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When setting the local formula which determines the distribution of the schools block, local authorities are required to delegate funds to a level that enables mainstream schools to meet the additional cost of pupils with SEN, up to £6,000 per annum, from their annual budget.
When a school can demonstrate that the costs of additional support required for a pupil with SEN exceed £6,000, the local authority should allocate additional top-up funding to cover the excess costs. This funding comes from the authority’s high needs budget. The high needs budget also covers the costs of place funding, at £10,000 per place, for all special schools.
The introduction this year of national funding formulae for allocating both schools and high needs funding to local authorities is supported by significant extra investment of £1.3 billion across 2018-19 and 2019-20, over and above the budget announced at the 2015 spending review. This will allow us to maintain schools and high needs funding in real terms per pupil for the next two years, and ensures that local authorities will see additional funding for their most vulnerable children and young people.
The Gateshead and South Tyneside councils are both receiving increases in funding for 2018-19, proportionate to pupil number and movement changes, compared to what they planned to spend in 2017-18. Gateshead Council will receive £22.1 million in high needs funding, a 2.8% increase on what they planned to spend in 2017-18. South Tyneside Council will receive £19.6 million in high needs funding, a 3.3 per cent increase on what they planned to spend in 2017-18.