SEND: What is a Personal Budget?
Personal Budgets have become more popular for Parent’s and young people over the last few years, and they have proven to be very effective.
Once a child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan in place, the Local Authority have a duty to ensure the provision set out in the plan is made for the child or young person.
Normally, The Local Authority provide the necessary funding for provision to a school or college directly. However, The Children and Families Act 2014 provides that a Personal Budget is an amount of money identified by a Local Authority to enable a parent or young person to make their own arrangements to secure the provision which is set out in the EHCP.
A Personal Budget can be requested when the Local Authority has completed an EHC Needs Assessment and has confirmed that it will prepare an EHCP or alternatively during an annual review of an existing EHCP.
Although Personal Budgets are optional, if a request is made to a Local Authority, they are under a duty to prepare a Personal Budget when requested. Personal Budgets can include funding for special educational, health and social care provision and if a Local Authority refuses to offer a Personal Budget, then this can be challenged, and the Local Authority must set out their reasons for refusing to do so.
Since their introduction, Personal Budgets have not been used very often but are becoming increasingly common. Personal Budgets are covered within Chapter 9 of the SEN and Disability Code of Practice which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25
If you wish to pursue a Personal Budget or need advice in this area, please do contact our Education Team on 01329 823322.