Last reviewed on 1 December 2021
School types: Special · School phases: All
Ref: 32511

Learn how special schools receive their funding, including how place funding and top-up funding are allocated.

Special schools are funded from the high needs block

High needs funding:

  • Supports provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) 
  • Is provided to local authorities (LAs) through the high needs block of the dedicated schools grant (DSG)

This is explained in the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) high needs funding operational guide for 2021 to 2022 (see page 3).

Special schools receive core funding (or ‘place-funding’) and top-up funding from this block. You can read about these in sections 2 and 3 below.

Place funding is allocated to an institution

Place funding, or 'element 2':

  • Includes the funding pupils attract for their core education
  • Provides a contribution to the additional costs associated with a support package

LAs have flexibility