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Early years high needs funding

High needs funding is intended to provide the most appropriate support package for children and young people (from early years up to age 25) with special educational needs and disabilities in a range of settings, taking account of parental and student choice.

The key principles for the funding of higher needs pupils are:

  • Funding for high needs provision is to be arranged on an equivalent basis across different types of providers, including maintained or academy schools
  • This includes pupils and students with high needs in the school or academy, further education and alternative provision sectors
  • A ‘place-plus’ approach to funding in specialist settings is being adopted

How to apply for high needs funding

To make an application for high needs funding, please use the appropriate link below for your setting.

Please note the child must be attending a funded place at the time of application.

We recommend that you read the instruction page carefully before you begin to complete the form.

Changes to high needs funding application forms

The first time you complete a new form you will be asked to create a personal account. You will then be able to view your saved and completed forms once logged in.

We are aware that some users are experiencing issues with saved forms and we are investigating these. If you experience any problems, please contact the high needs team [email protected].

What happens next?

The High Needs Panel meets monthly. They will consider applications from education providers for high needs funding for children without a statement or education, health and care plan (EHC). Each application is discussed to determine whether the child meets high needs criteria in line with the SEN descriptors (see below).

There are 2 decisions types:

  • the child meets the criteria for high needs funding
  • the child does not meet the criteria for high needs funding

Decisions are notified to settings via email, within 10 working days from the panel date.

The decision notification confirms the funding period and the amount to be funded.

High needs panel meeting dates 2021 to 2022

Application submission datesDate of panelDate of first payment
6 August 2021 to 1 September 20218 September 202124 September 2021
2 September 2021 to 30 September 20217 October 202125 October 2021
1 October 2021 to 2 November 20219 November 202125 November 2021
3 November 2021 to 1 December 20218 December 202124 December 2021
2 December 2021 to 30 December 20216 January 202225 January 2022
1 January 2022 to 1 February 20228 February 202125 February 2022
2 February 2021 to 2 March 20229 March 202225 March 2022

All panel decisions will be sent to the email address provided on the application form.

Completed applications can be submitted at any time and will be considered in date order, at the closest panel meeting date with capacity.

Please note that applications must be checked and prepared and that panel members require at least 5 working days to review applications prior to the panel meeting.

Applications submitted close to a panel date will therefore be submitted to the next panel.

For Early Years applications, where funding is agreed, it will be payable from the following payment month, for example if an application is submitted on 1 October, following the guide above this will be paid from 25 October.

Early Years High Needs funding – review date

Where Early Years high needs funding is due to cease at the end of a funding block for pupil(s) remaining at the same setting, a new application would need to be submitted.

What happens when pupils move to another setting?

Where pupils move to another setting within their eligibility dates, funding will commence at the new setting without the need for re-application.

The original funding decision review date/end date will apply at the new setting and at that point a re-application to panel may be appropriate. In such cases the new setting will be required to make a full application to panel.

Send descriptors – explaining a pupils SEND provision

​The document below fulfils a Department for Education requirement for each local authority to explain the special educational needs provision it expects to be made from within a mainstream school's budget share. It clearly explains the provision for pupils from early years settings and schools and will form part of the local authority Local Offer.

The document should be used as required to inform good practice and support effective provision for pupils with special educational needs.

Early Years High Needs funding – cross border

The Early Years High Needs funding can only be claimed by childcare providers who are located in West Northamptonshire. If you are unsure you can email us at [email protected].

If a child who has a West Northamptonshire postcode but attends a provision that is outside of West Northamptonshire they would need to apply directly to the Local Authority the provision is located in.

Why information is on a different website
We are in the process of adding information to this new unitary council website. Some pages will give you a link back to a previous council website to help you find what you need. Read more about the council changes.

Last updated 11 May 2022