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Place plus SEN funding concerns for school leaders

8 December 2014

School leaders have expressed grave concerns in the School Leaders Survey 2014 regarding the impact of the recently introduced 'Place Plus' SEN funding methodology.

Under the 'Place Plus' system mainstream schools are expected to fund provision for all SEN pupils up to a certain funding level, which has been nationally defined as being a notional £6000. However a huge 84% of school leaders expressed themselves to be unhappy with the notional SEN budget they have been allocated and 82% were expecting to have to divert mainstream funding into SEN provision in order to manage shortfalls.

Our survey findings suggest that many school leaders are not receiving sufficient funding to enable them to fund £6000 of provision per annum per SEN pupil and they may also call into question whether the bandings of the new SEN funding system have been set at realistic levels. Inevitably this creates the risk that in some schools there will be reductions in SEN provision and loss of SEN posts - at the very time when there are increased demands being placed on schools arising from the new SEN legal framework introduced by the Children & Families Act 2014.

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