To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what plans he has to review how personal budgets in the Local Offer under the Children and Families Act 2014 can be used to enable access to early support for families with babies with or at risk of cerebral palsy.
Currently, any parent or carer of a child or a young person, including those with cerebral palsy, may request a personal budget as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan as a means of delivering the outcomes specified in the plan. The scope of that budget will vary depending on the needs of the individual, the eligibility criteria for the different components and the mechanism for delivery. This means that decisions need to be taken on an individual basis, including for children with cerebral palsy. Decisions about the provision of personal budgets and other operational matters are for local authorities. Local authorities and their health partners remain responsible for securing the provision specified in an EHC plan, funded where necessary through joint commissioning arrangements.
More broadly, a review regarding special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) was announced in September 2019. The SEND review is looking at ways of making sure that the SEND system is consistent, high-quality and integrated across education, health and care. It is also considering measures to make sure that money is being spent fairly, efficiently and effectively, and that the support available to children and young people is sustainable in the future.