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to think that mainstream schools think SN kids are a drain?

(110 Posts)
Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 00:15:55

My understanding is that schools dont get aby additional funding for kids with Special Needs unless the needs are so exceptional that they can then apply for Exceptional Needs Funding, even if the child has an EHCP. Is that right?

(Before MN explodes, ive NC and have 2 SN kids at a Voluntary Aided mainstream primary, and am starting to feel like we are a bit of a drain and we should somehow be more grateful. Am i right about the funding? My kids are extra expensive?)

wizzywig Tue 27-Dec-16 00:17:20

I thought the schools did get funding with a ehcp.

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 00:18:12

Nope, there is no additional funding attached to EHCP.

PhilODox Tue 27-Dec-16 00:20:04

Top-up funding in England for those with a EHC plan.

Boogers Tue 27-Dec-16 00:23:11

No idea how the funding works but I've never felt like DD's infant or junior school suggest that she's a drain. Yes, she has difficult needs and sometimes takes up the TA's time, but that's never been an issue. It happens, it's dealt with, we explore reasons for it at home, tomorrow's a new day.

Is there a specific bug that's getting at you OP? What has your school said/done?

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 00:23:58

How does that work Phil? What does it top up? And what, if as in the case of my two, they have firm diagnoses but no EHCP?

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 00:26:59

Boogers, it was a meeting with school during which it was pointed out the "many, many interventions" my children had. It wasnt an overt thing, just the feeling that i was left with - that the TA and teachers could get on an awful lot better without having to divert attention to my kids.

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 00:42:58

Not really, Planetarymagic1. In fact the new funding system is meant to deal with exactly the situation you describe.

So...a bit of history.... under the old system, each school get a 'notional SEN budget' based on deprivation formula, etc. But it wasn't ring fenced for SEN. So if a school had no children with SEN, that budget could go towards flower beds resources that benefit all children at the school. If there were even one or two children with significant SEN, but not Statement-worthy, that could eat up the notional budget quite quickly. Statements often had a level of funding attached to meet the resource allocation. However, this creates a bit of an incentive to 'go heavy on the sauce' when making an application. Tommy may be seen as needing a LOT of support, so get allocated a Statement with 25 hours (full time) support. However, in reality, he only struggles in literacy and maths, with a bit of group support bring ok for topic work. His 25 hours can actually fund a morning TA for Tommy and a whole class TA for the afternoons!! Etc.

The new system intends to separate funding from SEN support. So anything up to £6k should be met by the school (from the notional budget). However, if the school had, say 10 children with moderate support needs, totaling £48k and their notional budget was only £32k, they could apply for top up funding, showing that they have high demand. Similarly, the first £6k of an EHCP should be met by school, to avoid applications being inceventivised for schools wishing to save that money. Any cost of the resources in an EHCP over and above £6k would be funded by the LA.

rollonthesummer Tue 27-Dec-16 00:48:32

Nope, there is no additional funding attached to EHCP.

Yes, there is.

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 00:49:47

Not automatically, rollonthesummer. The new funding system deliberately divorced the two.

Boogers Tue 27-Dec-16 00:51:14

Things happen, behavioural, medical and a combination of both. Each child is an individual and the school should have a robust plan in place for each child as an individual, not just Planetary's DC1 or DC2, here we go again, cue eye rolling. Life would be so much easier if we didn't have to deal with what we have to deal with, but here we are and we do the best we can. In the kindest possible way, this also includes school.

Many, many interventions. That's a difficult one to interpret without knowing the background or the context in which it was said. Only you know that, and those words are obviously playing on your mind because of where they were said.

I'm guessing you're otherwise happy with the school? Are your DC happy? Are they thriving? Are their needs being met? If the answers to these questions are yes then put it out of your mind. Sod the subtle undertones.

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 00:52:27

Legally, the only children who need an EHCP now, are children going to Special Schools. Any other child can have their needs met (practically) from SEN support plus high needs block funding (except that I would accept that as a parent because it wouldn't have the legal status that an EHCP does).

QuackDuckQuack Tue 27-Dec-16 00:54:08

It can make the financial situation of a school quite bumpy, Moreso in a smaller school. So a school might have few children requiring the £6k of funding from the notional SEN budget, so it is spent elsewhere in the school and the school gets used to having this 'extra' to spend. Then 3 children are admitted who each require the £6k to pay for 1:1 support, possibly topped up by the LA to full time support. So the school now has to 'find' £18k by cutting back on spending elsewhere. That's just the way it works, but is no excuse for a school to make it feel like a burden or, as you hear occasionally, to suggest that a child with SEN should apply elsewhere.

Boogers Tue 27-Dec-16 00:55:08

lougle that was explained brilliantly, thank you. I'm going to sleep on it but may have more questions in the morning.

DixieNormas Tue 27-Dec-16 00:56:28

Ds4 doesn't have an ehcp but the school are applying for funding because he needs 1:1. They were talking about 3 levels of funding and that the school has to put in a certain amount to it.

I've never felt like they see him as a drain though

Pancakeflipper Tue 27-Dec-16 00:56:58

In our area the locality school gather in and make recommendations for individual children from their schools to be given funding for their needs.

