About personal budgets
We provide funds to early years providers and schools so they can provide the resources required to meet your child’s needs. In most cases, this will be enough to allow for the provision of education, health and care (EHC) plans to be delivered.
If your child has an EHC plan, you may want to consider asking for a personal budget as it can help give you more freedom over what the money is spent on and who spends it. A personal budget can only be spent on items set out in your child’s EHC plan.
In most cases, a personal budget will not be used to deliver onsite support within educational settings, as this has already been funded. To use a personal budget for this, you should discuss this with both the headteacher and your local named SEND Officer.
Requesting a personal budget
Parents of a child with an EHC plan or a young person over 16, can request a personal budget.
You can request a personal budget:
- during the drafting of an EHC plan
- when we have issued the plan
- during a re-assessment.
Receiving a personal budget
There are a number of ways you can receive your personal budget:
- Direct payments - you pay for and manage services yourselves.
- An arrangement - we, the school or college hold the money for you, but you decide how to spend it.
- Third party arrangements - you choose an individual or an organisation to manage the money for you.
You use a direct payment to pay for and manage services yourself, rather than us making the arrangements. This gives you more control over how you receive support.
We will only provide a direct payment if you want one.
You can write to us and ask for a direct payment - we will usually decide within 10 working days. Your named officer will let you know if it will take longer than 10 working days.
If the direct payment replaces the current arrangement in the school or college, you should discuss this with the headteacher or principal first as any change to the current arrangements will need their consent.
We may not agree to your request for a direct payment if we have already made arrangements for services to be provided in line with the provision set out in your child’s EHC plan.
Appealing a decision about direct payments
You need to email the SEND team at firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 days of the date of the decision letter and include:
- the reason for the review
- what you hope will happen (the outcome)
- further information to support your request.
The SEND manager will review the decision and aim to reply within 10 working days. The outcome of the review is final - you can only ask for a review once.
You can’t appeal to the SEND Tribunal about direct payments.
Further information can be found in our Personal Budgets Policy.