Money matters

In this section:

Personal budgets

Personal budgets are designed to give 0 to 25-year-olds and their families more control over the services they receive. The amount is identified by the council to deliver aspects of support set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Who can have a SEND personal budget?

  • 0 to 25-year-olds who have an EHC Plan can 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 needs will be the main focus of the EHC needs assessment process. 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, which includes funding to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

How does a child or young person receive a personal budget?

There are 4 ways that a personal budget can be given to a child's parent and/or the young person.

  1. Direct payment - individuals receive the ​funds​ through a pre-paid card,​ which they manage themselves and spend as agreed in the plan.
  2. Notional budgets - the council, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the plan.
  3. Third party arrangements - funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation (on behalf of the child's parent or the young person) who commissions the support specified in the plan.
  4. A combination of the above.

Care, health and transport personal budgets

Children and young people with the most complex needs may also have a personal budget to meet all or 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.

Personal budgets will be discussed during the process of developing an EHC Plan and during the annual review. All personal budgets are delivered through the same pre-paid card system and managed by the local authority.

More detailed information and guidance for parents/carers and young people can be found in our  Personal budgets guidance (PDF) [378KB] 

Page last updated: 20 Oct 2023