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Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU)

The AWPU is the amount of money that every maintained school receives for each pupil that is on the school roll, whether or not they have SEN. The value of the AWPU varies from one local authority to another and according to the age of the pupils. For primary age pupils the minimum is £2,984.52 per year. For pupils in Key Stages 3 is £4,212.00 per year and Key Stages 4 £4,242.00 per year. 2020/2021.

Annual Review

Under the Children and Families Act 2014 local authorities must carry out a review of every EHC plan at least once every 12 months.

Click here to visit the Education, Health and Care Assessment and Plans (EHC) information

Children and Families Act 2014

This law came into force on 1st September 2014. Part 3 of the Act sets out the  law on special educational needs and disability. The Act is supported by the SEND Regulations 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice: 0-25 Years. You can download a copy of the Act at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/contents/enacted

Integrated Care Board (ICB)

ICBs were legally established on 1 July 2022, replacing clinical commissioning groups (or CCGs). It is a statutory NHS organisation, responsible for developing a plan to meet the health needs of the population, managing NHS budgets and arranging for the provision of health services in the geographical area. NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB consists of 9 Places: Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Warrington, Halton, Cheshire West and Cheshire East.


Nationally, the expectation is that an ICB will:

  • Improve outcomes in population health and healthcare
  • Tackle inequalities in outcomes, experience and access
  • Enhance productivity and value for money
Help the NHS support broader social and economic development.

Direct payment

A payment made directly to a parent or young person to purchase specific services.  Under the Children and Families Act 2014 a Direct Payment may be made as part of a Personal Budget so that the parent or young person can buy certain services that are specified in their EHC plan.

Direct payments can only be used for provision provided on the school or college premises if it is stated within Section F of the Education, Health and Social Care (EHC) plan.

Disagreement resolution

Local authorities must provide independent disagreement resolution to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities, schools and other settings about SEND duties and provision.

Click here for further information A Young Person's Guide to SEND disagreement


Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)

The ESFA is the government agency responsible for:

  • Funding education for learners between the ages of 3 and 19, and those with learning difficulties and disabilities between the ages of 3 and 25
  • Funding and monitoring academies, university technical colleges, studio schools, and free schools
  • Building maintenance programmes for schools and sixth-form colleges
  • Allocating funds to 152 local authorities for maintained schools, and 4,000 voluntary-aided schools

Education Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment

Local authorities must carry out an EHC needs assessment if a child or young person has or may have Special Educational Needs and may need provision in line with needing an EHC plan to receive that provision. The assessment is a detailed look at the special educational needs that the child or young person has and what help he or she may need in order to learn.

It is sometimes called a statutory assessment.

Click here to view the Education, Health and Care Assessment and Plans (EHC) information

Education Health and Care plan (EHC plan)

An EHC plan describes the special educational needs that a child or young person has and the help that they will be given to meet them. It also includes the health and care provision that is needed. It is a legal document written by the local authority and is used for children and young people who need support that would be more than a mainstream school would usually be able to provide from its own resources.

Tribunal (SEN and disability)

The Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) is a legal body. The Tribunal hears appeals from parents of children with SEN, and young people with SEN, about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans.

You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-special-educational-needs-and-disability

Graduated approach

The SEND Code of Practice says that schools should follow a graduated approach when providing SEN Support. This is based on a cycle of:

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

Independent supporter

A person recruited by a voluntary or community sector organisation to help families going through an EHC needs assessment and the process of developing an EHC plan. This person is independent of the local authority and will receive training, including legal training, to enable him or her to provide this support.
Keyworker Someone who provides children, young people and parents with a single point of contact to help make sure the support they receive is co-ordinated. A keyworker could be provided directly by a local authority or local health organisation, a school or college, or from a voluntary or private sector body.

Local authority/authorities


Local authorities provide services within their local areas. There are 152 across England which are education authorities. For more information about local government, see https://www.gov.uk/understand-how-your-council-works/types-of-council

Local Offer


The Local Offer, published by every local authority, tells you what support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and their families. It includes information about education, health and care provision. It also gives information about training, employment and independent living for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Mainstream school

This is a school that provides education for all children, whether or not they have special educational needs or disabilities.



