Staffordshire County Council’s Education Banding Tool for EHCPs
In March 2022 Staffordshire County Council launched a new education banding tool for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with the aim of providing a fair, consistent and transparent system to calculate top-up funding, based on the individual child or young person’s identified needs as detailed within their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), and which can be revisited through the Annual Review process as and when needs change.
Previously, the Council used a matrix approach to allocate its funding for special schools, and support assistant (TA) hours for mainstream schools, but wanted to drive improvements and ensure an equitable use of its high needs budget. Formulate for SEND is a purpose-built education banding tool that has been configured to meet the needs of the Council. It uses the information detailed in each child or young person’s EHCP to calculate an individualised funding band and provides a clear banding system to ensure consistency, save time and accurately allocate funding to meet the educational needs of each child and young person.
Further information about the Education Banding Tool can also be located here and presentation slides and a recorded video of the Overview Session for Staffordshire’s District Leads and SEND Family Practitioners on 28.3.22 & 3.3.22 can be found here
Please note, this will only be applicable to you if you live in Staffordshire.
What does this mean for you as a parent/carer and your child?
The main change you will see, when the EHCP is amended, is that Section F of the EHC Plan will record a Band Level. This band level equates to an amount of funding which is provided to the school as top-up funding and which is replacing the previous ‘matrix’ levels.
As the banding tool uses the information detailed within the EHCP to calculate the band level it is vitally important that you attend your child’s EHCP review meeting/s and, before the meeting, go through your child’s EHC plan carefully, looking particularly closely at the education sections B and F, as well as the outcomes in section E. The annual review is your chance to say if you think the EHCP is still correct or if any changes need to be made to ensure it clearly and accurately reflects your child’s current needs; what they can, and cannot do. If not, make a list of what you think should be taken out, changed, or added to this part of the EHC Plan.
The purpose of the review meeting is to:
- review the child or young person’s progress towards achieving the outcomes specified in the EHCP, and whether the outcomes remain appropriate
- review the child or young person’s overall progress over the past year, especially in relation to each area of special educational need (SEN) identified in the EHCP
- consider any changes to the child or young person’s:
- special education needs (difficulties)
- health and/or social care needs
- the provision (support) required to meet the needs
- and, where appropriate, to recommend any changes that might be necessary