Planning and comments regarding holiday provision passed onto appropriate representatives.
  • Parent/carer invited to attend the Wiltshire Local Offer launch event which would provide a further opportunity to become involved in a feedback session and to share their views with relevant professionals.


Your feedback:

Interesting to see that the Bridging Projects are still being offered in their original form. I would have hoped that at least at the sites launch it would have been accurate.

Who came up with the mis sharpen balloon idea. This implies the same is true for the site. I looked into the education and was not able to get past the Register part of my search. I don’t want to register.

Our response:

Thank you for your feedback. The Local Offer is continually developing and your views are important with helping Wiltshire Council to shape future services as well as the Local Offer website.  We are sorry to hear that you have not been impressed by your first visit.  The Local Offer website is in continual development and your feedback helps us to improve.

Our site includes information provided from a range of sources and we have tried to ensure that all content is current and relevant. However there may be a few rare occasions where this information may be incorrect and we greatly appreciate users highlighting this, alongside our internal review system.  We have looked into the mention of Bridging Projects on our Wiltshire Local Offer website and cannot find the content that you refer to however we have found this information on an external partner’s website which we link to from the Local Offer.  We do not have control over the content of external websites however we have informed them of the current situation with regards to Bridging projects and hope they will update their systems accordingly.  Thank you for raising this concern.

Focus groups, user interaction and professional contributions were all part of the development of the Local Offer site; the content, design and structure.  The aim of the design of the site is to provide a friendly, informal and bright site with graphics to appeal to a range of ages.  We acknowledge all comments regarding the Local Offer and appreciate the opinions of individuals.

You do not have to register to view the content of the site as all the content is openly available without logging in.  However, when you are registered you are able to store useful information through the ‘pin’ function.  This pinned information is then stored on your user profile for you to reference in the future, making access to the information quicker and simpler.  If you are having problems with accessing the site itself this could be a technical issue.  The site is still very new and it is not unusual to experience issues.  To help us, further information as to how you were viewing the site e.g. Mac, Internet explorer on laptop, ipad, Android mobile as well as the pages you were having issues with would enable us to investigate further and eliminate future problems.  If you are happy to provide this additional information so that we are able to improve our future service then please contact localoffer@wiltshire.gov.uk.  Thank you.

Our Wiltshire Local Offer encourages involvement with parents, carer, professionals, children and young people.  We are having a launch on the 7th October 2014 at the Corn Exchange in Devizes from 10am-2pm for professionals, parents, young people and children.  The day will involve an overview of the Local Offer, an opportunity to review the website in working groups and provide feedback. Places are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible as this is your opportunity to share your views and help develop the Local Offer.  If you would like to register to attend, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you.

Our actions:
  • Reviewed the use of the ‘bridging project’ term on the Wiltshire Local Offer website and linked websites e.g. WPCC.
  • Identified that the term was used on an external website.  Contacted the organisation to inform them of the feedback received and they updated their information accordingly.
  • Explained the registration process and offered to investigate technical issues further – worked with internal IT to establish the issues.
  • Highlighted the development of the Wiltshire Local Offer through focus groups, co production and review which included the design concept.
  • Invited to attend the Wiltshire Local Offer launch event which would provide a further opportunity to become involved in a feedback session and to share their views with relevant professionals


Your feedback: (edited to remove personal information)

I have an 18 year old son and we have been in receipt of the Local Offer for a few years. I think it is great by the way. My point if I had been able to come (to the Local Offer launch) I would be asking why our young people who stay in education until they are 19 cannot still be in receipt of the LO?

Can you also tell me why it is not liked when a family uses the LO money towards a family holiday? I am asking because I know this is common and would like to be able to advise my families of the reasons and then give them suggestions for other ways to use the money. As a mum of a child with severe additional needs I would like to say that family holidays are so very difficult to have and that they are also very important to families.

