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Finance and funding - Local Offer

School finance

All schools are funded to provide education for their pupils.

Schools and education settings can apply to the local authority for top-up funding. The local authority's procedures are designed to be reasonable and fair.

The Schools Forum is a statutory body that makes decisions about school funding. It focuses on school places that the local authority and schools will commission. It agrees the arrangements for top-up funding.

Early years settings can also apply for extra funding for children with SEND, including grants.

Personal budgets in education

A personal budget is an amount of money that pays for the provision outlined in an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). It's allocated by the local authority.

Personal budgets can give families more control when choosing support services.

Any requests for a personal budget must be discussed with the SEN officer. The family should do this when the EHC Plan is being drafted, reviewed, or re-assessed.

Personal budgets are optional and will need the agreement of the local authority and education setting.

Social care personal budgets

If a person has an adult social care assessment, they might be deemed eligible for support from adult social care. If this happens, the local authority will tell them how much money they could get to pay for the support they need.

Read more about support plans and personal budgets.

Personal health budgets (NHS)

A personal health budget is an amount of money that’s allocated to support a person’s health and wellbeing needs. It’s planned and agreed upon by the person (or somebody representing them) and their local NHS team.

Find out more on the NHS website about:

Other financial support for families

There are many sources of funding available for children and young people with SEND.

Charities and grant-giving trusts rarely provide money for things that the Government can provide. Use the Turn 2 Us benefits calculator to check if you’re claiming everything you are entitled to.

You should be aware that grants may be considered as income if you claim means-tested benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offer financial support and benefits advice.

You can search the Local Offer directory for a list of providers ranging from capital grants for playground equipment to local charities.

Families can apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for their disabled child.

The Disability Grants website is a self-help resource to search for charities and trusts in the UK that help anyone with a disability.

When a student accesses higher education (university), they may apply for a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).

Child Trust Funds

A child trust fund (CTF) is a long-term, tax-free savings or investment account for young people.

Children born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 were eligible for a CTF account. Their parents/carers received a £250 voucher from the government to deposit in the account. The money belongs to the young person, and they can only take it out when they turn 18.

The scheme ended in 2011. New accounts can no longer be created, but existing accounts can still receive new money. Child trust funds were replaced by Junior Individual Savings Accounts (JISAs).

Some young people with a disability might not have the mental capacity to manage their Child Trust Fund. The money will still belong to them when they turn 18. So, the young person’s parents/carers must access the money on their behalf.

The government has published a financial toolkit for parents/carers of young people who lack mental capacity. It includes guidance on Child Trust Funds:

Search the Local Offer directory.

Last updated 05 December 2023