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Local High Needs Funding (LHNF)

Local High Needs Funding

The Local High Needs Funding system is designed to support children and young people (CYP) with emerging high needs, or with needs that fall outside the EHCP process. It is managed locally within the nine DSPL areas although funding is paid out centrally into school budgets. This is top-up funding to provide the cost of provision which exceeds the first £6000 which should be provided from the school’s Notional SEN Budget. It is for interventions and provision which go beyond quality first teaching and reasonable adjustments.

Application Process

The application process for Early Years settings and mainstream school settings has recently changed.   School settings should apply in the usual way, using the forms and guidance below.   Early Years settings should follow the new guidance in the next section.

            LHNF Panel Dates                  Closing Date for Applications
Thursday 19th September

5th September (5pm)

Thursday 17th October 2024

1st October (5pm)

Thursday 21st November 2024

5th November (5pm)

Thursday 23rd January 2025

9th January (5pm)

Thursday 13th February 2025

28th January (5pm)

Thursday 13th March 2025

25th February (5pm)

Thursday 22nd May 2025

6th May (5pm)

Thursday 19th June 2025

3rd June (5pm)

Thursday 10th July 2025

24th June (5pm)


Key Documents for Schools


Application process for Early Years Settings

A new Early Years funding system was introduced in June 2023.  Recommendations and requests for Local High Needs funding are now made by practitioners within Integrated Services for Learning (ISL) for example, a Specialist Advisory Teacher.   The Advisory teacher makes a recommendation to the Early Years SEND Support Panel.  If the panel agrees that the needs and required provision meet the criteria for the Targeted Plus descriptor or above, the case will be taken to the Local High Needs Funding panel by the local area Early Years Lead Teacher, for final decision making.  The decision to award funding will be at the discretion of the LHNF Panel. 

Key Documents for EY