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SEN AND FUNDING TrustNET The Learning Trust by liaoqinmei


									SEN Funding Booklet
A guide to special needs funding for Hackney schools

                                  Version 6.0 – Updated June 2010

1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................... 2

2. SEN AND FUNDING..................................................................................................... 3

              SEN Funding formula .................................................................................. 3

              Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) funding................................................... 4

              Resource Levels and Descriptors ............................................................... 4

              Low Incidence Statements Funding ............................................................ 5

              Out of Borough Statements Funding ........................................................... 6

              Other Support.............................................................................................. 6

              How and when schools receive their funding .............................................. 6

              Financial monitoring .................................................................................... 6

3. MONITORING OF PUPIL PROGRESS & FUNDING ................................................ 7

              Provision mapping ....................................................................................... 7

              Value for Money toolkit ................................................................................ 7

4. WHAT CAN THE SEN BUDGET BE USED FOR? .................................................... 8

Hackney mainstream schools have significant numbers of pupils who have been identified as needing
additional support due to their special educational needs (SEN). Figures for 2008 indicate that 26.3%
of the Hackney’s combined primary and secondary school population has SEN compared to a
national average of 19.7%. (Source DCSF – January 2008 Census)
Significant resources are given to schools to enable them to support pupils with SEN. It is therefore
very important that schools understand how much funding they receive and what it should / shouldn’t
be used for. We hope that this funding guidance will assist schools by providing simple explanations
and answers to frequently asked questions. All schools in the borough are expected to work within
the same guidelines.
In April each year schools receive notification of their budget allocation for the financial year. Schools
are advised that SENCOs should at minimum, be aware of the school’s SEN budget allocation. Best
practice would involve the SENCO (in conjunction with other senior managers) in budget setting for
SEN, leading, managing, reviewing and evaluating of the use of the budget to support pupils with
Each school’s budget allocation is made up of a number of factors:
   Roll related funding. This sum is driven by formula according to the number of pupils at each
    particular age in the school. AWPU – age weighted pupil units.
   Special Educational Needs. This sum is driven by formula according to the number of pupils
    eligible for free school meals (FSM), the number of boys and girls on roll and also the mobility of
    pupils at the school.
   Statemented pupils: funding for pupils with low incidence statements of SEN.
   Personalised learning: formula driven sum to support personalised learning.
   Premises: allocation for energy, rent and rates.
   Lump sums: allocation for small schools.
   Transitional protection for the ‘per pupil guarantee’.
   Other grant funding e.g. School Standards Grant and Devolved Standards Funds.

This booklet has been written from a financial perspective and does not seek to advise on or explain
special educational needs.


A pupil is said to have special educational needs (SEN) if a school decides that they need support
that is additional to and different from their peers1. Part of the funding a school receives in its
Individual School Budget (ISB) is to pay for this additional support.
From a financial perspective, there are three different levels of SEN:
      Early Years Action (EYA) & School Action (SA)
      Early Years Action Plus (EYAP) & School Action Plus (SAP)
      A Statement of Special Educational Need (SSEN).
SSENs describe a pupil’s special educational needs and the level of provision that should to be put in
place by the school or local authority (The Learning Trust (TLT) in Hackney) in order to meet those
needs. Differing levels of need require different levels of support. Where a pupil’s needs are of a type
that are more frequently encountered by schools, TLT has recognised that funding should be
delegated to schools so that schools can respond flexibly and efficiently. These statements are
known as ‘High Incidence statements’. Where a pupil’s needs are of a type that is less frequently
occurring, the statement is called a Low Incidence statement. Additional funding for Low Incidence
statements comes from TLT.
The SEN funding a school receives in its Individual School Budget (ISB) is formula led. It should be
used to pay for additional support for pupils on School Action and School Action Plus, as well as
those pupils who have High Incidence statements. Pupils with Low Incidence statements have the
support and resources they require to meet their needs detailed in their statement. Schools receive
additional funding for this separately.
The following table summarises the funding sources for pupils with SEN.

