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A personal budget sets out the amount of money that is available to spend on support for your child, to meet their assessed needs. This money may come from your local social services team, local education department, or in some cases from your NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG).
If you receive funding from the NHS this is known as a personal health budget.
Having a personal budget does not mean that your child will get any extra funding. However, it should mean that you have more say in how the money that has been allocated is spent.
In some circumstances you may have the option of getting direct payments, which you can use to buy support for your child rather than have this arranged for you. This is commonly found in social care, where parents and carers prefer to employ a personal assistant, as opposed to using the councils own short break services.
It is important to note that any funding spent in an alternative way (such as not to fund a TA in school from the education budget for example, and to use this funding in a different way), takes away this support from the plan. The support you ask for a personal budget to provide must also still be in keeping with helping the child meet the outcomes in their plan.
You also may become an employer if your choice of spending involves utilising other people- so you'll take the responsibility of PAYE, pensions and holidays. It is good advice to get help and support with this if it is all new to you.
Money that can't be used is the schools own notional send budget (the first £6000), and any support you want to arrange that will be going into your Childs school must be with the permission of the school.
Sometimes the LA can refuse to prepare a personal budget for a family. There is no formal route to challenge this, but you can ask the LA to reconsider. More information on personal budgets can be found on IPSEA's website here