Our response:

I assume the ‘LO’ you are referring to relates to the Short Breaks Scheme. There is some confusion here. The Short Breaks Scheme used to be known as the Short Breaks Local Offer. Unfortunately our scheme ‘Local Offer’ name was taken on nationally to mean something completely different i.e. Local Offer now means the information on and pathway for SEND services.  I hope I can clarify the information regarding the Short Breaks Scheme:

1.The age range for the current Short Breaks Scheme is 4-17. This means young adults aged 18+ are not eligible. The Scheme was introduced as a response to the national Aiming High for Disabled Children initiative and is now in its fourth year. At the time the brief was about children aged up to 18, but not adults. More recently the national agenda has moved on and all local authorities are expected to have improved transitions for young people when they reach 18 and wherever possible for services not end at age 18. This is something we are currently reviewing with senior managers to discuss the age range for the scheme. We cannot give any commitments at this stage – but this is being looked at right now, ahead of the launch of next year’s scheme.

2.Families that choose the payment option have complete autonomy over how to spend the money. The Scheme was deliberately designed (together with parent carers) to put the power and responsibility with the families. We are trusting families to do what is best for their C/YP – they know them best. Many families choose to spend the money on trips/holidays. The Scheme manager has confirmed that there is no official objection to using the money in this way. It is the responsibility of the family to decide whether a single holiday, regular clubs, additional support, sports equipment or whatever is in the best interests of the C/YP to meet their short break and leisure activity needs. If you are finding that some people whom you speak to are against using the Short Breaks Scheme money for a holiday, I am guessing that is because they feel something which lasts longer would bring more benefit to the C/YP. However it is the family’s choice and responsibility.

I hope that you continue to be involved with shaping and developing of the Local Offer as your views are valued.

Our actions:
  • Feedback discussed with Head of Commissioning and Joint Planning.
  • Future discussions scheduled to review the age-range of the Short Breaks Scheme.  All comments and feedback are considered when reflecting on the greatest impact and delivery of future provision.
  • Confirmed with the Short Breaks scheme manager as to how the funding can be used and clarified in our response.


Your feedback:

My feedback on the Local Offer website, is quite mixed.  I think that someone has clearly taken time to collate an immense amount of information and then try to create a website with it.

However, it’s not clear. For example I cannot find any schools listed or special colleges. I cannot find any listings for contact for leisure activities. It all seems a little dis jointed and not very ”user friendly”.

Can I suggest that perhaps someone takes a look at the WPCC website? This is a really great, very easy to use website. Everything is set out extremely clearly and it is easy to navigate around.

I couldn’t find anything I looked for on the Local Offer website, unfortunately.  Clearly a lot of time and money has been put into the development of this site but I’m afraid that it isn’t easy to understand.

I also think that it needs someone to read through it. There are lots of grammar mistakes all the way through and it reads a little bit like someone who is foreign, but speaks good English, has written up a large chunk of the website. Very odd!

I do hope that the feedback session goes well and is very well attended. My wish is that the Local Offer website would be modified and made far easier for parent carers to navigate. A lot of work, time and gathering of information has gone into it and it would be a shame if people couldn’t actually use it.  I wish you all the very best with it.

Our response:

Thank you for your feedback on the Local Offer website, this is very useful in identifying areas for future development and improving the user experience.   You may have noticed that already we have made a few changes in response to comments and we will continue to consider how we can best improve the website.  This may require further professional development as well as regular reviews of the content.


The information about schools and colleges can be found in the Education area of the toolbar in the bottom section of the menu ‘Schools, colleges, early years and childcare’.  This takes you through to a wealth of information including an explanation of a setting’s offer, a link to the Wiltshire Council database of schools and direct links to specialist schools and colleges in the area.


We acknowledge that the Local Offer website it still developing and we are using the feedback to inform future changes.  The content on the website was collated from a range of sources and we are in the process of standardising the format and approach.  We appreciate your views with regards to the flow of language and we constantly review for grammatical errors.  However, as with all publications, we are susceptible to human error.  I hope, as we develop the Local Offer in response to the feedback we receive and the needs highlighted, you will see the site progress.  I hope that you continue to be involved with shaping and developing of the Local Offer as your views are valued.

