Agenda item

Outcome of High Needs Consultation


The recommendations in the report were agreed as detailed below:-

1.    The timescales and arrangements for the consultation are accepted.

2.    A developmental, staged approach to the high needs funding reforms is accepted.

3.    The five band model outlined is adopted for special schools.  A contingency fund is set aside from unallocated funds in the High Needs Block budget to financially support specialist SEN provision that may experience financial difficulties whilst future options are considered.

4.    Termly payments of top-ups are to be made to special schools with the spring/summer top-up to be double the top-up of the autumn term for extra pupils unless agreed otherwise between the authority and school.

5.    The inclusion money that all special schools receive totalling £757,874 should be subject to a review of what the money is for and how it is being used and with recommendations for future action.

6.    The sports outreach funding received by Clare Mount is reduced by one-third in April 2014.

7.  The Local Authority requests the EFA to increase the place number at Elleray Park from 80 to 90. 

8.    Orrets Meadow to be funded to make available 16 band 2 places.  The additional top-up required of £80,000 to be funded from unallocated budget in the High Needs Block.

9.  Hayfield to be funded to make 60 band 1 and 60 band 2 places.  The top up required of £20,000 to be funded from unallocated budget High Needs Block.

9a.  Funds are made available for Clare Mount School to offer 8 band 2 places a year, starting in September 2014 for the next 3 years, and reduce the number of band 1 places by the same number over that time.  The top up required of £40,000 to be funded from unallocated budget in the High Needs Block.

10.   The 5 band model is adopted for Resourced Provision in mainstream schools.

10a. Further changes to the continuum of provision for children with a Social Communication/Autistic Spectrum Condition already referred to in recommendations 8, 9 and 9a are to be considered by the policy review that is underway.

11.  Top ups to resourced base provision will be made termly

12.    Pupils should attend Speech and Language (SALT) bases full-time with an AWPU transfer continuing and the question about whether pupil should have a statement is re-considered in 12 months time.

13.  The Local Authority requests the EFA to reduce the place number at UAB from 40 to 30 from September 2014.

14.  The present place numbers at Hilbre (15), Bebington (25), Oldershaw (20) and Wallasey (30) resource provisions are now capped and no further growth on the basis of the model which developed them is to occur.

15.  The Local Authority requests the EFA to reduce the place number at Townfield Hearing Base from 12 to 10 from September 2014.

16.  The SEN Forum Group lead the developments to consider developing the banded approach.

17.  St Michaels and Riverside alternative provision to receive a pro rata payment of the full year AWPU as top up and WASP to continue with part payment of AWPU and a top up.

18.  Funding agreements and statements of SEN in mainstream will be on the basis of a number of monetary units for additional support.

19.  If a mainstream schools contribution to element two exceeds 90% of its notional delegated budget additional funding will be made from unallocated contingency in the High Needs Block. 

20.  The new element three funding will be paid from the beginning of the financial year for maintained schools and from the beginning of the academic year for academies.

21.  Further consultation and development work is needed between FE and 6th form colleges in the region and the local authority to agree a way forward for the future. 

22.   The LA will continue to recoup monies until April 2014 and an offer of a recoupment service is to be developed as part of traded services. 

23.  The funding and delivery of this service should be reviewed by the local authority and stakeholders the end of the summer term 2014 with a report to Forum for the start of the next academic year.

24a.  The Forum Finance group’s remit is extended to lead on the development of funding bands.

24b.  The principle of service level agreements with resourced base provisions is adopted.

24c.  The Assessment Framework for High Needs SEN is reviewed and revised over the academic year.

24d.  The views and comments of educating institutions in this report together with the agreed recommendations are referred to Cabinet.


During the consultation the EFA confirmed the requirement for an MFG for 2014-15.  This was not part of the original consultation, but it will affect the move to a banded structure.  Further information was provided to schools asking for comments on 3 options:-

Option 1 – No MFG (requesting an exemption from EFA)

Option 2 – An average MFG

Option 3 – Apply MFG (no exemption)


Most responses support an application to the EFA for exemption from the MFG.  The following recommendation was agreed:-


That Forum supports an application to the EFA for an exemption from the requirement to use MFG (option 1) on top ups for 2014-15, and failing that Forum request the EFA agree the use of an average MFG (option 2).


Supporting documents: