Top-up funding for pupils with high needs

Find out about top-up funding for pupils with high needs, including how you can access it and what you can spend it on.

Last reviewed on 29 June 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 8632
  1. What is the threshold for receiving top-up funding?
  2. How can I access top-up funding?
  3. When will I receive the funding?
  4. What can I spend my top-up funding on?

What is the threshold for receiving top-up funding?

Mainstream schools 

You’re expected to meet the first £6,000 of additional support costs for pupils with high needs from your delegated budget (your core funding).

Where the cost of a pupil’s additional support is higher than £6,000, the excess will be met with top-up funding. This will be paid to your school directly by the local authority (LA) in which the pupil lives.

The process of applying for top-up funding, and the amount of funding that the LA makes available, is determined locally as part of the local offer

This is explained in section 14.2 of the operational guide for high needs funding.

Special schools and alternative provision

If your school is a:

  • Maintained special school
  • Special academy
  • Special free school
  • Non-maintained special school
  • Pupil referral unit (PRU)
  • Alternative provision (AP) academy, or
  • AP free school

Your setting is funded at £10,000 per place based on the number of places to be funded.