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Personal Budgets - Myth Busters

A personal budget is to help pay for the cost of a school place.

FALSE - a personal budget is to pay for the additional support a child or young person needs and not for an early years, school or college place.

There is no extra money for personal budgets.

TRUE - but families have the option of being involved in arranging additional support, looking holistically across different services as well as the possibility of combining different funding streams where appropriate.

Parents can decide who they want to support their child in school.

FALSE - it is not possible for parents to make this decision without the written consent of the head teacher or principal, even if their personal budget is in the form of a direct payment.

Local authorities do not have to mention about personal budgets when working on the draft EHC Plan.

FALSE - it is up to the parents or young person to ask for a personal budget, but local authorities must provide information, advice and support to the parent or the young person about personal budgets including the provision for which a personal budget may be available. In addition, the Code of Practice states that local authorities should have a personal budget policy, which should be part of the Local Offer.

It is up to parents to ask for a personal budget if they want one.

TRUE - the onus is on parents to request a personal budget.

Local authorities can refuse parents’ request for a personal budget.

TRUE - but only under certain circumstances. These are, in short, when it is not possible to disaggregate the provision for the child or young person from provision being made for other children or young people.

Local authorities can have a blanket approach which means they do not have to agree to any personal budgets.

FALSE - this has to be done on an individual basis.

A personal budget means the family can spend the money as they like.

FALSE - this has to be agreed at the time the budget is allocated and it can only be spent on the agreed elements of support.

The only time parents can request a personal budget is when an EHC Plan is being prepared.

FALSE - as well as requesting one at the time the draft EHC Plan is being drawn up, parents can also ask for one at a subsequent review, including the transfer review.

If parents do not get a personal budget, they can apply to the SEND Tribunal.

FALSE - the SEND Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to resolve disputes in relation to personal budgets. The only legal remedy available to parents or young people here is judicial review.

Personal budgets have nothing to do with a local authorities Local Offer.

FALSE - the local authority should have a policy on personal budgets and this should be on their Local Offer.

The school my child goes to stopped me getting an EHC plan and a personal budget.

FALSE - it is not up to the school, but the local authority.

 (Adapted from KIDS, Making it Personal 3)

Who to contact

Contact Name
Angela Quane / Ian Bonner
0151 233 5995 or 5951

Local Offer