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Personal budgets for children with special educational needs

Find out about personal budgets for children with SEND and how you can request one.

A personal budget is an amount of money, identified by us and the NHS, that is used to support the education, health and care needs of a child or young person.

How to request a personal budget

  • You can request a personal budget once we have completed an EHC needs assessment and confirmed that an EHC plan will be required.

  • You can also request a personal budget during a statutory review of an existing EHC plan.

  • Parents and carers can discuss their options with an EHC lead officer.

  • We will give you an indication of the level of funding that is likely to be required to make the provision specified, or proposed to be specified within the EHC plan.

  • The request for a personal budget will be included in part J of a finalised EHC plan. If you choose to accept a personal budget, it must be confirmed in writing.

How you will get the personal budget

After we have agreed an EHC plan, your personal budget can be used in the following ways:

Notional budget

  • No money changes hands.
  • We will tell you how much money is available.
  • You will discuss the best way to arrange the child or young person’s care and support with their lead officer.


  • A seperate organisation holds the money.
  • It will help you decide what support is needed, with our agreement.

Direct payment

  • We send you money directly.
  • You will use this to arrange care and support to meet the needs set out in the child or young person’s EHC plan.
  • You have to show what the money has been spent on and you must sign terms and conditions of use.

Developing personal budgets

There is a personal budget working group that brings together representatives from health, education, children and adult social care services, the voluntary sector and parent groups.

Key areas of focus are:

  • to develop an integrated system of personal budgets
  • to provide and promote choice and control for families and young adults
  • to increase transparency and clarity with regards to funding EHC plans.


Special Educational Needs

Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre, 32 Rushey Green, London, SE6 4JF

Services for children and young people with SEND

This page is part of the 'local offer' for children and young people with special educational needs

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