                                                                         SEN Delegated Funding
                                                  ISB                                             Additional Funding (TLT)
No SEN                                                                                                    
EYA / SA                                                                                                  
EYAP / SAP                                                                                                 
High Incidence                                                                                             
Low incidence                                                                                              

SEN Funding formula
SEN funding in the ISB is based on the following formula agreed by headteachers and Schools
      75% on free school meal eligibility
      15% on numbers on roll – this is weighted 1.62:1 in favour of boys in recognition of the higher
       levels of SEN amongst boys
      10% on pupil mobility.
The formula is the same for all mainstream primary and secondary schools. All the pupil information
is taken from the School Level Annual School Census (SLASC) completed in the Spring Term.
As mentioned above, this funding should be used to pay for additional support for pupils on SEN
Code of Practice stages school action and school action plus, as well as those pupils who have high
incidence (HI) statements

    Please see ‘Special Educational Needs: Code of Practice November 2001’ for full information

Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) funding
The DCSF recommends that schools use a portion of their AWPU funding to fund special needs. In
Hackney, we expect schools to devote 5% of this funding in recognition of the high level of pupils with
SEN in the borough. This percentage of the AWPU funding should be included when schools
calculate how much they can spend to support pupils with SEN.

Resource Levels and Descriptors
A statement describes the range of a student’s needs and the level of provision that should be put in
place by a school or the local authority (TLT). Differing levels of need require different levels of
support. As described above, where a pupil’s needs are more commonly occurring, TLT has
recognised that funding should be delegated to schools. These statements are colloquially known as
high incidence statements. Where needs are less frequently occurring, additional funding comes from
TLT (low incidence).
All statements have a resource level that indicates the level of funding a school will receive. These
High Incidence – H, H1 & H22
Low Incidence – L1 to L5

For the current funding per level please go to:

Funding for high incidence statements is delegated to schools as part of the funding formula.
Hackney schools receive additional funding for pupils with low incidence statements (see below for
further details). Statements indicate the support that a school needs to put in place in order to meet
the needs of the pupil. Funding is made available to enable the school to do that. Following
consultation with headteachers, TLT does not specify a particular number of LSA (Learning Support
Assistant) / TA (Teaching Assistant) hours support on a statement. We want schools to be flexible in
the way they manage their resources in order to meet the needs of the pupil as described in the
TLT uses a set of resource level descriptors in order to decide the correct level of support needed in a
proposed statement. The resource level descriptors are reproduced on the next page. These are
based on established criteria for special needs identification. The descriptors are guidelines,
however, and each case is viewed on its own merits. A decision on the appropriate resource level is
based on the evidence presented by professionals and parents as part of the statutory assessment
TLT’s Complex Needs Panel is an advisory forum which discusses the support needed by a pupil with
a low incidence statement. CNP is made up of TLT officers and headteachers. Penny Dixie
(Assistant Director, Support for Children & Young People), or her delegated representative, makes
the decision on the support required, after listening to the advice from the Panel.
The following chart shows TLT’s resource level descriptors.

  Hackney schools receive HI funding through the formula. H1 & H2 applies to Hackney resident pupils with HI statemented SEN who
attend out of borough schools. In this case TLT pays the out of borough school either H1 or H2 depending on the pupils identified needs.

