Schools and colleges receive an allocation of funding to meet the needs of students with lower level needs, below £6,000. For students with high needs the Local Authority is responsible for providing additional funding.
A high needs student is defined as a young person aged 16-18 who requires additional support costing over £6,000 and any young person aged 19-24 subject to an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan who requires additional support costing over £6,000. Funding for such high needs students, aged 16 to 24, consists of both place funding (Elements 1 and 2 – see below) and top-up funding (Element 3 – see below).
Element 1 – is the first of two components known as place funding and is paid by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to institutions to enable students to study a post-16 course. For maintained schools this funding is given to local authorities as sixth form grant. Element 1 covers students for their basic programme and does not take into account the additional support costs of high needs students.
Element 2 – is the second part of place funding and provides the first £6,000 of funding to meet the additional support costs for those classed as ‘high needs students’.
Element 3 – is the funding required over and above that provided by the place funding (Element 1 and Element 2), to enable a student with high needs to participate in education and learning. The EFA makes an allocation to local authorities for Element 3, through the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). This forms part of their high needs budget. Local authorities then use their high needs budget to pay top-up funding to institutions where assessed that this is required