Additional Educational Needs
For most children in mainstream schools, including those with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities, money is allocated to them through the school budget. This section explains the various strands that make up additional educational needs funding.
- Element 1 Funding/AWPU/Basic Entitlement
This is the amount funded per pupil. This funding supports all learning and will be used for staff salaries – including the SENCO role, buildings, resources etc. A percentage of this should be spent on supporting SEN(AEN) pupils. This funding is in the schools block and is allocated directly to schools. Devon would expect to see schools using at least 5% of AWPU funding in their SEN Budget and this sits within the ‘Notional SEN budget’.
- Element 2 Funding
All LAs must, through the Local Schools Forum, identify the formula by which schools receive funding to provide support for pupils with SEN. This is called a ‘Notional SEN Budget’. It is called ‘notional’ because no-one tells schools exactly how they should spend their money. This funding is not ring-fenced for SEN and it is for the school leadership team, governing body and SENCO to decide how it is spent to effectively support those pupils who require additional support. The formula uses the following factors:
- Free school meals
- Looked-after children
- Prior attainment
- English as an additional language (an element of this)
- IDACI (Devon agreed factor).
It is not based on the number of pupils a school has identified as having a SEN.
The school funding reform arrangements require that the notional SEN budget comes from the schools block, made up of funding from the basic per-pupil entitlement, deprivation and prior attainment factors. It is from this notional budget that mainstream schools are expected to:
- Meet the needs of pupils with low cost, high incidence SEN (also referred to as additional educational need)
- Contribute up to at least the first £6,000 of the costs of provision for pupils with high needs (not all pupils with SEN will require this amount)
From this, schools must provide a standard offer of teaching and learning for all pupils, including those with ‘predictable’ high needs, to enable them to access the school’s teaching and learning offer.
This funding is in the schools block and is allocated directly to schools.
Deprivation Funding – this is part of the AEN funding but does not form part of the Notional SEN budget. There is an expectation that deprivation funding would be used to contribute towards actual free school meals, together with the Universal FSM funding primary schools receive.
- Element 2: Targeted Funding
Low Cost High Incendent (LCHI)
The LCHI SEN part of element 2 within the school budget share will be paid to schools within their school budget share regardless of actual statemented pupils. There is an expectation that each school shall have at least £5,000 available for LCHI SEN. For those schools where the formula does not deliver the £5,000 within their school budget share, the Local Authority will top up the schools funding out of the high needs block to achieve the minimum of £5,000.
Individual Assigned Resource (IAR)
The IAR SEN part of element 2 within the school budget share will be paid to schools within their school budget share regardless of actual statemented pupils. There is an expectation that each schools shall have at least £6,000 available for IAR SEN. For those schools where the formula does not deliver the £6,000 within their school budget share, the Local Authority will top up the schools funding out of the high needs block to achieve the minimum of £6,000.
(Threshold funding is calculated where the number of SEN Children in attendance at any school exceeds 6.75% (Secondary) or 7.25% (Primary) of their school roll. This delivers additional funding into those schools that have a high level of pupils with SEN. It is analysed each month and is an automatic payment – schools do not need to apply for it. The threshold calculation uses the actual number of pupils in receipt of Element 3 monthly.
Threshold and other Element 2 targeted funding is calculated on actual IARs and paid by the Local Authority. This is additional funding into the school funded out of the high needs block.
Currently we do not have a mechanism for schools to access additional funding for pupils that are below £6,000. This is a nationally recognised difficulty for a minority of schools, typically those that are disproportionately inclusive and very small schools. Recent recommendations from the DfE include LA’s working with schools to agree a “core entitlement” that all schools in a local area will provide for children and young people with SEN as a matter of course, resulting in more equity across the area. The second recommendation is that the DfE consider using the 0-15 disability living allowance (DLA) claimant measure as an additional factor in the school funding formulae to better reflect the needs of children and young people with SEN. Devon will continue to monitor developments in this area. Please see DfE “Research on funding for young people with special educational needs” for further details.
Element 2 Shortfalls
SNIPs was a panel that dealt with the shortfall of Element 2 of the high needs block (HNB) within the school. Previously we have had a process to allow schools who thought they were not getting enough Element 2 to apply with reasons as to why they needed additional funding. Although the SNIPs process has finished for 2015/16 there is an alternative method as highlighted below.
There has been a change to the threshold level for secondary schools and the full funding of ‘Element 2 shortfalls’ for both primary and secondary schools will replace the previous SNIPs and transitional funding arrangements. Where the recognised demand from IARs on the element 2 funding exceeds funding available, this will now be addressed without the need for application. This will be advised on the May high needs funding statement, and there will be a review of the shortfall based on October IAR data, after which any necessary adjustments will be advised and the annual funding shortfall paid to the school as a lump sum.
- Element 3: Top-Up Funding
Where a school requires additional funding (above the notional £6000) to support a pupil’s needs, the school can apply for top-up funding from Devon. Schools will need to have strong evidence and progress data to show what has already been provided, over and above high quality, differentiated teaching, and the impact on this school-led provision. This funding comes from the LA’s high needs block and is linked directly to an individual pupil.