Personal Budgets for Special Educational Needs

Jack's Story

Personal Budgets

A Personal Budget for SEN is money identified to pay for support specified in an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from the local authority for education and social care and from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for health.

There are four ways you can use a personal budget:

  1. Sometimes the local authority, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for you. This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget.
  2. Sometimes you can receive money directly to manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself. This is called a Direct Payment.
  3. Sometimes you can opt to have someone else to manage the Personal Budget for you. This is called a Third Party Arrangement.
  4. Sometimes you can have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements.

Parents of a child with an EHC plan, or a young person with an EHC plan, can request a Personal Budget either during the drafting of an EHC plan or once the plan has been issued and is under review.

You do not need to have an EHC plan to get Personal Budgets for social and health care, but once you have an EHC plan, or one is being prepared, you can request budgets for all three areas of support. You must have an EHC plan to get a Personal Budget for special educational provision.

However, you do not have to have a Personal Budget. The SEND Code of Practice says:

  • Local authorities must provide information on Personal Budgets as part of the Local Offer. This should include a policy on Personal Budgets that sets out a description of the services across education, health and social care that currently lend themselves to the use of Personal Budgets, how that funding will be made available, and clear and simple statements of eligibility criteria and the decision- making processes. 9.96

A young person with an EHC plan can ask for their own Personal Budget after the end of the school year in which they become 16.

Sometimes the local authority or the health authority may  not agree to a Personal Budget. If the local authority refuses a personal budget for special educational provision it must tell you why. You cannot appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal over this refusal.

Personal Budgets can be used only to fund the support set out in an EHC plan. This must be agreed by the local authority for education and care support, and by the health authority for the health provision.

You can find out what can be included in a Personal Budget in the Local Offer. You can also ask SENDIASS for more information about this.

A Personal Budget for educational provision cannot cover payment for a place at the school or college. A Personal Budget can include any top up funding (known as Element 3 funding). It can also include support that is managed by the school or college – but only if the Headteacher or Principal agree.

You can find out more about what can be included in a Personal Budget in Sections 9.110 to 9.118 of the SEND Code of Practice.

Personal Budgets

A Personal Budget shows you what money there is to make some of the provision specified in an EHC plan, and who provides it. The parent or young person does not actually manage the funds directly.

Direct payments

With a Direct Payment the parent or young person is given the money for some services and manages the funds themselves. The parent or young person is responsible for buying the service and paying for it.

A Personal Budget can include a Direct Payment if it is agreed that this is the best way to manage part of the Personal Budget.

Direct payments can be used for special educational provision in a school or college only if the school or college agree. Local authorities can refuse a direct payment for special educational provision if it would make things worse for other children and young people with an EHC plan, or if it would be an inefficient way to pay for services.

It is also possible to have a Third Party Arrangement to manage a Direct  Payment.

How much you get will depend on what has been set out in the EHC plan. So it will vary from one person to another. If the local authority has agreed to make a Direct Payment it must be enough to pay for the service or services specified in the EHC plan.

Yes – some people have had Personal Budgets for health provision (a Personal Health Budget) and for social care provision (e.g. Fair Access to Short Breaks). They may have managed some or all of the provision using a Direct Payment. But this is the  first time that Personal Budgets have become available for SEN provision.

You can find out more about the different kinds of Personal Budget on the Kids website.

There are four ways in which a personal budget can be managed:

  • Direct Payment (previously known as Cash Personal Budget)
  • Delegated Direct Payment
  • Individual Service Fund
  • Council Managed Personal Budget

In all four options, the parents or carer, or young person is accountable to the Local Authority or Health Service, who will also monitor the spend and to ensure that the identified outcomes in the EHC plan are achieved. Read more…

SENDIASS can give you:

  • more information about Personal Budgets, including Direct Payments
  • advice on whether you may be able to get a Personal Budget and how you can apply for it
  • information and advice on local services, organisations, and resources that may be able to help
  • information, advice and support on what you can do if you are unhappy with the local authority’s decision on your Personal Budget.

