Personal Budgets


Parents and Young People can make a request to ‘personlise’ the support which is provided by education, health and social care. This means that the council must provide families with the opportunity to apply for a ‘personal budget’.


A personal budget is an identified amount of funding that the Local Authority (LA) can give to a child’s parent(s) or a young person (over 16 years) that can be used to deliver all or some of the provision set out in an EHCP.


A personal budget should be used to personalise a child or young person’s learning support and help achieve the outcomes in the EHCP. This allows the child’s parents or young person to use their personal budget to create flexible or specialised learning support, or increase their access to education or training. 


This puts the young person, child and family firmly in the centre of deciding what works best to achieve the best outcomes for the family. It increases the choices you can make and puts you in control.

No it’s an option or a choice for you to make. If you are not sure if it is for you there are people who can help you think through it. You can contact the SIAS Team for further information or advice.

Parents of children with an EHCP and young people aged 16 and over (only after the end of the school year in which they become 16).with an EHCP can request a personal budget.


You do not need to have an EHCP to get Personal Budgets for social and health care but once you have an EHCP or one is being prepared, you can request budgets for all three areas of support. You must have an EHCP to get a Personal Budget for special educational provision.  Further information can be found in the personal budget policy (pdf, 193kb).

This request can be made as part of the planning process either when the EHCP is drawn up for the first time after the assessment process or following an annual review of the plan.  You should complete a personal budget application form (doc, 53kb) to make a request. 

Councils must provide a list of the things for which a personal budget can be used.

Examples of what you may access a personal budget for in Southwark include:

  • Transport to and from school where you have applied for and provision has been agreed.

  • Social care – following an assessment by the disabilities team the process of support planning may conclude that this support is best delivered by a personal budget.

  • Continuing care for health needs may be delivered by a personal budget.

  • A personal budget can be provided by the school (Element 2) but only in agreement with the school


What type of things can’t I get a personal budget for?

  • Personal budgets does not include funding for the school place.

  • Personal budgets do not include targeted support managed by the school or other learning provider to offer additional learning support to individuals, classes or groups of pupils and students.

  • Personal budgets can only be active when everyone agrees.

There are different ways it can be delivered:

  • You do not receive the money directly but are allocated a budget and participate fully in the planning and decision making around how the money is spent.This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget. 

  • An organisation holds the money and helps the parent/young person to decide how best to meet their EHC outcomes. This is called a Third Party Arrangement.

  • You can receive money directly to manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself. Money is transferred directly into the individual’s bank account, which has been opened for the purpose, to meet the identified outcomes.This is called a Direct Payment.

If the LA refuses to provide a personal budget they must set out their reasons in writing and parents or the young person can ask for their decision to be reviewed.  A request for review can only be made once.


Details of the proposed personal budget should be included in Section J of the EHCP.  The content of Section J cannot be appealed to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Therefore, if there is any disagreement with the amount of funding provided with personal budget, this will have to be taken up with the LA.