What is a personal budget?
A personal budget is the total cost of meeting the special educational needs of a child or young person. It offers parents or young people more choice and control over their provision.
There are four ways of getting a personal budget:
- Direct Payments
Is where you receive the funding directly so that you can buy and manage services specified in the EHC plan yourself.
- An arrangement or notional budget
The council, school or college hold the funds and commission the support specified in the EHC plan
- Third party arrangements
Where direct payments are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parents of the young person
- A combination of the above
Please see the personal budget process plan for more details on how personal budgets will work.
What can it be used for?
Parents and young people are able to request a personal budget when the local authority has completed a statutory Education Health Care (EHC) assessment and confirmed that it will prepare an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). They may also request a personal budget during a statutory review of an existing EHCP.
A personal budget is a possibility when meeting the assessed special educational needs of a child or young person requires a flexible and personalised approach. 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 EHCP.
Personal budgets may therefore offer a different and flexible way of meeting the needs and delivering the provision identified in a child’s or young person’s EHC plan, but do not provide additional funding or support above and beyond this.
In Bolton, there are services available that can help you with this process.
A personal budget must represent an efficient and effective use of resources (i.e. value for money), and must not have an adverse impact on other services.
Where a direct payment is proposed for special educational provision, the local authority must secure the agreement of the early years setting, school or college, if any of the provision is to be delivered on that institution's premises.