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SEN funding in mainstream schools

How SEN funding is allocated to mainstream primary and secondary schools in Southampton

Schools budget for all pupils

All maintained schools, including mainstream academies, receive a budget allocated at the beginning of the financial year (from 1 April each year).

The school’s allocation for all children, including those with special educational needs (SEN), is based on the number and age of the children within the school. This works out as approximately £4000 per pupil.

SEN Notional budget – additional resources for children with SEN within schools

For the majority of children with SEN, further resources are allocated through something called the 'SEN Notional budget for mainstream schools'. This is done using a funding formula and works out at an additional £6000 per pupil with SEN.

The funding formula uses data and information about low attainment and deprivation. These factors have been determined by the Department for Education under the Government’s funding reforms which came into place from April 2013.

The use of the low attainment and deprivation data and information will identify a profile of need for each school, which can then be used for the allocation of available funds on an annual basis through the SEN Notional budget.

All types of need are covered by this funding model which results in the allocation of a sum of money which is part of the whole school budget. This can be used to address the needs of children, in any category, as identified, assessed and prioritised by the school.

Funding for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Where a child needs additional support above what can be delivered through the first £6000 SEN Notional budget (this will need to be evidenced), the school and/or parent/professional working with the family, can request to have an Education, Health and Care Assessment (EHCA). 

Where a child with high needs requires additional support over and above that normally available in school, the school is still required to fund the first £6,000 of their additional provision.

For children with EHC plans whose needs require additional support over this level, specific funding is provided as a top-up. The top-up will be paid from the centrally retained resource held by the local authority on behalf of schools for additional support over and above £6000. This will only occur where a pupil has been assessed and determined by the LA, as needing an EHC Plan.

The amount of top-up funding provided will depend on the needs of individual pupils with EHCP’s, following assessment.

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