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Annual Review

Local Authorities must carry out a review of every EHC plan on a yearly basis.

Children and Families Act 2014

A law which details the services Local Authorities must offer to SEND children and young people (Specifically Part 3). This is supported by the SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years. 

Direct Payment

Sometimes, young people may be given money directly so that they can purchase specific services. This can be made as part of a Personal budget to enable a young person to access certain activities or services detailed in their EHC plan. Schools and colleges must agree before direct payments can be used to buy services on their premises.

Disagreement Resolution

Local Authorities are obligated to provide independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with professionals such as other Local Authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision. More information on disagreement resolution is available in the SEND Code of Practice 11.6 to 11.10.

Education Funding Agency (EFA)

The EFA is the government agency that funds education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25. The EFA allocates funds to local authorities, which then provide the funding for maintained schools. The EFA directly funds academies and free schools.

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment

Local authorities must carry out an EHC needs assessment if a child or young person may need one. The assessment is a detailed look at the child or young person’s needs and the support needed to access education.

Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan)

An EHC plan is a legal document which details the support a child or young person should receive in relation to their education and healthcare. This plan is written by your Local Authority and can be given to schools and other professionals to explain the support your child requires.

First- tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability)

The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEN, and young people with SEN, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

Independent Supporter

A person recruited by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan. This person is independent of the local authority and will receive training, including legal training, to enable him or her to provide this support.


Someone who provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated. A keyworker could be provided directly by a local authority or local health organisation, a school or college, or from a voluntary or private sector body.

Local Authority / Authorities

Local Authorities are administrative offices that provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England. Your Local Authorities are Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council

Local Offer

The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

For Nottinghamshire information and activities, please see Nottinghamshire Help Yourself and for Nottingham City, please see Ask LiON.

Mainstream School

This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities.


Mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every Local Authority must provide independent mediation to help parents and young people resolve disputes with professional bodies and organisations about:

  • a decision not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • a decision not to draw up an EHC plan
  • the content of a final EHC plan or amended plan
  • a decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.

Mediation Advice

The purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given, the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go ahead with mediation.

However, it is not necessary to seek mediation advice in some circumstances, for example, if the appeal is only about the name of the school, or college named on the plan, the type of provision specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named.


Section 9.66 of the SEND Code of Practice says:

An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective; it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART). When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as a result of the educational or training intervention provided.

Parent Carer Forum

A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families. They have been established in most local authority areas. Nottingham is served by Rainbow Parent Carer Forum and Nottinghamshire Parent Carer Forum.

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care. Parents of children with an EHC plan and young people with an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Reasonable Adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are changes schools and other settings are required to make which could include: changes to physical features – for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom or providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment).

Schools Forum

Every local authority has a Schools Forum. It made up of representatives from schools and academies, and some representation from other bodies, such as nursery and 14- 19 education providers.

More information on Nottinghamshire Schools Forum can be found here.

SEND Code of Practice

This is the statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, health and social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

SEN Information Report

All schools must publish their policy and arrangements for supporting children with SEN on their websites and keep these policies up to date.

SEN Support

SEN support includes any help for children and young people with SEN that is additional to or different from the support generally made for other children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.


Sometimes a service that provides information, advice and support may be asked for help that it is not able to give directly.

When this happens the person seeking information, advice or support may signposted to other service providers. This means that they will be given information, including contact details, about other sources of help.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

A SENCO is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision.

Early years settings that are part of group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCO.

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