Personal Budgets

If your child qualifies for an education, health and care plan, you can decide whether you want a personal budget to manage the support your child gets.

What is a personal budget?

A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the Local Authority to deliver provision set out in an EHC plan, where the parent or young person is involved in securing that provision. 

Personal Budgets are designed to give children, young people and their families more choice, control, flexibility and independence.

How personal budgets work

Planning your budget

Personal budgets can be provided for education, health or social care provision, where there are needs identified in the EHC plan, and provision allocated to meet those needs.

You may already have direct payments from a social care Child in Need Plan or Support Plan and these can be included in the EHC plan

You can request to have a personal budget when your child is assessed for an education, health and care plan or at annual review.

A relevant officer will then work alongside your child and the family to outline how you could use the personal budget and what other support is needed.

Managing your budget

There are three options for you to decide how you manage your personal budget:

  • Direct payments – Payments are paid directly into your bank account, and you buy the services and equipment that have been agreed
  • An arrangement – where the local authority, NHS, school or college holds your budget, and continue to pay for and arrange the support specified in the plan for you.
  • Third party arrangements – where direct payments are paid to and managed by an individual such as a family member or organisation on your behalf

You may decide to combine two or three of the options.

What you can use a personal budget for

You can use the personal budget to pay for services to meet the outcomes specified in the EHC plan.

These can include:

  • carers or personal assistants to work in the home
  • petrol or costs to travel from home to school or college (where travel assistance has already been agreed)
  • activities which help you or your child to be more active in the community
  • aids, adaptations and equipment to help you to manage day-to-day tasks.

You must not use the personal budget to pay for day to day household expenses, alcohol or tobacco.

Having a personal budget will not affect any other benefits that your child or family receive.

More information

In a mainstream school, the additional ‘top-up’ funding allocated by Newham is the indicative amount for an education personal budget.

An education personal budget is taken from the support that the school would receive, and is not in addition to this.

Any support through a personal budget that is planned to be delivered on school premises this must be in agreement with the school.

The scope for personal budgets are reduced in special school or resourced provision.

For more information about personal budgets talk to:

Feedfrom from parents:

'We have found the Direct Payments process was seamless from start to finish. Providing lots of information. We’ve felt in control about who provides the care for our daughter especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve also been able to keep her care to a high standard and consistent with 1 carer coming in rather than having different carers from an agency coming into our home. I would highly recommended direct payments.’


Last updated: 03/09/2021

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