Monthly Archives: April 2021


Jacky Forster (Director of Education and 14-19 Skills) has written an open letter to families within Cheshire East to share some updates and good news in terms of current changes in the SEND service.


She is pleased to inform families that the Council has agreed to additional financial investments for the third consecutive year and as a result:

• They are further expanding capacity in the SEND service to enable the service to continue the
improvement journey, and
• They are increasing capacity in the Educational Psychology Service and as soon as these
changes are confirmed a further update will be provided.

Please click here if you would like to download and read the letter from Jacky Forster in full as a pdf file format.



The SEND team has also provided the forum with an updated SEND team structure chart to share with families. The structure chart is correct as of 19th April 2021.

Please click here to download a copy of the updated SEND structure.

Update: we have had a  further update on the “SEND Mediation and Tribunal Officer” and “Customer Service and Complaints Officer” roles. These were previously held by Matt Prenton and Charlotte Greenbank respectively, and we know many of our members have had support from them.

  • SEND Mediation and Tribunal Officer The new SEND Mediation & Tribunal Officer will be Mike Plummer. He is very experienced in SEND and Tribunals, and is now getting up to speed with Cheshire East SEND Partnership, local officials and the current tribunal cases.
  • Customer Service and Complaints Officer unfortunately, Charlotte Greenbank will be leaving for another role on 30 April. Charlotte has led on SEND complaints now for over a year and has been a point of contact parents. It has been agreed that the partnership should appoint a ‘Customer Services Manager’ on a temporary basis while they find a candidate for the e full role. This person has been appointed and will be joining the team after they have worked their notice etc.
    In the immediate term, the role will be covered by Matt Prenton who is returning (on a termporary basis) from 4 May to lead on Complaints and support Mike with Tribunals as he is already familliar with many of the cases.


EHIPs Update

The forum emailed the short breaks team to ask about queries members have been raising about this years EHIPs application process (Early Help Individual Payments – please click here to find out more). Here are the answers to your questions.

1) Why is such an amount of information being asked for if parents have previously provided the same evidence, and what is the security in place to protect this information?

A) Allpay, the company who provide the pre-paid cards used for EHIPs are a financial body and we must follow their guidance, this is to prevent Fraud/Money Laundering etc.

Taken from the Allpay Know Your Customer policy:

“2- Introduction and purpose of the process

A prepaid card is a financial product and as such Allpay, as our prepaid card program manager, have a duty to ensure that card programs are compliant with the law and regulation.

One of the key responsibilities when issuing a prepaid card is to Know Your Customer (KYC); knowing that the person you are issuing a card to is who they say they are.

3-Monitoring arrangements

The Short Breaks Quality Assurance Officer will undertake monitoring of the process.  The purpose is to ensure that we are compliant with the KYC process. These Quality Assurance Audits will be held for one year.

As the cardholders have to re-apply for funds yearly, information on KYC will be held for a year and renewed when the application is processed. Ann-Marie has been in discussions with Allpay and following the KYC ID documents received this year parents and carers will only have to provide these details again once every 5 years or if they change address.

The following is taken from the Client Cardholder Agreement:

Privacy Notice (How we will use the information we hold)

The categories of information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

We will only hold the information that you have provided within your application form and the details within this agreement.

Why we collect and use this information:

We use this information for the purposes of assessing whether you are eligible to receive Early Help Individual Payment and for the purposes of being able to set up a pre-paid card in your name.

The lawful basis on which we use this information:

EHIPs are delivered under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 as part of our short break local offer. We will only use this information in relation to this specific application and not share this information.

Storing this information:

Your application and this agreement will be stored within The Short Breaks Team at Macclesfield Town Hall for 7 years after the end of the current financial year in relation to current financial regulations.

Who we share this information with:

Other than The Short Breaks Team, Allpay as the provider & R. Raphaels & Sons Plc as the Issuer that will issue your prepaid card and who manage the portal system.

It is up to the individual if they are happy to send the information via standard email. If not, it can be sent via Egress Switch.

For postal applications we send out a Freepost envelope, but the parent can also return the application by recorded delivery if they prefer.

Once an EHIP application has been processed all emails relating to that application are deleted and any paperwork placed in the confidential recycling bin.

Application forms and client cardholder agreements are stored within the child/young person’s file on Cheshire East’s secure computer system Liquid Logic.”


2) When families give their email contacts to CE (the short breaks team / carers hub) are all processes GDPR compliant? – Whilst we can’t advise on Carers Hub.

A) The Short Breaks Team hold email addresses for parents and carers accessing EHIPs to enable us to communicate with families for audit purposes, and of course for notification of renewal of the application for the next financial year.

The email addresses are saved on a password protected spreadsheet.


3) Are all families being given alternative methods of communicating with the local authority, those with less access to the internet or home computers may be at a disadvantage in applying for EHIPS? 

A) All families are given alternative methods, the application letter stated:

“The EHIP application form is attached and is a Microsoft Word version so you can save it and type directly onto it. If anyone is struggling with IT equipment and would like a paper copy of the application form and a Freepost return envelope posted out, please let us know.

Applicants do and have asked for support in completing the forms and we are currently doing this via telephone or Microsoft Teams.”


23/04/21 Update – The Short Breaks Team are working through this years EHIP applications but due to having to complete them all electronically this is taking more time and unfortunately one of the team is off sick so there are only 4 of them and approximately 428 parents & carers currently re-applying. They are picking the applications up in order of the date they were sent into the team and have booked out the next two full weeks to try and get through as many as they can. They are asking if you could please bear with them.