Dedicated schools grant safety valve programme

Hillingdon Council is taking part in the Department for Education's national schools grant safety valve programme.

The programme provides dedicated funding to help many local authorities, including ours, deliver better (and more cost-effective) services for families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The programme will run until March 2026 and supports our council's aim to put the needs of children, young people and families first.

Requirements of the programme

Working within the framework of the DfE, we have 12 requirements to meet during a 5-year period.

  1. Reduce the cumulative deficit.
  2. Standardise good practice and inclusivity across the mainstream sector by promoting the use of SEND self-reviews.
  3. Continue the use of 'Early Support Funding', to promote early intervention and reduce the escalation of children's needs.
  4. Further progress integrating a process of reviewing existing EHCPs.
  5. Further develop and implement a new Early Health Notification Process, to improve the identification of SEND from birth to ensure appropriate services and support are provided in a timely manner.
  6. Continue developing temporary and permanent provisions for SEND through Hillingdon capital, in conjunction with effective use of capital grants.
  7. Continue reviewing all placements in independent and non-maintained schools to optimise the use of mainstream settings.
  8. Explore different models for alternative provision and continue to review existing commissioned places.
  9. Conduct a review of banding arrangements.
  10. Further increase the educational psychology service, to increase systematic, pre-statutory support to settings.
  11. Regularly meet with the Schools Forum and the DSG delivery group as part of the revised school engagement approach.
  12. Review healthcare contributions.

Each requirement covers specific ambitious improvements to benefit children and young people with special education needs and disabilities. Improvements will involve a transformation of commissioning of services (both in and out of the borough), where we will work with state-funded and independent partners in education, social care and health services.

Update of our progress

Our  Safety valve monitoring report - Executive summary (PDF) [252KB] provides an update on our council's progress of the  Dedicated Schools Grant ‘Safety Valve’ Agreement (PDF) [134KB].

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Page last updated: 15 Dec 2023