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Read something worrying about SEN funding cuts as of March 2013, is this right?

(39 Posts)
moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 12:14:16

I read on another forum that all schools are going to lose SEN funding for all children with less than 20 hours support as of March 2013. Even the HTs and SENCOs on the forum seemed totally confused by it.

Does anyone know anything about this and what it actually means?

Ds has a 15 hour statement and the school has obviously already had his funds for this year, but does this mean his statement will come with no funding after this school year?

Apologies if I am way of the mark and panicking - would love someone to put my mind at rest though.

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 12:49:41

No-one knows anything?

Hmm, most curious. hmm

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 13:03:39

So, someone linked to this site.

That site is referring to schools getting no additional funding over £6,000 - which they equate to roughly 10 hours TA support.

I understand that SEN Law will still require the school to put the statemented provision in place regardless, but I am wondering how much this is going to affect children like ds, where the school is already failing to provide statemented provision - despite being handed the wadge of money specifically to do so. If they won't do it now - the kids have no chance if the school are supposed to come up with the provision from their own funds, so effectively, even children previously identified as 'high needs' will find themselves in the horrible position that children with low incidence statements are currently in.

Or am I just getting this all messed up in my current brain addled state?

'I understand that SEN Law will still require the school to put the statemented provision in place regardless,'

No. The law states that the LA have the statutory duty to ensure the statement provision is in place. Therefore if the schools do not have enough money, they need to sort it out with the LA. If the school do not implement the statement then LA's can take over the funding and put provision in and then are legally entitled to bill the school.

But you're right. In many cases schools will just 'pretend' that provision is in place when it isn't, and parents will have no way of being able to prove that it isn't there.

Already schoosl do this (i.e. sharing TAs between statemented pupils who are supposed to have a TA each) but I suspect this kind of 'creative accounting' will get worse.

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 13:43:33

Thanks Star.

That's what I thought, that things are just going to get worse with schools behaving like ds's currently is and being even more 'creative'.

I shouldn't really be trying to read this stuff at the moment, I'm not really up to it.

Maybe I should bookmark it to come back to another time.

messmonster Tue 27-Nov-12 13:57:13

Hi moose I'm at work so have skimmed the thread and am posting in haste. I started a thread about this a little while ago earlier thread

My understanding is that schools will have to find the first £6k worth of statemented support for high needs children. The LEA will then make up the balance if the £6k doesn't cover the needs. So, in my DD's case, who we expect to get a full-time 1:1, that would equate approx to school funding 10 hours and LEA topping up for the remaining 20.

The problem I've encountered is that rural schools in relatively affluent areas(massive generalisation in my terminology) are losing out in budget allocation because they won't score highly in 2 elements of the schools funding criteria - namely deprivationand high incidence low needs. The consequence being that at the same time that schools are being asked to fund more, their budgets are being squeezed. I've written to my MP about this and am waiting for a reply from the Dof E. Will share if it's worth the paper it's written on smile

On the earlier thread - Agnes seemed to know what she was talking about grin

Sorry for rushed note...

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 17:34:17

Thanks messmonster.

I will go and read your thread in a mo.

Unfortunately that means that the school will have to fund most of ds's statement. Not great in a transitional year, as it's not exactly motivational for the next school to take him.

Certain very helpful professionals have told me (off the record) that his funding units equate to 15 hours within our LEA's framework, but the actual figures seem to only cover 10 hours in most other LEAs. confused

We are in what's considered an affluent area with low deprivation. I guess that probably means there aren't so many children on the register who have lower needs (not least of all because the schools simply refuse to get kids assessed unless parents really fight hmm).

I thought schools already had to fund a certain amount of support for statemented children anyway and the statement funding was to cover anything over and above that level? Ours states:

"The school will make arrangements through their delegated budget to ensure appropriate staffing, training and resources are deployed to secure provision as specified in Part 3.

