Education Funding

The Council receives money from Central Government to fund schools. Part of this money is used to fund all of the schools that the Council maintains and part is used to provide additional support where needed for all schools.

The Council has a team called the ‘Schools Finance Team’ who ensure that maintained schools are given the correct amount of funds to support all of the children and young people who live in Southwark.

The money for children and young people who have Special Educational Needs (SEN) is then allocated in 3 parts called ‘elements’. (If the child’s school is an academy, the academy receives the same amount of funding as a maintained school and that funding is calculated in a similar way. You can go to the academies tab for further information).

Schools get most of their funding based on the total number of children in the school.

The school gets an amount of money per child which varies from one Council to another. There is usually more funding for each pupil in a secondary school than in a primary school.

All schools get around £4,500-£6,400 per pupil.

Every school receives an additional amount of money to make SEN provision. This is the ‘notional SEN budget’. The School’s Finance Team lets each school know how much this is.

To calculate how much each school should receive, the finance team use a set of indicators (that are used nationally by most Councils). These include the number of children getting free schools meals and the number of children who are not doing as well as others in English and Maths.

A small number of schools may find they have more children than expected with SEN. If a school considers that it does not have enough funds to meet the entire needs of the SEN pupil population; they can ask the Council to consider allocating more resources.

The Government has stated that schools should use their budgets to fund up to £6000, per year, of SEN provision to meet a child’s needs. For most children with SEN, the cost of the provision needed to meet their needs is less than £6000 per year.

Children who have very complex needs may have undergone, or need to undergo, an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment.

An EHC plan may be drawn up for a child following this assessment. For children with EHCPs, additional top up funds can be added to the £6000 the school are putting in as required.

Any high needs top up is given for a named pupil and must be spent on that pupil’s SEN provision as detailed in their plan.

There are 4 levels of funding that can be allocated to children with an EHCP (effective since April 2017). These are:

A £4000 (added to the school’s £6000) total of £10,000

B £8000 (added to the school’s £6000) total of £14,000

C £12,000 (added to the school’s £6000) total of £18,000

D £ 16,000 (added to the school’s £6000) total of £22,000

Special units/resource bases and special schools are funded differently.

  • Each special school has a base allocation from the Government of £10,000.

  • Each resource base place has an allocation of £6,000.

Each school then has an individual top up rate that varies due to the complexity of children in the school and from school to school. The top up comes from the high needs top up funding in the same way as it does for a mainstream school. If a child attends a special school, the top up will be clearly stated in their EHC plan.

Information about the Early Years SEND Inclusion Fund (SENDIF) can be found here.