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SEN funding and level of support

SEND Guidance for education providers

All mainstream schools and colleges are provided with resources to support those with additional needs. This includes pupils/students with Special Educational Needs and who are Disabled (SEND).

The amount of resources received is calculated by a local funding formula. The formula is discussed with our local funding forum and it also applies to local academies.

Funding for education from the designated schools grant (DSG) is now allocated through 3 blocks, Early Years block; Mainstream block; and High Needs block. 

Within these blocks early years and mainstream cover element 1 funding for all children and young people and funding for element 2 for those who needs additional and different provision for SEND.  The High needs block funds element 3 the top-up for those with High Needs. 

The expectation is that up to £6,000 of element 2 is spent to provide additional support to those children and young people requiring SEN Support. Those that need over and above this on an annual basis are children and young people with High Needs and will require top-up from the LA/Commissioner to meet their needs.

Element 2 must be evidence based intervention and support that is well-targeted at the individual’s needs. The three levels of support are described below.


Universal provision / IQFT (Element 1 funding)

Children and young people achieve the learning outcomes, appropriate to their age and ability, through Inclusive Quality First Teaching and in some cases appropriate timely catch up intervention will add to this provision funded through element 1/whole school budget). 

There is sometimes the expectation that support will take the form of the deployment of extra staff to enable one-to-one tuition to be given to the child.  A more appropriate approach might be to provide different learning materials or special equipment, or to devote extra adult time to devising the nature of the planned intervention and to monitoring its effectiveness, or to undertake staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies. This way some of the needs of children with identified SEN can also be met within IQFT.


SEN Support (Element 2 funding)

This support will cover a range of needs. Children/young people are identified as having a special educational need though during the time they receive support some children may make sufficient progress to be included purely in inclusive quality first teaching or catch up intervention.

Additional provision within SEN Support should not be just ‘more literacy’ or ‘more maths’; these are not the children and young people to whom schools may be offering Wave 2 interventions. Individual specialised interventions will be required in order to address their underlying learning needs and enable or improve access to the curriculum.

The support and intervention provided should be selected to meet the outcomes identified for the pupil, based on reliable evidence of effectiveness, and should be provided by staff with sufficient skills and knowledge.

For some children and young people support will need to gradually intensify with more frequent reviews and more specialised teaching methods. The type of assessment would be more detailed and specific, planning would incorporate recommended strategies, implementation would be more individualised, and review would be frequent and involve the appropriate professionals. 

Within SEN Support most children and young people have significant learning needs and require individualised support but a costed provision map would indicate this provision to be below the £6000 threshold and so would be funded through Element 2 funding.

If well-targeted, evidence-based provision is having little impact and nearing the £6,000 a setting would ensure that the process of evidence gathering is implemented in an increasingly robust fashion.

In Trafford £6,000 can provide around 11 hours of individual teaching assistant support (mid-point TA 2). However some children will benefit from specialist teaching instead or other targeted provision.

The outcomes the child should achieve from any support are the starting point not the hours. Support staff may need training on providing a focus on learning outcomes, not on task completion and on developing independence.

All support should be provided under the guidance of the teacher and SENCO.


SEN Support High Level of Need (maximum Element 2 funding)

Where the provision described is still not having an impact on progress despite the cycles of appropriate assessment and involvement  of agencies and a costed provision map demonstrates a need for provision over and above £6,000 on an annual basis (and therefore a need for additional top-up funding) an EHC Needs Assessment referral should be made.


More about the Graduated Approach:

High expectations for all - an introduction to the Graduated Approach guidance

Inclusive Quality First Teaching

Identification of SEN

Using the Graduated Approach Guidance

- Cognition and Learning

- Communication and Interaction

- Social, Emotional and Mental Health

- Sensory and/or Physical needs