The personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan. You cannot have a personal budget unless you have an EHC plan.
Normally, the LA will do this by providing the necessary funding to the school or college attended by the child or young person, so they can deliver the educational support needed. However, the LA to can consider making a payment to the parent or young person, so that they can arrange the provision themselves. This is called a direct payment.
Some of the way that Direct Payments are used are:
Getting help with your child's personal care, for example bathing, dressing or eating, or help looking after them overnight
A sitter service to look after your child when you are out
Help for your child to use leisure facilities
Help with household tasks to free up your time to look after your child
A place at a day nursery or after-school care
Someone to accompany your child on holiday.
Redbridge must consider identifying a personal budget for educational provision. This can only happen when a draft EHC plan is issued or during an Annual Review.
Some reasons for using direct payments
Direct payments should give you more control over how your child's needs are met. There are several reasons you might choose to receive direct payments instead of having the services organised by the local authority:
The services you currently receive don't meet the needs of your family, or if your feel you have little say over how these services are provided.
You live in a remote and rural area where no suitable services exist - employing a personal assistant (PA) may be the only realistic method of support.
Your child has cultural or language needs that your current service providers cannot meet.
Your child has been assessed as needing services but you have been waiting a long time