Dear Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council,
Under the Freedom of Information Act:
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 the 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.
Your request for information under the FOI Act is not a valid request.
To be valid a request under section 8(1) of the Act a request has to be
in writing, state the name of the applicant and provide an address for
Please provide the name of the applicant. An e-mail address is
sufficient for correspondence.
Information Rights Officer
We are a voluntary organsiation and entitled to request information in our own name.
You will note the guidance from the ICO website which confirms:
Remember that a request can be made in the name of an organisation, or by one person on behalf of another, such as a solicitor on behalf of a client;
Please proceed with our request.
Measure Up My Ref: CC37922
Unknown Unknown Unknown Your Ref:
Dear Unknown Unknown
Subject: Freedom of Information - Learning and Children - Children and
I refer to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and to your letter to this
department dated 6 July 2013..
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, we have formally
decided to grant access to the records requested and accordingly they are
1. There is not a policy currently.
2. This has not been done.
3. There are 2 direct payments - one relates to transport and the other to
4. These payments could be provided outside of the Pathfinder.
5. Each request is based on individual circumstances and the decision is
based on efficient use of resources.
6. There are no arrangements for appeals.
7. An event for parents has been held to promote personal budgets and
various briefing sessions have been held where parents have been asked to
contact the LA if they would like to be considered for a personal budget.
There is also a section in the Local Offer about financial support.
8. Two families.
9. One family approached the LA and other was approached by the LA.
The information provided in response to your request is copyright
Gateshead Council unless otherwise endorsed. Granting access to this
information under the Freedom of Information Act does not permit you to
re-use the information provided for commercial purposes, for photocopying
or reproduction in any form. If you wish to re-use the information you
need to apply for a Licence. You can do this by writing to Information
Rights Officer, Legal and Corporate Services, 1st Floor, Civic Centre,
Regent Street, Gateshead, NE8 1HH. You may be required to pay a fee or
comply with conditions for permitted re-use.
Should you have any queries regarding the contents of this letter, please
contact Information Rights.