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Funding for children with special educational needs & disabilities in a mainstream school

How are schools funded?

The Government have set a framework for Local Authorities to help them decide how much money each school will have in its budget. Schools receive this money in April each year. The Governors and Head Teacher are then responsible for deciding how it is spent.

There are 3 parts to SEN funding:

  1. The basic per pupil entitlement, which every mainstream school gets for each pupil, is not the same in every school. The amount varies depending on such things as local social need. The way this is decided is by a group called the Schools Forum who with the Local Authority organise the entitlement and give it out to the schools

  2. The SEN budget, which again is not the same for every school, will be based on a set of rules agreed by the government and locally. These will include the kind of area the school is in and how well the children are doing when they start at the school. This will be used to support all children’s special educational needs, whether or not they have an EHCP or have a Statement

  3. The Top Up Funding is to support children with high level needs. In Norfolk for mainstream and academies this money is held by the schools local cluster (see page 3)

Special Schools have Part 1 and 2 for each child and then extra Top Up Funding depending on the level of need in the school. This funding comes directly from the LA.

Sen Funding Levels at Schools


A School Cluster is a group of about 10 schools, which includes at least one high school and those schools that feed into it. The School Cluster will decide how to share the money out to the schools within its cluster.

Find out what money your child’s school receives for SEN funding:

Children at mainstream nursery

A Local Authority Panel will look at what extra help or support a child needs. They will then find out if the nursery can give support or needs extra funding. The nurseries will still work with the Local Authority Clusters but not for funding.



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