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Education Personal Budgets

Personal Budgets for Special Educational Needs in the Bradford District

Information for Parents & Carers and Children & Young People

This information explains Personal Budgets for Special Educational Needs (Personal SEN Budgets), how they might be used and how they are only one part of a much wider approach to learning opportunities, support and activities available to children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

Our commitment to delivering personal SEN budgets in the Bradford District

What are we aiming to do?

  • Be more transparent, accountable and open in all our processes and decision making

  • Give parents/carers and children/young people information to help them understand personal SEN budgets

  • Provide personal SEN budgets to help children and/or young people achieve the educational outcomes identified in their EHC plans

  • Work in partnership with practitioners, children/young people and their families, all contributing their knowledge, skills and expertise (co-production).

Why?

We want to see children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) achieve their full potential and go on to live fulfilled lives as independently as they are able to.

How can we do this?

We have successful implemented personal budgets for children and young people with complex health and disabilities.  We are now expanding this for children and young people with SEND through EHCPs.

We know we have a long way to go on this journey but as a District we are committed to personalisation and see personal budgets as a small but important part of our approach.

We are working hard to implement new processes and new ways of working to make sure that all children and young people with SEND have the right support, when they need it.

We are working towards:

  • All children and young people with EHCPs and their parents and/or carers will be told the indicative budget that is available to achieve their educational outcomes

  • All children and young people will know the actual budget allocated to support them and how this funding is being used.  This information will be included within the EHCP

  • Clear information and a pathway for children and young people and their parents and/or carers regarding personal SEN budgets

  • Support and advice for families and children/young people who manage their personal SEN budget as a direct payment

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

Your right to request a personal budget

The Code of Practice states that parents/carers and children and/or young people have a right to request a personal budget at any time whilst the draft EHCP is being prepared or reviewed.  In Bradford, every child and young person with an EHCP will have a personal SEN budget. This is your opportunity to request control of the personal budget, if you wish to do so.  We will follow the code of practice and work with you and all practitioners that are involved to agree the best method to enable this to happen.  It does not mean you have to manage the budget yourself, although this can be an option if everyone agrees to this.  It is important to note that you may not be able to have control of the total amount of your personal SEN budget and we will have discussions with all parties to identify how much funding is available as a cash amount.

Explaining personal SEN budgets in the Bradford District

In the Bradford District all children and young people with an EHCP will have a personal SEN budget.  This means that parents/carers and children and/or young people will know how much funding is available to meet their needs, and you will also be involved in deciding how the provision in the EHCP will be achieved and you will be involved in agreeing how the personal SEN budget is managed.  A personal SEN budget does not always mean a direct payment.

A personal SEN budget is the funding allocated to meet the individual education needs(element 3) of the child or young person within their EHCP.  It may also include additional learning support (element 2) funding contained within their EHCP. At present any provision that is block funded or resources already committed will not be included in the personal SEN budget but will still be included in the EHCP if required.

The elements of education funding that are available to support children and young people are given below:

Funding streams in education

Element 1 Funding

 

Not available as a personal SEN budget. 

 

Also called universal support.

 

Element 2 Funding

 

Parts of this may be available as personal budget via a direct payment if the setting agrees.

 

Also called targeted support or additional learning support.

 

Element 3 Funding

 

Parts of this may be available as a personal SEN budget via a direct payment if the local authority and the setting agrees.

 

Also called High Needs Block or individual learning support.

 

Levels of support and funding explained

Element 1 Funding (universal support):

Support for all children and young people to achieve good quality learning outcomes.  Each setting receives an amount to fund a place.  This funding is not included in a personal SEN budget.

Element 2 Funding (targeted support):

Services and support targeted at a group of children and young people with a common learning support need.  This may include funding of support staff, focused literacy support and behaviour management programmes.

Each setting must provide additional support up to the value of £6,000 to meet the additional support needs of children and young people.  This funding is included within the SEN personal budget.  It is only available as a direct payment if the setting agrees.

Element 3 Funding (individual learning support):

This funding provides the individual learning support for a child or young person to achieve their learning outcomes as agreed in their EHCP.  This funding can be requested if the total amount of the additional support needed for an individual child is more than £10,000 and a child or young person needs more provision than would be ordinarily provided by the setting.  Once allocated, this funding is included within a personal SEN budget.  Part or all of this can be provided as a direct payment if the family request this and the setting and the local authority are agreed.

 

How personal SEN budgets work in the Bradford District

A small number of children and young people need individual support to enable them to access learning activities and these will be provided within their education setting to enable them to achieve well.  These children and young people will have an EHCP which is supported by a personal SEN budget.

When the local authority agrees that an EHCP is needed we will allocate an indicative budget.  The indicative budget is an estimate of the funding required to meet the individual support needs.  Parent/carers and children and/or young people will be told the indicative budget that is available and can work with everyone involved to agree what needs to be put in place to meet the individual educational needs.  This will usually happen at the review meeting.  This is an opportunity to be creative and flexible to think about the best way to get results.

