Education personal budgets for children with SEND

Generally we provide funds to early year settings and schools so they can provide the resources required to meet your child’s needs. In most cases this will adequately allow for all the support for those with 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 control over what the money is spent on and who spends it. A personal budget can only be spent on things 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 must discuss this with both the headteacher and your local SEND named officer.

Requesting a personal budget

You or your child, if they're over 16 years old, can request a personal budget:

  • when an EHC needs assessment is taking place
  • when your child’s EHC plan is being reviewed (the annual review)
  • during a re-assessment of your child’s needs.

It is also possible to ask for a personal transport budget.

Receiving a personal budget

You can choose one or more of these methods to 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 organisation to manage the money for you.

Direct payments

We will only provide a direct payment if you want one. You don’t have to have one.

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 can pay the money through a fully managed account.

For more information about this process, We are Beams can support you.

Requesting direct payments

You can ask for a direct payment by writing to us, 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 will replace 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 can ask us to review our decision by writing to the SEND area manager overseeing the case.

You need to write within 5 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.

We will review the decision and try to reply within 10 working days. The outcome of the review is final as you can only ask for a review once.

You can’t appeal to the SEND Tribunal about direct payments.

If you have any questions contact your local SEND named officer.

Health or social care personal budgets

For children who meet the criteria, it may be possible to receive support from a personal health budget or a personal budget from social care.