New money to support SEND reforms

Government announce £40m 'new burdens' grant to support local authorities in 2017/2018 and a high needs strategic planning fund for 2016/2017.

'New burdens' grant for 2017/2018

Government has announced an extra £40m to support local authorities in 2017-2018. The money (known as ‘new burdens’) will support the final year of the transitional activity. Money to support Independent Support and Parent Carer Forums will also be announced in January.

This money will be welcomed by local authorities as implementing the reforms at the right quality and speed is proving challenging. It should support them to ensure that parents, children and young people are at the centre of the reforms and that increasingly better outcomes are demonstrated.

Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children said:

“We would hope that all of this money will be focused on supporting the reforms, even with other challenges facing local authority spending. The needs of children with SEND and their families are critical and this final transition year will be a key test of commitment and focus.”

High needs strategic planning fund in 2016-17

As part of the moves towards a national formula for schools and high needs funding, local authorities have been allocated additional funding to support a strategic review of their SEN provision. In particular, local authorities will need to plan how to deploy their high needs budget most effectively if schools have much greater control over their funding. The Department for Education have asked that local authorities use the funding to prioritise this review and planning activity, working with schools, colleges and other providers, and with parents and young people. Local authorities should publish the outcomes of these reviews in the form of strategic plans.

The total funding available for this programme £23 million in 2016-17, with funding to be split between each local authority in England based on their 2-19 population. The grant will not be ring-fenced and can be carried forward to 2017-18. Details of allocations to be made to each local authority can be found in the explanatory document linked below.