There are also a number of national organisations that provide information and advice about SEND. You can find a list of these on the SENDIASS page.

Independent support and advice is available to young people and parents / carers to manage personal budgets. Currently the council has a contract with Penderels Trust who can offer support with all four payment options.

Watch our video to discover how Jack has used his Direct Payments for education and social care to provide support identified in his Education, Health and Care Plan.

An EHC plan will always have an educational part to it and your SEN Case Worker will be able to discuss any queries that you might have about the plan or a personal budget. If you are dissatisfied with their response, you can ask for the SEN Casework Team Leader to look at your case. Contact details of the SEN Team are available below:

The Special Educational Needs Team
Access and Inclusion
Hewson House
PO Box 35
Station Road
Brigg
North Lincolnshire
DN20 8XJ
Telephone: 01724 297148
Email: special.needssection@northlincs.gov.uk

You can also make a complaint using the standard North Lincolnshire or health service complaints procedures. North Lincolnshire complaints policy is available and with details of how to make a complaint here

NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group welcome feedback, positive or negative, about your experience of local NHS services as this helps them to improve services for patients.

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from NHS services, you have the right to make a complaint, have it looked into and receive a response. You can also raise your concerns immediately by speaking with the staff involved.

For health complaints you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) by phone, letter or e-mail:

Email: NLCCG.PALS@nhs.net
Phone: 01652 251125

Address: Patient Relations, Health House, Grange Park Lane, Willerby, East Yorkshire, HU10 6DT

We will always seek to resolve your concerns as best we can, including through independent mediation and disagreement resolution where necessary.

Here are some examples of how some North Lincolnshire families have used their Personal Budgets:

  • Case Study 1 – Notional Budgets – coming soon
  • Case Study 2 – Direct Payments
  • Case Study 3 – Post 16 – coming soon
  • Case Study 4 – Post 18 – coming soon

Watch our video to discover how Jack has used his Direct Payments for education and social care to provide support identified in his Education, Health and Care Plan.

Funding for personal budgets come from releasing the value of a child or young person’s additional support from the services they may otherwise be expected to make use of.

The money available for personal budgets is that which can be used for an individual child or young person without adversely affecting other children that use that provision.

Most children and young people, even those with special educational needs, attend school or college supported by the resources available to all within the provision and this support is clearly identified in the Local Offer. However, there are some children and young people who need additional support identified in their EHC plan without which they would unlikely to be able to achieve their outcomes.

This additional support is the basis for the funding of a personal budget.

North Lincolnshire Personal Budgets Policy– this policy sets out how Education, Health and Social Care will mainstream personal budgets to assist people to have real choice and control by shifting the balance of power from professionals to people who use services.

We are in the process of updating the Policy after consulting with families and professionals.

Meeting New Horizons is a Direct Payments and Personal Health Budgets Support Service. They offer a full wrap around service for the users of the Direct Payments system and individuals in receipt of Personal Health Budgets.

In addition to the usual Payroll Preparation service Meeting New Horizons can offer:

  • Personal consultation with a liaison officer to explain all aspects of direct payments to ensure the service fully meets the needs of the family, either in the clients home or at a preferred meeting point
  • Advice on how best to use direct payments and personal health budgets: information on all options available to clients and potential costings of different care pathways
  • Advice on recruitment and access to a library of essential documents, such as contracts, terms and conditions and holiday request forms
  • Support with current employment legislation and record keeping including the completion of timesheets and HMRC paperwork
  • Advice on managing staff including sick pay, maternity/paternity pay, disciplinary and dismissal issues
  • Payroll processing delivered by a dedicated team member who is responsible for providing ongoing support and advice
  • Review meetings with a liaison officer to monitor the progress

For further information please contact the Payroll Team leader, Rachel Fischer on 01482 595530 or email rfischer@meetingnewhorizons.co.uk

Further Information

Contact Us

Email: special.needssection@northlincs.gov.uk

Tel: 01724 297148

Useful documents

A guide for Parents and Carers - Personal Budgets for SEN
A guide for Children and Young People - Personal Budgets for SEN
Last modified: March 19, 2019