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High Needs Funding in Further Education

High Needs Funding for Post 16 Students in Colleges and Approved Educational Establishments
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  • High Needs Funding (HNF) is money that Further Education (FE) colleges or approved Educational Establishments can apply for to help them to support young people
  • It is not a reimbursement of actual costs but an additional resource to support a college or educational establishment in meeting the young person’s high level of special educational needs
  • The process requires colleges to submit an application for each high needs young person whose provision exceeds £6,000 per annum
  • HNF is available for students aged 16-18 with or without an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • HNF is available for students aged 19+ with an EHCP
  • Funding will only be approved for one year (even if the course is for two years) and a renewal will need to demonstrate how effectively the college has used previously agreed resources as well as the rationale for continued support
  • For this application the young person will be required to sign a consent form. The SEND Information Sharing and Consent Agreement (DOCX, 29.6 KB) should be used for this purpose
  • Once the application for HNF is received by the Local Authority it is considered by the specialist FE High Needs Funding Officer
  • As part of the application the college will be expected to send a copy of the young person’s personalised plan (Young Person with SEN Support but no EHCP) or provision plan (with an EHC Plan).

Useful links
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Young People’s Guidance
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In response to requests, we have produced High Needs funding Guidance for young people that colleges are welcome to share to help explain the process. The document will also be available to young people within the Local Offer on the website

Braille version of guidance can be supplied on request to the FE High Needs Funding Officer.

Any queries please contact:

Charlotte Croucher, FE High Needs Funding and Monitoring Officer
Telephone: 03000 41 35 32

The system is different for mainstream schools, academies and free schools, please see separate guidance on Kelsi under High Needs funding for schools.

High Needs Funding Feedback
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We plan to continue to make improvements to the High Needs Funding system and would welcome your feedback and any comments you have by emailing