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Personal Budgets Overview

If you haven't already, we would recommend that you first read our One Minute Guide on Personal Budgets, this can be found here. For all our One Minute guides, please visit our dedicated page on the Local Offer here.

What is a personal budget?

If your child has an Educational Health Care (EHC) plan or has been assessed as having a social care need then you are entitled to request a personal budget. This is an amount of money from the Element 3 funding (for more information on SEN funding, click here), this money can be used flexibly to support the extra needs of the child/Young Person.

The Personal Budget may not include all the resources that are available to support a child or young person, just the amount that can be used flexibly to support the additional needs of the child/Young Person and these will be agreed within Section J of the EHCP. It provides a Parent/carer the option to be involved in choosing and arranging part of the provision to meet your child's needs. 

As a general rule, provision and resources to support the outcomes identified within an EHC plan will be managed by the early years provider, school, college or other educational settings, with support from partner agencies.

If parents or young people express a preference for this support to be delivered in a different way, or want to manage some of their support themselves, they can ask for a personal budget as part of the EHC plan assessment or review.

To find out more about Education Health Care Plans and Education Health Care Assessment (EHCA) forms including Pathways click here


Parents/Carers of Children and/or Young People who are in receipt of an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan can request a Personal Budget, which is an amount of money

There are four ways in which the child’s parent and/or the young person can be involved in securing provision:

  1. Direct payments - parents and young people are given money to spend on support.

  2. National arrangements - the council, school or college holds the money and arranges the support needed on behalf of the parent or young person.

  3. Third party arrangements - the money is held by a third party who handles it on behalf of the parent or young person.

  4. A combination of the above

Roy's Personal Budget-Real Stories


Personal Budgets and the EHCP

If your Child/Children are eligible for an EHC Plan, it is likely that you will be eligible for a personal budget.

Parents/Carers and/or the Young Person will always be involved in planning and invited to attend meetings to enable understanding and transparency of the process.

The Personal Budget can consist of funding from the following areas:

  • Education: All or part of Element 3 linked to education outcomes. Additional funding provided by the Local Authority. The personal budget must be agreed by the Head Teacher at the school or college that the child or young person attends.
  • Health Provision: Continuing Care funding assessed through appropriate tool kits
  • Social Care Provision: Specialist care highlighted in the Single Assessment

For further information, please see the Guidance document here

In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014, the council must consider all requests for a personal budget.

However, there are circumstances where the personal budget may not or cannot be agreed, for example: - If the council is concerned it will negatively impact on other people or will be poor value for money - If the local authority judges that a young person or family is unable to manage their personal budget - If young people or families who have been required by the law to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse they will not be allowed to have a personal budget - If a child or young person is in custody, they will not be allowed a personal budget.

The legal frameworks for eligibility for personal budgets differ between adult and children’s legislation.  A personal budget represents all the resources that are available to meet the needs of an individual.  If someone qualifies for an education, health and care (EHC) plan there could be elements of support from all three services. 

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The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.