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SEN Funding

What is SEN funding for?

The SEND Code of Practice says schools must::

…use their best endeavours to make sure that a child with SEN gets the support they need – this means doing everything they can to meet children and young people's SEN (Paragraph 6.2)
  • changes to the curriculum
  • special equipment or teaching materials
  • the use of additional information technology
  • small group work
  • support in the classroom a base to work in or have quiet time

This page is an introduction to SEN funding for more information please see the Education & Skills Funding Agencies, Operational Guide, here.


Funding for SEN

All mainstream schools receive money for SEN support and resources. The schools then decide how to spend this money, this is called delegated funding because it is given to schools by local authorities or the Education Funding Agency from money they receive from central government.

Funding for SEN provision is from three sources "elements":

Element 1:

Makes provision for every child or young person on roll in an early years setting, school or college. It pays for the school building, class teachers, quality first teaching etc.

Element 2:

Element 2 funding is SEN-specific, and is to provide SEN support for children who need it. This is support that is additional to or different from the support that most other children get. 

The government has said that a mainstream school or college has up to £6,000 to spend on each child with additional needs from within the school or setting’s budget, if they need extra help to be able to make progress. (This does not mean that the school will spend £6,000 on every child with SEN. Sometimes schools use funds to help groups of children. Some children will need less help – and some children may need more.)

You can ask your school how it uses its SEN budget to support your child and whether it has enough to make all the provision they need. You can also find information on our Local Offer that explains what type of resources this money might be spent on. Schools should have a Graduated Response that they use to assess and meet the needs of a child and/or young person who requires that extra support. More information on this can be found here and in our SEN Support One Minute Guide.

Element 3:

Where a school has children needing very expensive provision which might absorb a lot of the SEN support funding, the school can request additional funding. The local authority is responsible for managing Element 3 funding (sometimes called the 'high needs block'), which can be used to make specific provision for an individual child or a group of children, if the school or academy can show it is necessary.

How can I find out what support and resources my child is getting?

The first step is to talk with your child's teacher or the SENCO.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan it must set out the support and resources that must be provided.

Personal Budgets

A Personal budget is an allocated amount of the Element 3 funding that is agreed by the Local Authority, the Institution and the family, to provide a specific agreed provision. These can be requested by the parent/carer during the EHC assessment or an Annual Review.

For more information on Personal Budgets please visit our Personal Budget page, here.

Where can I get further information, advice or support?

Look for the SEN Information Report (also known as the school’s Local Offer) on the school website.


Bradford's SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) can also give you:

  • more information about SEN support and funding
  • advice about what to do if you are not happy with the support your school is providing
  • information about other organisations, support groups and information services that could help
  • information and advice about your rights to request an EHC needs assessment if your child might need more than the school can provide.



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The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.