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Update: Special school place planning

In September 2017, the London Borough of Waltham Forest commissioned Premier Advisory Group – a company which undertakes education and children & family research, policy and support – to undertake a consultation, with the broad aim of determining priorities for investment in education provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Department for Education (DfE) has identified capital funds to support all Local Authorities in keeping the development of SEND provision under review.

The consultation will be used to inform the capital spend decisions over the next 5 years.

To find out more click here to download the Waltham Forest SPCF Consultation.pdf (742 KB).

Supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in schools

Children aged 5 to 11 years go to a primary school. Primary schools can be for children aged 5-11 or may be infant schools (from ages 5-7) and junior schools (from ages 7-11). Nearly all children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) go to a 'mainstream' school. Many children and young people may need some extra help or support at some time.

Very few children will have special educational needs (SEN) that are long-term or a disability or medical condition that significantly affects their learning. It is important to identify children who do have special educational needs and disability (SEND) as early as possible. All schools will work with you and if you do have a concern you will need to speak to your child’s class teacher.

If they share your concerns they will make arrangements to assess your child and put in place additional support. This is known as early help or intervention which is aimed at making sure your child gets the help they need as soon as possible.

Schools have to be clear on their 'offer of support' for pupils with SEND. You will find that each school has published a SEN information report on their website, which might also be known as a 'School Local Offer'. This report says what the school will offer for pupils who have SEND.

Find out more about SEND in Waltham Forest and what to do if your child does not make progress despite the extra support school has provided.

Special Schools and Resourced Provision

In Waltham Forest there are different types of schools for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, ranging from mainstream schools with their own support and additional support through EHC plans to mainstream schools with additionally resourced provision to special schools.

Find out more about Special Schools and Resourced Provision in Waltham Forest.

Find a school

The Local Offer has a complete listing of all schools in Waltham Forest.

Watch: EHC Plan Pathway Waltham Forest

Please take a moment to watch our short film about how to get the support you need through an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan).

You can also read all about EHC Plan by clicking on the link in the Useful Information section below.

How much money will schools have to support children with special educational needs and disabilities?

Schools budget for all pupils

All maintained schools, including mainstream academies, receive a budget allocated at the beginning of the financial year (from 1 April each year). The school’s allocation for all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), is based on the number and age of the children within the school. This works out as approximately £4000 per pupil.

SEN Notional budget – additional resources for children with SEND within schools

For the majority of children with SEND, further resources are allocated through something called the 'SEN Notional budget for mainstream schools'. This is done using a funding formula and works out at an additional £6000 per pupil with SEN.

The funding formula uses data and information about low attainment and deprivation. These factors have been determined by the Department for Education under the Government’s funding reforms which came into place from April 2013. The use of the low attainment and deprivation data and information identifies a profile of need for each school, which is then used for the allocation of available funds on an annual basis through the SEN Notional budget.

All types of need are covered by this funding model which results in the allocation of a sum of money which is part of the whole school budget. This can be used to address the needs of children, in any category, as identified, assessed and prioritised by the school.

Funding for pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Where a child needs additional support above what can be delivered through the first £6000 SEN Notional budget (this will need to be evidenced), the school and/or parent can request to have an Education, Health and Care Assessment (EHCA). 

Where a child with high needs requires additional support over and above that normally available in school, the school is still required to fund the first £6,000 of their additional provision.

For children with EHC plans whose needs require additional support over this level, specific funding is provided as a top-up. The top-up will be paid from the centrally retained resource held by the local authority on behalf of schools for additional support over and above £6000. This will only occur where a pupil has been assessed and determined by the LA, as needing an EHC Plan.

The amount of top-up funding provided will depend on the needs of individual pupils with EHCP’s, following assessment.

Find out more information on EHC Plans

Section 41 Education Establishments

Section 41 providers are commissioned by the Department for Education and each provider has to follow a process to assure central government that they are fit for purpose.

They are quality assured by OFSTED. 

The institutions are usually outside of London and offer residential support for learners.  Many of the institutions have a specialism such as facilities for those with sensory impairment.

Residential places are expensive and on average cost the borough more than 50k per learner.  

Therefore as advised in the SEND Code of Practice London Borough of Waltham Forest aims to work with local providers in providing high quality placements that allows learners to stay within the locality.

Click here to visit Section 41 of the Children and Families Act on GOV.UK website

Citizens Advice Waltham Forest for information on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Waltham Forest council has a legal duty to make arrangements to provide information and advice to parents/carers of children with Special Educational Needs.

The Special Educational Needs Disability Information Advice and Support Service provided by Citizens Advice in Waltham Forest is a confidential service and that can:

Citizens Advice in Waltham Forest is a confidential service and that can:

  • Listen to parents concerns and queries
  • Can offer contact with an independent supporter
  • Signpost to other sources of help and information
  • Help you to get your views, the views of your child or young person known, understood and valued
  • Help you prepare and go with you to meetings
  • Help with paperwork and writing reports and letters
  • Help you to look at all of the options
  • Look at ways of overcoming differences

Citizens Advice is available to all parents resident in Waltham Forest whose children have special educational needs. We aim to promote partnership between parents, the Local Authority (LA), schools, early years settings, health, social services and specialist children's services. Parents know their child better than anyone and have a key role to play in their child's education.


Telephone: 0300 330 1175

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