Implementation of new top-up funding matrix to start in June
Following last year’s successful pilot, a new Top Up funding allocation model has been developed with positive feedback from SENCOs and headteachers. The phased implementation will begin from June 2023.
The new funding matrix aims to determine the right level of top-up funding at the right time to enable education settings to make appropriate provision for pupils with a special educational need and/or disability (SEND), as outlined in the SEND Code of Practice.
The new 6x4 matrix will use the four main areas of need and six levels of support from Quality First Teaching to the highest level of specialist support to determine the funding allocation for each child or young person. This provides us with a simplified funding process, giving increased transparency and offering greater financial sustainability to education settings, therefore improving placement stability and supporting recruitment and retention.
Crucially, the matrix is also intended to support more inclusive learning environments, giving children and young people with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) the chance to thrive within their local mainstream settings and communities.
Implementation will be done through a phased approach, with the initial focus on resource provision and specific early years groups beginning in June. This will help to ensure a smooth transition. Following the first phase, the new matrix will be launched in September 2023 for:
- all new EHC Plans,
- nursery age transitioning into reception,
- year 6 to year 7 transfers in line with annual review dates.
A series of virtual awareness sessions will be taking place from June 2023 to the end of term to provide further information and to demonstrate how the new matrix will work in practice. This will be available for staff working in both education settings and the Council’s SEND teams. Attendance at these sessions will be beneficial to support a smooth implementation of the new model and all settings are encouraged to register. Please look out for further details of these sessions which will be shared with you after half term, via Heads Up and email.
It is important to highlight that we will be carrying out in-depth reviews every half term to evaluate progress during the implementation phase of this project, and it may be important for us to pause implementation, if necessary, to ensure its success and sustainability. We are committed to working in partnership with you to deliver the best possible outcomes for our children and young people and will be keeping you updated throughout the duration of the project.