Skip to main content

Funding special educational needs


New arrangements for funding educational provision for pupils and students with high needs were introduced in 2013 for maintained schools and academies.


Funding for all high needs pupils in mainstream schools and academies is broken down into 3 main elements.

Element 1 - the basic entitlement

This is the basic amount funded to the school for each pupil and varies between primary and secondary schools.

Element 2 - additional need funding

Part of the overall school budget is classified as the notional SEN budget. This is identified within a school's budget and is made up of various funding formulae such as the basic entitlement, deprivation and prior attainment. It is from this budget that mainstream schools and academies are required to put in place support for all children with SEN and to contribute the first £6,000 (equivalent to approximately 11.8 hours teaching assistant (TA) time per week) towards the cost of a child's Statement of Special Educational Need /  Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) from September 2014.

Element 3 - top up funding

Where the cost of additional support identified is more than £6,000, the local authority will provide funding from their high needs block. The level of need is agreed by the County Resourcing Panel and funding is provided to the school for that pupil.

Although academies receive their main funding directly from the Education Funding Agency (EFA), the top-up funding (element 3) is still the responsibility of the local authority.

Defining high needs

Children and young people with high needs are those who need educational provision that costs more in total, including the provision given to all pupils, than about £10,000 per year. This threshold defines the level of need that would be expected to be met through mainstream funding and those for whom additional funding is required.

Information on school funding, allocated budgets and funding formulae can be found on the Learn Together education portal.

County Resourcing Panel86KBpdf
Size: 86KBFile format: pdf