Nurseries: Special Educational Needs and Disability

Department for Education written question – answered at on 23 February 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sarah Dyke Sarah Dyke Liberal Democrat, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of funding provided to nurseries for infants and toddlers diagnosed as having special educational needs and disabilities.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department recognises the challenges faced by the early years sector in meeting the needs of children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). The department has already committed to working with stakeholders across the sector to understand whether changes may be required to the special educational needs inclusion fund (SENIF), and other associated elements of the wider current early years funding system, as part of the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan. ​​

The department is conducting a review of SENIF funding arrangements, as confirmed in the government’s response to the consultation on expanding the early education entitlements on 20 September 2023. This is so that the department can better support parents, providers and local authorities, as the expanded entitlements are rolled out.

​At the completion of this review, the department will consider what information is most appropriate and helpful for the sector in their delivery of SENIFs. The department will look to draw examples of best practice together with a view to sector-wide dissemination.

The department has increased the rate of disability access funding in 2024/25 to £910 per eligible child per year, having increased in September 2023 from £828 to an annual equivalent of £881 per year per eligible child. The department is also increasing high needs funding by £440 million in 2024/25, compared to the high needs funding allocations for 2023/24. The total high needs budget for 2024/25 will be £10.5 billion.

The Early Years National Funding Formula also contains an additional needs element to take account of the number of 3 and 4 year old children with additional needs in an area.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.