Top up funding for children and young people with high needs - Element 3

Element 3 funding is top up funding and is provided in addition to element 1 and 2 funding which remains the schools responsibility for funding from their delegated budget.

Mainstream schools who need to make provision for pupils with high needs (those with an Education Health Care Plan) use their Notional SEN Fund in addition to Element 3 top up funding to provide the support specified in the EHCP.

Other settings (such as special schools) who need to make provision for pupils with an Education Health Care Plan will also receive Element 3 top up funding.

The banding descriptors support the EHCP Multi-Agency Panel in making decisions about funding.

Allocation of high needs top up for pupils attending schools

All High Needs Top up funding (element 3) for pupils with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPS) is determined using banding descriptors.

The banding descriptors are used to determine a child's level of need. They have been created to match to the Department for Education (DfE) categories of need listed in the SEND Code of Practice.

5 levels are identified with each level describing a range of needs that may be prevalent in a child or young person. The levels are categorised from level 0 to level 4:

  • level 0 describes how a typically developing child with universal needs would typically present
  • level 1 describes how a child with additional educational needs usually but not exclusively met at SEN Support with an Individual Support Plan might present
  • levels 2 to 4 describe how a child with special education needs may present with increasing severity with level 4 being the most severe within that category of need

When determining a child or young person's needs the banding descriptors are used to select the level that best describes the child or young person (using a best fit methodology).

Each of the descriptors are weighted to reflect the level of resourcing required at each level.

Once all levels are determined the banding matrix will suggest an overall funding band.

The setting in which the pupil is placed will affect the band proposed to ensure special school funding was in line with current agreements.

The banding descriptors support the EHCP Multi-Agency Panel to determine the level of top up funding to be allocated, recognising the setting the child or young person is placed in.

Funding will be allocated in line with the ten funding bands agreed by the Southend Education Board in June 2021.

We recognise the uniqueness of every child and funding decisions will be made in agreement with all panel members. If it is felt that the allocation of the highest band (Band 10) is not sufficient top up funding to meet need, an additional amount can be requested. All allocations in excess of Band 10 must be approved by the Head of SEND.