Special Educational Needs

SEND Support Plan

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

  • has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
  • has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.

Each child identified as requiring special educational provision should have a SEND Support Plan (SSP) (also called IEP/Individual Education Plan, Passport or Inclusion Plan) which should cover four main areas:

  • Pupil’s views, aspirations, strengths and wishes
  • Barriers to learning (SEND)
  • Provision to meet those needs
  • Outcomes sought (Section 6.40 Code of Practice: Consideration of whether special educational provision is required should start with the desired outcomes).

The SSP should be reviewed with the pupil and parent/carer at least three times a year as part of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle (i.e the Graduated Response).

Quality First Teaching

Quality First Teaching (QFT) is a style of teaching that emphasises high quality, inclusive teaching for all pupils in a class. High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised will meet the individual needs of most children and young people.

High quality teaching, differentiated for individual pupils, is the first step in responding to pupils who have or may have SEND. Additional intervention and support cannot compensate for a lack of good quality teaching.

QFT includes differentiated learning, strategies to support SEND pupils’ learning in class, on-going formative assessment and many others. 

Schools should regularly and carefully review the quality of teaching for all pupils, including those at risk of under-achievement. This includes reviewing and, where necessary, improving, teachers’ understanding of strategies to identify and support vulnerable pupils and increase teachers’ knowledge of the SEND most frequently encountered. 

Mainstream schools must use their “best endeavours” to make sure that a child with SEND gets the support they need; this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people’s SEND. Every school is required to identify and address the SEND of the pupils that they support. Special educational provision is underpinned by high quality teaching and is compromised by anything less. 

SEND Funding

In mainstream schools SEND funding is derived from three different elements. Element 1 and 2 funding is derived from the Schools Block and Element 3 from the High Needs Block.

Element 1: Basic entitlement per pupil

This is used to make general provision for all pupils in the school, including pupils with SEND, and goes directly to schools. Basic entitlement is set by the National Funding Formula (NFF) and is worth £3,140 for KS1 and KS2 pupils (primary), £4,416 for KS3 and £5,013 for KS4 (secondary). NFF factors in Sutton can be found here (external link). This is generally the funding that covers the ‘core’ elements of the school (e.g. staffing, buildings, resources)

Element 2: Notional SEND

This is an additional amount of money that mainstream schools receive to help make special educational provision meet the needs of children with SEND.

It’s called ‘notional’ because it isn’t ring fenced and schools can spend it in the way that they think is best. However, there is usually a teacher and Governor lead for SEND notional funding to make sure it is spent for its intended purposes.

Notional SEND is calculated in Sutton in the following way (see NFF factors above):

  • 100% of deprivation factors,
  • 90% of low prior attainment and
  • 0% basic entitlement.

Notional budgets will therefore vary for each school based on the characteristics of pupils that attend the school.

Schools are expected to use the notional SEND budget to pay for up to £6,000 worth of special educational provision to meet a child’s SEND. This would be provision that is ordinarily available in mainstream state funded education settings in Sutton to meet the ‘predictable needs’ of pupils with SEND. This is often referred to as ‘higher incidence, lower need’ SEND.

Element 3: High needs block funding 

For the vast majority of pupils with SEND, their needs can be meet by the funding identified above.

High needs funding is for pupils whose needs are more complex / exceptional (i.e. not predictable / ordinarily available), sometimes referred to as ‘higher need, lower incidence SEND’.

In these instances, a request for Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) can be requested and, if proven, an EHCP can be created to continue supporting the child/young person with additional funding.

To contact the SEND team, please email sen.team@cognus.org.uk or call 020 8323 0454 / 0453.

SEND EHCP Coordinators allocation – Sutton Council

Further Information

Introduction to SEND

What is SEND Support?

EHC Needs Assessment Process

Annual Reviews – the Basics

Dispute Resolution