Not all services are able to separate funding to give an indicative budget.  In these cases the provision will be stated in the plan but not with a cost attached.  We will continue to regularly review the range of support that can be included in the indicative budget.

What can be bought using a personal SEN budget?

Any spend must be detailed in the agreed EHCP and must be set against an identified educational outcome.  Examples include:

  • Activity or staffing to be delivered in the setting or elsewhere

  • Equipment

  • Something bought specifically for an individual child or young person e.g.. play therapy (individually commissioned services)

  • Activities or staffing for a group of children or young people with EHCPs e.g. art therapy (group commissioned services)

  • Advice and assistance from an organisation to help with direct payments (if there is a reasonable charge by the organisation)

What cannot be bought using a personal SEN budget?

  • Anything that is not identified in a child or young persons’ EHCP

  • Health or social care provision that will not achieve identified educational outcomes in the child or young persons’ EHCP

  • Any provision that the setting would give to any child or young person

A direct payment cannot be used to fund the cost of a school or post-16 place.

 

Ways to manage personal SEN budgets

An indicative budget is calculated (to give you an idea of what the budget might need to be) and when the provision is agreed in the EHCP the indicative budget becomes a personal SEN budget.

A personal SEN budget can be managed in the following ways:

  • The setting or local authority will hold the budget and pay for all provision.  (This decision must be agreed be the setting and/or local authority).

  • The family will hold the budget and manage it as a direct payment.  The local authority pays an agreed amount to the nominated person to pay for the provision agreed in the EHCP.  (If the family want to have a direct payment, the local authority must agree and the setting must agree if the provision is to be delivered on its site).

  • A third party organisation will manage the budget.  The local authority pay an agreed amount to the organisation to buy the provision agreed in the EHCP and pay “reasonable costs” towards the cost of managing the budget.  (This decision is made by the local authority and family if the family are unable or unwilling to have a direct payment and the setting or local authority cannot manage the budget.

  • A combination of any of the above.

Direct Payments

A direct payment means the family manage the budget and spend the funds in line with the agreed EHCP.  Any provision bought must be something that is already written into the EHCP.

Parents/carers and children and/or young people can ask for a direct payment to manage the personal SEN budget but this must be agreed by the setting and the local authority.

In order to implement a direct payment Bradford Metropolitan District Council must be satisfied that:

  • The direct payment will be used to pay for things that have been agreed in the EHCP.

  • The direct payment is an appropriate way to pay for things that have been agreed in the EHCP.

  • The person receiving the direct payment will act in the best interests of the child or young person.

  • The direct payment is an efficient use of resources.

If Bradford Metropolitan District Council is not satisfied of the above then the personal SEN budget will be managed either by the local authority or if this is not feasible then a third party organisation may be commissioned to do so.

Personal Care Budgets and Personal Health Budgets

A child or young person may also have a personal budget to pay for social care and/or elements of health care.  These can form part of an EHCP or as standalone plans if no educational needs are identified. A personal budget can be taken as a direct payment for social care if Bradford Metropolitan District Council agree.

If the child or young person is in receipt of NHS Continuing Care funding Bradford Clinical Commissioning Groups (Health) may also agree a personal health budget if appropriate.

        NHS Bradford's Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) offer the option of a personal health budget (PHB) for people who are:

  1. over 18 and eligible for fully funded NHS continuing healthcare

  2. under 18 and eligible for NHS continuing care

  3. in receipt of a joint funded package of care between the local authority and the CCG, but not including those people in receipt of mental health section 117 aftercare

  4. people over 18, who have a diagnosis of learning disability and are in receipt of services between the local authority and the CCG.

For further information regarding a PHB for groups a, b, and c above, please contact the integrated personalised commissioning team on: 01274 423003 or email click here

For further information on PHB for group d above, please contact the commissioning team at the local authority (BMDC) on: 01274 434500 or email click here

The website link for Districts CCG click here

Personal Care Budget (Children and Young People 0-17 years)

This funding is available to those children and young people who meet the threshold for a service from the complex health and disabilities team and who have identified needs on their plan that cannot be met without additional resources being available.  For further information click here

Personal Care Budget Adult Social Care 18 years +

This funding is available to adults who have been assessed by Adults social care and have identified needs that cannot be met without additional resources being available.  For further information please go to click here

Personal Health Budget Children

Since April 2014 children eligible for continuing care funding have had the ‘right to ask’ for a personal health budget (PHB) There are some aspects of NHS care that a PHB cannot be used for.  For example a PHB cannot be used for emergency care or care from the family GP, dentist, and some therapies.  Further information about PHB's click here

Personal Health Budget (Continuing Health Care 18+ years)

Adults who have been assessed as eligible for Continuing Healthcare funding also have the right to ask for a PHB.  Further information about PHB's eligibility click here

Children and young people in specific circumstances

Home Education

The 0-25 SEND Code of Practice states that if the local authority and parents agree that home education is the right provision for a child or young person within an EHCP then the local authority must arrange the special educational provision set out in the plan, working with the parents (under Section 42(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014.  In this situation, a personal SEN budget via a direct payment may be available, if Bradford MDC agrees.

