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School Funding for special educational needs

How are schools funded for special educational needs?

Local authorities consult their local schools forum and design their own funding formula.

A compulsory factor is the basic entitlement which is a formula based on a sum per pupil in the school. Deprivation is also taken into consideration as a compulsory factor. This is often based on the number of free school meals provided by a school.

Other optional factors can be low prior attainment in early year’s provision, the number of looked-after children, and the number of EAL children who have entered the school system for the first three years and so on.

For pupils with special educational needs (SEN) at a mainstream school like Horsell Junior, local authorities must provide sufficient funding in their delegated budget to enable them to support these pupils’ needs, up to the cost threshold of £6,000 per pupil per year. This is called the notional SEN budget. Local authorities must specify how much of the funding a school receives through the school funding formula which constitutes its notional SEN budget. If a pupil requires further support which costs more than £6,000, the additional funding required should be met by top-up funding from the local authority placing the child at the school. Top-up funding rates are agreed locally.

For Surrey mainstream schools, there is no additional top-up for children with SEN, if they are receiving up to the equivalent of 13 hours of a TA or £6000.

If a child is receiving 13-19 hours equivalent of a TA, they will meet the threshold for an EHCP. The top-up will be £0-£3000.

If they are receiving 20-28 hours equivalent of a TA the top-up is £3000-£7000.

If a child is receiving 29-34 hours equivalent of a TA the top-up is £7000-£10000.

For the final banding, from 35 hours equivalent, the top-up is £10000 and above.