Decision details

High Needs Budget, including Special School & PRS Budgets

Decision Maker: Corporate Director of Children and Young People's Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve the proposed High Needs Block budget allocations including Special Schools and Pupil Referral Services


To approve the proposed High Needs Block budget as set out in section 3.1 of the report.

Reasons for the decision:

The anticipated overall High Needs Block allocation available for North Yorkshire in 2022-23 is £68.67m, plus £2.63m of Supplementary Funding that has been allocated following the Spending Review. This figure is reduced by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in relation to funding provided directly to academies and for some post-16 provision. It also includes an anticipated import/export adjustment (adjustments made to reflect cross-border movement of pupils living in one local authority who attend provision in another; adjustments for 2022/23 will be finalised by the DfE in early Summer 2022). The total deductions amount to an estimated £6.79m resulting in a net funding allocation to the local authority of £64.51m. This compares to a final cash allocation for 2021-22 of £56.9m – an increase of £7.6m. The final High Needs Block figure will not be known until June 2022 following confirmation of the import/export adjustment.

Changes in government regulations since January 2020 prohibit the local authority from using its general resources to fund any overspend in the High Needs Block (and any other DSG blocks). However, the local authority has chosen to set aside a provision to mirror any projected in-year 2022-23 High Needs Block deficit in order to adhere to its sound and prudent financial management principles. This provision will continue to be held in place until such a time that the overall cumulative High Needs Budget deficit has been fully recovered.

Consultation was undertaken as part of the Council’s budget setting process resulting in the approval of the Budget and MTFS on 16 February 2022. Feedback was given due consideration and informed the recommendations which were approved by Executive on 25 January 2022. Consultation for proposals impacting on the Special School funding formula took place from 22 September 2021 to 22 October 2021. Specific recommendations relating to the Special School MFG were agreed by Executive on 11 January 2022.

Publication date: 17/03/2022

Date of decision: 17/03/2022

Effective from: 25/03/2022