Annual Reviews and Personal Budgets
Information for Children & Young People
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What if I am unhappy with the support I’m receiving with my EHCP?
If you’re unhappy with the help you’re receiving, or you feel like you’re struggling with certain things despite receiving that support, then you should talk to your school or college about it.
If the Annual Review is due soon, then you can talk about any concerns you have in that meeting. If the Annual Review is not due for a while and you want to talk about things sooner, then you can ask your school or college to arrange an ‘emergency’ or ‘interim’ review.
What is an Annual Review and what is my role in it?
EHCPs must be reviewed at least every 12 months in an Annual Review. The aim of the Annual Review is to make sure that what is written in the EHCP is still accurate and it is helping you.
The Annual Review gives you, your parent or carer, your school or college and anyone else who may be helping you the chance to look at your EHCP and talk about anything which may need changing.
You should be asked for your views at least 2 weeks ahead of the meeting. You can ask someone to help you with this if you want. Your views are really important.
After the meeting, you should receive a report of what happened at the meeting within 2 weeks of it taking place.
The EHCP Officer at the Local Authority (LA) will then send you a letter within 4 weeks of the meeting, to confirm whether the LA has decided to:
- Keep the plan as it is
- Change the plan
- Stop the plan
If the LA agrees that changes need to be made, the EHCP Officer will send you a draft copy of the EHCP within 4 weeks of the meeting. With the draft EHCP, you will get a asking whether you agree with the changes and will have 15 days to reply. A final amended EHCP will then be sent to you within a maximum of 12 weeks from the date of the meeting.
If you disagree with anything in the EHCP when you receive the final copy, you will have a right of appeal.
How can I prepare for the Annual Review meeting?
You should be asked to give your views at least 2 weeks before the meeting. You can ask someone to help you with this and you can give your views however you like. This might be in writing, or as a video or picture.
If you’re unsure, the types of things you may want to think about before the Annual Review are:
- What do you think is going well and what could be going better?
- Are the targets/outcomes in your EHCP still relevant or you already achieved them?
- If the outcomes haven’t been achieved yet, what changes could be made to help that happen?
- Are the descriptions of your needs still accurate?
- Is the school or college named in your EHCP still suitable for you?
What is a Personal Budget?
A Personal Budget is money to pay for support as part of your Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care. You must always be involved in planning the Personal Budget. This is called an Arrangement or Notional Budget.
Sometimes the Local Authority, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for you.
Sometimes you may manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself and the money to do this will come from a Direct Payment.
Sometimes someone else will manage the Personal Budget for you and this is called a Third Party Arrangement.
Sometimes you will have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements.
Who can have a Personal Budget?
If you are a young person with an EHCP, you can ask for your own Personal Budget after the end of the school year in which you become 16.
You can also ask for a Personal Budget if you have been assessed as needing an EHCP, but this has not yet been finalised. However, you do not have to have a Personal Budget.
Sometimes the Local Authority may not agree to a Personal Budget. If that happens, the Local Authority should tell you why.
What can a Personal Budget be used for?
A Personal Budget can be used only on the support set out in an EHC Plan. This can include funding for the special educational, health and social care support that will help to achieve the outcomes set out in the Plan.
A Personal Budget does not cover payment for a place at school or college. A Personal Budget does include any top up funding (known as Element 3 funding) that is for provision specified in an EHC plan. It can also include support that is managed by the school or college – but only if the Head teacher or Principal agree.
You can find out more about what can be included in a Personal Budget in Sections 9.110 to 9.118 of the SEND Code of Practice.
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