Tag Archives | Pupil Premium

Updated Blog on School Funding and SEND – Where will the funding come from?

The SEND Code of Practice: 0 – 25 years (2014) states clearly that:

“All mainstream schools are provided with resources to support those with additional needs, including pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. These resources will be determined by a local funding formula, discussed with the local schools forum, which is also applied to local academies.” 6.95

School budgets are made up of three elements

Element 1 is the per pupil amount.  Every school will receive their main budget through pupil numbers. Every pupil will be worth a set amount of money – this differs from LA to LA and increases with age (secondary pupils get more than primary).  This is the pot of money that supports all learning so will be used for staff salaries, buildings, resources etc. A percentage of this should be spent on supporting SEN pupils.

Element 2 is the notional SEN budget which has no direct link to pupils in school identified with SEN. The notional SEN budget is worked out based on three factors:

  • Free School Meals

  • Prior Attainment

  • Deprivation

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.

There is an expectation that every school will spend a notional £6000 on additional support or intervention (per SEN pupil, per year).  This includes pupils with a statement or an EHC plan.

Element 3 is Top-Up Funding. Where a school requires more funding (above the notional £6000) to support an individual’s needs it can apply for top-up funding from the LA. Schools will need to have very 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. The LA will decide if top –up funding is required based on the evidence submitted by the school.

For those children with a statement/EHC Plan – funding will be given over and above the £6000 to support the outcomes/ provision on the statement /plan.  Section F of an Education, Health and Care must specify the provision for each of the child’s needs. This provision must be detailed, specific and where possible quantified and should be very clear about how the provision will support the outcomes.  Schools will therefore have to ensure that any provision they put in place is not just about the “hours” of support but about the learning and progress that is taking place to meet the outcomes specified in the plan.

Every local authority will hold a “high-needs” pot and this is where the top-up funding will come from. Every special school receives £10,000 per pupil and many will require significant top – up for children with complex needs. On top of this many local authorities have children in very expensive out of county/borough placements which also have to be funded. Finally, this is also where LA statutory services and personal budgets come from.

I believe what will be left in that “high-needs” pot for mainstream schools  is going to be limited.

The Code of Practice states that schools should not have to pay for the very specialist support and this would come via the LA BUT the reduction in LA personnel and the significant work-load for those who remain around the transfer of statements to EHC plans means that many schools are struggling to access adequate specialist support and are finding they are having to commission it from external sources.

Pupil PremiumThis is totally separate to the school budget and is given to disadvantaged children (those in receipt of FSM, looked after children, and children from service families) Some of these will be identified with SEN and therefore the pupil premium should be used to support their progress. This should not be used instead of the school budget it should be in addition to. Although schools have to clearly show how they have spent PP and the difference it has made to an individual’s progress, schools can be creative and use it to support other children as well. For example – a school buys in a SALT for two days to train a group of support staff to deliver interventions. The funding could come from 2 pupil’s PP and they would obviously be the key focus for monitoring and evaluation of progress but others could benefit from the training that the support staff have undertaken.


LPEC Monthly round-up of SEN News – December 2013

9th December –  Implementing the 0-25 special needs system

All local authority and health leaders have been sent an implementation pack to support them in their joint working to implement the SEN reforms to ensure that they are delivered in a strategic way to support children, young people and their families in their local area. This is non-statutory guidance produced by the Department for Education and the Department for Health to help all parties understand their role in implementing the reforms.

The guidance contains information on the following:

  • Key questions local strategic leaders have found useful in thinking about implementing the SEN reforms;
  • An outline timeline for implementation;
  • System changes to deliver the new approach;
  • Resources and support that can be accessed from a variety of organisations to support the cultural and system change these reforms require.

 There are also two examples of Education, Health and Care plans: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-the-0-to-25-special-needs-system

Extension of Pathfinder Champions

A letter to all Pathfinders from officials at the Department of Education and Department of Health announced that the pathfinder champion programme would be extended until March 2015. This extension would ensure that support was available to all local areas in the period to September 2014 and beyond.

From April 2014 – March 2015 the pool of pathfinder champions is to be increased in order for more support to be available for all those local authorities who need it.

The letter can be viewed here: http://www.councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/media/525617/dfedh_pathfinder-2014-2015-letter_issued-11-12-13.pdf

10th December – SEN Reform Grant

Edward Timpson announced the injection of £70 million to create a new SEN reform grant. This money will be provided to local authorities on a formula basis, with no ring-fencing, so that authorities have maximum flexibility over how they use this money. It is hoped that this funding will help local authorities to implement the ambitious reforms, which range from introducing personal budgets and developing joint commissioning with health to engaging with families and others over the local offer.


12th December – Amendment to the Children and Families Bill

The Government amended the Children and Families Bill to include disabled children and young people within the scope of the Bill. Up until this point the Bill only covered those children and young people identified with a special educational need, this amendment will ensure that disabled children and young people are now included in a number of clauses of the Bill.

Pupil Premium Funding

David Laws, Minister of State for Schools, announced that the government would be providing primary schools with an extra £53 to the end of the 2013-14 financial year for every primary pupil who is currently eligible for free school meals (FSM) or has been eligible for FSM in the past 6 years. This is on top of the £900 primary schools currently receive for each of their FSM. Primary schools will be able to use this additional funding to further raise pupil attainment. Secondary FSM and looked after children will continue to attract a premium of £900 and service children attract a premium of £300.

The Minister then confirmed the final pupil premium allocations for 2014 – 15. Overall the fund was rising from £1.875 billion to £2.5 billion and this rise will be used to increase substantially the funding per pupil for primary school pupils, allowing schools to intervene early, where the impact is greatest. From April 2014, primary FSM pupils will attract £1300 which will help primary schools raise attainment and ensure that every child is ready for the move to secondary school. Meanwhile, £935 will be allocated for secondary FSM pupils and the service child premium will be set at £300 per pupil.

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, the pupil premium plus for looked after children will have more than doubled, from £900 in 2013-14 to £1900 per pupil. The eligibility for this funding will be extended to include those who have been looked after for one day or more, as compared with the 6 months in care currently required.  https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pupil-premium-funding

18th December – Special Educational Needs POSTNOTE

In 2013, one in five pupils in England were identified as having special educational needs (SEN). The Children and Families Bill will reform the provision available for these children and young people. This POSTnote published by the Houses of Parliament summarises the nature and diversity of SEN and discusses the support and outcomes for affected children and their families.