The basic formula used by English local authorities to calculate how much delegated SEN funding each school receives includes factors such as pupils‚’ prior attainment, the number of pupils whose first language is not English, the local deprivation index figure and the number of pupils receiving free school meals. The key factor – the number of pupils actually receiving SEN support or who have Education, Health and Care Plans – is, however, ignored.
The rationale given for this omission is that all the factors used in the current formula can be measured using centrally controlled data whereas SEN is based on teachers‚’ subjective opinion.
Each year, however, schools are required to report how many of their children receive SEN support and how many children have an Education, Health and Care Plan. This data is then considered sufficiently accurate and significant by Central Government for it to be collated and included in its school comparison tables, accessible at https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk.
If the SEN and Education, Health and Care Plan data reported by schools is considered to be sufficiently accurate to be included in school comparison tables there can be no justification for omitting it from the funding formula.