Decision details

Outcomes of the review of the High Needs Block of the Dedicated Schools Grant

Reference: D46249

Decision Maker: Director of Children and Families

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The decision required is to make a number of changes , including to the Funding for Inclusion scheme, in order to bring the High Needs Block of the Dedicated schools grant into a balanced position.


The Director of Children & Families agreed:


  To cease to fund the Teenage Pregnancy Support Service from the High Needs Block, and fund it instead from an alternative source; please note that this was approved by the Schools Forum at November 17 after unanimous agreement from stakeholders and has already been implemented, achieving a saving of £216k per year from the HNB. This saving has already been factored into the 2018/19 budget proposals for Children and Families.

  To revise the Funding for Inclusion (FFI) unit value to £600 (from the current £684). This will achieve an estimated saving of £1.511m (estimates based on position at January 18 and subject to change). This will not apply to Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres, as this would not be equitable given the disproportionate effect it would have on their budgets (as all learners therein will have complex SEND needs and are highly likely to be eligible for FFI).

  To revise the system of awarding of additional blocks of funding to mainstream schools to supplement their notional inclusion budget, where they have significant numbers of learners who have higher level support needs which will exceed costs of £6k, and who will be eligible for FFI. Currently, mainstream schools are asked to spend a minimum of 40% of their total notional inclusion budget on providing the blocks of the first £6k to meet the support needs of these learners, before any additional blocks of £6k to supplement their notional inclusion budget will be awarded. The proposed revision is to increase the minimum to 50% of the total notional inclusion budget. This will achieve an estimated saving of £492k (estimates based on position at January 18 and subject to change).


  In light of concerns raised at Schools Forum regarding the impact of the proposed savings on schools with significant numbers of pupils with SEND, the Council is proposing to mitigate this by applying transitional protection to limit individual school reductions in 2018/19 to 1.5% of the sum of baseline and high needs funding.  Capping losses in this way will reduce the savings by an estimated £62k.

Reason Key: Expenditure > £250,000;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Other reasons / organisations consulted

A number of options for making savings have been developed and these are being consulted on with representatives from schools and settings in September 2017. The results of this process will then be considered by the Schools Forum as a further round of consultation.


Mainstream schools and academies, specialist schools and academies, post 16 settings, early years settings, Dedicated Schools Grant Board.

Contact: Barbara Newton, Head of Complex Needs 0113 3783625.

Publication date: 09/02/2018

Date of decision: 19/02/2018

Effective from: 27/02/2018

Accompanying Documents: