A personal budget can be used to arrange and pay for some of the support agreed in a child or young person's education, health and care plan (ECHP).
local offer logo Children and young people with special educational needs and or a disability (SEND) will attend a school or college where their needs can usually be met by the resources that the school or college have available as part of their Local Offer.

However additional funding over and above the school or college place could be made available if an assessment has identified that the learning support needs can't be met within the school or college place funding.

We can use our High Needs funding to commission services from schools and colleges, including special schools.

In practice, this will mean the funding from our high needs budget for the SEN element of a personal budget will vary depending on:

  • how services are commissioned locally
  • what schools and colleges are expected to provide as part of the Local Offer.

Therefore the scope of a personal budget will vary depending on 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.

Applying for an education personal budget

The following will be considered when applying for an education personal budget:

  • proposed activities and services meet the agreed needs and outcomes of the child or young person
  • proposed activities and services do not put at risk or undermine any existing contracts for services purchased either by ourselves, the school or Lambeth NHS – this means that in putting in place an intervention through a personal budget, other services must not become financially unviable
  • services provided through a personal budget, if for a service already provided, must not result in an additional cost to us or Lambeth NHS
  • headteacher of the school where the child or young person attends agrees (this is only if the service or activity will take place within the school).

If you or your child are applying for an EHCP for the first time you, should be informed about a personal budget by your EHCP coordinator.

To discuss this further contact the SEN team.

How you'll get the money

You can get the money as a:

  • direct payment
  • managed budget – where we hold the money and buy your care for you
  • third-party direct payment to a friend or relative or an organisation that runs a payment service
  • third-party direct payment to a care provider such as a home care agency – this is called a ‘provider managed account’
  • mix of direct payment, managed budget and third-party direct payment.