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Personal Budgets Policy

The Children and Families Act, for the first time, includes a duty on local authorities to consider a request for a Personal Budget following the completion of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The personal SEN budget is focused on learning outcomes, and a personal care budget will be focused on outcomes around family and home life, being safe when out and about in the local community and being able to take part in life outside of school.  Personal health budgets will be focused on health outcomes, and are funded by NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Together these elements will form the child or young person's Personal Budget in the Education, Health and Care Plan.

If you/your child are applying for an Education Health Care Plan for the first time you should be offered a personal Budget by your EHC Coordinator, if you would like to discuss this further please call the EHCP team on 0207-926-9460

If you/your child has a statement of Special Education Needs that has been converted and you would like to discuss the option for a personal budget please talk to your statement officer, please call the SEND office on 0207-926-9460 who will put you through to the correct person, or you can email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

There are a number of means to deliver a personal (health) budget. These are:

  1. Through a direct payment – where individuals receive the cash to contract, purchase and manage services themselves;
  2. An managed budget/account – where the authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support identified in the plan (can be called 'notional arrangement');
  3. Third party arrangements (also known as Individual Service Fund) – where funds (direct payments) are paid to and managed by an individual or another organisation on behalf of the service user, young person and/or their parent or carer, with the consent of the service user, parent or young person;
  4. A combination of the above

All young people and parents/carers who have an EHCP have the right to request a Personal Budget.

Personal Budgets, however they are delivered, must be used to meet the agreed outcomes in a child or young person's EHCP.

A Personal Budget will only be considered if:

  • The proposed activities/services meet the agreed needs and outcomes of the child or young person
  • The proposed activities or services do not put at risk or undermine any existing contracts for services purchased either by the school, the Local Authority or the CCG – this means that in putting in place an intervention through a Personal Budget, other services must not become financially unviable.
  • The services provided through a Personal Budget, if for a service already provided, must not result in an additional cost to the Local Authority or the CCG
  • The 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)

Direct Payments

Many people who choose to have a Direct Payment (DP) use it to employ somebody to care and support the child or young person. If this is something that you wish to do, there are a number of conditions that need to be met, particularly if the person you employ will be going into the school or college.

Anyone who wishes to employ someone using their Direct Payment must:

  • Have a contract of employment in place with the person
  • Must ensure that they are compliant with any tax and national insurance legislation, and have the correct liability insurance
  • All members of staff hold a current up to date Digital and Barring Service Check (DBS) (criminal record check)
  • All those employed are paid the London Living Wage
  • Encourage the person to access regular training and support them to attend training when specialist qualifications expire
  • Have an Enhanced DBS Check with Children's Barred List information
  • Sign the form 'Disqualification under the Child Care Act' if the child is under 5 years old

If the person employed will be working in a school environment to support the young person, then there must be a Service Level Agreement in place with the school. This needs to include:

  • Any induction or training the school requires the person to undertake (e.g. health and safety, first aid)
  • Any security measures the person will need to adhere to (e.g. if a pass is required to get around the building)
  • Brief outline of duties and responsibilities of that person
  • Point of contact in the school for the person in cases of emergency
  • Confirmation the a DBS check has been completed and the DBS number
  • Contingency plan for if the person supporting the young person is off sick or doesn't not turn up

(This is not an exhaustive list)

Direct Payments cannot be spent on:

  • an activity or item that exposes the individual to serious risk from someone else/themselves
  • any type of illegal activity
  • NHS Primary Medical Service provided by GPs
  • NHS Public Health Services – vaccination, immunisation, screening, national child measurement programme, health checks
  • NHS urgent or emergency treatment
  • NHS surgical procedures
  • NHS charges for prescriptions or dental charges
  • to purchase alcohol or tobacco
  • for gambling
  • to repay a debt