Personal budgets for children with SEND
We provide funds to educational provisions so they can provide the resources required to meet your child’s needs. In most cases this will adequately allow for all the provision for children 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 named officer in the SEND Area Team.
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 health budget, a personal budget from social care or 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.
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 onto a Kent Card or you can pay for things from your bank account.
We will only provide a direct payment if you want one. You don’t have to have one.
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 SEN 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 please contact your area special educational needs team or named officer.