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Individual Children's Equipment Budget

Schools and education authorities have had a duty to provide reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils. From 1 September 2012 the reasonable adjustments duty for schools and education authorities included a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils. An aid is a piece of equipment that helps a disabled pupil and a service is something people provide.

Schools are required to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disadvantage to a disabled person that may occur due to the absence of the aid or service.

Most children with special educational needs will have their needs met through a school's Access Plan.  An access plan identifies the school's actions to remove barriers to access and positively promote involvement of pupils with disabilities and the adjustments required for this.

A school should ensure that appropriate funding is allocated within their budget to meet the needs of all pupils covered by the Special Needs and Disability Act (2001).

It is recognised however, that some specialist customised equipment may need to be provided centrally to ensure that pupils with low incidence, high needs have access to appropriate specialist aids and equipment. Derbyshire local authority provides funding for an individual children's equipment budget to meet these needs. 

The scope of the budget

To provide funding for equipment to support Derbyshire LA pupils in mainstream schools and settings, enhanced resource facilities, specialist nurseries, other early years settings, academies and special schools.

Requests are considered through discussion with an assistant education officer and representatives of Derbyshire's specialist advisory teaching services. Consideration will be given to requests from schools, settings, parents, local authority support services health and social services when evidence of need is supplied or recommendations are made or supported by a member of a local authority sensory or physical support service.

Transport and maintenance of equipment will also be considered as will joint funding proposals with health and social services.
There are exceptions under the budget and your local authority can discuss these with you.

Information Technology

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice states "the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) and class teacher, together with curriculum, literacy and numeracy co-ordinators and external specialists, should consider a range of different teaching approaches and appropriate equipment and teaching materials, including the use of information technology".

It is the expectation that schools will provide for pupils with high incidence special educational needs requiring low-cost non-customised equipment funded from their normally available resources, up to £300.