A personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan. This is different from a direct payment, which is an actual amount of money that you would receive so that you could commission some or all of the provision identified in the personal budget yourself.
If you do request a personal budget from the LA, you can at the same time ask the LA to identify which elements of the personal budget which you could then receive as a direct payment.
The LA can refuse to make a direct payment if they don’t believe the person receiving the payments would be capable of managing the money, or if they do not believe it would be used in an appropriate way. They can also refuse where it would negatively impact other services provided by the LA, or if it would not be an efficient use of resources.
Where the provision proposed to be replaced by a direct payment takes place in a school or college setting, the consent of the head teacher or principal of the named school or other institution is required. If they do not consent then the LA will be unable to make a direct payment.
If the LA refuse to identify a personal budget or make a direct payment, you cannot appeal against that decision but you can ask them to review it.