Our SN area is not a substitute for expert advice. While many Mumsnetters have a specialist knowledge of special needs, if they post here they are posting as members, not experts. There are, however, lots of organisations that can help - some suggestions are listed here. If you've come across an organisation that you've found helpful, please tell us. Go to Special needs chat, Parents with disabilities, SN teens, SN legal, SN education, SN recommendations.

Statement question: can anyone tell me what "7 units of Element 3 funding" means?

(12 Posts)
Grey24 Sun 30-Jun-13 17:33:49

I've received a Draft Statement from the LA under provision it says that the LA will "provide 7 units of Element 3 funding to supplement the provision made by the school" - can anyone decode that for me?
Does that sound like enough funds to provide a full-time TA?

If it is, can I ask the LA to state this specifically on the Statement (ie it must be spent on a full-time TA) rather than just mention units of funding?
Otherwise how do I know the school will definitely use the funds to provide a TA, or that they will make sure she is full-time?

Grateful for info on this or any other advice. I've read as much as I can at SOS SEN and Ipsea about checking statements, but I am new to this and doing my best, so it feels a big responsibility to get it right.

MumuDeLulu Sun 30-Jun-13 18:26:51

Funding arrangements have nothing to do with actual provision so it doesn't belong in part 3 of the statement. Part 3 is the extras they are going to actually do for your child, specified quantified, yadda yadda. If they want to include this twaddle, they can add it in an appendix or a covering letter.

'Element 3 funding' means top-up cash.
£4k element 1/standard provision +
£6k element 2/sen provision from schools delegated budget +
££k element 3/ agreed bribe funding for accepting 'high-needs' child.

The last point is important. They could sit your child in a corner and ignore him for the next 7 years, while they divert his 7 units of element 3 funding into a new reading scheme 'which benefits all the dc, not just him'.

MumuDeLulu Sun 30-Jun-13 18:30:06

And wtf is a 'unit' anyway? A euro? A ton of gold bullion?

Grey24 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:33:28

Thank you so much for this - really very helpful. It's great to know exactly what it means and now I know what to argue for when I meet them. I had a feeling they should have committed themselves to more specifics, but was unsure. I couldn't find out about the 'elements' stuff anywhere, so am very grateful for the information - much clearer now!

Grey24 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:35:21

'unit' - yes I quite agree - it might make sense to them, but to the rest of the world it could be anything, as you say. So inward-looking to describe things like that without a key to what a unit is.

MumuDeLulu Sun 30-Jun-13 18:35:42

It's not your responsibility to sort it out. It's theirs. They're just trying it on, which is illegal but is standard practice, and probably appears somewhere in their job description. Not personal. Just a silly game.

And either they sort it now, or they'll finalise, you appeal and you'll then see them at tribunal (or more likely, 30 min before tribunal when they finally cave in and agree to quantify/ specify some pretty basic provision).

I'll tell you what it means. It means nothing.

Tell them to take it out of the statement. You are not interested in funding, you are interested in specified provision. The funding jargon can be used between the LA and school by all means but it has no place in a statement and there is no need, nor benefit of it being communicated to a parent.

The statement should talk specifically about what your child will receive in terms of provision, not money. So, 'x hours of TA support from a highly trained TA with 2 years experience in delivery of SALT during the morning and all break times including lunch time' is the kind of thing you are looking for.

The code of practice says a statement should be written to leave no room for doubt.

There is doubt. A unit can be flexible i.e. mean an hour of TA time one day and a piece of fruit the next (Which is why they have written it like that), and even if the school get this, they won't have to give it to your child, because it is the school that is receiving it, not your child.

You have the right to have a statement written in plain English and you have the right to be really really illiterate and insist that you don't understand it until it is written a way that you CAN understand it and are clear.

Grey24

Which part was this written in, part 2 or 3?. Whatever its still rubbish.
I'd also be asking them to remove this jargon from the statement doc because this is all that this really is.

Statement has to be both specified and quantified in terms of provision; what has been written here is a diversionary tactic to throw you off the scent.

Would also be contacting IPSEA and or SOSSEN about this double speak as well.

Grey24 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:05:11

Starlight and Mumu - Thank you so much for these comments, they are really helpful.
I had a feeling from what I'd read in guidelines that they should be more specific, but suddenly when it's in front of me, I started doubting myself, particularly as I didn't understand the funding jargon.

I really want them to specify about the TA and you've given me the confidence to try and insist on it (which I will find difficult when there in person at the meeting, but your words have helped me have confidence).

Grey24 Mon 01-Jul-13 09:10:32

Attila - sorry crossed-posts - thank you, I will contact them.

I'm lucky I've read lots of advice on Mumsnet and now the Govt guidelines, but even then the phrasing confused me and you start to assume that 'this is how it's meant to be' and that it's my fault for not understanding the code.
Other parents might just accept it the jargon and not question whether it's OK, so that's a good idea to report it, thank you, I will.

'and you start to assume that 'this is how it's meant to be' and that it's my fault for not understanding the code'

Yes. And be prepared for more of that at the meeting.

One thing you can ask, is what it means. If they say it MEANS x no. of hours of 1:1 support for your child, then tell them if it is true they won't mind writing it exactly like that in the statement will they!?

My ds' statement kept on going on about him needing a high level of 1:1 support. They assured me that it meant 20 hours and that no other person on earth had it written differently. However I had seen a number of statements from my LA for other children so knew that was untrue (and even if it was true it would be illegal regardless). So I told them if that is what they MEANT there won't be a problem writing it like that. There apparently was though hmm. Even Parent Partnership supported their stance hmm.

DS' final statement said he would receive 20 hours of 1:1 support (though the rest was crap so we appealed but that is another story).

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now