In order to be able to receive a Personal Budget for educational provision you need to have an Education Health and Care Plan.
Details of the provision that can be considered for Personal Budget for educational provision are specified in (section F) of the Education Health and Care Plan.
Any Personal Budget agreed for a learner is to achieve three main objectives which must all be addressed:
- To support educational outcomes as described in the EHCP
- To support successful inclusion in the chosen school
- To enable achievement of educational progression
Support for example can be in the form of:
- Additional support in the classroom
- A specific intervention or piece of equipment
How is the money available for a Personal Budget for educational provision identified?
The special educational provision specified in an EHC plan is usually made up from a combination of:
- Provision funded from the school’s budget share (or in colleges from their formula funding)
- More specialist provision funded wholly or partly from the local authority’s high needs funding.
It is this latter ‘high needs funding’ that is used for Personal Budgets for education.
Schools and colleges are encouraged to personalise the support they provide for children and young people and can choose to contribute their own funding to a Personal Budget. This will usually be an organised arrangement managed by the setting, but some schools and colleges, including specialist settings, have arrangements with young people, that can give them direct (cash) payments).
Can the amount of money available for a Personal Budget vary?
Yes- Funding from the local authority’s ‘high needs funding block’ for the SEN element of a Personal Budget can vary depending on how services are commissioned and what schools and colleges are expected to provide as part of the Local Offer.
The scope for a Personal Budget can also vary depending on your school preference. For example, as part of their core provision, special schools and colleges make some specialist provision available that is not normally available at mainstream schools and colleges.
The particular choice of a special school, with integrated specialist provision, might reduce the scope for a Personal Budget, whereas the choice of a place in a mainstream school that does not make that particular provision can increase the opportunity for a Personal Budget.
When can I request a Personal Budget/Direct Payment for educational provision?
Personal Budgets can be requested to support educational provision by a child’s parents or a young person once the Local Authority has agreed to prepare an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or during a statutory review of the Education Health and Care Plan.
Are there any circumstances when a Personal Budget might be refused?
Whilst requests for Personal Budgets are always considered on an individual basis, there are some circumstances where it is not possible to provide a Personal Budget.
Where the sum of money is part of a larger amount and disaggregation of the funds for the Personal Budget:
- Would have an adverse impact on services provided or arranged by the local authority for other EHC plan holders, or
- Where it should not be an efficient use of the local authority’s resources
A personal budget cannot be used for funding (either partly or fully) a school placement.
What happens if my request for a Personal Budget is refused?
We will write to you to inform you of the reasons why we are unable to identify a sum of money and continue to work with you and your/your child’s setting to see how services can be personalised through other means.
Personal Budgets taken as a Direct Payment
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. This usually happens when consulting with the preferred school/setting regarding naming it on the child or young person's EHC plan. Where agreement cannot be reached with the early years setting, school or college, the local authority cannot go ahead with the direct payment
The local authority also needs to seek assurance from the child's parent, young person or nominee that any person employed by the child's parent or young person, but working on early years, school or college premises, will conform to the policies and procedures of that institution and may write such an assurance into the conditions for receipt of the direct payment.
What if I am refused a Direct Payment?
If the Local Authority refuses your request for a Direct Payment for special educational provision, we will set out our reasons in writing. You have a right to request that we formally review the decision.
If after formally reviewing the decision a Direct payment is not agreed the local authority will notify you in writing setting out the reasons for the decision.
Who to contact
Should you wish to talk discuss requesting a Personal Budget for educational provision please contact your EHCP Caseworker:
0161 474 2525
Education Health and Care Plan Team
c/o The Scanning and Support Team
Lower Ground Floor, Stopford House
Reviewing Personal Budgets
Use of personal budgets will be reviewed as part of the wider review of the child's or young person's EHC plan.
The review will look at what is working well and whether any parts of the plan need to be changed, including checking that the personal budget is meeting the planned outcomes of this support