Suffolk Local Offer

Education Personal Budgets

A personal budget is an amount of money that is identified to deliver all or some of the provision set out in a child’s Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Once a child or young person has an EHC plan, the Local Authority must ensure the support specified in the plan is provided.

In most cases, we do this by providing funding to schools and education settings to enable them to deliver the educational support needed, and by arranging any therapies specified within the plan as well (such as Speech and Language Therapy).

However, the SEND Code of Practice also gives parents the option to request that we consider making a direct payment so that you can organise the provision yourself. This is done via a personal budget.

A personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in your child’s EHC plan. You cannot have a personal budget for education unless you have an EHC plan.

In Suffolk, requests for education personal budgets are discussed and agreed by a multi-agency panel. If you would like more information about education personal budgets, you should speak in the first instance to your child’s designated Family Services Officer.

Managing a personal budget

Personal budgets give you more choice and control over the support you and your child receive. They can be delivered in several ways:

  • Direct payments: individuals receive the money to contract, purchase and manage the budget themselves
  • Notional arrangements: the local authority, school or college retains the money and commissions the support agreed
  • Third party: direct payments are managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the parent or young person
  • Any combination of the above