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Direct payments and personal budgets

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Dear Kent County Council,

1.Please provide a copy of your policy regarding the trialling of SEN Direct Payments and personal budgets.

2. Please confirm whether all parents/carers issued with a new or amended statement since January 2012 have been informed about their right to apply for a Direct Payment for SEN provision under the Special Educational Needs (Direct Payments) (Pilot Scheme) Order 2012. How has this information been provided? Please provide a copy of any standard leaflet or letter issued together with confirmation of date of issue.

3. Please confirm the number of parents/carers who are receiving SEN Direct Payments and what those Direct Payments relate to.

4. Please confirm whether any of these SEN Direct Payments could be provided outside the Pathfinder project, e.g. payments under Part 6 of a statement for transport.

5. Please provide a copy of your policy for considering requests for direct payments for SEN provision. If you do not have a policy, please confirm whether there are any limits placed on direct payments applications, e.g. they will not be provided if the LA has a block contract or there is a financial limit. Please confirm whether these criteria are communicated to parents and provide a copy of that document .

6. Please confirm your arrangements for reviewing appeals against a refusal of a request for SEN Direct Payments. Please provide a copy of any policy and any leaflet/letter issued to parents explaining this.

7. Please confirm what information is provided to parents/carers about the trialling of personal budgets. Please provide a copy of any leaflet or letter issued.

8. Please confirm how many parents/carers are receiving a personal budget within the auspices of the Pathfinder project?

9. Please confirm how parents/carers in receipt of SEN Direct Payments/ personal budgets obtained the information to make an application. For example, were they:

(a) sent the information with a new or amended statement
(b) recruited as part of a specific pilot
(c) neither (a )or (b), the family approached the LA having heard about SEN Direct Payments/personal budgets from other sources

10. Please provide a copy of your local offer.

Yours faithfully
Measure Up!

Kent County Council

Dear Measure  Up!

 

Thank you for your email below.

 

Kent County Council acknowledges your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming KCC holds this information, we
will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later
than 2 August 2013 (20 working days from date of receipt).

 

We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/13/1028 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.

 

Best regards

Miss Ellis Bryant
Information Access Officer
Information Resilience & Transparency Team
Business Strategy & Support, Governance & Law
Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone,
ME14 1XQ. 
Telephone: 01622 696199, Internal: 7000 6199, Fax: 01622 696075
[1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/your_council/cont...

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Kent County Council

1 Attachment

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000, relating to direct payments and personal
budgets.

1) Please provide a copy of your policy regarding the trialling of SEN
Direct Payments and personal budgets: As Kent has been participating in
the SE7 Pathfinder, it has not developed any Local Authority specific
policy regarding the trialling of SEN Direct Payments.

2) Please confirm whether all parents/carers issued with a new or amended
statement since January 2012 have been informed about their right to apply
for a Direct Payment for SEN provision under the Special Educational Needs
(Direct Payments) (Pilot Scheme) Order 2012. How has this information been
provided? Please provide a copy of any standard leaflet or letter issued
together with confirmation of date of issue. Kent County Council is unable
to confirm whether all parents have been informed because this information
has not been recorded. KCC has had a significant change of staff involved
in the Pathfinder Pilot since the regulations were introduced in 2012. The
Council’s website has provided information about the Pathfinder and its
role to test and prototype on behalf of the Department for Education. This
information includes details about direct payments. Also, KCC confirms
the use of template letters to explain the details of direct payments for
SEN transport. KCC has not produced leaflets.
3) Please confirm the number of parents/carers who are receiving SEN
Direct Payments and what those Direct Payments relate to.  At the time of
writing, KCC has issued a direct payment to 50 families of children and
young people with SEN who have chosen this for their SEN transport. This
is in addition to approx 800 families of disabled children who are
receiving a personal budget for their short breaks. There are currently 4
children and young people with special educational need whose cases may
result in direct payments although funding decisions are unlikely before
September 2013. 

4) Please confirm whether any of these SEN Direct Payments could be
provided outside the Pathfinder project, e.g. payments under Part 6 of a
statement for transport. KCC confirms that direct payments made could be
provided outside of the Pathfinder Project. Families of children and young
people with SEN who have chosen direct payments for their SEN transport
are not all taking part in the testing and prototyping of assessments and
plans within the Pathfinder. The approximate 800 families of disabled
children who are receiving a personal budget for their short breaks, are
similarly outside the Pathfinder.

5) Please provide a copy of your policy for considering requests for
direct payments for SEN provision. If you do not have a policy, please
confirm whether there are any limits placed on direct payments
applications, e.g. they will not be provided if the LA has a block
contract or there is a financial limit. Please confirm whether these
criteria are communicated to parents and provide a copy of that document.
This is a repeat of Q1. Kent has not developed any Local Authority
specific policy regarding the trialling of SEN direct payments. Whilst KCC
has not placed any financial limits on direct payments, it is limited by
the availability of resources; those which are linked to purchase of a
school place and have been delegated to schools are not therefore
available.

6) Please confirm your arrangements for reviewing appeals against a
refusal of a request for SEN Direct Payments. Please provide a copy of any
policy and any leaflet/letter issued to parents explaining this. To date
there have been no refusals. There have been are currently 4 children and
young people with special educational need whose cases may result in
direct payments although funding decisions are unlikely before September
2013. In line with the Council’s existing arrangements to consider a
parent request for a school placement or SEN provision, parents who wish
to appeal a decision can have their representations considered at County
Panel. This is in addition to the Council’s published complaints
procedure.

7) Please confirm what information is provided to parents/carers about the
trialling of personal budgets. Please provide a copy of any leaflet or
letter issued. This information is set out on the Council’s website
([1]http://www.kent.gov.uk/education_and_lea...
confirms the use of template letters to explain the details of direct
payments for SEN transport. The Council has reproduced this for you,
please see copy attached. KCC has not produced any leaflets.

8) Please confirm how many parents/carers are receiving a personal budget
within the auspices of the Pathfinder project? As Q3. At the time of
writing, KCC has issued a direct payment to 50 families of children and
young people with SEN who have chosen this for their SEN transport. This
is in addition to approx 800 families of disabled children who are
receiving a personal budget for their short breaks. There have been are
currently 4 children and young people with special educational need whose
cases may result in direct payments although funding decisions are
unlikely before September 2013.

9) Please confirm how parents/carers in receipt of SEN Direct
Payments/personal budgets obtained the information to make an application.
For example, were they:
(a) sent the information with a new or amended statement
(b) recruited as part of a specific pilot
(c) neither (a )or (b), the family approached the LA having heard about
SEN Direct Payments/personal budgets from other sources

KCC is unable to provide you with the information requested because it
has not been recorded.

10) Please provide a copy of your local offer.
The Local Offer will be a web based resource:
[2]http://www.kent.gov.uk/education_and_lea....
It is still under development as KCC takes an iterative approach to
populating the information.

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints
process; details can be found at this link
[3]http://www.kent.gov.uk/your_council/have...
on our website. Please quote reference FOI/13/1028.

If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner’s website [4]http://www.ico.org.uk/complaints.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Laura Pronger

Information Access Officer

Information Resilience & Transparency Team

Business Strategy & Support, Governance & Law

Kent County Council, Room 2.71, Sessions House, County Road, Maidstone,
ME14 1XQ. 

Telephone: 01622 694261, Internal: 7000 4261, Fax: 01622 696075

[5]http://www.kent.gov.uk/your_council/cont...

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