Mediation is a type of disagreement resolution. Every local authority must provide independent mediation to help parents and young people resolve disputes with local authorities about:

  • a decision not to carry out an EHC needs assessment
  • a decision not to draw up an EHC plan
  • the content of a final EHC plan or amended plan
  • a decision not to amend an EHC plan
  • a decision to cease to maintain an EHC plan.

Mediation must also be provided on the health and social care elements of an EHC plan.

Mediation advice

The purpose of mediation advice is to give information about what mediation involves. Parents or young people who wish to register an appeal with the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability) must first seek mediation advice. The advice must be factual and unbiased. After mediation advice has been given the parent or young person can choose whether they wish to go to mediation.

However it is not necessary to seek mediation advice if the appeal is only about the name of the school, or college named on the plan, the type of provision specified in the plan or the fact that no school or other institution is named.



The SEND Code of Practice says in Section i of the Introduction:

…where the text uses the word ‘must’ it refers to a statutory requirement under primary legislation, regulations or case law.

This means that wherever the term ‘must’ is used all the organisations listed in Section iv of the Introduction to the Code have a legal duty to do what the Code says.


Section 9.66 of the SEND Code of Practice says:

An outcome can be defined as the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of an intervention. It should be personal and not expressed from a service perspective; it should be something that those involved have control and influence over, and while it does not always have to be formal or accredited, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound (SMART). When an outcome is focused on education or training, it will describe what the expected benefit will be to the individual as a result of the educational or training intervention provided.

Parent Carer Forum

A Parent Carer Forum is a representative local group of parents and carers of disabled children who work with local authorities, education, health and other providers to make sure the services they plan and deliver meet the needs of disabled children and families. They have been established in most local authority areas.

For more information please visit:

http://www.nnpcf.org.uk/      National Network of Parent Carer Forums Website

http://www.seftonpcf.org/     Sefton Parent Carer Forum Website

Involving parents and carers  Council for Disabled Children

Personal Budget

A Personal Budget is money set aside to fund support as part of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from Education, Health and Social Care.

Parents of children with an EHC plan and young people with an EHC plan can choose whether or not they wish to have a Personal Budget.

Reasonable adjustments

Reasonable adjustments are changes schools and other settings are required to make which could include: changes to physical features – for example, creating a ramp so that students can enter a classroom or providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment)


Schools Forum

Every local authority has a Schools Forum. It made up of representatives from schools and academies, and some representation from other bodies, such as nursery and 14-19 education providers.

The role of the Schools Forum includes looking at the local formula used to fund schools and SEN provision.

SEND Code of Practice


This is the statutory guidance that supports Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

It tells local authorities, early years settings, schools, colleges, heath and social care providers and others what they must and should do to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with SEN or disabilities.

You can download a full copy of the Code at You can download a shorter version for parents at SEND Code of Practice


SEN Information Report

All schools must publish on their websites information about their policy and arrangements for supporting children with SEN. This must be kept up to date.

SEN support


SEN support includes any help for children and young people with SEN that is additional to or different from the support generally made for other children of the same age.

The purpose of SEN support is to help children achieve the outcomes or learning objectives that have been set for them by the school. Schools should involve parents in this process.

SEND Tribunal

See First Tier Tribunal (SEN and disability)


Should is a word that occurs frequently in the SEND Code of Practice.

Section i of the Introduction to the Code says:

… where the text uses the word ‘should’ it means that the guidance contained in this Code must be considered and that those who must have regard to it will be expected to explain any departure from it.

This means that wherever the term ‘should’ is used all the organisations listed in Section iv of the Introduction to the Code must consider what the Code says. However they may depart from it if they have clear reasons for doing so and can explain how they are carrying out that expectation in a different way.


Sometimes a service that provides information, advice and support may be asked for help that it is not able to give directly.

When this happens the person seeking information, advice or support may signposted to other service providers. This means that they will be given information, including contact details, about other sources of help.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)

A SENCO is a qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordination SEN provision.

Early years settings that are part of group provision arrangements are expected to identify an individual to perform the role of SENCO.

Statutory guidance

Statutory guidance is guidance that local authorities and other local bodies have a legal duty to follow.



Last Updated

Last updated: 27/07/2023

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