SEND Funding Arrangements Consultation

Closed 21 Dec 2017

Opened 30 Oct 2017

Results Updated 9 Apr 2018

Report Launch

The attached report presents the findings of the consultation on proposals to adjust the funding arrangements for Element 3 to EHC Plans for children and young people with SEND in Hackney.

The consultation ran from 31st October until 21st December 2017.

Going forward, the report will be reveiwed and commented on by the Council and Cabinet.

A statement on the proposals has been released by Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor:

“We have listened to feedback during the consultation, and in useful meetings with parents and teachers, and as a result I will recommend to Cabinet next month that we do not to go forward with the proposed changes. Instead we will work together to find a way to ensure pupils with SEND continue to receive the support they need, but in a way that is sustainable in the long term. The consultation was beginning of this dialogue with parents/carers.

Across the country, SEND services have been chronically underfunded by central government for many years.  Local councils have been having to subsidise their SEND services from reserves or other budget areas, but such arrangements are becoming increasingly untenable in the face of continued Government cuts. Last year, across London, there was a shortfall of £100m.

In Hackney, the 2017/18 shortfall in SEND funding is around £6.1m. This is because of increased demand on the service, a rise in SEND pupil numbers because of changes to legislation, and rising costs against a government funding freeze since 2011/12.

The Mayor and I have campaigned hard to highlight the Council’s concerns over what we are calling a ‘hidden education funding crisis’. We urged Ministers to look at adequate and sustainable ways of funding SEND students so they can receive the services they need and deserve. 

In October I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education urging the DfE to review SEND funding, specifically looking at how this vital funding is calculated and distributed, so it takes into account the growth in demand alongside actual spend. The response, from a junior minister, made it clear that the Government has no interest in providing adequate support for society’s most vulnerable children.

We have sought to protect the SEND budgets by using the HLT reserves and making savings elsewhere in the education budget.  But this approach is not a sustainable and we need to find a way forward. The consultation on the funding arrangements presented options to help resolve some of these pressures.

The Council’s aspiration has always been to balance the need to sustain SEND funding, work collaboratively with parents, teachers and other stakeholders and continue delivering higher quality provision. Following feedback, we have agreed to halt the decision in order to establish a SEND funding Task and Finish group with relevant stakeholders to look at how to develop SEND funding arrangements for the future. 

We are committed to supporting all the SEND children and their families in our borough. It is our hope that a co-production process, which engages with all stakeholders, can deliver policy proposals that reflect the current SEND situation in the borough and continue the high level of service we provide, whilst ensuring we can fulfil our financial obligations to all our residents.

We will continue to work alongside all our partners to keep the pressure on Government to properly support our SEND children and their parents, and urge residents to make their own voices heard in Whitehall too, whether that be writing a letter to the Education Secretary or organising a campaign.''

Below is draft Equalities Impact Assessment on the proposals. This document is in draft form until it is ratified by Hackney Council's internal SLT process. Once this has been ratified, a final report will be published.

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Appendix A. IPSEA Submission

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Overview

The changes detailed in this consultation focus on revising the current Resource Level Arrangements to ensure that funding for special education needs or SEND is sustainable and that those children and young people with the greatest needs are supported.

Please read the consultation summary explaining the proposed changes to SEND Funding before completing this questionnaire.

You can read a full summary of the proposals along with the FAQS in the links below.

Consultation Summary

https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/communications-and-consultation/send-funding-arrangement/user_uploads/send-consultation-summary.pdf

Consultation FAQs (revised)

https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/communications-and-consultation/send-funding-arrangement/user_uploads/revised-send-funding-arrangements-consultation-faqs--002-.pdf

https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/communications-and-consultation/send-funding-arrangement/user_uploads/send-funding-arrangements-consultation-faqs-2.pdf

 

Parents and professionals workshop presentation

Following the workshops with parent groups and professional, below is the presentation made during the sessions.

https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/communications-and-consultation/send-funding-arrangement/user_uploads/proposed-send-funding-arrangements---presentation-dec2017.pdf

 

 

 

 

Why We Are Consulting

We want to find out what parents and teachers think about proposals to change the way high needs ‘top-up’ funding is distributed. These proposals will give schools the option to access funding more quickly and with less red tape, to help support pupils who perhaps do not need an Education Health Care Plan (EHC Plan).

Currently, it can take up to 20 weeks for EHC Plan funding to reach schools, but by introducing the new Additional Funding model, we could speed this up, meaning funding could be available within six weeks of the request being made. EHC Plans will still be available for children with more serious needs through Exceptional Funding.

We think this will help to provide better outcomes for young people, and it has been successful in a number of other local authorities across London. We also think it will help to ensure our limited funds are spent on those who need them most.

The Council’s Deputy Mayor recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Education, raising concerns about the funding of SEND support. Since 2011/12, this funding has effectively been frozen and as a result of reforms the Borough has seen a 34% increase in the number of young people who are eligible to receive support. Hackney also funds a higher than average number of places in independent schools.

This has led to a shortfall in London of over £100m with a shortfall of £6m in Hackney. We have been taking this funding from reserves and other areas of spending but this is not sustainable. As a result of this, we need to look at ways we can continue to provide high quality support for SEND students, while working within our budget.

This consultation relates to Hackney’s maintained schools only and does not cover independent or out of borough settings.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Understanding views