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SEND Personal Budgets

What is a personal budget?
A personal budget is the amount of money a local authority or Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) considers necessary to support the educational, health or social care needs of children or young people from birth up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The amount that you get will depend on the needs and outcomes identified in the child’s or young person's Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. The funding is reviews on a yearly basis and amended as the individual’s needs and outcomes change.

What are they for?

A personal budget is intended to give young people and their parents or carers greater choice and control over the care and support services they receive.

Do I need to have one?

No. Personal budgets are not mandatory - the choice to request one is entirely up to you.

Who can request a personal budget?

All parents, carers and young people can request a personal budget when their:

  • EHC plan is being prepared
  • EHC plan is being reviewed

Decisions on eligibility and the amount of a personal budget will be made by the City of London’s SEND panel. 

Please note
You must have an EHC plan to qualify for a personal budget for education. However, a child or young person may be eligible for a personal budget for health and social care support without having an EHC plan if they have:

  • Received a social care or Early Help assessment determining the need for support such as short break provision
  • An approved health plan to meet complex health needs

What can I use a personal budget for?

  • Education 
    You can use a personal budget to pay for support in a mainstream setting where the setting would have to make exceptional, one-off arrangements to meet the child or young person’s needs. This is likely to focus on supporting those with the most complex learning support needs.

    Personal budgets cannot be used to:
    • Fund a nursery, school or college place
    • Purchase resources or services that a setting already provides
    • Home to school transport - if you meet that criteria
  • Health 
    You can use a personal budget to fund provision needed to manage the complex health needs of:
    • 0-18 year olds eligible for continuing care support
    • 18 years and over eligible for continuing health care support

For details see the City and Hackney CCG Personal Health Budgets for Children. For more on personal budgets, please read Understanding Personal Health Budgets

  • Social Care
    You can use a personal budget if a child or young person is assessed by the City of London’s Children and Family team as needing additional and individual support at home or in the wider community. This is usually done through short breaks provision.

How are personal budget managed?

You can choose to manage your personal budget in a number of ways:

  • Organisational arrangement
    The City of London and/or City and Hackney CCG arrange the provision on your behalf. We will help you to identify the different ways to spend the funds to best meet the outcomes in the EHC plan. No money changes hands.
  • Third party arrangement
    A third party organisation, trust or nominated person holds the money and helps you to decide the best way to spend it. They purchase the chosen services.
  • Direct payment 
    Your personal budget is paid directly into an agreed bank account. You will be responsible for buying and managing the services to meet the outcomes identified in the EHC plan.
  • A combination of the above

Examples of how a personal budget could be used

Josie, aged 5
Josie has physical disabilities and complex medical needs, and requires a lot of support with feeding, personal care and other everyday activities. Josie attends her local mainstream primary school.

Prior to receiving her EHC plan, Josie had a personal budget for care and support from social services and a personal health budget to support her medical needs at home. These budgets were combined to enable her family to employ a team of personal assistants to help them to achieve the outcomes in Josie’s support plans.

When Josie received an EHC plan, her family requested a personal budget for education and have combined the funds from that and health and social care to enable her personal assistants who support her at home to also support her at school.

This has enabled Josie to have continuity of care between school and home.


Fraser, aged 16
Fraser has complex health needs and learning difficulties. He attends specialist education provision, has an EHC plan and receives support from a wide professional network. Fraser receives the enhanced short breaks offer and his package includes a supported holiday and an allocation of overnight breaks. He also receives a personal budget that he uses for supported access to a sailing club. 

To find out more about personal budgets contact:

The Personal Health Budget Team at NEL Commissioning Support Unit: 020 3688 1000;

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