SENSA top up funding

SENSA top up funding

This process only applies to children/young people who both live in Hampshire and attend mainstream schools/colleges in Hampshire. This process does not apply to pre-school establishments or schools and colleges in the Independent/non-maintained sector. Only school/college staff may request top up funding. Parents of children/young people receiving additional support may discuss any concerns with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) or Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Coordinator (LDDCo) at the school/college.

The County Council operates on the basis that there is enough funding allocated to allow schools/colleges to make up to £6,000 of SEN Support per annum for any child/young person that needs it. Schools/colleges can request up to an additional £4,500 if required. An education, health and care needs assessment is required for more than £4,500 or a special school/college referral.

This process allows schools/colleges to quickly meet the needs of those with less complex and severe needs. This process does not affect the statutory rights of parents, young people, schools or colleges all of whom may ask for an education, health and care assessment instead.

Funding allocations will be pro-rated for the academic year and funding will be transferred to schools/colleges at the start of each term. Funding will commence from the date of submission of the claim form and therefore advance claims cannot be made. If a claim is submitted part way through the term, schools/colleges can expect to receive the pro-rata funding. Funding will continue until the next Key Stage level is reached, a pupil/young person leaves the school/college or from the date a final EHCP is issued.

When to submit a SENSA top up funding application

Where the school/college is of the opinion that the needs of the child/young person exceed those that can reasonably be met from the delegated notional SEN budget.

Update and re-submit applications at the start of each National Curriculum Key Stage for each case. Funding will stop if a new application is not submitted for the year.

Complete a new application any time the needs of the child/young person change requiring an increase or decrease in the level of top up funding.

If the County Council makes an EHC plan for a child/young person who is receiving top up funding through this process then the top up funding will end from the date of the final EHC plan. This is because the top up funding will be provided through the EHC plan.

The County Council will be monitoring expenditure and schools/colleges must be able to justify the amount of additional funding claimed for each pupil/young person. Local SEN partnerships comprising of representative Headteachers/Principals, SENCos/LDDCos, Educational Psychologists and SEN Officers will investigate any anomalous applications and take appropriate action.

Before completing the SENSA top up funding application

This evidence must include a Special Educational Needs Support Agreement (SENSA). SENSA’s are similar to what were known as Inclusion Partnership Agreements (IPA’s). Use our SENSA template to ensure you include all required information.

Top up funding is available to provide only support that would normally appear on an EHC plan, ie direct teaching or direct LSA time and, in rare cases, equipment or therapeutic support not normally provided by the NHS (and about which the school should normally ask for advice from the SEN Service). Only include these items in your costings listed in the SENSA. You cannot apply for top up funding for anything else and any non-compliant applications will be rejected.

Top up funding can only be agreed if the child/young person meets the criteria for EHC needs assessment for their main area of SEN, or if they are close to meeting the criteria for more than one type of SEN. Find more details on the SEN criteria page.

When you are ready you must submit a top up funding application form.

If you have any queries about your submission, contact the Senior Special Needs Officer in the SEN Team for your area.