Resource    Descriptor
            Pupils with mild / moderate learning difficulties (2nd centile and below) attributed to:
            - slow cognitive development
            - sensory impairment or physical difficulty
            - specific learning difficulties in one area of the curriculum
            Pupils may also have:
            - physical disability
   H2       - sensory or communication impairment
            - emotional and behavioural difficulties
            - severe health problems
            Pupils with moderate to severe learning difficulties (1st centile) including:
            - marked limitations in learning across all aspects of their development
            - very limited self help skills
            - difficulties with basic concepts
            - severe restrictions in terms of general knowledge and grasp of everyday realities
            - particular disabilities and / or relative strengths in some areas
            Pupils show a range of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and / or mental health
            difficulties, including:
            - severely disruptive behaviour which prevents or seriously impedes their learning and that of
            - an inability to relate appropriately to other pupils and adults
            - violent and aggressive behaviour which places themselves or others at risk
            Pupils with severe learning difficulties arising from global developmental delay including:
            - learning difficulties
            - exceptionally severe physical disabilities
   L3       - health problems
            - severe autism
            Pupils may also have:
            - severe communication problems reflecting speech and language disorders
            Pupils with severe and complex learning difficulties including:
            - severe autism
            - severe physical disabilities
            - significant challenging behaviour and / or complex medical needs
            Pupils who are likely to remain considerably delayed in development throughout their statutory
            education. In addition to severe learning difficulties they may have:
   L5       - severe physical and sensory or communication impairments
            - severe emotional and behavioural difficulties
            - severe health problems

Low Incidence Statements Funding
All low incidence statements have a resource level indicated on them (L1 to L5 where L5 is the
highest level of support). The levels equate to an amount of money which the school will receive.
Some low incidence statements for pupils at primary schools show an amount of specialist teacher
time. This advisory teacher support is provided by TLT’s Inclusion Team. Funding for specialist
teaching in secondary schools is delegated as part of the (increased) secondary school resource level
and therefore additional support should be provided by the school.

Once a statement is finalised, The Learning Trust funds the support specified in the statement. The
statement is a legal document and should be viewed as a formal agreement between The Learning
Trust and the school / setting named.      The support starts from the date of the final statement.
Funding is provided for a financial year (April to March) and the support is pro-rata depending on
when it starts or stops. For example, where a pupil transfers from primary to secondary school, the
primary school will only receive 5/12ths of the support covering the period April to August and the
secondary school will receive funding from September to March.

Out of Borough Statements Funding
Schools regularly include pupils who have statements of SEN who are not resident in Hackney. The
home borough of the pupil will agree and maintain the statement. They are also responsible for
funding the support specified in the statement.

Schools receive the funding for these pupils from The Learning Trust. The Trust then reclaims the
funding from the home borough (this is the Local Authority that has financial responsibility for a pupil,
usually because they live there). All queries regarding the detail of the statement, including the level
of support, should be directed towards the home borough of the pupil. However all queries relating to
the funding should be directed to The Learning Trust’s SEN Finance and Resources Officer or Case
Manager, as with other statements.

Other Support
Some pupils require additional support whilst in school. This may include speech and language
therapy (S&LT), occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT). For a pupil with a statement this
is set out or described in the statement. For other pupils this is identified by the school or the relevant

Speech and Language Therapy is provided by Hackney’s Integrated (Primary Care Trust / Learning
Trust) Speech & Language Therapy Service. For primary, secondary and special schools this is
provided as part of their core offer. Additionally, all schools are able to purchase additional S&LT
support from the Service.

Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are provided by the City and Hackney Primary Care Trust.

How and when schools receive their funding
Schools receive their budgets in March for the following financial year. This includes the following
SEN funding:

   the formula driven funding to cover School Action, School Action Plus and High Incidence
   the funding for all low incidence statements that have been finalised by February – this includes
    any out of borough statements.

Changes in funding for pupils with low incidence statements are made each year in September and
March. Schools are sent a list of all statemented pupils in their schools by TLT’s Resources Manager
- SCYP. They are asked to verify that the details are correct and confirm any changes / make
additions as necessary. Once a signed copy has been returned to TLT, the school receives any
additional funding due. Where pupils with Low Incidence statements leave a school, TLT will reclaim
the pupil’s additional funding.

Financial monitoring
The Learning Trust, through a statement of SEN and the delegation of funds, commissions with
schools to provide for a child’s SEN and must therefore hold schools to account for the provision, as
well as their use of the funds and the progress of the child.

