Personal budgets are designed to give 0 to 25-year-olds and their families more control over the services they receive.
The budget is an amount of money identified by the council to deliver aspects of support that are set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan and there are 4 ways that it can be given to a child's parent and/or the young person:
Direct payment - individuals receive the funds through a pre-paid card, which they manage themselves and spend as agreed in the plan
Notional budgets - the council, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the plan
Third party arrangements - funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation (on behalf of the child's parent or the young person) who commissions the support specified in the plan
A combination of the above.
Who can have a SEND personal budget?
Children and young people between the ages of 0 -25 who have an EHC Plan may ask for a personal budget. Parents can request a personal budget for their child and this will be considered at the planning or review meeting. Requests will be considered by a Disability Panel to ensure fair and consistent decision making.
Young people over the age of 16 can ask for a personal budget. Their wishes and needs will be the main focus of the EHC needs assessment process. An advocate for the learner can be involved to provide independent support. Their needs will be met by the education setting from within their own resources, which includes funding to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.
Care, health and transport personal budgets
Children and young people with the most complex needs may also have a personal budget to meet all or some of their care or health needs. This will usually be as part of an EHC Plan but can be standalone.
If a child or young person is eligible for home-to-school travel assistance, they may be offered a personal transport budget.
Personal budgets will be discussed during the process of developing an EHC Plan and during the annual review. All personal budgets are delivered through the same pre-paid card system and managed by the local authority.