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Rutland Information Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Rutland County Council answer some FAQs about SEND services for children and young people in Rutland.

FAQs relating specifically to the coronavirus and education can be found here

How do I find a Personal Assistant (PA)?

The PA Network on RIS lists PAs who work with different age groups across Rutland.

Rutland County Council does not fully vet the PAs listed, but to be included on the list a PA must prove they have:

  • the relevant skills
  • two positive references
  • a current DBS check
  • the relevant safeguarding knowledge

These PAs can then access training and support from Rutland County Council to keep them up to date.

However, you don’t have to use the Network - you can also advertise to find your own PA.  You just need to be sure that the PA you choose has the skills and training needed, and is right for your family.

What SEN provision is there for my child, as Rutland doesn’t have any special schools?

Although there are no special schools in Rutland, there is designated specialist provision within Oakham C of E primary school and Catmose College.

This provision can meet the needs of many children who have moderate learning difficulties and/or autism. 

We are also looking to develop a specialist provision for children with social and communication difficulties. 

We do use special schools in neighbouring counties.

Can my child access AH activities if they don’t have a PA?

Yes, any child on the Aiming High database can access Aiming High activities.

However, if your child qualifies for the Short Breaks Scheme and needs a PA to attend an activity, we would expect them to come along to support your child.

If in any doubt, give the Aiming High team a call on 01572 758 421, or email.

What is the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) process?

Schools, nurseries, colleges, parents or young people can make a formal request for an education, health and care needs assessment (EHCNA) for a child or young person aged up to 25.

Rutland County Council considers the request and the supporting evidence. 

We decide whether an assessment is needed within 6 weeks of accepting the request. 

If we decide to complete an assessment, we write to professionals to get information about the child’s learning, health and social care needs. 

We also ask for the parent’s and child’s views, so we can understand what daily life is like.

Once we have all this information we make a decision about whether an EHCP is needed. 

If an EHCP is needed, we draw up a draft plan, so parents can check we have captured all the needs and necessary provision. 

We then finalise the EHCP. 

The whole process takes 20 weeks. 

Parents can appeal if they don’t agree with decisions about the assessment, the issuing of a plan, parts of the plan or the named school.

An EHCP is reviewed at least once a year.

What happens with my EHCP if I move?

If you move house to another area, we will send a copy of the EHCP to the new local authority. 

They have to continue with the Plan (and the named school), or find appropriate alternative provision and hold a review to formally agree the new provision.

How does the LA decide which school my child will attend?

We base our decision on the needs of the child, parental preference and confirmation that the school can meet the needs in the EHCP.

We send ‘consults’ to all the suitable schools. 

Occasionally we might decide on a school that is not the parental first choice.  We can only do this when we feel:

  • the school would be unsuitable for the needs of the child.
  • attendance there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others.
  • it is not the best use of resources.

How do I choose the right school for my child?

We recommend a visit to schools to see if it would be right for your child, taking into account the advice from professionals working with you and your child. 

Look for the appropriate school that is closest to home. 

Wherever possible think about how a mainstream school, college or nursery might be able to meet your child’s needs if they had extra support.

What does ‘meet the need’ mean?

This means the school can provide the right sort of teaching and learning activities, delivered by staff with the right experience and in the right environment that is most appropriate for your child’s age, aptitude, ability or SEN

How does the funding panel work?

The SEND Panel meets every fortnight. 

It is a multi-agency panel and includes professionals from health and social care, as well as education. 

The panel has two parts.  Part 1 is to discuss the details of each case and decide what steps to take next.  This can include decisions about whether or not to complete and assessment or issue an EHCP

Part 2 of the panel considers the resource implications (cost) and confirms the decisions.  

SEN case officers present information about children they are working with and answer any questions from panel members, so the right decision can be made. 

We work hard to make sure this process is fair, robust and in line with the SEND Code of Practice.

What happens when my child becomes an adult?

If your child is likely to have adult care and support needs when they turn 18, Rutland County Council will offer an assessment if there is ‘significant benefit’ for them in doing so. 

Young people approaching their 18th birthday and their parents or carers can ask for an assessment.

If an assessment is completed, the young person will be given advice and information about what can be done to meet or reduce any needs they are likely to have, what they can do to stay well, and prevent or delay development of future needs.

You can find more information on the Preparing You for Adulthood section of RIS. 

What are my child’s housing choices when they turn 18?

If a young person wants to live independently they can apply for social housing at 18 years old, or rent from a private landlord.

You can get advice or support through our Housing Options team.

If a young person has significant adult care and support needs alternative housing such as supported living or residential care would be considered through an adult social care assessment. 

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