The progress of a child with a statement and the associated funding should be reviewed at the Annual
Review. The Learning Trust also requires a report from schools on the use of their delegated funds
on a termly basis. The reports go to the School Finance Section.

Schools are monitored on the promptness of their Annual Review returns, their delegated funding. If
schools do not submit returns promptly, or the returns indicate that they are not spending their funding
in an appropriate manner, follow up action will be taken by The Learning Trust.

It is a school’s legal duty to arrange and hold an Annual Review for a pupil with a statement. The
SEN Code of Practice provides clear guidance on the process and timescales. Where TLT does not
receive a copy of a pupil’s Annual Review it will take action ranging from written reminders, but up to
and including, proposing to cease the Statement and withdraw any additional funding.


Provision mapping
All schools should record the additional support pupils receive. The easiest way of doing this is by
having a provision map. This enables a school to record and monitor the provision put in place, at
pupil, class, year or whole school level.

A good provision map costs out this support which enables the school and governors to monitor their
SEN expenditure effectively, as well as evaluate the support each pupil is receiving.

The Learning Trust has developed 2 toolkits, one for primary schools and another for secondary

The toolkits allow schools to record the provision for each pupil with special needs. This then gives a
costed provision map for the pupil. The toolkits then automatically amalgamate the support into year
groups and the whole school to enable schools to see what support is being provided to pupils and
also see how much it costs.

Using the toolkits, schools can assess the impact of the support and ascertain whether the support
provided is offering value for money.

The toolkits are available to download at

Value for Money toolkit
The DCSF, along with the Audit Commission, has published an interactive SEN value for money
toolkit.  The toolkit takes you through a series of questions regarding finances and an SEN
workstream and produces an action plan that the school can use to take forward their work on SEN.

The finance workstream has 3 areas:
   identifying income
   identifying spend
   variance analysis

The SEN Workstream also has 3 areas:
   identifying needs
   identifying provision
   evaluating outcomes

The website also includes templates to assist with impact analysis and financial monitoring. The
toolkit can be accessed at


We have been asked to give guidance on what the SEN budget can and can’t be used for. Schools
use their SEN funding in many different ways. It is vital that SEN funding is used for the purpose for
which it is intended, i.e. to support individual pupils in a school who have special educational
needs. The following list is not exhaustive but is a guide to what SEN funding can and can’t be used
for. We have organised the section as frequently asked questions.

a) Role of SENCO:
Q: Can the SENCO be funded from SEN budget?
A: Sometimes...
The SEN Code of Practice states that the cost of the SENCO, whilst performing their duties as a
SENCO, should be set against the core or base budget of the school rather than the additional funds
delegated for SEN (Para 5:35). Where a SENCO teaches individuals or groups, it is considered that
they are acting as a specialist teacher and helping to meet the needs of pupils as outlined in their
statements or as part of the support required at school action or school action plus. The cost of this
time can be set against the SEN budget.

A SENCO should be a qualified teacher and DCSF recommend that s/he should be a member of the
school’s Senior Management Team (SMT), or at least be line managed by someone who is on the

b) Learning Support Assistant (LSA) & Teaching Assistant (TA) support
Q: Can LSAs or TAs be funded from SEN budget?
A: Sometimes...
LSAs or TAs often provide support for pupils with SEN. It therefore follows that a lot of the
expenditure around SEN is on support staff. Where the LSA/TA is working directly with a pupil or
group of SEN pupils, either in class or withdrawn from class, the costs can be set against the SEN
budget. However, if the LSA/TA is in a class to support the whole class then the costs should be set
against the whole school budget.

c) Management of SEN department
Q: Can managers be funded using the SEN budget?
A: No...
In secondary schools, the SENCO and SEN department are sometimes managed by a more senior
member of staff, e.g. deputy or assistant Headteacher. The funding for this should come from the
school’s main budget, not from their SEN budget.

