Agenda item

High Need Detailed Budget Allocation 2018/19

Report attached


The Board considered a report from the Senior Finance Officer presenting the High Need’s Block detailed budget allocations for 2018/19.


The Board discussed the report in detail and emphasised that had Southend been funded at the level it should have been (i.e. there was no cap applied on funding gains) the local authority would not be in the position that it has been unable to contain current High Need spend levels within its actual funding allocation.  The key issue was how the reduced funding will be managed in the future and the nature of the historical deficit.  It was stressed that in real terms there was a 6% reduction in funding against rising demand and need – a view to be taken on how the high needs funding was allocated in a fair and equitable way balanced against how the Board can contribute to this process.


How articulate the need to set a balanced budget given that the level of funding is inadequate to support need/demand (particularly within the special school sector).


There were specific issues regarding the capacity and sustainability of special schools and it was noted that officers were meeting with the Regional Schools Officer to discuss a number of issues, including capacity.


Officers advised that the current provision in place will need to be reviewed, particular around the level of top-up funding for special provision.


In respect to independent providers the Board recognised the significant pressures in this area.  Officers highlighted that better ways to support SEN/EHCP were being explored.




1. That the detailed High Need budget allocation for 2018/19 as set out in the report be agreed and adopted.


2. That the flexible place funding allocation of £80,000 for Special Schools continues to be adopted in 2018/19 (as set out in Appendix 1 to the report).


3. That the 2018/19 Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) top up funding rates passed over to the 4 special schools who form part of the SEN trust be held at their same rates as 2017/18 (as set out in section 7.4 of the report).


4. That the EHCP top up funding rates for the special school Sutton House be reduced by the maximum allowed minimum funding guarantee from September 2018 (as set out in Section 7.5 of the report).


5. That the EHCP top funding rates awarded to Special base units be amended in 2018/19 to compensate for what would have been a loss to primary schools, by reducing the gain for secondary schools (as set out in Section 7.6 of the report).


6.That the Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) top up rate be held to the same funding rate as 2017/18 (as set out in Section 7.8 of the report).


7. That the 2018/19 EHCP hourly top up funding rate passed over to support pupils within mainstream schools be held to the same funding rate as 2017/18 (as set out in Section 8.2 of the report).


8. That, where a Southend child with an EHCP plan is placed in another local authority school, Southend’s high needs block will only pay a maximum £50 charged administration fee rather than the administration fee set by that local authority (as set out in Section 8.3 of the report).


9. That the disapplication request of Minimum Funding Guarantee for special school top up funding can be applied for to the Department of Education (DfE) in consultation with those schools.  If permission was granted, it would only be acted upon by the subsequent approval of the Education Board (as set out in Section 11.4 of the report).

Supporting documents:


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