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All mainstream schools are provided with resources to support those with additional needs, including pupils with SEND. This is an amount identified within their overall budget, called the notional SEN budget. This is not a ring-fenced amount and it is for the schools to provide high quality appropriate support from the whole of its budget.

It is for schools, as part of their normal budget planning, to determine their approach to using their resources to support the progress of pupils with SEND. The SENCo, headteacher and governors should establish a clear picture of the resources that are available to the school. They should consider their strategic approach to meeting SEND in the context of the total resources available, including any resources targeted at particular groups, such as pupil premium.

A strategic approach will enable schools provide a clear description of the types of provision they normally provide and will help parents and others to understand what they can normally expect the school to provide pupils with SEND.

Schools are not always expected to meet the full costs of more expensive provision from their core funding. They are expected to provide additional support which costs up to the nationally prescribed threshold of £6000 per pupil per year. The responsible Local Authority (usually the LA where the pupil lives) should provide top-up funding where the cost of the SEND provision in school exceeds this nationally prescribed threshold.

The SEN funding is made up of 3 parts:

Element 1 - standard funding in school per pupil (AWPU - Age Weighted Pupil Unit)

Element 2 - an amount of money to provide extra individual help for lower level needs (SEN Notional Budget)

Element 3 - the amount of money provided by the Local Authority to meet higher level individual needs above Element 2. (High Needs Block Funding)

This Graduated Response Toolkit provides schools with guidance and information on effective assessment and intervention that can be used to inform their decision making regarding the effective use of their Element 1 and Element 2 funding.


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