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Personal budgets for children or young people with SEND

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can get a personal budget if they have an EHC plan.

What is an EHC plan personal budget?

A personal budget is a notional amount of money that is identified to support the education, health and care (EHC) needs of your child or young person with an EHC plan.

It is used to deliver agreed outcomes within your child’s EHC plan. The outcomes allow everyone involved to assess how well the EHC plan and personal budget are helping your child or young person.

You can read SEND case studies and guidance here.

You can view our guide on personal budgets for children and young people with SEND who have an EHC plan here.

You can also read a parent and carers’ guide to personal budgets here.

How to request a personal budget

As a parent or carer, you can ask for a personal budget when your child or young person’s EHC plan is being created or reviewed. We will discuss the personal budget for your child with you.

You can view the personal budget decision-making process here.

You can also read our personal budget policy statement here.

Benefits of having a personal budget

There are a number of benefits to having a personal budget. These offer:

  • an opportunity to empower you, your child or young person
  • increased flexibility, innovation, choice and control in the services you receive
  • help to personalise the services for your child or young person's outcome.

Personal budgets are not always suitable for everyone, and we discuss this with you.

How a personal budget is received

Once the EHC plan and outcomes have been agreed, there are four ways a personal budget can be received:

  • A notional budget is agreed that will meet the outcomes of EHC plan, which we support, along with your child’s or young person’s school or college.
  • Direct payment is made to individuals to buy care and support to meet the outcomes of the EHC plan. Individuals must provide evidence of what the money is being spent on and that it meets the outcomes within the EHC plan.
  • Third-party-managed funds are paid to, and managed by, an individual or organisation on behalf of you, the parent, to meet the outcomes of your child’s EHC plan. The organisation must provide evidence of what the money is being spent on and that it meets the outcomes within the EHC plan.
  • A combination of the all of the above.

What can’t you spend a personal budget on

  • Anything that would put your child or young person at risk of harm.
  • Anything that would not clearly benefit your child or young person or help meet their intended outcomes.
  • It cannot be used to employ a family member who lives with you.
  • Any provision which school or college would already give to your child or young person.

Find more information on personal budgets

You can read more on SEND personal budgets, and how they can be used to meet the outcomes within an EHC plan, as follows: