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Personal Budgets

What is a Personal Budget?

A personal budget is the funding that has been identified for additional services and help needed by a child or young person through social care, health or education assessment.

Personal Budgets explained (with subtitles): 

Personal budgets are already available in various formats in Social Care and Health.  Below are some examples of typical use once a need has been identified

What is a Social Care Personal Budget?

Social Care in Children’s and Adults’ services offers personal budgets in Swindon for a range of short break services, including leisure activities, sitters, personal assistants, domiciliary care, domestic services, overnight stays and equipment.

What is a Health Personal Budget?

Children’s Health contributes to personal budgets in the form of direct payments which are set up and managed by the Children’s Disability Service. Services include personal assistants and domiciliary care to support medical needs and to arrange transport.

What is a Special Educational Needs Personal Budget?

Education personal budgets can only be available for a child or young person with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

What is an Education Health and Care plan?  Education, Health and Care Plan page on Local Offer.

For further information on the assessment process of an Education Health and Care Plan.  How long will my EHC plan take?

The important aspect of a personal budget is that parents and young people know what funding is available to deliver the provision described in the Education Health and Care Plan.  The broader purpose of such arrangements is to increase the participation of children, their parents, and young people in decision making in relation to special educational provision.

How do I request a personal budget?

A personal budget can be requested by a parent or young person over the age of 16 –once an EHC Plan has been agreed.  It can only be used for provision to achieve outcomes set out in the Plan. However, this does not mean that all requests will be granted.

All cases will be considered individually and it is important to note that what may be an appropriate use of funding to support a child/young person to meet their agreed outcomes, as outlined in the Education, Health and Care Plan, may not be suitable for another child/young person with a different set of needs.

All families of children or young people will be told about the option for a Personal Budget when an EHC needs assessment is being carried out.

Each request is considered on its individual merits, and a personal budget will be prepared in each case, unless the sum is part of a larger amount and separating out an individual payment would have

  • An adverse impact on services provided or arranged by the local authority for other EHC plan holders
  • it would not be an efficient use of the Local Authorities resources.

How can my personal budget be managed?

  • A direct payment: The family can choose to take part of the personal budget as a direct payment and manage it themselves (with optional support) for certain components of the overall budget which are “cash releasable”, and where this is agreed by the head teacher/principal
  • An organisation/third party: The family can ask an organisation or third party to manage the budget on their behalf
  • An arrangement – whereby the Local Authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions this support in the plan. (these are sometimes called notional budgets)
  • A combination of the above: The family can choose to have the budget split and managed by all three options above.
"WHAT FUNDING ELEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO ME AS A PERSONAL BUDGET?"

Element 1

Element 1 is core education funding (NOT available as a personal budget)

Element 1 Age weighted pupil unit (AWPU) held within the education setting

This is basic per pupil funding which schools receive for every child whether or not they have SEN.  It has been determined nationally that the element 1 funding amounts to £4k but the exact amount is likely to be different for different age groups and key stages.

For further information on element funding please click here

Element 2

Element 2 – Notional SEND Budget held within the education setting

Parts of this could in very exceptional cases be available as a SEN personal budget via a direct payment if educational SETTING (school, college, early years setting) agrees, but generally NOT available as a personal budget 

This is an amount of money, calculated on a locally determined formula, received by each school annually as a lump sum.  It has been determined nationally that the element 2 funding amounts to up to £6k per pupil, identified as having SEN.  Not every child will have £6k spent on them.  The amount of money spent is determined by individual schools and dependent on the level of need of individual children placed on the SEN register.  It funds SEN support provision and pays for the first £6k of additional provision for children / young people in receipt of top up funding.

For further information on element funding please click here

Element 3

  • Element 3 funding is available for personal budgets with the Local Authorities permission (and the educational setting if  relates to school/college/pre-school provision)

Element 3 – High needs top up funding 

This is agreed for individual children or young people when the provision required to meet their needs costs more than £10k.  This funding comes from the commissioning home Local Authority, and is determined on the basis of the assessed need. (EHC needs assessment)

For further information on element funding please click here

Who can request a Personal SEN Budget?

Young people or parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan can request a personal budget once Swindon Borough Council has confirmed that it will prepare a draft Education, Health and Care Plan. If you already have an existing Education, Health and Care Plan, you can request a Personal Budget at your /your child’s annual review.

What can be bought using a Personal Budget for SEN?

Any spend must be detailed in the agreed Education, Health and Care Plan and must be set against an identified educational outcome. Examples include:

  • Some activity or staffing to be delivered in the education setting (with permission of the Head Teacher or Principal) or elsewhere
  • Something bought specifically for an individual child/young person e.g. play therapy (Individually commissioned services)
  • Advice and assistance from an organisation to help manage a Personal Budget as a direct payments (if there is a reasonable charge by the organisation)
  • In some circumstances a personal budget may be available, if Elective Home Education is named on an EHCP. However if the local authority can meet the child or young person’s needs within a school or college setting, but the parents choose this option, a Personal SEN Budget will not be available.

What cannot be bought using a Personal Budget for SEN?

What cannot be bought using a Personal SEN Budget?

  • Anything that is not identified on the child/young person’s EHC plan
  • Health or social care provision that will not achieve identified educational outcomes on the child/young person’s EHC plan
  • Any provision that the setting would give any child/young person
  • A place within a school or post-16 placement

Personal Budgets available for children who are electively home educated

The Code of Practice states that if the local authority and parents agree that home education is the right provision for a child/young person within an EHC Plan, 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 may be available.

In some circumstances a personal budget may be available, if Elective Home Education is named on an EHCP.  However if the local authority can meet the child or young person’s needs within a school or college setting, but the parents choose this option, a Personal SEN Budget will not be available.

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