My child has no extra resources as he's not deemed serious enough. Which is true compared to the children they funded. But then again he's going to worse and worse without support. Really struggling to keep him mainstream school now.

Cutbacks in SEN are hard hitting.

ChocolateCakeandSprinkles Tue 27-Dec-16 00:57:01

It is extremely complicated. The new EHCP system has made it extremely difficult to get funding for children. For example under the old statement system a child that was allocated 25 hours would get approximately £4500 from the LA. However an additional member of staff for 25 hours would cost in the region of £12,000 which the school would have to find out of its budget. Under the new system an EHCP is notoriously difficult to get therefore many school are having to self fund additional support and interventions for children to cope when getting no money at all. All which stretches limited resources.

That being said, no child or parent should ever be made to feel like they are a burden! It is really tough for schools at the min. Record high numbers of children with SEN (just because they changed the goal posts so only EHC children are now officially SEN doesn't mean they don't exist) and ever squeezed budgets! Sorry you had that experience, I don't imagine the school meant it in that way at all.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 27-Dec-16 01:00:50

There is usually the pupil premium and some sort of additional needs funding. But I'm not sure how that works with a VA school as they don't receive full funding from the LEA.

My DS has SEN and is at mainstream primary and it's never been an issue. He has had partial 1:1, remedial tuition sessions, intensive group work and social skills groups in his time at school and I've been told he's never even hit the threshold for needing any extra funding. In fact they have done such a great job that even with the changes to the National curriculum he is at least on target for everything now and we're no longer even considering an EHCP. I never thought we'd get to this stage.

To me it sounds more like your DC school has the issue, not mainstream schools in general. It's all about staff attitudes really. My DS was seen as naughty and not worth the bother at his first school. Then he moved to junior school (two tier system still in place here) and they've worked wonders with him.

If your DC school feel they need additional support to help your kids they should be applying for it - what good is it them guilt tripping you over it?! It's not as if you can just hoik them out and stick them in a magically free place at a MLD school - people fight for those, and there aren't enough for the kids with MLD, let alone the SN kids in mainstream schools who have teachers who are feeling overworked.

Sorry your kids school is making you feel this way. It's a shitty attitude that I hear about too often. flowers

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 01:04:40

Thats v interesting, Lougle, thankyou, tons. One of my children has an EHCP applucation in, and we are waiting to see if the LA will agree to assess. I know the test in law is not stringent regardimg assessmemt but our LA seems to reject the majority of applications and then agrees to assess when threatened with tribunal, after which the majority of kids get an ehcp.

How is the notional SN budget made up? This is a two form entry school with a remarkably low Pupil Premium level. There has never been any mention of £6k and i have only seen the £6k regerred to, when looking at the policies of other LAs, which would appear to contradict the SENCOP.

superram Tue 27-Dec-16 01:07:44

We don't think they are a drain. However, in many cases we can't meet their needs without additional funding-which is like getting rocking horse poo..,,,

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 01:08:32

That is the other thing to remember. While the funding scheme is national, each Local Authority can administer it as they want to, as long as they comply with the scheme. So some LAs will talk in terms of 'TA hours' while others will award an EHCP at 'level G', or 'Band 3' - you've just got to know what that means in your LA, and to know that if you read anything such as:

'Would benefit from; have access to; working 1:1 and in groups; up to x hours; etc., then your child has not been awarded a statement with X hours 1:1 (that you could rely on). It needs to be cast iron, plain English 'will have x hours of 1:1 support each week' (If indeed 1:1 support is the best thing for your child....that's a whole other debate wink)

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 01:10:39

Im asking this because during the last meeting, an intervention that had been recommended by the Ed Psych was brought up and it became clear that whilst the school agreed it would be nice to implement it, they didnt have enough staff and my child is already having "many many interventions" (almost all academically focussed) and this other thing from the Ed Psych might not happen.hmm

Given the extra support my kids are already getting, i think the school decided this was a "nice to have."

Planetarymagic1 Tue 27-Dec-16 01:12:41

Yikes Lougle its a minefield! Where would i look to find out what terminology my LA uses?

Also noted about the cast iron hours etc! Gosh you have to be on your toes!sad

lougle Tue 27-Dec-16 01:22:29

Your LA is obliged to publish your school's budget each year, so you should see a line for notional SEN budget. My LA gives the notional budget:

1% of the Age Weighted Pupil Unit per child
6% of the Deprivation index per child
An amount for low attainment

Interestingly, my LA also has a policy that any school should only have to use 3% of its total budget to support EHCP/statemented pupils. So, for example, if the school has a budget of £500,000, it would be expected to pay £15,000 in costs towards the EHCPs/statements, then after that, any costs would be refunded at the end of the year. So if they had 4 children on plans, costing £9k, £7k, £4k and £5k, their costs would be £21k (6+6+4+5), so they would have £6k refunded.

Itsallgoodimtold Tue 27-Dec-16 01:45:18

I think the school has to pay for 6months of provision to prove it is necessary for an ehcp. Once they have done this, which may include stating the pupil needs full-time 1-1 support, it is then up to LA to assess. The LA will then award an amount of hours, this can be appealed by parents to gain more.

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