This section tells you about the funding and services that the Local Authority provides to help schools support children with SEN.
All schools have pupils with SEN and money is included in schools budgets to help them meet that need. The money that goes to schools is divided into 4 parts:
Age Weighted Pupil Unit (AWPU) - This is the biggest part of each school’s budget. The amount each school receives depends on the number of children in the school and also their age. Part of the AWPU will be used to support pupils with Special Educational Needs.
Additional School Needs (ASN) - The amount each school receives varies; this depends on national curriculum attainments and the number of children receiving free school meals within the school. The money is given to support children with SEN. The school can do this in a variety of ways. This money, along with the AWPU, will provide the majority of funding for pupils with SEN in mainstream schools, including those placed at School Action and School Action Plus.
Additional Family Needs (AFN)
The Local Authority gives a sum of money to each Family of schools; this amount depends on the number of pupils within the Family, the national curriculum attainment levels and the number of pupils receiving free school meals.
The money is given to support named children who are placed at School Action Plus or have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. Monies should be used for individual children, although it is up to the individual schools to decide how the support is used for the pupil. The amount awarded for an individual pupil is usually for an academic year.
A Family of schools consists of a secondary school and its feeder primaries. The SENCOs within a Family will meet regularly to decide how AFN resources are allocated to individual schools, for named pupils in the Family.
One person within the Family of Schools will take on the role of Family SENCO. They will co-ordinate all funding requests from their schools.
High Level Needs (HLN)
This money is used to support children with very severe and complex needs; this is a very small number of pupils throughout Nottinghamshire.
An application for HLN funding is made to a panel after the Family of schools has decided that this is appropriate. The panel is made up of education professionals including support services, school staff and Parent Partnership Service. The panel meets every term, although the money is usually awarded for a key stage.
Schools often use the money to provide individual support in addition to small group or in-class support.
The Local Authority retains a small amount, centrally, to pay for the following services:
Inclusion Support Service
The Inclusion Support Service (ISS) is organised on an area basis (North and South). Each area has a team of specialist teachers and teaching assistants with a wide range of skills and experience. They work with pupils, parents, staff in schools or early years settings and other professionals.
Staff from ISS work with pupils from pre-school to age nineteen (including some specialist work with young babies). Support is offered to schools and early years settings, together with pre-school work in the home.
Support offered includes training, pupil observations and interviews, contributing to reviews, target setting, advice giving and specialist assessments.
Schools in Nottinghamshire are organised into geographical groups called “Families”. Each Family of schools has a specialist teacher from ISS who works closely with them and is called a Designated Teacher. In addition, there are District Specialist Advisory teachers, who have an over view of the range of support available and support the designated teachers in the Families of schools.
The specialist teachers have access to consultants who have a high level of expertise in their particular field. The work of the ISS covers deafness, visual impairment, early years, autism, communication and interaction, cognition and learning difficulties and dyslexia.
The Early Communication and Autism Programme and Enhanced Resource Support Team offer additional work with pupils on the autistic spectrum.
There is also an advisory resource team for Inclusive Technology.
Behaviour Support Team
The Behaviour Support Team (BST) works in partnership with schools and other professionals to promote inclusion of pupils with challenging behaviour.
Each area has a specialist support teacher who provides a link between the school and the BST. Members of the BST have a lot of experience, knowledge and skills in managing behaviour.
Physical Disability Support Service
The Physical Disability Support Service has been developed to improve co-ordination of Local Authority services to meet the needs of pupils with physical disabilities. The service provides mainstream schools with advice, support and training.
Educational Psychology Service
Educational Psychologists give advice to schools, parents and Local Authorities on the needs and difficulties of children and on ways of helping them. The psychologist may want to give your child some things to do individually. They may also observe your child in a classroom or nursery, visit you in your home and talk to the teacher and anyone else who knows your child well. Educational Psychologists focus on how to help your child learn and offer advice around this. They do not offer therapy.
There are also some other support services which have regular contact with schools in Nottinghamshire and may advise on ways to support children with special educational needs. Some of these are provided by the LA, others are provided by Health.
LA provided services
Education Welfare Service
This is a service that can help you and your child if your child is not attending school regularly or is frequently arriving late. An Education Welfare Officer can help develop a closer relationship between yourself and school, so you can address any problems your child may be having with school and ensure that they attend. It is your responsibility to make sure your child attends school.
The school may seek advice from them if you and your family already have a social worker. They would advise on wider family arrangements and issues which may affect your child’s ability to learn. Social Workers would not become involved without your knowledge or consent.
Connexions is an advice and guidance service for all young people age 13-19 and up to aged 25 for those with additional needs.
Young people can get information and any support they need from a Personal Adviser on a whole range of issues. For example, careers, education, employment and training, leisure, finance or housing. Connexions support all young people, so that they can make the most of their abilities and make a successful move into adulthood.
Your child’s secondary school will have a Connexions personal adviser attached to it. Connexions also have advisers attached to special schools.
If your child has a statement, the Year 9 annual review and transition planning must involve the Connexions personal adviser. Annual Reviews and Transitions are discussed in more detail in Section 7.
Other non-LA services
These services are provided by Health
School Doctors or Community Paediatricians
School Doctors or community paediatricians are specialists in children and can advise the school about your child’s health or medical needs
They are qualified nurses with extra training in child health and can also advise the school about health and medical needs
Children’s Community and Specialist Nurses
They work with children, young people, their families and carers to meet the needs of children with complex medical needs. They assist the child in returning to school wherever possible and offer advice, information and assessment of the school environment.
Speech and Language Therapists
If your child is having problems speaking or communicating with other people, the school may seek advice from a speech and language therapist. They are trained in providing assessment and support with speech and communication development in children.
Physiotherapists are trained to assess your child’s mobility and physical development. This might include things like co-ordination, ability to sit, stand and walk. They can advise the school on how best to help your child develop, how best to keep your child as mobile as possible and on any appropriate specialist equipment your child might need. A physiotherapist can work with you and the school to deliver a programme to help your child’s mobility.
Occupational Therapists are trained to help your child be as independent as possible, advising on equipment if necessary.
Clinical Psychologists work with children and young people who have emotional, behavioural or social difficulties. These might include difficulties with sleep, aggression, bereavement or anxiety.
Dieticians help promote healthy eating and advise on special diets for medical conditions.