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Personal Budgets for SEN


Personal Budgets are designed to give children, young people and their families more control over the services they receive and how they are organised.  The budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver aspects of support set out in an Education, Health and Care (EHC), this enables the parent or young person (aged over 16 years) to organise support themselves.

There are four ways in which the child’s parent and/or the young person can be involved in getting support via a Personal Budget:

Direct payments– where individuals receive the ​funds​, through a pre-paid card,​  to contract, purchase and manage services themselves. This will be an amount of money managed by the family and which is spent as agreed in the Plan

Notional budgets- an arrangement whereby the local authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the plan

Third party arrangements– where funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent or the young person and commissions the support specified in the plan

  • A combination of the above.
  • More information can be found in the Personal budgets leaflet.

What is it?

What is the purpose of a SEND budget and what can it be used for?

The personal budget provides flexibility in providing what is different or additional to what is usually available from the setting, provider or services (whether education, health or care) and must be designed to secure the outcomes in the child or young person’s ​EHC Plan.

Personal budgets enable a personalised and flexible approach to meeting the assessed special educational needs of children and young people. Use of the budget should result in the child or young person making at least expected progress and achieving as well as others of a similar age, from similar starting points.

Who can have a SEND personal budget?

Children and young people between the ages of 0 -25 who have an EHC Plan may ask for a personal budget. 

Parents can request a personal budget for their child and this will be considered at the planning or review meeting.

​Requests will be considered by a Disability Panel to ensure fair and consistent decision making.

Young people over the age of 16 can ask for a personal budget.  Their wishes and aspirations will be the main focus of the EHC needs assessment process, and the starting point for discussion will be the young person’s needs and wishes rather than what any adult believes they need. An advocate for the learner can be involved to provide independent support.

Their needs will be met by the education setting from within their own resources. All schools and colleges receive funding to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

What about care, health and transport personal budgets?

Children and young people with the most complex needs may also have a personal budget to meet all of some of their care or health needs. This will usually be as part of an EHC Plan but can be standalone. If a child or young person is eligible for home to school travel assistance, they may be offered a personal transport budget. All personal budgets are delivered through the same pre-paid card system and managed by the local authority.


How do I get a SEND personal budget?

Personal budgets will be discussed during the process of developing an EHC Plan and during the annual review of the Plan.

Further information is available in the attached personal budget information sheet.

Currently Hillingdon can give personal budgets for short breaks and for home to school transport subject to eligibility.

Last reviewed: 21/09/2017

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