What is a personal budget?
A Personal Budget is money identified to pay for support specified in an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan) for a child or young person with special educational needs. It can include funds from the council for education and social care and from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for health.
There are four ways you can use a personal budget:
- The council, school or college will look after the Personal Budget for you. This is called an Arrangement or a Notional Budget
- You can receive money directly to manage all or part of the Personal Budget yourself. This is called a Direct Payment. Direct Payments will be monitored regularly to ensure they are used to meet the identified needs and outcomes
- You can opt to have someone else manage the Personal Budget for you. This is called a Third Party Arrangement
- You can have a mixture of some or all of these arrangements
A Personal Budget is not additional funding, it is about using existing funding in a way that suits your needs better.
Who can ask for a personal budget?
Parents of a child with an EHC plan, or a young person (16-25) 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.
Personal Budgets may also be prepared if there is no EHC plan. This could be the case when there are no educational needs, but there is a health and/or social care support plan.
What can a personal budget be used for?
Personal Budgets can be used only to fund the support set out in an EHC plan. This must be agreed by the council for education and social care support, and by the CCG for health provision.
The Personal Budget policy for Peterborough is available to download below. The policy provides information about the services across education, health and social care that form part of a Personal Budget, how the funding arrangements will work and support available for people in relation to their Direct Payments.
Additionally available to download below is a Guide to Personal Budgets which has lots more detailed information.
What is a Direct Payment?
A Direct Payment is an identified sum of money paid directly to the parents of young person to enable them to choose, arrange and pay for services themselves. An agreement has to be signed and the monitoring arrangements will ensure that these directly arranged services still meet the identified outcomes from the EHC plan.
Commissioning is the process for deciding how to use the total resource available for children, young people and parents/carers in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient and effective way which is also fair and sustainable way. The Children and Families Act 2014 places a legal duty on Local Authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to secure services to meet the provision set out in individual EHC Plans.
This means that the CCG and the Local Authority will work together to ensure the full integration of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision across education, health and care and strengthen the principles of joint planning and commissioning of services as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014, including those that will:
- improve the identification of needs
- support and develop further joint commissioning arrangements through the joint commissioning strategy
- build on work already undertaken in the joint health and wellbeing strategy.
Commissioned services may be provided directly by schools, health services and/or the Council, or they may be purchased from private companies and/or voluntary sector organisations, such as charities. Contracting is the process of negotiating and agreeing the terms of a contract for services, and these contracts are reviewed regularly to make sure that they are delivering the best results and are providing value for money. Commissioners also regularly repeat the Needs Assessment process to make sure that services that are commissioned are still relevant to local needs.
Information on welfare and benefits can be found on the Welfare and benefits advice page.
Have your say
We want to make sure that Peterborough's Local Offer continues to develop to meet the needs of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families To let us know your views please fill in our online feedback form.