High needs provision capital allocation (HNPCA) consultation and bidding round

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced local authority funding to support the provision of new places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and those requiring alternative provision. This is collectively referred to as high needs provision.

Funding will be provided for financial year 2021-22 through a new grant called the high needs provision capital allocation (HNPCA). This follows on from the special provision funding that was received for the financial years 2018-19 to 2020-21. See how we spent previous funding.

There is £280 million in total which is being allocated to local authorities proportionally, based on their estimated share of future growth in the high needs pupil population.

Our allocation of this funding is £1,676,744.

The funding is mainly intended to create new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with complex needs or who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP). However, it can also be used to support SEND pupils without an EHCP and pupils who require alternative provision without an EHCP, where appropriate.

How the funding can be used

We can invest our HNPCA grant in:

  • Creating new or additional places at good or outstanding provision
  • Improving existing facilities or developing new facilities

This can be through:

  • Expansion of existing provision at the same site or a different site
  • Reconfiguring provision to make available the space for the additional places or facilities
  • Re-purposing areas so that they meet the needs of pupils with SEND
  • Investment in accessibility to improve access to existing provision
  • Other capital transactions that result in additional places or improvements to facilities
  • Investing in provision that is located in another local authority where this supports providing good outcomes for children in the area

 The funding can be allocated to the following types of provision:

  • Mainstream school, academy or college
  • Special unit or resourced provision
  • Special school, academy or college
  • Alternative provision including pupil referral unit
  • Nursery or early years provider
  • Other provision that is attended by pupils age 0-25 with SEND or who require alternative provision.

Strategic priorities

In Trafford children with additional needs benefit from excellent mainstream and special school provision. We are aware however that we have very limited capacity to meet increasing demand for places in both primary and secondary settings in the future.

To increase capacity we have outlined our strategic priorities and also some specific proposals that will meet the increasing demands for places. We are committed to supporting our schools and settings within the borough as we believe that local provision offers the best outcomes for our children and young people.

The priorities were informed by our SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, the SEND Action Plan 2019-22 and the knowledge that all places in special schools and small specialist classes are full for September 2021.

Priority 1

Small specialist class in mainstream primary to support complex learning needs in key stages 1 and 2.

Priority 2

Primary special school provision to support social emotional mental health, autism spectrum and social communication needs in key stages 1 and 2.

Priority 3

Small specialist class in mainstream secondary to support autism spectrum and social communication needs in key stages 3 and 4.

In 2021, we completed a review of the secondary small specialist class provision based at Lostock High School. This provision has been extremely successful in meeting the needs of students with autism spectrum and social communication needs and has expanded from initially having 10 students placed on site in 2018 to 22 by September 2021. This small specialist class offers young people with autism spectrum / social communication needs the flexibility of accessing a mainstream curriculum whilst providing them with additional support to overcome the environmental challenges a secondary school context can present.

The review detailed high quality teaching and learning experiences, found that children are well supported and outcomes are good. 

We do however recognise this provision can only meet the needs of a small number of children, it is situated in the north of the borough and is now full. To make sure we have sufficient places moving forward we are inviting expressions of interest from another secondary school in the borough to replicate this model.

We are also aware that all small specialist class places at primary schools in our area are currently at full capacity. Following a review in 2018 we understand how vital these classes are to supporting children with additional needs.

Have your say

In line with these strategic priorities we have developed some proposals for how we may invest the funding and are now inviting feedback on these proposals. . We are particularly interested in feedback from parents, carers and young people as well as schools and settings. There is also an opportunity to tell us what else you think we should spend the money on.

You can ask any questions and help shape the proposals by giving your ideas and comments in one of the following ways:

The consultation is open until 18 June 2021.

After the period of consultation we will publish all the feedback and a plan showing how we intend to invest our allocated funding.