Our actions:
  • Reviewed the navigation of key areas and identified areas for improvement in second-phase of development.
  • Improved labelling of the menu toolbar, introduced new information areas and a clearer format of sections.
  • Continually proof-reading, editing and striving to improve the website content.  Checking for relevance and consistency across the service.
  • Ongoing review of Local Offer websites nationally, identifying positive features and recognising future improvements to be considered in the second-phase of development of the Wiltshire Local Offer website.


Your feedback:

This site is not very easy to navigate. The search facility does not pull up information on audiology or teacher of the deaf (hearing impairment service) when using the terms deaf or hearing impairment.

The one sentence I managed to find about the hearing impairment service is poorly written and not an accurate representation of their crucial and key role for deaf children.

I am glad my child is older and we have already accessed most of the services he requires, as if I had a young child and was faced with this website I would find it extremely difficult to navigate and find relevant information, and would be looking for alternative sites or people to help me.

Our response:

Thank you for your recent email and interest in the Wiltshire Local Offer. I am sorry to hear that you have not been completely satisfied with the website, however we appreciate you sharing your views and we will consider the points that you have raised.

The information contained in the Wiltshire Local Offer has been provided by a range of sources including professionals, parents and young people. The process of collating information is ongoing and we strive to ensure that the information we provide is relevant and accurate. However we recognise that there may be occasions where information may have changed and the communication could be enhanced.   We welcome feedback from users to help us improve on our delivery.

The Wiltshire Local Offer is continually developing and our user testing and feedback sessions are helping us to identify areas for improvement. As a result of all the feedback generated we are currently in the process of developing a stronger search function which would allow the user to search on a variety of connected terms to find related information. We are also constantly reviewing the content with aim to ensure a positive user experience and provide relevant and accurate information.

We appreciate your comments and your feedback will help assist with the future development. Thank you.

Our actions:
  •  A stronger search function has been established as a key requirement for the next stage of website development.  Until this is undertaken we are making every effort to ensure the content of the website clearly identifies key terms which can be picked up with our current search facility.
  • The website is continually reviewed in terms of its content and presentation.  New information is being added regularly and every effort is made to organise this as appropriately as possible.
  • Feedback, discussions and coproduction help to inform areas for improvement and information is updated as necessary to try and  ensure consistency across all services.


Your feedback: (edited to remove personal information)

I am trying to find information on My plans and further education for my son. You have a list of colleges but no list of suitable courses and when I go to the link for the colleges I have not been able to find courses for special needs. I am also interested in how the funding works and how many years this is likely to be provided for. I have been on the site for 40 minutes now and am no wiser!

I have also tried registering with the email address below but am having problems updating the information when I follow the link from my email – it just tells me that the username is not recognised and an account has already got my email address. So far just feeling very frustrated.

Our response:

The Wiltshire Local Offer is continually developing and our user testing and feedback sessions are helping us to identify areas for improvement. As a result of all the feedback generated we are currently in the process of developing a stronger search function which would allow the user to search on a variety of connected terms to find related information. We are also constantly reviewing the content with aim to ensure a positive user experience and provide relevant and accurate information.

The Local Offer links to schools and colleges across Wiltshire however we do not carry information about each provider’s courses and curriculum as I am sure that you can appreciate that this would be extensive and likely to change periodically. Instead we are confident that providers would be able to assist with any individual’s enquiry but should you require any further assistance please contact our SPOC (Single Point of Contact) on 01225 757985.

Our actions:
  • Acknowledged the feedback regarding the search function, which has already been identified as a required improvement for future development.
  • Improved the organisation of information across the site to improve navigation and the ability to search for key information.
  • Checked the registration database to assist with outstanding issues.