d) Administration support
Q: Can admin support be funded using the SEN budget?
A: No...
It is usual for a school to provide some administrative support for the SENCO or, in larger schools, the
SEN department. This support is often used to arrange annual reviews, type up reports and keep
provision mapping spreadsheets up to date. The funding for this should come from the main school

e) Reducing class size
Q: Can the SEN budget be used to reduce class sizes?
A: No...
Some schools see reducing class size as a way of supporting pupils with SEN. However, since this
benefits all pupils in the class and is not different or additional provision for individual pupils, it cannot

be described as supporting pupils with SEN specifically. SEN funding should not be used to support

f) SEN points for teachers
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for SEN points for teachers?
A: No...
Teachers may receive an SEN point for managing the SEN department. This cost should not be put
against the SEN budget. It should come from the whole school budget as it is part of the running of
the school.

g) Special arrangements
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for special arrangements for pupils with SEN?
A: Yes...
Some pupils need special arrangements to be made for them to enable them to be included in school
activities, e.g. a taxi to a destination to avoid a difficult journey on public transport for a pupil with
mobility difficulties or additional adult support on a school trip etc. This can be funded from the SEN

h) Specialist equipment
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for specialist equipment for pupils with SEN?
A: Yes...
Some pupils require equipment to enable them to attend school. Inexpensive pieces of equipment, IT
programmes or other adaptations should all be purchased and set against the SEN budget. If a
school needs to purchase single items of very expensive equipment for a pupil with SEN (e.g. a
standing frame), they can approach the Head of SEN Assessment & Monitoring team to request
financial support. Where large scale adaptations to the school are required to enable a pupil to
access the school premises, advice should be sought from TLT’s Property Team. Please also see
the section on DDA compliance (para 4l) for large scale adaptations to a school.

i) Non-specialist equipment
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for non-specialist equipment for pupils with SEN?
A: No...
Equipment bought for pupils that does not relate to their special educational needs should not be paid
for from the SEN budget. This should be bought from the main school budget as would be the case
for pupils without SEN.

j) Planning time
Q: Can the SEN budget be used to pay for cover to enable planning time for pupils with SEN?
A: Sometimes...
Teachers with SEN pupils in their class need to ensure that lessons are appropriately differentiated in
order to meet the needs of all pupils. This should be done as part of their usual planning, preparation
and assessment (PPA) time and should not be set against the SEN budget. However, detailed
planning and liaison time for individual pupils with a low incidence statement, and therefore complex
needs, may be set against the SEN budget.

k) Meetings, e.g. annual reviews
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for cover to enable staff to attend specific meetings
     about pupils with SEN?
A: Sometimes...
Schools should be able to provide cover for teachers and support staff to attend meetings for pupils
with SEN, e.g. annual reviews.

l) DDA compliance – capital projects
Q: Should the SEN budget be used pay for substantial building alterations for pupils with
A: No...
If a school needs to make substantial alterations to accommodate a pupil or group of pupils involving
capital works, for example installing ramped access, they should not use their SEN funding for this
purpose. This work should be funded from the school’s capital funding and prioritised as part of
school development and access plans.          Schools are advised to ask TLT’s Property Team for
additional advice. It may also be possible for schools to request additional funding from TLT.

m) ICT Support
Q: Can the SEN budget be used pay for ICT support or software for pupils with SEN?
A: Sometimes...
All pupils have access to ICT at school; both computers and appropriate software. Schools should
not assign the costs of computers to the SEN budget unless they are specially adapted for use by a
pupil or group of pupils with SEN, for example computers adapted for Braille for visually impaired
pupils. However, software that is bought specifically to assist pupils with SEN should be set against
the SEN budget.


                                                 For any other advice or guidance, please contact:

                                                                                        Andrew Lee
                                  Acting Assistant Director, Support for Children and Young People

                                                                                   Neil Hudson
                                                   Head of SEN Assessment and Monitoring Team

                                                                                 Claudia O’Garro
                                                                        Resource Manager, SCYP

Produced by the Support for Children & Young People (SCYP) Team


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