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Personalisation and personal budgets

Personalisation means thinking about care and support services in a new way and giving families choices about how and when they are supported.

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms are part of the Children and Families Act 2014, and have strengthened the personalisation approach so we can work with you to personalise your support and services. 

Personal budget

Personal budgets are a sum of money allocated to deliver all, or some of the services and support set out in an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If your child has an EHCP, you have the right to ask for a personal budget. 

Having a personal budget is optional and will be discussed with you as part of the EHCP planning process. If everyone agrees that a personal budget is the best way forward, this will be written in the EHCP, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. Parents and young people may also request a personal budget during a statutory review of an existing plan.


Most education funding is already committed to providing a range of services to children and young people with SEND and is not available for use as a personal budget. Over the next few years, we will be working with our partners to ensure funding is available to promote personal budgets, where it is clear that this will be the best way to meet children’s outcomes. This will be progressed with the Our Voice Parent Forum and Enfield SEND Information, Advice and Support Service.  

Occasionally, if a personal budget is necessary, we may be unable to release funding that is currently supporting other services to children and young people. The final decision will be made by a panel of professionals as part of the EHCP process. If families disagree with the decision, after receiving the draft plan they have 15 days to comment and identify their concerns.

Social care personal budgets are available for children and young people who may be eligible for a direct payment or short break grant. They will have a long term physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities. 

A personal health budget is available if a child or young person meets the continuing care criteria.

Applying for a personal budget

To be eligible for a personal budget:

  • a child or young person must have an EHCP
  • it must be agreed that the allocation of a personal budget is the most effective way of meeting the outcomes identified in the EHCP

To apply for a personal budget, parents and young people over 16 can discuss the option of a personal budget at a multi-agency meeting arranged by the school to agree their outcomes.

The panel which considers the request for the EHCP, will consider the request for a personal budget. If an EHCP is agreed, details of the personal budget will be included in the draft EHCP. After receiving the draft plan, families have 15 days to confirm whether they want to proceed with a personal budget.

Managing a personal budget

If a child or young person is eligible for a personal budget, there are many ways a parent, carer or young person can be supported:

  • Direct payments where individuals receive the cash to contract, purchase and manage the services themselves.
  • An arrangement  where the local authority, school or college holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the EHCP.
  • Third party arrangements where funds are paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the parent, carer or young person.
  • A combination of the above.

If you choose to take your personal budget as a direct payment you will need to undergo a series of basic checks, set up a separate bank account, and provide receipts so your personal budget can be monitored.

Advice, guidance and support will be provided at all stages of the process. We recognise that circumstances change and will work with families to respond to their evolving needs.   

If your personal budget is not used correctly or appropriately, it will be withdrawn. 

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