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School Action Plus and 1:1 funding

(14 Posts)
Surrealistrhinoceros Wed 10-Oct-12 17:11:26

Hi there

DS in year 2 has a basket of behavioural / developmental issues not yet properly diagnosed - takes your pick from ASD, ADHD, dyspraxia ... Issues are now emerging at school and he's been given TA support. He is on School Action Plus because of loads of CAMHs and OT involvement.

TA supports him at the beginning and end Of day, maths where he finds it hard to focus, and individual handwriting work (his writing is way below his peers). She also keeps an eye out for him and other kids with behavioural/social issues in the playground, and he is part of a behaviour/social skills group she runs. So all in all maybe 15 hours ish.

He seems to be doing much better with this support and if it carries on working well I'd like it to continue at least through the transition to y3. Have therefore queried statementing. However from reading it looks as if SAplus are entitled to 15 hours anyway and schools get some funding to allow for this? Is that right?

So would be vey grateful for advice on what the entitlements/funding attached to SAplus are, and whether statementing achieves things over and above that.

Many thanks in advance

Frenchplait Wed 10-Oct-12 17:29:28

Provision written into a statement is legally protected. Under school action plus 1 to 1 can be taken away at any time with no recourse. Apply for statutory assessment if you want to ensure that he continues to get extra help.

Surrealistrhinoceros Wed 10-Oct-12 17:58:13

Thanks very much for that. But am I right in understanding that the school gets some additional funding for children on SAPlus and that it's meant to cover provision of up to 15 hours 1:1 support for each child? Is the difference that this money isn't ring fenced for DS benefit?

Frenchplait Wed 10-Oct-12 18:03:34

Yes, they may get delegated funding but it is not ring-fenced.

fedupwithmorningbattles Wed 10-Oct-12 23:03:31

The school are given a "pot" of money for SEN to begin with but they can spend this as they like, so as I have mentioned on a previous post if it were a choice between a TA for a class of 30 and 15 hours additional help for 1 Dc I think we can imagine which would be chosen, any child on SA+ is entitled to 15 hrs additional help but the school do not have to provide this if they do not want see the need I'm afraid. As it has been mentioned before to guarantee that your Dc receives this additional help -without the worry of it being withdrawn at anytime, A statement means the first 15 hours will have to come from the schools funds and then the LA make up the additional hours awarded.

Surrealistrhinoceros Thu 11-Oct-12 13:37:26

Thank you very much for the helpful replies. Am I now getting this straight, as I'm still somewhat confused?

The school attracts extra funding for each child on School Action Plus.

Said funding not ring fenced to the individual child but goes into the schools general pot. I can expect some extra provision for DS to be funded by this but have no enforceable control over what it is.

I'm therefore confused over the meaning of 'entitled' in this context. Does it mean that the funding attracted by DS because he is on SAP should be sufficient to pay for up to 15 hours support if the school and we agree he needs it? But if school say he doesn't need it I have no recourse against them?

If he's statemented for 15 hours do the school actually get any extra money, or does it just mean they HAVE to spend the money they've already got on that provision?

This is a minefield isnt it! Many thanks for all your advice.

pannetone Thu 11-Oct-12 13:59:19

Bump - because I am about to have a conversation with the HT (who has just taken over the SENCO role) about support for my DS who, I think, is on School Action +. (I also have a question that comes a bit before - how does my DS get to be on SA+? He is under CAMHS and is being assessed for ASD - does that mean the school SHOULD have put him on SA+?)

And like Surrealist I'm getting a bit confused. If my DS is on SA+ and that attracts funding which the school can choose to use this for more general support, rather than specific targetted support for my DS, they are not going to want me to apply for a statement becase, if I am understanding it correctly, the school will then have to use that 15 hours of funding specifically for my DS if that's in the statement. So the school then 'lose' the money they were using to fund more general TA classroom support. Can't see why it is ever in their interest to support a child getting a statement if they think that child won't get more than 15 hours support.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 11-Oct-12 14:03:31

Don't become bogged down re funding issues. That is not something that you should concern yourself unduly with.

Basically what you have written is correct; SA plus is not ring fenced nor is the support on it legally enforceable. It can be limited in scope and too easily withdrawn.

A statement gives legal protection re his educational rights. It should clearly state the level of provision in terms of it being specified and quantified. The school have to follow it to the letter (this is why parts 2 and 3 need to be bang omn with regards to the statement doc).

In your particular circumstances I would be applying for a statement asap to the LEA. You need to think longer term as well as he will be in Junior school the following September.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 11-Oct-12 14:04:50

Any outside agencies involved (e.g developmental paed, SALT, OT etc) will invoke School Action Plus automatically.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 11-Oct-12 14:09:39

Also if you're talking funding the level of funding that SA plus attracts is generally far lower (I've seen £1200 per year quoted) than that allocated to a Statement.

Surrealistrhinoceros Thu 11-Oct-12 17:17:09

Thank you very much - really helpful. Yes pannetone, agree that if outside agencies are involved SA+ should automatically happen. DS doesn't technically have a diagnosis of anything (and may not ever get one), but because CAMHS are heavily involved he is on SA+.

Out of further interest, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the next 12 months we got a diagnosis of some sort and CAMHS etc took several steps back. If outside agencies were no longer actively involved, would he stop being SA+? Or would a diagnosis keep him 'on the books', as it were?

I am considering standing as a parent governor just so I can get my head round it all grin

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 17:28:11

That won't help at all. Governors have little to no say in sn budgeting expenditure and it would be unlikely to come up in meetings at all. Sn is infrequently discussed, and only in the most non specific sense, usually to clarify that adequate provision is in place.

Do volunteer to be a governor, though! grin you can definitely go onto financial training courses, but the ins and outs of specific school support is unlikely to come your way.

SA plus does not guarantee funding. If he is routinely needing 15 hours 1-1 a week, you should be applying for stat assessment. SA plus means nothing at all, only that external agencies are required to support a child, and the issue cannot be managed with school based support only. Any support you get in school is by virtue of the school deciding to put it in place. The only way to guarantee that support is to have a statement detailing it specifically.

Dd2 had ft 1-1 on SA plus. It was nothing to do with being SA plus though, and the funding was applied for separately through a completely different early years pot. SA plus means diddly squat, really. It's an admin thing. She was statemented ultimately.

Funding is really not your concern - as in who is providing it. Your concern is really to ensure that ds continues to receive the support he needs. For this, maintaining the status of his SA plus is completely irrelevant. You need a statement, not SA plus.

Surrealistrhinoceros Thu 11-Oct-12 18:22:30

That's helpful, thank you. It sounds like statementing is the way to go if he continues to need this level of support.

I was joking about the parent governor bit! although I do intend to stand as there are plenty of other good reasons I'd like to be involved. Whether anyone will elect the mother of demon child is of course another matter smile

Thanks for useful clarification.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 18:28:54

Hey, you can always volunteer to be an LA governor, instead of a parent governor... No elections from school body that way ;-)

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