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Choosing your own support

Somerset families, whose child has an EHC plan, have a right to request a personal budget. The personal budget allows them or their parents to understand the value of funding used for delivering their additional support.

The personal budget can be requested either during the statutory assessment process or during the annual review process, and must be supported by the headteacher, principle or person in the equivalent position.

The personal budget can be delivered by:

  • Direct Payments - where the child or their parents receive some of the funding, where appropriate, as cash to contract, buy and manage services themselves.
  • Third Party Arrangements - where an individual or organisation receives some of the funding, where appropriate, as cash to contract, buy and manage services on behalf of the child or their parents. In Somerset the Enham Trust can support you with this.
  • Notional Budget - the local authority, school or college, or Clinical Commissioning Group holds the funds and commissions the support specified in the plan.
  • A combination of these three things.

You must keep records of expenditure as evidence for how the direct payment or third party arrangement has been spent.

You can find more information in the Policy for Education Health and Care Plan Personal Budgets [which is being reviewed] and Guidance and Process for Requesting a Personal Budget and Direct Payments for Special Educational Needs and Disability [which is being reviewed].