It is concerning that this is likely to be an issue in the near future and I imagine that it applies to many schools across many Local Authorities.
The most concerning element, from our point of view, is that the Local Authority is not properly funding the support needed to meet pupils' SEN. All support which is above that usually provided in mainstream schools should be specified in the child's EHCP and funded by the Local Authority. The school should not be expected to "top up" the support from within their own budget when there is an educational need for the support.
The contents of an EHCP should be specific and provide the appropriate number of hours to support the pupil in school. Once this is contained in the EHCP, it is the duty of the Local Authority to provide funding to meet this level of support.
Schools are bending over backwards to meet the needs of pupils with SEN without the correct level of assistance from the Local Authority.
These are the issues which should be appealed to the SEN Tribunal in order to include the correct level of support is contained in Section F of the EHCP. This will then limit the impact on school budget and ensure that pupils are appropriately supported within their setting.
The shortfall occurs in part because Derbyshire county council funds Thomas’s teaching assistant support for only 22 hours a week and the school has to find extra cash to top that up to the full 32.5 hours. It does this for many of the 82 pupils who receive special needs support. One boy whose parents would like him to go into reception class in September is likely to be funded for just 14 hours’ help even though he requires help with eating and toileting, cannot speak and has to be changed regularly because he tends to dribble.