Dedicated Schools Grant (High Needs Funding) Consultation

Closed 4 Dec 2020

Opened 9 Oct 2020

Feedback updated 3 Jun 2021

We asked

We asked for your views on proposed changes to a number of SEND support services in Stockport funded by the High Needs Funding block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG).

You said

We had over 674 responses to the consultation from a range of different stakeholders.

We did

We are now in the process of considering the outcomes of the consultation and beginning to work up the proposals that will be further developed to be taken forward later in the year. For more information please email


Purpose of the review

The Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) provides the majority of funding for schools. This includes High Needs funding which is for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The High Needs funding element is approximately £32million.

The High Needs block funds: 

  • Top up funding for children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), 
  • All places at our specialist schools, resourced units, Pupil Referral Units and external placements (including independent special school places)
  • Key support services, including Learning Support Service, the Autism team, Sensory Support Services, Inclusion co-ordinators, School Age Plus workers

The review was undertaken because we needed to:

  • Make sure that the money is spent to achieve the best outcomes for young people
  • Understand where the money is being spent and what we spend it on
  • Make sure we best meet needs with the funding available.

Background to the DSG review

In September 2018 Stockport had its joint local area SEND inspection. The inspection highlighted several weaknesses and the need for a Written Statement of Action (WSoA) to address a number of areas where major improvement was needed.

The DSG review has built upon the findings of the inspection as well as feedback received after the inspection, including from parent/carers and young people. There has been strong feedback that change is necessary within the current system. The review has also built upon feedback gained from the listening exercises undertaken in March/April 2019 with the following groups:

  • 65 Head Teachers and Chairs of Governors
  • 108 workforce  
  • 30 people from voluntary and community sector and businesses
  • 12 wider stakeholders

There has also been work with parent/carers and the wider community since the SEND inspection which has included:

  • Linking in with the nominated parent forum Parents and Carers Together Stockport (PACTS) through their annual post-inspection surveys of families and monthly meetings to feedback areas of concern;
  • Regular consultation with groups of young people in Stockport with SEND;
  • Consultations on areas such as autism;
  • Drop-in and listening events by senior managers with community members;
  • Parent/carer involvement in working groups set up since the inspection

The views gained through these methods have informed the review. The SEND improvement work and learning from the Inspection have been central within the review.

In addition, the council is making changes within its services for children and young people. This includes looking at how services are delivered across Stockport, for example in neighbourhoods. The DSG review has linked into this wider work.

Areas covered by the review:

The review has focussed on the spending of DSG high needs funding which covers:

  • Place funding for specialist settings (i.e. special schools, resourced provision bases and pupil referral units (PRUs).
  •  Top-up funding for pupils with additional educational needs in mainstream schools, specialist settings and Post 16 establishments.
  • Independent Special School Fees.
  • Specialist support services (i.e. Sensory, learning support); and
  • Any other SEN/Inclusion support services / activities

The review focussed on children aged 5-16. There is a recommendation within the review findings to look further at early years and post 16 provision.

The findings of the review have been condensed into a summary and a background appendix which can be read before responding to the consultation can be read before responding to the consultation. Alternatively there is a Power Point and video. These can be accessed below: 

DSG Brief and Recommendations (pdf,1MB, opens in a new window)

National, Regional and Local Context (pdf, 551KB, opens in a new window)

DSG Briefing Video (opens in a new window)

DSG Briefing Power Point (opens in a new window)

All responses must be submitted by 11:59pm on Friday 4th December. 

If you require the consultation and background documents in an alternative format or language please email or telephone 07816094830