Resourcing and funding

Many of the changes and adaptations discussed throughout the toolkit cost little to nothing to implement. However, some changes like physical adaptations, equipment and support staff do incur additional costs. Research suggests that school building adaptations is often related to availability of funding from the local authority and the attitude towards disability of the school and the local authority.

Changes may be made alongside a school’s accessibility plan and in response to equalities legislation. It may require careful planning and persistence with a local authority.

Local Authorities provide funding from their budgets. Two main funding streams that support the educational and health needs of school children and young people with a spinal cord injury are:

1.   Education: Exceptional Needs Funding (ENF)

The school starts the process by applying to the District Support Advisory Group (DSAG). ENF covers costs of the child’s educational needs, e.g.

·      physical access to the curriculum, which includes specialist equipment for physical education or practical access

·      access to the curriculum, which includes a Teaching Assistant or 1-1 support

Schools should contact the advisory teacher who will carry out an access visit, looking at the school site and assess what work needs to be done. The advisory teacher will then liaise with the local authority building team to draw up a plan of action.

Buying small pieces of equipment (e.g. writing slope or special pencil) may be expected to come from a school’s own budget but larger items will often be covered by a local authority’s budget.

2.   Health: Complex Care Funding

Schools start the process by applying to complex care panel, which decides how many hours funding the child can receive. Complex care covers specific support costs of medical interventions, such as catheterisation or managing a tracheotomy. It does not cover giving medication or any moving or handling support.

Contact the Advisory Support Teacher or relevant department in your local authority for further details and support on resourcing adjustments.

3. Transport:

If a child or young person needs adapted transport, this should be outlined in their SEN statement (if they have one) and provided by the local authority. See the frequently asked questions section in this toolkit for further information.

* From Knight, A, Petrie, P, Potts, P and Zuurmond, M. (2008) ‘The school lives of children and young people with a spinal cord injury‘. Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. Report to the Back-Up Trust.


·      KIDS SENDIASS – free impartial, confidential and accurate information, advice and support about education, health and social care for children, young people and their parents on matters relating to special educational needs and disability

·      The Equality Act 2010 and schools helps schools to understand how the Equality Act affects them and how to fulfill their duties under the act.

·      ASPIRE grants programme

·      ASPIRE assistive technology assessments

·      AbilityNet 

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If you’d like learn more about how we can support children and young people with a spinal cord injury, register your interest here and the team will get back to you shortly or give them a call on 020 8875 1805.