.... the LA will allocate a sum of money equivalent to X number of units (one unit = £X.00). This is in addition to the resources ordinarily available to the school for children with SEN."

So if I have got this right, if the statement units don't exceed £6,000 the school will now be told to fund the whole of the statement from it's own delegated SEN budget.

So, effectively we will be fighting against each other for funding from the same pot of money and schools will be even less likely to assess children at this level, because they know they won't get any additional funds to support them.

I know, in theory, the school should go back to the LEA if it can't cover the costs from it's budget - but back in the real world that just won't happen will it - certain schools will just cut corners and lie about provision instead. sad

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 17:45:45

Ok, have read your thread now and am so thankful to Agnes for her fantastic explanation and to you for linking me to it.

Panic is subsiding now I have finally wrapped my head round it. grin

Still don't trust the school not to try it on, but at least I know how to respond to them now without sounding like a right numpty. blush grin

AgnesDiPesto Tue 27-Nov-12 19:07:15

Got here late grin

In some areas schools already have to fund first 20 hours from delegated money so in an area where schools only fund the first 10, in theory more money should be delegated to schools to cover it - £6000 is about 10-12 hours I think.

To be honest I think the main impact will be on action plus children as delegated money is mostly used for that group & statemented children in many areas come with their own additional pot.

Now children with statements are going to have to be paid for first at £6k each from school funds and then whats left spent on action plus. For high needs children who will need more than 10-12 hours I imagine schools will now over-egg what they need to get maximum top up, so in a way schools may be more willing to support fulltime 1:1 etc to keep their TAs

I suspect its a step towards paying only for the 2-3% high needs not the 20% SEN

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 20:03:00

Thank you Agnes.

I've been told by a couple of people, again off the record, that the school is not happy that ds's statement is high need.

The school told us we wouldn't get a statement for him at all and apparently they don't agree that he needs as much support as the statement provides.

The fact that the statement was written by the EP who had worked with him for 12 weeks and fully understood his needs far better than they ever could, has apparently passed them by. hmm

The school loves nothing better than to tell us that if ds gets the support he needs, other children lower down the school will have to suffer for lack of support.

I have of course told them that their parents are equally as entitled to fight to have their children's needs met as me and although I am sympathetic to their fight, I am really only interested in making sure my own child's needs are being met.

What they don't understand is that I actually know most of the other SEN parents in the school and we all get along great and support each other's fights, so their divide and conquer tactic simply isn't going to work on us.

I had a quick look at the link from the other thread and noticed that the £ per pupil rate for our school is relatively low compared to the national average, so from the school's perspective dh is an expensive prospect. What I don't understand is how they dare to suggest they can't afford to meet every single child's needs, at the same time that they are constantly crowing about being in profit! angry

AgnesDiPesto Tue 27-Nov-12 21:01:08

"The school loves nothing better than to tell us that if ds gets the support he needs, other children lower down the school will have to suffer for lack of support"

I suspect this will become more common sad as schools have to dip into the pot for £6k a time while forgetting this is what the money they get is for and without high needs kids the pot would not be so large to start with!

Here schools pay first 20 hours and to meet govt plans the LA would have to de-delegate money - ie take it back off schools and keep it centrally. So far the LA has refused but you can see schools will just see their money go down having got used to it. There are many schools which have been happy to pocket SEN money for years without actually accepting any high needs children. Well they don't refuse - just make you feel so unwelcome you would never put your child there.

messmonster Tue 27-Nov-12 21:05:28

Hi again moose glad you found Agnes' info on the other thread useful. Tbh I still think your post of 17:34 has it about right.

In our area, schools have only been required to fund 5 hours support so this is a big change for them.

My LEA told me that the schools will be getting more in their delegated funding pots so that the impact on school budgets should be negligible.

However, it's clear from talking to a couple of HTs in the area that they have no confidence that they're going to get extra budget to cover this new requirement and they are worried they won't have enough £ to pay for their existing SEN requirements as well as a high needs child like my DD.

