Special Educational Needs: Finance

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lingfield Lord Lingfield Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that, where local authorities have decided to place a child's Education Health Care Plan at a particular school, that the school has sufficient funds to make the provisions specified.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

For a child with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, the local authority is responsible for securing the provision specified in that plan, including making arrangements for the child to attend any school named in the plan.

A local authority is required to provide each mainstream (primary or secondary) school in its area with a budget that is sufficient for it to meet the additional costs of supporting all its pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, including those with EHC plans, with up to £6,000 per pupil, per annum. Where the costs of making the provision specified in an EHC plan exceed £6,000, the local authority responsible for securing the provision and placing the child in the school pays top-up funding to the school so that the school can make the necessary provision. This top-up funding comes from the local authority’s high needs budget. Nationally, high needs funding will increase by £780 million in the next financial year, up to £7.2 billion. This will be the largest year-on-year increase since the high needs funding block was created in 2013.

Similarly, where a pupil with an EHC plan attends a special school, the local authority responsible for the plan provides top-up funding in respect of the child, to enable the school to make the provision specified in the plan. The top-up funding for a special school is intended to contribute to the costs that exceed the total amount of place funding the special school receives, at £10,000 per place.

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