Staffordshire Council launches new digital SEND funding tool
The Staffordshire County Council (SCC) has announced that their new digital education banding tool has been launched.
The tool is designed to support the council in allocating matching funds for pupils with an education, health and care (EHC) plan.
Working with healthcare and social care software company, Imosphere, SCC has initiated a phased rollout of Imosphere’s Formulate for SEND banding tool in mainstream and specialty schools.
Formulate for SEND is a purpose-built educational banding tool that has been configured to meet the needs of the board. The aim is for the tool to provide the council with a fair, consistent and transparent system for calculating additional funding, based on the individual child or young person’s identified needs, as detailed in their EHC plan, which can be reviewed through the annual review process. how and when to change.
Previously, the council used a matrix approach to allocate its funding for special schools and support assistant hours for mainstream schools. It is hoped that the new tool will reduce the need for the council to negotiate with education providers for each child or young person individually, saving time and carefully allocating funds to meet the educational needs on a more personal level for each young person.
Lesley Calverley, senior commissioning manager for SEND at Staffordshire County Council, said: “From the very beginning of the project it was always important that we had open and transparent conversations with everyone.
“During the pilot project we engaged with parents and guardians and saw the value the educational banding tool brought to our processes. For example, by sharing the output of the educational banding tool with parents, guardians and educational service providers, we believe this will help improve the quality of EHC’s plans.
“This collaboration early in the funding process allows us to make changes to an individual’s needs profile and ensure that the EHC plan truly reflects the needs of that child and young person.”
Once fully integrated and deployed in Staffordshire schools, the council expects the banding tool for education to support commissioning and strategic planning. It is hoped that the tool will allow the board to explore patterns in the needs of children and young people and any changes over time, so that managers can obtain valuable information and establish future projections.