Funding for SEN
Arrangements for funding educational provision for pupils and students with high needs were introduced in 2013 for maintained schools and academies. Funding for all high needs pupils in mainstream schools and academies is broken down into 3 main elements.
Element 1 - the basic entitlement
This is the basic amount funded to the school for each pupil and varies between primary and secondary schools.
Element 2 - additional need funding
Part of the overall school budget is classified as the notional Special Educational Needs budget. It is from this budget that mainstream schools and academies are required to put in place support for all children with SEN and to contribute the first £6,000 (equivalent to approximately 11.8 hours teaching assistant time per week).
Element 3 - top up funding
Where the cost of additional support is more than £6,000, the council will provide funding from their high needs block. The level of need is agreed by the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities panel and funding is provided to the school for that pupil.
Although academies receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency, the top-up funding (element 3) is still the responsibility of the council.
Defining high needs
Children and young people with high needs are those who need educational provision that costs more in total, including the provision given to all pupils, than about £10,000 per year. This threshold defines the level of need that would be expected to be met through mainstream funding and those for whom additional funding is required.
Post-16 students with special educational needs
Like academies, all post-16 providers receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency. However, the funding for students with special educational needs follows the same principles as for mainstream schools and academies.
They will receive:
Element 1 – core funding for each student calculated by a national 16 to 19 funding system
Element 2 – an allocation of up to £6,000 to support identified students with special educational needs based on agreed numbers
Element 3 – top-up funding from the council to meet the agreed needs of individual pupils placed with them who require additional support.
This funding applies to:
- Mainstream school sixth forms
- Sixth form colleges
- Post-16 in special schools
- Colleges of further education
- Specialist colleges
- Other providers such as training providers
- Out of area post-16 providers