If Bradford MDC does not agree that home education is the right provision, but parents choose this option, a personal SEN budget will not be available.

Special School Provision

If a special school or college makes specialist provision available that is not normally available at mainstream schools or colleges this may reduce the scope of a personal SEN budget.  For example on-site speech and therapy or hydrotherapy will not be available as a direct payment within a personal SEN budget.

Children Educated Out of Area

A school or specialist college placement out of area cannot be funded via a direct payment.  Bradford MDC must provide reasonable travel assistance to a child or young person who is eligible under the Home School Transport Policy.  This could be taken as a personal SEN transport budget which the family may choose to have via a direct payment if the local authority agrees

Personal SEN Transport Budget

In certain circumstances, a personal transport budget may be available for children and/or young people who are entitled to travel assistance and whose families wish to make their own arrangements to transport their child to and from school.  This may be offered where the Authority is unable to offer alternative suitable travel assistance and/or where it is more cost effective to do so.

To check eligibility for travel assistance click here

In accordance with the 0-25 SEND Code of Practice travel assistance will only be included in an EHCP in exceptional circumstances.

 

Resolving Disagreements

Parents/carers and children and/or young people have a right to request a formal review of their personal SEN budget once it is in place if they are unhappy about any part of it.  This can be done via a request to the SEN Senior Education and/or the SEN Casework Officer for the EHCP in the first instance.  If the issue cannot be resolved at this level it will be presented to the SEN panel which meets weekly during term time.

Parents/carers and children and/or young people can request support from the Independent Parental Support Services on 01274 513300 or for further information click here

The Department for Education have published a family guide to personalisation, personal budgets and education, health and care plans.  This is called ‘Making it Personal and is available from the Council for Disabled Children website here

 

Examples of a personal SEN budget within an EHCP

Setting manages a personal SEN budget

Jamie is 7 years old and attends his local mainstream school.  He has a diagnosis of Downs Syndrome and moderate learning difficulties.  His EHCP has been agreed and his personal SEN budget is as follows:

 

Element 2 funding             £ 6,000

Element 3 funding             £ 7,380 (Based on range 4d)

Total personal budget        £13,380

At the review meeting, the setting, the local authority and Jamie’s parents have agreed the following provision for him within his EHCP to meet his identified needs and achieve the following outcomes:

  • TA support for agreed hours per week to support Jamie in specific areas

  • Access to a speech and language therapist once a term with ongoing support from school staff as directed by S<

  • Access to social skills group on a weekly basis

  • Playground buddy each playtime and lunch time

  • Pre-teaching in maths and English before each lessons

It has been agreed by the setting, the local authority and parents that the school will manage the personal SEN budget to fund the TA hours and make it possible for Jamie to go to groups and support provided at the school.

 

Management of personal SEN budget:

Element 2 funding will be managed by the setting                 £ 6,000

Element 3 funding will be managed by the setting                 £ 7,380

Total personal budget                                                                  £13,380

Please note that all costs and provision is for illustration purposes only – they should not be used as a basis for comparison of actual costs.

Examples of a personal SEN budget within an EHCP

Setting manages part of a personal SEN budget and parents manages part of a personal SEN budget via a direct payment

Suzie is 13 years old and attends her local mainstream secondary school.  She has spinal muscular atrophy and needs support to make the most of her learning opportunities and with her personal care.  Her EHCP has been agreed and her personal SEN budget is as follows:

 

Element 2 funding                       £ 6,000

Element 3 funding                       £10,761 (Based on range 5)

Total personal SEN budget          £16,761

 

Suzie, her parents, the setting and the local authority have agreed what needs to be in her EHCP:

  • Learning support assistant for agreed hours each week to support Suzie with some lessons or activities

  • Help with physiotherapy exercises on a daily basis

  • Help with eating her lunch daily

  • Help with personal care twice daily

  • Wheelchair basketball at a specialist setting as her PE lessons

Suzie has said that she wants her learning support assistant to support her learning needs only.  She has also said she wants a carer to support her personal care, eating and physiotherapy exercises and to take her to wheelchair basketball sessions.

Suzie’s parents have agreed to make sure that this person is trained as required and holds DBS clearance.  They will employ this person and insure the carer to use the families’ adapted vehicle.  A direct payment will cover the cost of the carers’ hours, insurance on the vehicle, employers’ liability insurance and payroll services.

The school has agreed that the carer can work on school premises to provide the support specified in Suzie’s EHCP and to go with her to and from basketball sessions.

 

Management of personal SEN budget:

Element 2 funding will be managed by the setting                    £ 6,000

Element 3 funding will be managed by the setting                    £ 9,000

Element 3 funding will be manage the parent via a DP            £ 1,761

Total personal SEN budget                                                             £10,761

Please note that all costs and provision is for illustration purposes only – they should not be used as a basis for comparison of actual costs.

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