Frequently asked questions from parents and carers

Rutland Parent Carer Voice frequently ask Rutland County Council questions on behalf of parents and carers about services for children and young people with SEND

Rutland Parent Carer Voice frequently ask Rutland County Council questions on behalf of parents and carers about services for children and young people with SEND. Here are a selection of the latest questions and answers from April 2022 with responses to all the questions asked available as a download. 

The team do not have ongoing capacity to field further general queries such as these at this time however, there will an opportunity to ask further questions during summer 2022.

The 2017 Ofsted report mentions the creation of a post for ‘emotional health and well-being specialist nurse’ - I have never heard of this so who is it, who can access it & how?

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing nurse, has been in post for 9 years and was based at Jules House and employed by the health service. Since Covid this post has been subsumed into the NHS. However,  other EHWB support is in place in Rutland such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, (IAPT) practitioners  employed by  Rutland County Council (RCC) and based in our services for young people, The NHS Mental Health in Schools Teams  who are working with a number of schools, and we now have  Key Workers for children with Learning Disability and  Autism, who may be at risk of hospital admission or placement breakdown. Rutland has a dedicated key worker, who is working closely with the SEND and Early Help team - the service is managed by Barnardo’s and funded by the NHS.

What is a personal budget, what can it be used for and how do families obtain one?

Once support for a child has been agreed via an EHC Plan or a Child in Need Plan, a budget value may be approved by Rutland County Council and/or the health service to provide this. This fund is known as a personal budget and is different for each child or young person. Some personal budgets can be provided as a direct payment, and this is also how the Aiming High Short Break Scheme is provided. Families can discuss if the agreed support they are receiving can be provided as a personal budget with their health or SEND worker and further details can be found on the Local Offer.

Are there any plans to improve the wheelchair access transport in the community, e.g., buses or taxis?

There has been significant improvement in this area over the last 3 years and we are continuing to support operators. All registered bus services are wheelchair accessible, all Rutland Council minibuses have tail lifts and more taxi operators contracted to Rutland Council have invested in wheelchair accessible vehicles to meet the growing demand of home to school transport contracts.  

Why is there a lack of pre-emptiveness from RCC and schools even when a child is known to have or may have SEN?

Within Rutland a range of resources are available for schools to access as soon as a child is identified as potentially having SEND.  Schools already receive funding as part of their budget to deliver in-school support for children with SEND and they utilise this in the first instance.  They can also access many other services which form part of the ordinarily available provision and Rutland’s graduated response. The Local Authority works closely with schools to develop practice and ensure that resources are available to meet need in schools.

Why are Early Help being used to do the job of Social Workers?

Early Help aims to offer families support for any difficulties they feel they are facing in order to prevent escalation and potential placement breakdown. There are no Early Help workers holding cases that should be allocated to social workers. This was confirmed by OFSTED in the last SEND inspection.

Why is it that RCC have made the local offer section of their website as baffling as possible for people?

We are always looking for ways to improve the Local Offer website and would welcome some constructive ideas on how we can do this. We agreed an action from the Collaborative event, to form a task group of RCC staff and parents to review and test the Local Offer site. Parent will be invited to be part of that.

When a child is under EOTAS, why is the plan not being followed and hours not being made available?

EOTAS provision is a bespoke package which is based on the specific needs of a child or young person and is put in place where a child is unable to attend school or where it is deemed that no school is appropriate for them.  This offer is always guided by the current needs of the child and supported by other professionals, for example Educational Psychologists or CAMHS practitioners.  When an EOTAS package is created it will be delivered at a pace that the child can manage and sustain.  Whilst we will always be aiming for the child to engage in their full offer, it is not always in their best interests to expect them to fully re-engage in the whole education offer from the start. As such, packages are steadily increased to their maximum at a pace which children and young people are able to manage.