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Local High Needs Funding (LHNF)

Local High Needs Funding

The Local High Needs Funding system is designed to support children and young people (CYP) with emerging high needs, or with needs that fall outside the EHCP process. It is managed locally within the nine DSPL areas although funding is paid out centrally into school budgets. This is top-up funding to provide the cost of provision which exceeds the first £6000 which should be provided from the school’s Notional SEN Budget. It is for interventions and provision which go beyond quality first teaching and reasonable adjustments.

Application Process

The application process for Early Years settings and mainstream school settings has recently changed.   School settings should apply in the usual way, using the forms and guidance below.   Early Years settings should follow the new guidance in the next section.

LHNF Panel Dates               Closing Date for Applications
Thursday 15th February  Wednesday 31st January (5pm)
Thursday 21st March Tuesday 5th March (5pm)
Thursday 9th May Tuesday 23rd April (5pm)
Thursday 13th June Tuesday 21st May (5pm)
Thursday 4th July Tuesday 18th June (5pm)


Key Documents for Schools


Application process for Early Years Settings

A new Early Years funding system was introduced in June 2023.  Recommendations and requests for Local High Needs funding are now made by practitioners within Integrated Services for Learning (ISL) for example, a Specialist Advisory Teacher.   The Advisory teacher makes a recommendation to the Early Years SEND Support Panel.  If the panel agrees that the needs and required provision meet the criteria for the Targeted Plus descriptor or above, the case will be taken to the Local High Needs Funding panel by the local area Early Years Lead Teacher, for final decision making.  The decision to award funding will be at the discretion of the LHNF Panel. 

Key Documents for EY