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Is the SEN funding regime working?

10 April 2014

The aim of the funding regime is to direct funding on the basis of need and the cost of provision to meet those needs. Schools were expected to fund the first £10,000 of provision from their own resources before additional funding would be received from the local authority. Recent newspaper reports suggest the regime may negatively impact schools where the school has embraced inclusion and have a number of pupils with SEN statements as the £10,000 per pupil expectation would still apply. The consequence is that the general support for other children with needs is reduced as schools struggle to fill the funding gap.

Clearly, this was not the intention of the funding changes and greater clarity is required from the DfE to local authorities and schools on the relationship between the funding streams. Without that clarity, schools may need to make changes to staffing given the reduced funding and pupils will lose out on support. Overall, the Government’s key policy of closing the gap in attainment will also fail if support is not made available to those who need it.

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