Personal Budgets

Parents and Young People can make requests to ‘personalise’ the support provided for education, health and social care. Local Authorities must provide families with opportunities to apply for a ‘Personal Budget’.  

A personal budget is an identified amount of funding from the Local Authority (LA).  A parent or young person (over 16 years) can use this to deliver all or some of the provision set out in an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan).

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 parents and young people to create flexible or specialised learning support.  It can also provide for increased access to education or training. 

This places the young person, child and family at the centre in relation to outcomes they wish to achieve. It increases the choices available and puts them 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.

A child’s parent or a young person can make a request for a personal budget at any time during the period in which—

  • The draft EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) is being prepared; or
  • The EHCP is being reviewed (annual or emergency) or re-assessed.

To request a Personal Budget, you should complete a Personal Budget application form (doc, 57kb)

You do not need to have an EHCP to get Personal Budgets for Social and Health care. 

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).

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 an application for travel assistance is agreed.

  • Social care – following an assessment by the All Age Disabilities team.

  • Continuing care for health needs.

  • A Personal Budget can be provided by a school (Element 2) but only in agreement with the school

What type of things can’t I get a Personal Budget for?

  • A Personal Budget does not include funding for a school place.

  • Personal Budgets do not include funding for targeted support managed by a school. They also do not cover additional learning support for students in school.

  • Personal budgets can only be active when everyone agrees.

There are four ways in which a child’s parent and/or the young person can be involved in securing provision:

  • Direct payments – where individuals receive the cash to contract, purchase and manage services themselves. 
  • An arrangement – whereby the local authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the plan (these are sometimes called notional budgets)
  • Third party arrangements – where funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent or the young person
  • A combination of the above

(a)  The child’s parent;

(b) The young person; or

(c) A person nominated in writing by the child’s parent or the young person to receive direct payments on their behalf.

 If the LA (Local Authority) refuses to provide a Personal Budget, it's reasons must be set out in writing. Parents or the young person can ask for the 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 SEND Tribunal. If there is disagreement about the level of funding for the Personal Budget, this should be taken up with the LA.