Your feedback:

Hello, I am a parent carer. I was looking through preparing for adult section of Local Offer site and when I clicked on Direct Payment information the leaflet was out of date with reference to Ask and the wrong number for WPCC. It had the effect of making me wonder if other information was as up to date as it should be. I liked the section on guiding on what information should be included in a MyPlan at certain ages/year groups.

I do think it is easy quite to find your way around the site and loads of good, clear info but also I could not seem to register at the moment! Have tried twice to ask for new password and it says I have been emailed but do not receive any emails with my password. Bit frustrating but understand this is a new system!

Our response:

Thank you for your email and we appreciate your comments with regards to the Wiltshire Local Offer.  The website is continually developing and we try to ensure that the information that we provide is relevant and up to date however we recognise that there may be times when we need to refresh our content or when information passed to us may now be out of date.  Thank you for taking the time to highlight  the issue with the direct payment information and we are currently working on new content to include further information on payments and personal budgets.  I hope you will find the new information useful.

Our actions:
  • Review financial information currently being presented on the website and contacting relevant professionals to request updated information.
  • Assisted with registration and new password.
  • Updated information presented on website as appropriate.
Your feedback:

Hi there I am writing to you as I find it interesting that on the information relating to further education colleges you make no reference to Specialist Colleges that are approved on the National data base? I appreciate that local colleges need to be explored first however there is still a need for a specialist type provision, given the complexities of some young adults that have the right to an appropriate education. “A Right not a Fight” is the NATSPEC Campaign, The campaign calls for students with a learning difficulty or disability to have the same choices that most young people take for granted, such as choosing a further education college that best meets their learning and support needs. Section 41 Secretary of State approved List; Section 41 of the Act allows the Secretary of State, by order, to publish a list of approved independent special institutions (Independent Special Schools – England and Wales and Special Post-16 institutions) for the purposes of satisfying Section 38 (Preparation of an Education, Health and Care plan by local authorities) of the Act. Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent. Perhaps I have just missed this and you have the information for the public domain, or perhaps you don’t? Luckily I am a parent that is informed of matters relating to options for young adults that deserve to be given ALL their options?! Especially in the context of impartial advice and information, or is it IMPARTIAL, given the absence of this crucial information. Perhaps you could speak to the rest of the SEND Team as I am concerned that under the C&F Act 2014 you are not giving parents/guardians and advocates ALL the information on your new Local Offer web site, helping them to explore ALL their options. Hopefully you will make ammendments to your site. Look forward to hearing from you

Our response:

Thank you for your interest in the Wiltshire Local Offer and we welcome your feedback.  The Wiltshire Local Offer is continuously developing and we strive to ensure that we meet the statutory requirements as well as working alongside other local authorities nationally to share practice and key developments.   At the heart of our Local Offer is co-production which values contribution and involvement from parents, carers, children, young people and professionals.  Your views have been shared with colleagues, as requested, and I will try and address the points you have raised.

The Wiltshire Local Offer contains information about support and services Wiltshire Council offers directly, commissions or works in partnership with.  We have included links to schools and colleges in our ‘Education’ section on the website,  https://www.wiltshirelocaloffer.org.uk/education/schools-colleges-early-years/ .  We also include a list of the Section 41 approved providers on our website (please see section number 4 of the link page, ‘4. Approved independent providers’).  We continually review our content to ensure the information is relevant and up-to-date and we are currently working on further website development.  We welcome any future feedback and your contribution is valued.  I hope this has addressed your concerns and reassured you that we do indeed meet the requirements to publish the approved providers (Section 41) information.

Our actions:
  • Shared comments with relevant colleagues, as requested.
  • Further clarified access path to information with provider of initial feedback (follow up email).
  • Reviewed the links and information provided against statutory requirements to consolidate adherence.
  • Discussed presentation of similar information with Local Offer network (range of local authorities) to establish best practice.
Cartoon representation of Wiltshire
Wiltshire Council