sense largeSense responds to new proposals for a “national funding formula” for schools and high needs funding reform.

 Charity calls for the Government to use the consultation as an opportunity to address fairer funding for special needs in early years education settings

Sense welcomed the government’s commitment to developing a new single funding formula for early years, high needs and schools but expressed concerns that the reforms to early years funding need to recognise the additional costs of provision to children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Under the current system there is no notional SEN funding for early years providers. Recent research from Sense into access to play opportunities for children with multiple needs found that a lack of notional funding makes it harder for play providers to make their settings accessible and that as a result children are missing out on play opportunities that are vital to their emotional, social and physical development. The charity is now calling for urgent action to address the inequalities that prevent disabled children from accessing play.

 Kate Fitch, Head of Public Policy at Sense said:

“Sense welcomes the government’s commitment to developing a new single funding formula for schools and introducing reforms to high needs funding.  However, we believe that the Government should use the consultation as an opportunity to address the differences in the way schools and early years settings are funded, and to make sure they can meet the additional costs of provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Reform to the Early Years Single Funding Formula must recognise that there are additional costs for providers offering places to children with additional needs and enable them to meet these in a timely way so that all children get the best support possible.”