It was even suggested that if having a high needs child in school would divert funds away from other children with SEN in the school this could be seen as being detrimental to the education of those children - that sounds like tee-ing up a reason not to accept a high needs kids if ever I heard one sad.

I think in some parts of the country this has the potential to be a disaster for inclusion.

Good luck with your school and transition smile

messmonster Tue 27-Nov-12 21:07:51

x-post Agnes

Interesting to see the other side of the coin in an area where schools have been used to funding 20 hours themselves.

moosemama Tue 27-Nov-12 21:14:23

That's a scary prospect messmonster - the whole having a high needs child in the school being perceived as detrimental to the education of other children in the school. All some schools need is half an excuse ....

AgnesDiPesto Tue 27-Nov-12 21:36:20

"It was even suggested that if having a high needs child in school would divert funds away from other children with SEN in the school this could be seen as being detrimental to the education of those children"

Yes I agree some schools are going to say they cannot take another statemented child as under the formula they don't have enough money to cover another £6k and it would be 'incompatible with education other children'. I suspect they can't refuse the first child or two on a statement but after that will be able to say they have more children than funded for.

SallyBear Wed 28-Nov-12 06:51:37

I had a meeting yesterday with an LA EdPsych mediator and DS's school regarding how to assist DS's dyslexia. He told me that the 20 hours that the LA are funding schools across our area will be dropping to 13 hours of funding in April. TDS piggybacks using TDD's TA in class. This only works when they are in the same class, for the rest of the classes where they're in different sets he gets a TA. The LA wont statement him for severe dyslexia, but according to the EP yesterday, if we are able to prove that he has complex needs with AS, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia we may have a chance of being successful. Anyway, it's a worry cutting the LA funded hours from 20 to 13 in our area. The school have to pick up the slack.

moosemama Wed 28-Nov-12 13:43:36

Well it's happened. Got up this morning to a letter from the secondary/academy we named telling us they are refusing to be named on the grounds that admitting ds1 would be detrimental to the education of the other pupils. They've trumped up stuff from his statement to make him sound like he is pretty low-functioning and requires a lot of supervision and full time 1:1, whereas he is actually very high functioning and has no 1:1 nor any need for it.

They are claiming that he wouldn't be able to cope with changing classroom for each lesson or if a teacher was off sick and changes in the day due to parents evening and open day etc (cos of course that never happens at his primary ffs).

They are claiming he wouldn't be able to learn in their classrooms because he would be too easily distracted and that the need for him to get up and move around occasionally (facilitated in his statement by handing out books etc) is not not possible.

Thanks to wording the LEA refused to remove from the statement they seem to be under the impression he would kick off if disciplined, which is absolute rubbish. He is extremely polite and respectful to staff and didn't even respond when a supply teacher told him he was 'pathetic and should have matured by now' in a lesson last week.

They claim he would need too much differentiation in non-fact based studies such as English, History and RE because of difficulties with inference, but he is predicted a high 5 SAT in English and History is one of his best subjects.

Finally they say they couldn't keep him safe on campus, because it's big, busy and there are strict no-go areas for pupils. Well, if you tell ds not to go somewhere that is a strict rule for him and he won't break that rule for love nor money - so actually more reliable than the other pupils there. This has come from me saying at SA that he isn't allowed as much independence as his peers because he is too trusting of strangers and whilst learning, is still not sufficiently road aware.

Their final and main claim is that to meet his needs would detract from provision for other pupils and his admittance is therefore incompatible with the efficient education of others ... SENCOP etc etc.

So in other words, they don't want to have to pay for him to go there then. angry

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:07:33

The head of DS2 primary school has said that the school cannot afford another statemented child (they only have 1 atm) because of their expansion plans. shock

To be honest I think the main impact will be on action plus children as delegated money is mostly used for that group & statemented children in many areas come with their own additional pot.

