Funding for SEN in mainstream schools

This information is about funding for special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream schools. This includes free schools and academies.

All mainstream schools have money for special educational needs support and resources. Schools can decide how to spend this money. For example, children with SEN may need:

  • some changes to the curriculum
  • special equipment or teaching materials
  • the use of additional information technology
  • small group work
  • support in the classroom
  • a base to work quietly or have some down time

There are three elements of funding for schools which can be used to meet a child's SEN:

  1. The first element is based upon the number of pupils on roll at a school. Some of this money should be used for SEN provision. This might, for example, include the cost of providing the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and some other resources.  The council gives this funding to the schools that it is responsible for, using a formula agreed every year with the local Schools Forum. The Education Funding Agency gives this funding for academies and free schools.
  2. The second element of funding is to enable the school to target support to vulnerable groups an individuals who may have SEN. This also is formula driven with schools having the highest needs having the greatest funding. It goes to schools from either the council or the Education Funding Agency, depending on the type of school and is part of schools’ delegated budget.
  3. The third element of funding is for the very few children who have complex needs. Schools may request some additional money to ‘top-up’ their own funding. The council is responsible for managing this funding, which schools can use to make specific provision for an individual child or a group of children.

Who manages the school’s SEN resources?

School governors are responsible for the school’s policy on SEN and how the school uses its resources. The Headteacher and the SENCO ensure that the policy is put into practice. The SENCO organises support for individual children. Every teacher is responsible for making sure that your child’s special educational needs are met in the classroom.

The SEN Information Report on the school’s website will tell you more about the arrangements for SEN support and the contact details for the SENCO.

How can I find out what support and resources my child is getting?

The first step is to talk with your child’s teacher or the SENCO. This may be at a parents’ evening, support plan meeting or review. You can ask for a written copy of any support plan that is in place for your child.

If your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan (or Statement of Special Educational Need) it should set out the support and resources that are provided.

Contact us

The Parents Advice Centre (PAC) can give you:

  • more information, advice and support about EHC plan needs assessments, your rights to request one and your role in the assessment and EHC plan reviews
  • support to help you find out more about the funding and provision for SEN made for your child
  • information, advice and support about personal budgets if your child has an EHC plan
  • information about other organisations, support groups and information services that may be of helpParents Advice Centre

Parents Advice Centre
30 Greatorex St
E1 5NP

Tel: 020 7364 6489
Email: pac@towerhamlets.gov.uk