Personal budgets (SEND)

Please note: Oldham Council are currently reviewing the Transitions service and processes to ensure that we are fully meeting the needs of young people in preparing for adulthood.

Video explaining what a personal budget is and what it can be used for

A personal budget is an amount of money that has been identified to deliver SEND provision that allows the parents or young person concerned to be involved in deciding how the budget is spent and what support is provided.

There are a number of ways in which a personal budget can be managed:

  • Direct payments’ whereby parents and young people are given funding directly to spend.
  • Notional arrangements’ whereby the local authority, school or college holds the funding and commissions the support needed on behalf of the parent or young person.
  • Third party arrangements whereby the funding is held by a third party who handles the funding on behalf of the parent.
  • A combination of the above.

Eligibility

Under current proposals, only where an EHC Plan is in place will a parent or young person be able to have a personal budget.

Once we have agreed to issue an EHC Plan a parent or young person can request a personal budget.

We will consider all requests for personal budgets, however, there are exceptions that mean we do not always have to provide them. For example:

  • We do not have to provide personal budgets if we are concerned it will negatively impact on other people or will be poor value for money.
  • We are required to judge if a young person or family is capable’ of managing person budgets.
  • Young people or families who have been required by the law to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse will not be allowed to have a personal budget.
  • Where a child or young person is in custody, a personal budget is not permitted.

If a child is over 16, he/she could have a personal budget. A young person will need the consent of their college if they wish to use direct payments in this context.

Personal budgets will be entirely optional. We will provide families with information to understand what a personal budget will involve and how it can be used.

A personal budget can only be used for provision that has been set out in the EHC Plan.

Personal budgets cannot be used to purchase a place at a particular school.

How much money will you be able to get through a personal budget?

The new SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years states that we must ensure that families who choose the option of direct payments actually have enough money to purchase what has been agreed.

Beyond this, the amount of money that a family will get will depend on the individual case and what has been set out in the EHC Plan.

We can give indicative figures when a personal budget is being considered but the total amount of money will only be finalised when the EHC Plan is being agreed.

Spending a personal budget

We will provide information about organisations that can provide you with advice and assistance on personal budgets.

Parents or young people will have to sign an agreement with us regarding the use of direct payments.

It is important to be aware that we can ask the parent or young person to pay back any money that has been unspent if, for example, it feels that the direct payment has not been spent as intended or if it suspects fraud has taken place.

A personal budget is an amount of money that has been identified to deliver SEND provision that allows the parents or young person concerned to be involved in deciding how the budget is spent and what support is provided.

Social Care Personal Budget Policy

NHS Oldham CCG – Personal Health Budget Local Offer

Fact Sheets