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In this area, we share some of the frequently asked questions by parents of children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability.

If you have any questions not covered in this area, please contact us o 0207 332 1002 and we will be happy to answer your query.

I am worried about how my child is doing in school?

If your child is under five and you are concerned that they are not developing or learning as well as they should, talk to your GP, your health visitor or your child’s nursery.

If your child attends school you should talk to their class teacher.  They will be able to help you find out if your child’s difficulties are those that might be expected, or whether your child may have special educational needs. 

If teachers at your child’s school or early years’ settings (or any other professional who knows you and your child) are worried about your child’s development, they will discuss this with you.

All schools and early years’ settings have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), who will work with you, and other staff, to make sure that your child gets the help they need.

I am worried about my child’s development

You know your child best.  If you are worried about your child’s physical development, you should speak to your GP or your health visitor.


Help me understand the SEND personal budget ?

A personal budget is the amount of money a local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) considers necessary to support the educational, health and social care needs of children or young people up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The amount that you get will depend on the needs and outcomes identified in the child’s Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. The funding is reviews on a yearly basis and amended as the individual’s needs and outcomes change.

What are they for?
A personal budget is intended to give young people and their parents or carers greater choice and control over the care and support services they receive.

Do I need to have one?
No. Personal budgets are not mandatory - the choice to request one is entirely up to you.

Who can request a personal budget?
All parents, carers and young people can request a personal budget when their:

  • EHC plan is being prepared
  • EHC plan is being reviewed
  • Statement of SEN is being transferred to an EHC plan

Decisions on eligibility and the amount of a personal budget will be made by the City of London’s Targeted Education Resources Panel (TERP).

Help me understand direct payment

You can choose to have your personal budget as a direct payment.  Direct payments are cash payments paid directly into an agreed bank account.  You will be responsible for buying and managing the services to meet the outcomes identified in the EHC plan. 

 To receive a direct payment, you must enter into a formal contractual agreement with the City of London or the CCG (a Direct Payment Agreement) and must open a bank account designated for the direct payments only.

The direct payment agreement will be reviewed formally within three months of you receiving a direct payment. It will also be reviewed when the EHC plan is reviewed.

The Personal Health Budget team at NEL Commissioning Support Unit will be able to help you with any other questions you may have. They can be contacted by email on or by telephone on 020 3688 1455.

Can I get any financial support?

The Local Offer outlines information about benefits and entitlements that parents and carers can access to help with the additional expenses of having a child with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

These can include:

  • Disability Living Allowance for Children
  • Child Tax Credit
  • financial help with schooling and transport
  • help with housing costs and adapting your home
  • loans and grants
  • free passes to family attractions
  • Short breaks

I would like to join a support group

There are many local and national support and advice support groups that can help you and your family. Some organisations offer support about specific conditions or subjects whereas others offer general advice and support across a wide range of subjects that affect all families, children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.

The City of London Parent Forum is a good place to start.

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