Schools get money for each pupil, based on pupil numbers. This is called the Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU). Some of this money is for general SEN provision. This might, for example, include the cost of providing the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).

Additional funding streams for special educational needs are as follows:

Top Up High Needs Funding (HNF) for mainstream schools and settings

Top Up High Needs Funding (HNF) is a new system of funding for mainstream schools and settings.  HNF is additional funding provided to support inclusion and meet the needs of children and young people with signficant needs in mainstream schools and settings.

HNF has replaced Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF) and is designed to be a more effective system for identifying needs and resources. 


Additional support funding

Schools have an additional amount of funding for SEN, based on the number of children who have received free school meals and those who were not doing as well as others in English and Maths.  

Schools may spend more or less than this figure on SEN – the way schools spend will differ from setting to setting, based on the specific needs of their pupils and the way that setting is organised.

Government  guidance is that schools should provide up to £6,000 worth of SEND provision for a pupil with SEN. This does not mean that the school will spend £6,000 on every child with SEN.  Some children will need less help – and some children may need more.  Sometimes schools use funds to help groups of children.

Top up funding

If a school needs more than £6,000 to provide a pupil’s SEN provision then, depending on the needs of the pupil, a top up from the Local Authority’s ‘High Needs Block’ may be allocated.

Although some pupils  have an Educational, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, this is not necessary for a school to receive the top up funding.

Special schools including Academies

Special schools are provided with base funding of £10,000 for each planned place, depending on the predicted admission numbers for the next year.  Most special schools will also receive additional top up funding.  The amounts are different for different schools. 

For more information about high needs top up funding in Hertfordshire mainstream schools, see our arrangements for Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF) above.

Page was last updated on: 07/07/2021 15:59:47