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Personal Budgets

"With a personal budget you have options and choices, you just need to think outside of the conventional education box."
"There are choices"
"Every child no matter what difficulty they face has something that speaks to them, that engages them. Every child has something and this is where you start in planning their education package with a personal budget"
"It is important to know that there are two options: 1. Manage the personal budget yourself. 2. Work with City of York Council who can manage the budget for you"

What are Personal Budgets?

  • A personal budget gives a family or young person control over funding for eligible support for education, social care, transport and health funding for children or young people with a disability or special educational need. A child or young person is eligible if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan.
  • It enables parents or the young person to choose their support and provides increased flexibility to decide what works best for them.
  • The government definition for a personal budget delivered through an Education, Health and Care Plan is:
  • 'A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the local authority to deliver all or some of the provision set out in an EHC plan. By having a say in the way this budget is used, a parent or young person can control elements of their support’. Children and Families Act 2014.
  • Young people and parents of children who have Education, Health and Care plans or have been assessed as needing a plan, have the right to request a personal budget which can include a personal education budget as well as social care and health funding. A transport budget can be requested as an alternative to having a taxi to school.
  • The offer of a personal budget will be based on eligibility and the support a child or young person needs to achieve agreed outcomes.
  • This may for some children and young people draw on funding from a number of sources to support a personalised package. This budget can be used in conjunction with other provision or support.
  • For children and young people at school, funding is released when a head teacher agrees that the child’s needs are best met in this way, rather than the funding used to provide support provided in school.


City of York has a duty to provide information about organisations that may be able to provide advice and assistance to help parents and young people to make informed decisions about personal budgets.


How are Personal Budgets Funded?

Funding for a personal budget can come from education, health or social care.



Education Funding: will usually come from the High Needs Block which is awarded through an Education Health and Care Plan.

A head teacher may offer some funding for a personal SEN budget. However, this will be at the discretion of the head/ principal.

Health Funding: Continuing Healthcare funding is available for a very small number of children and young people.

Clinicians can also offer personal health budgets. For more information please visit:

Vale of York CCG information on Personal Budgets

Social Care Funding: individual or personal budgets are available for children and young people who are eligible for social care support.

Eligibility assessments are made by the Short Breaks Referral Coordinator or by the child or young person’s social worker. 100 hours short breaks can be received without requiring a full social care assessment to enable children and young people to access positive activities each week in their community. Children who may require more support than 100 hour short breaks will need to be assessed by a social worker.

Young people moving into adulthood, who are eligible for adult social care funding, will be allocated a social worker between 16.5 years and 17 years. The social worker from adult social care works closely with the young person, family and their social worker from children’s social care to support a smooth transition into adulthood. During this time, they will support the young person to make plans about what they will do when they leave school, how they will access their local community and what support they may need.

The Care Act 2014, states that local authorities need to assign a personal budget to all adults who are eligible for support. The personal budget is the amount of money needed to cover the cost of the support for which a person is eligible.


How do you apply for a Personal Budget?

A Personal Budget can be applied for as part of the Education Health and Care Plan.

Families and young people will be sent information about their right to request a personal budget when a statutory assessment has been agreed.




Through the Pathway of Coordinated Support families, young people and practitioners work together to identify and agree individual strengths and needs. Assessment is part of the statutory assessment for an EHC Plan or a social care or health assessment. The child or young person will need to meet the eligibility criteria for support.


Outcomes that are important for the child, young person and their family and the actions and resources that are needed to achieve them, will be identified and agreed. Resources available, through the Local Offer, community and family support will be taken into account.

A request for a personal budget can be made at this stage from any or all of the eligible funding sources. Detailed requests for a personal education budget will be considered by the Education Health and Care Panel as part of the statutory assessment process or through annual review of an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The funding for any personal budget will be agreed through a shared decision with any commissioners who provide the funding requested. Each agency will continue to be responsible for agreeing funding to meet related needs for services or equipment.

Any agreed personal budget must clearly support identified outcomes. Each agreed personal budget will specify the size of the budget, its funding source, and how it will be paid, managed and monitored.


When a personal budget is agreed the budget can be paid in 4 different ways:

  • direct payment
  • third party holding the budget
  • Local Authority holding budget as a ‘notional personal budget’
  • or a combination of the above.
  •  Direct payments must be paid into a separate bank account and a contract signed.



The budget will be reviewed at least annually or sooner if planned or required. How the budget will be monitored will be clearly described in an individual’s Education, Health and Care Plan. It is important to ensure the personal budget is used effectively for improving outcomes for a child or young person. Any direct payments will be paid and reviewed as described in the signed agreement for Direct Payments and Education, Health and Care Plans and subject to the agreed terms and conditions.

When there is disagreement which relates to the special educational provision to be secured through a Personal Budget the child’s parent or the young person can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability), as with any other disagreement about provision to be specified in an EHC plan.

Decisions in relation to the health element (Personal Health Budget) remain the responsibility of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or other health commissioning bodies. Where they decline a request for a direct payment, they must set out the reasons in writing and provide the opportunity for a formal review. Where more than one body is unable to meet a request for a direct payment, the local authority and partners should consider sending a single letter setting out the reasons for the decisions.


For more information and contact details regarding personal budgets, please see the personal budgets page on the City of York Council Website.


"Our child has now gained a horse riding qualification and in his own head is thinking and planning his future at Askham Bryan. None of that would be happening if he had stayed at school. He knows now that he can achieve things"
"My child is now able to blossom because we have linked into things that are right for him, allowing his self-esteem and confidence to grow"
"Our son was really excited about the prospect of going to secondary school so when it didn’t work we were devastated. But with a personal budget we found that there was hope, there is a different way built around our child"
"As a parent immersed in the process, it is a really positive thing"