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Hackney's SEN Funding for schools

SEND funding levels for schools in Hackney

Maintained schools, free schools and academies receive SEND funding in the same way because their responsibilities to pupils with SEND are the same.

All schools are expected to provide an inclusive education and school experience for all students. Each school is required to say how they do this in their school's SEN information report available on their website or from the school's office.

Element one funding:

Element one funding is also known as base funding. All children in maintained schools regardless of their SEND status are base funded. This pays for the building and equipment etc.

Element two funding:

The element two funding is now called SEN Support. This is a combination of two previous levels of funded support called School Action and School Action Plus.

This funding is to help students that require short term interventions and a percentage of students who require extra support for longer periods of time.

SEN support comes from funding that already exists within the schools delegated funding or budget share.

SEN Support is an amount of funding that can extend to £ 6,000. The full amount of £6,000 is not the appropriate amount for every student who requires some additional support. Most students will have their needs met without requiring the full funding of this level.

It allows the school to be flexible and take prompt action regarding support for students that need extra help or support with more commonly occurring SEND. Schools are not told exactly how to spend this funding but are expected to have supported students using the full amount of element two funding, before applying for additional funding via an assessment for an Education, Health and Care plan. They would need to evidence how they have done this.

Element three funding:

Element three funding is also known as high needs top up funding and is applied for through the SEND service.

Element three funding is always in addition to full element two funding which continues to come from the schools delegated budget. This is funding for children and young people with additional needs who have met the threshold for an Education, Health and Care plan.

This funding is to support a small percentage of students with additional needs, currently between 2 – 3% of children and young people aged 0-25 in Hackney.


High needs top up funding for mainstream schools / element three

Level     one 

Level     two 

Level  three 

Level    four    

 Level     five  

 From April 2018 - 2020


£ 4,736


£ 6,077


£ 6,500


£ 11,432


£ 15,818

Within element three funding there are five different funding options or levels for mainstream schools and academies. These are individually applied to students to meet their identified needs.

Funding for Special Schools:

Students who do not attend mainstream schools and attend special maintained schools in Hackney are funded at different levels according to their identified needs.

Funding for students attending Pupil Referral Units (PRU’s) and Alternative Pathways/Provision (AP):

PRU’s and Alternative Pathways offer a different education route for young people who experience difficulties in, or are unable to access, mainstream education.

These options allow students to continue to access an appropriate and broad curriculum which meets their needs and offers them the best chance of progressing.

Children and young people crossing primary and secondary provision may be able to access this option if needed.

Alternative Pathways can take a variety of forms but typically will involve young people working in an external provider for some, or all, of their education. This means the placement may be funded for a short period of time via element two funding.

If the placement is for a longer period it may be necessary to apply for an EHC needs assessment. AP and PRU placements are funded via separate arrangements according to identified need on a case by case basis.   

Other SEND funding arrangements:

There are  some students with SEND who attend out of borough maintained schools which are funded at the levels set by the local authority of those boroughs.

Some students attend non-maintained or independent schools  which are funded via separate arrangements according to identified need on a case by case basis. 

These placements are only agreed where there is clear evidence that needs cannot be met from provision available locally.

Decisions about these placements are agreed by the Complex Needs Panel and are signed off by a senior manager from Hackney Learning Trust.

In some cases funding responsibility is shared between education, health and children’s social care services depending on the individual needs of the child/young person.

Last updated: 28/08/19



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