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SEND Funding in Leeds


All schools receive a budget directly from the government and part of this is for the education and provision of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This is sometimes called the inclusion budget. Mainstream schools are expected to fund up to £6,000 of SEND provision and education for a child from this budget.

Local authorities receive extra funding to support and fund school’s SEND provision and inclusion. In many local authorities access to extra funding (over the £6,000) is available through an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan. However, in Leeds this is not the case. Schools in Leeds can apply for extra funding for individual pupils with SEND, for their education and provision when this cannot be met from the £6,000 funding schools already have been allocated. This funding is sometimes called top-up funding.

Types of Funding available in Leeds

In Leeds, settings can apply for top-up funding (called Funding for Inclusion or FFI) under the following categories:

  • Cognition and learning needs
  • Vision needs
  • Hearing needs
  • Physical needs
  • Communication and interaction needs
  • Social, emotional and mental health needs
  • Health care/medical needs

Settings must provide evidence that the pupil needs meet a set of criteria set out by Leeds SEND Team, to receive the FFI. This often includes evidence from other professionals working with the child such as medical professionals, as well as evidence from the setting.

Early Years

  • SENDIF – used to support children aged three or four years old with low level needs or emerging SEND. Click here for a Leeds City Council guide to SENDIF: Simple Guide to EY SENDIF.pdf
  • EYFFI – used to support two, three and four year olds with SEND who meet the criteria. Click here for a Leeds City Council guide to EYFFI: Simple Guide to EYFFI.pdf

School Age

  • FFI – used to support children of school age who meet criteria. Settings can apply for FFI in specific year groups. Click here for a Leeds City Council guide to FFI: Your Simple Guide to FFI.pdf

Post 16

Post 16 placements are funded by a place plus system and the local authority pays £10,000 per place. Pupils are then allocated Additional Learner Support (ALS) to meet any additional support costs that they might have. 

Personal Budget

A personal budget is:

An amount of money identified by the local authority or the NHS to help support a child or young person and their family to achieve the outcomes stated in their assessment of needs. The aim of personal budgets is to give families more choice in how children and young people are supported and directly involved in organising that support.

An education personal budget enables the family to make different support arrangements to that a school or college would have put in place. Education funding that can be used as a personal budget is that which is normally paid to settings to provide support for a specific child or young person.’ (Leeds City Council Personal Budgets One Minute Guide)

To receive an education personal budget, a child or young person must already have FFI and an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.

A personal budget in the form of a direct payment is also available for short breaks (see below).

Click here for a Leeds City Council guide to Personal Budgets: One minute guide: Personal budgets (leeds.gov.uk)

Short breaks

A child may have been assessed as benefiting from short breaks to help meet their SEND. This may be as part of an Early Help Plan or Child and Family Assessment. Parents can access funding called direct payments to fund this. A panel decides whether direct payments are appropriate. Direct payments for short breaks do not require an EHC Plan.

Find out more information about short breaks here: Short breaks for disabled children (leeds.gov.uk), One minute guide: Short breaks and fun activities (leeds.gov.uk)

Who can I speak to for more information and advice about funding?

If you want more information about funding or think your child may be eligible for funding or direct payments, you can speak to:

  • The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s school or nursery
  • Your SEN Casework Officer (if applicable)
  • Your child’s social worker (if applicable)

Additional support from Leeds MENCAP

Speak to other parents with children with SEN and disabilities on our closed Facebook group.

Check out the rest of our Family Support offer. We have:

  • Weekly Chats and Tots coffee morning
  • Family Support workers who can offer advice, signposting and support
  • Lots of tips and resources on our website

Additional support and resources

This information is not affiliated with Leeds MENCAP.

If you want more information about funding in general:

Leeds City Council guidance:

Your Simple Guide to FFI.pdf

Simple Guide to EYFFI.pdf

Simple Guide to EY SENDIF.pdf

One minute guide: Short breaks and fun activities (leeds.gov.uk)

One minute guide: Personal budgets (leeds.gov.uk)

Other organisations who offer advice:  Leeds SENDIASS: SEND funding (leeds.gov.uk)

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