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SEND Post 16 Education Funding Formula

What funding is available to support young people with SEND?

Post-16 funding is, for most students, as it was in school, given that the school leaving age is, in effect 18. However, for students with identified special educational needs it is worth having an understanding of the system.

Funding for Post-16 Special Educational Needs

In common with arrangements in schools young people in post-16 education can access element 1, element 2 and element 3 funding according to their level of need. The funding is cumulative. Elements 1 and 2 are provided by central government through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 

Element 1

Element 1 funding is made available to post 16 providers by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).  This funding  is allocated for every learner, whether they have special educational needs (SEN) or not. It funds the course and the general running of the provider e.g. a college or 6th form.   

Element 2

The EFSA is also the organisation that holds the budget for Element 2 funding. The ESFA uses two sources of information to calculate the number of learners to be funded for element 2: information from education providers/colleges and information from Local Authorities .  

The post-16 provider informs the ESFA of learners with special educational needs who do not have an EHC plan.

The local authority records the places of young people who have an Education, Health and Care Plan and submits that data to the EFSA each year. 

The two returns then inform the  EFSA of the element 2 finance that each  provider will receive.   

Element 3

Some young people with complex needs who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan can access additional resources from the Local Authority in which they live that are additional to element 1 and element 2. The amount is determined at EHCP reviews and allocated to providers. This is reviewed when young people make a transition from one institution to another or when the provision, such as the course they are on or their support needs, change significantly.

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