SEN Funding in Schools and Educational Settings
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SEN Funding in Schools and Educational Settings

The School Funding Reform of 2013 changed the way in which schools, settings and providers were funded for pupils with additional and special educational needs. The new arrangements means all providers are funded on an equivalent basis – pupils are funded in a comparable way whatever the institution they attend.

Education Funding
Statutory Education is funded by Central Government. The budget is given to Local Authorities who determine how it is delegated to schools and settings. All educational institutions have a budget to provide a quality teaching and learning environment. Their performance is judged by Ofsted.

The headings on this page give more information about the different types of funding.

Click to expandPrimary and secondary school funding - element one

Element One is Core Education Funding and is allocated per pupil via school budgets. It is based on a Central Government calculation – an Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU). It is provided as part of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) and is currently around £4,000 per pupil. This funding provides the school infrastructure such as buildings, heating and lighting; and the core curriculum available to all children or young people in the school. 

Click to expandPrimary and secondary school funding - element two

Element 2 is Additional Support Funding. This funding is used by schools and settings to provide for pupils who need any type of additional support to access learning. Element 1 money and Element 2 money is provided directly to School budgets. This means that schools can afford to provide additional support to pupils identified as having additional educational needs costing the School up to £10,000 in total (Element 1 £4,000 + Element 2 £6,000) from their Notional Inclusion Budget. Schools are expected to fund the first £10,000 of any child’s provision before applying for additional funds.

Element 2 funding is delegated to schools using a formula that takes into account factors such as social deprivation, demographics, and the number of children receiving free school meals, the number of children at the school and levels of attainment. 

Element 2 money is not specifically targeted at individual pupils, but schools are accountable for the use of this money for those pupils needing it. ​ ​​

Click to expandPrimary and secondary school funding - element three

Element 3 is Top-Up funding. The Leeds Top-Up funding model is called Funding for Inclusion (FFI) and has been in place since 2002. Element 3 is used to fund additional provision for a pupil where the cost of that provision has been identified as being over £10,000. Using the criteria detailed in the FFI Handbook and working in partnership with professionals, money is targeted at pupils with the most complex needs who require the most individualised provision. 

Click to expandSpecialist provision

Specialist Provision provides for the pupils with the most complex SEN. These pupils have a wide range of complex needs including low attainment levels, severe physical or medical disabilities, autism or extreme behaviour; often a combination of several. The funding provided to specialist provision is delegated in a different way to mainstream schools.

Specialist Provision in Leeds is either Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILCs) or Resourced Provision, sited in Mainstream Schools.  Both SILCs and Resourced Provision have highly adapted environments and highly specialist, well trained staff. Pupils are placed in these schools through their EHC plan when their needs cannot be met in a mainstream environment. 

Specialist Provision is funded on a place plus system. Places are commissioned by the Local Authority, for which the school receives £10,000 per place (elements 1 and 2). Pupils are then allocated Top-Up funding (Element 3)  ​​

Click to expandEarly years funding

Pupils in the early years are allocated a Nursery Education Grant/Free Early Education Entitlement paid directly to their provider. This money is used to provide the early years of learning and child development in preparation for Reception and then Primary School. Early Years Pupils with low level needs and emerging SEND may have a level of entitlement to targeted funding through SEND and Inclusion Fund or pupils who have higher level SEND also have a level of entitlement to High Needs Top-Up Funding, (EYFFI-Early Years FFI). The type of need identified is the same as those for Primary and Secondary education, however, the criteria differ slightly due to the age of the child and a different funding mechanism for early years providers.​​

Click to expandPost-16 funding

Students at Post 16 are funded in a similar way to those in specialist placements – where the place plus mechanism is used. The LA commissions place at £10,000 per place (elements 1 and 2). Pupils are then allocated ALS (Additional Learner Support) to meet any additional support costs that the learner may have.

Click to expandEducation and Health Care plans

Funding is allocated to most schools, settings and providers on an annual basis, although for pupils in early years settings this is carried out termly. The allocation is fair and equitable across all schools and settings and FFI funds individualises provision over and above that made available to all pupils.

When a child or young person has an Education Health and Care Plan it is ordinarily expected that they would have additional funding (FFI or ALS) allocated due to the complexity of their learning needs. 

If an EHCP is in place other funding streams may be in place for a learner - this may include funding from Health or Social care. This money will go directly to a family through either Direct Payments or a Personal Budget.  ​​

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