I too am concerned about the non-statemented DC on the SEN register, especially SA+. The idea that all we are talking about here is the numbers of hours support is mistaken. DS2 'needs' a social skills group according to SALT but school argue that there group is not suitable and it is not cost-effective unless there are several children with the same needs. Without a statement provision is simply not delivered. Parents are discouraged from applying for a statement unless the child needs more 'hours' and schools keep the stated hours down and then actually provide even less and so don't support parents applying for statements that will make provision for the first 12 hours statutory.

moosemama Wed 28-Nov-12 14:14:39

Have spoken to LEA - they are up in arms because the phone's been ringing off the hook this morning with parent's of statemented children who've had almost identical letters from the same school.

Apparently it's outside of the admissions process and should not have happened. They are onto it.

I am more than a bit nervous we might be facing another Mossborne Academy debacle here. sad angry

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Wed 28-Nov-12 14:58:27

Holy shit! This was always going to be an issue with academies once they got out from under LA's control. So much for being a comprehensive school, then! Hopefully this is a blanket policy by the school and they are just chancing their arm. Really hope so. Academies still have the same responsibilities to admit DC with statements as other schools. Is this a 'new' post Tory academy or an old style Labour one, moose. I think you'll be better off if it's a new one because their responsibilities were tightened up a bit.

NoHaudinMaWheest Wed 28-Nov-12 15:05:42

Moose I'm so sorry. Why does everything happen at once?

At least if it is not only your Ds, the LEA will be more proactive. They can't afford to have lots of statemented children with no where to go. Hope they really do get on to it.

moosemama Wed 28-Nov-12 15:36:15

It's a newer one, became an Academy in September 2011.

We've been speaking to the out of area independent this afternoon and I've been sobbing because it's so perfect for him, but he really wants to go to the academy and there's no talking to him. Instant meltdown if we even mention going anywhere else. If I could change his mind I would put him down for the independent in a heartbeat.

They said we would have a task on our hands convincing the LEA that he needs out of county placement, but that there are several other children with ASD from our area in the school, so the precedent is there at least.

If the academy does refuse to take him, the LA said this morning that that effectively means no MS school in the area can take him either - which would at least improve our chances of getting him into the independent. Obviously the LA is in a right panic at the prospect of having a whole load of statemented children who they suddenly can't send to MS secondary thanks to the actions of one academy!

Dh and I are going to visit it the week after next, they recommend going without the prospective pupil for the first vist. Ds would have to take the 11+ in January, but just for levelling purposes. They do all the ASD 11+'s in very small groups which are specifically set up to meet their needs and they also carry out the wrat 4 on all SEN pupils as well to get a fully rounded picture of their abilities. All prospective pupils get to spend a taster day at the school as well, which they said is particularly useful for children who have ASD.

It's such an incredible school, but I don't have a clue what's going to happen. If the Academy refuse to take him I will fight tooth and nail to get him in the independent - in all honesty we would rather just change the named school now and go for that - but we both feel we have to show ds that we support his decision and we are also sure that the academy is more than capable of meeting his needs - they are just trying it on to save money.

TheLightPassenger Wed 28-Nov-12 15:40:08

I thought the LEA might go batshit crazy not be happy with the 2ndary school's behaviour! if anyone was thinking of looking for SS/indie SS then that letter may come in rather handy! but of course there is still the issue that even if the 2ndary is forced to buck its ideas up, you will hardly be filled with confidence about how helpful they will be.

TheLightPassenger Wed 28-Nov-12 15:43:31

cross posted! how far tho are your DS meltdown levels partly due to being in a placement that isn't meeting his needs - i.e. if he was in the right setting, his anxiety may reduce v quickly. I know it's not quite the same, but my DS was massively anxious at first crapola private nursery - made such a fuss about getting dressed I thought he must be v oversensitive to clothes etc, was worried about him coping with wearing nursery to school nursery - but he loved school nursery, and no issues at all with uniform and barely any issues with clothes after that...

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